Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Shmini: Seek the Middle

April 13, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
“Moshe then inquired, darosh darash, about the goat of the sin offering, and it had been burned” (Vayikra 10:16). Judaism has always stressed the importance of the middle position. Ideologically, the Rambam teaches, we should seek the middle ground (the golden mean). We lain with the sefer Torah in the middle surrounded by two people, and a Torah scholar walks in the middle of his entourage. Rosh Hashanah...
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Tzav: Happy Thanksgiving

March 23, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
Marketing can make or break a product. Get it right and you are on your way to becoming wealthy. Make a mistake and, irrespective of the actual quality of the product, it is unlikely to sell. Public relations, however, is not limited to the realm of the corporate world or politicians vying for office. It is a religious obligation. In addition to the mitzvoth of Kiddush Hashem and Chilul Hashem, which mandate us to be ever...
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Vayikra: Pass the Salt

March 17, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
Modern man finds the notion of sacrifices primitive, archaic and a form of Divine service that is no longer necessary. Yet to ancient man, nothing came more naturally than offering sacrifices to G-d. Cain and Hevel, Noach and Abraham instinctively offered sacrifices to G-d, without being commanded to do so. A korban is a mechanism for coming closer to G-d, an idea that is alluded to in its very name, coming from the root “...
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Vayakhel: Gather the People

March 09, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
“When Aaron and all the Israelites saw that the skin of Moshe’s face was shining with a brilliant light they were afraid to come close to him (Shemot 34:30).” How effective can a leader be when his followers are afraid to come near him? Moshe Rabbeinu having spoken face to face with G-d, knew that his effectiveness was dependent on having the people relate to him and on his being accessible to them. “The people come to...
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Ki Tissa: The Spoken Word

March 02, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
“G-d said to Moses, ‘write these words for yourself, since it is through these words (ki al pi hadevarim) that I have made a covenant with you and Israel’" (Shemot 34:27). After 80 days, Moshe had succeeded in convincing G-d to not destroy the Jewish people despite their violation of the second of the aseret hadibrot. The Jewish people would be given a second chance. Yet forgiveness is not enough. For...
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