Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Re'eh: A Missing Heart

August 27, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week's d'var Torah is sponsored by Al G. Brown and family in honour of the wedding of Anna-Rachel Brown Krakowsky to Marshall Haber, which will take place b'shaah tova u'mutzlachat on Sunday, August 28th.   “Do not harden your heart and do not close your hand from your impoverished brother” (15:7). The mitzvah of tzedakah requires that we open our hearts and hands to help those in...
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Eikev: Missing Commandments

August 20, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Had things gone according to plan, the Chumash would be a much shorter book. If not for the sin of the golden calf, there would have been no need for a second set of tablets; and there would have been, at least according to Rashi (Shemot 31:18), no need for a Mishkan. It was only because of the chet haegel that there was a need for a tangible place that would serve as the central place to worship G-d. And if not for the sin of the spies...
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Tu B'Av : The Happiest Day

August 15, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: There were no days more joyous than the 15th of Av (Tu b'Av) and Yom Kippur, for on those days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out in borrowed white clothing, in order not to embarrass those who did not have...and the daughters of Jerusalem would dance in the vineyards.” (Mishna Ta’anit 4:8). Our tradition teaches that the birth of the Mashiach will take place on Tisha B'Av...
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Thoughts on Tisha B'Av: Constructive Hatred

August 09, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One does not have to look very hard to find sources within our tradition that allow, encourage, or even demand that we “hate” others.  While the mitzvah to love our neighbour as ourselves is, according to Rabbi Akiva, the fundamental principle of the Torah, many restrict our neighbour (re'acha) to re'acha b’mitzvot, our neighbour in mitzvoth, excluding those are not observant.The Shulchan Aruch codifies laws regarding...
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Devarim: Location, Location, Location

August 06, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Location, location, location are the central pillars of real estate. The same can be said for Jews throughout history. One's location often determined if one would have peace or persecution, tranquility or terror, and even life or death.  While the Torah can be observed everywhere, its primary location is in the land of Israel. In addition to the many laws related to the land itself, to the setting up of all matters of state—social,...
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