Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Vayishlach: Two is a Crowd

November 20, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is for good reason that co-wives are described as tzarot, literally, problems. Competing as they inevitably must for the same man, their relationship is destined to be one of jealousy, bickering and even hatred. Jewish law, recognizing this sad situation, disqualifies the testimony of one of the tzarot regarding the other—we are afraid that they will simply lie. Despite the best of intentions to make a...
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VaYera: Late Arrival

October 23, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week’s d’var Torah is sponsored by Arthur and Sheri Little in observance of the Yahrzeit of Arthur's father, Leonard Little, Aryeh ben Avraham Yitzchak z"l. Rabbinic tradition maintains that the Torah existed even before the creation of the world, in essence serving as the architectural blueprint of creation. This is a beautiful concept that teaches that Torah is built into the fabric of the world. Nature and morality...
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Noach: Too Close to G-d?

October 09, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Noach was “righteous and pure”, in the words of the Bible. Twice in the space of few verses the Torah tells us that “Noach did all that G-d commanded him” (6:22 and 7:5). It is through Noach that humanity is descendant, a most worthy reward for “one who walked with G-d”.Yet as is well known, many of our Sages were ambivalent in their attitude towards Noach, finding fault despite the Torah's glowing characterization of this...
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Sukkot: Seeing Double

September 23, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week’s d’var Torah is sponsored by Gershon and Leah Vandenbrink with best wishes for a joyous Sukkot. 
In rabbinic literature, Sukkot is known simply as “Chag,” (the holiday), implying that it is the holiday par excellence. It is the most joyous of holidays both thematically and experientially. It is our z’man simchateinu, the time of our happiness.  In Temple times it was marked by the ...
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Yom Kippur: Just a Minute

September 18, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The death of the righteous atones, our Sages teach, and it is for this reason that during Mussaf of Yom Kippur, just after recounting the special service done in the Temple, we read of the deaths of the “ten martyrs” so cruelly murdered by the Romans."They [the Romans] ordered the Rabbi Chananya ben Tradeyon be brought from his study hall, and they burned his body with bundles of branches. They placed saturated wool sponges on his chest to delay...
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