Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Devarim: Have No Fear

August 08, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
After 40 long and, with important exceptions, mostly uneventful years, the Jewish people stood poised to enter the Promised Land. Undoubtedly, they had much to feel nervous and apprehensive about. It is not by chance that the first episode Moshe mentions in his recounting of the many failings of the Jewish people in the desert is that of the meraglim ; warning the people not to repeat the mistake of their parents, further delaying entry to the...
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Beha'alotcha: Selective Memory

June 12, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is amazing how selective our memory can be. People often yearn for the good old days: days full of poverty, pogroms and peddling. The ability to forget the difficulties of the past is a necessary tool for our mental well-being. It is that which allows us to put our lives back together and rebuild after personal or national tragedies.We often choose to remember what suits us, conveniently forgetting those facts which upset our view of the...
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BeHar: Speaking of Sinai

May 15, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our Sages equated farming with faith. Only a man of faith could put in months of backbreaking labour, knowing full well that all his efforts could go for naught with a few days of bad weather. It is the farmer who, more than others, realizes that his success is truly in the hands of G-d. This realization is meant to spur the farmer to “hearken to the commandments which I am prescribing today” in order to have “rains in your land at the proper...
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Kedoshim: Theory and Practice

May 02, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the cardinal principles of Judaism is the belief in the Divine origin of our Bible. While Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest of human beings, his input into the wording of the Torah is minimal at best. In this regard, Moshe was not more than a recording secretary, faithfully transcribing the word of G-d.Yet while G-d is the author of the Torah, He has no say in its development and application in day-to-day life. Lo Bashamayim hee,...
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Tazria: The Potential of Children

April 22, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There is no event more awe-inspiring than the birth of a baby. It is the closest we can come to acting like G-d, creating something from nothing. It is no coincidence that, soon after the Torah tells the story of creation, man is given the command Pru Urvu—to be fruitful and multiply—joining with G-d in the process of creation.One might expect that, after experiencing the birth of a baby, new parents would be required to bring a...
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