Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Shabbat Chol Hamoed: Worshipping Idols

April 23, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is hard to imagine a more impactful ritual than that of our weekly Torah reading. While its origins date to Moshe Rabbeinu—acting in his capacity as a rabbinic sage, not as prophet delivering G-d's message—and Ezra the scribe, it was not until the Middle Ages that our annual Torah reading cycle was firmly established. It is through the prism of the weekly Torah reading that Jewish life operates. I shudder to think what would happen to our...
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Metzora: Talk It Up

April 11, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our Rabbis saw a link between the spiritual sin of lashon hara, slander and gossip, and the physical disease of tzara'at. At the dawn of redemption from Egypt , Moshe was afflicted with this disease for speaking negatively about the Jewish people: "But they will not believe me" (Shemot 4:1), he mistakenly claimed. Nation-building cannot take place when unsubstantiated, not to mention false...
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VaYakhel: Seven Days a Week

February 26, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The primacy of Shabbat as the foundation stone of Judaism is self-evident. Shabbat is the culmination of the creation process; two distinct reasons for its observance—creation and the Exodus—are enumerated in the aseret hadibrot; Jewish law prescribes, in theory, the death penalty for its desecration, a punishment we do not have even for the desecration of Yom Kippur. The command to observe Shabbat appears in numerous places...
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Ki Tisa: Striving for 100%

February 11, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
We have all been taught that it is the holiday of Shavuot that commemorates the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Interestingly, nowhere is this mentioned in the Torah, which presents Shavuot in an agricultural context only. Many commentaries suggest that the reason the Torah does not mention the date it was received is that each and every day, we must receive the Torah anew. While true, the simple explanation of why there is no mention of...
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Mishpatim: It's Not Who You Know

January 29, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Knowing the right people is, more often than not, the key to success in the modern world. We in North America refer to “connections”, but in Israel it's called by a less diplomatic but more honest name, protektzia.While this is true in almost all aspects of life, it is especially true when one is faced with legal troubles. Having the financial means to hire right lawyer can make all the difference between time in jail and...
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