Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

VaYigash: Simple Faith

December 14, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
After twenty-two difficult years, Yaakov was informed that his beloved son Yosef was the Viceroy of Egypt. Overcome with joy and disbelief, Yaakov hurried to travel to Egypt to be reunited with his long-lost son. Surely Yaakov could not have been happier. Yet as Yaakov approached the Egyptian border, G-d appeared to Yaakov, telling him "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt” (Breisheet 46:3). Outwardly, Yaakov likely radiated joy, but...
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VaYetze: Ignoring G-d's Promise

November 16, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Yaakov Avinu was on the run. Forced to leave home after "stealing" the birthright from his brother, he was attempting to stay one step ahead of Eisav, who was busy planning for the day when he would "be able to kill my brother Jacob" (27:41). Understandably, Yaakov was fearful. It was at this point, our Sages teach us, that he instituted Maariv, the nightly prayer service, night being the symbol of fear and uncertainty.Tired from being...
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Toldot: Raising Children

November 09, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There is no greater challenge than that of raising refined children. It is a task with so many variables and fraught with such difficulty that many a wonderful home produces children who do not follow in the paths of their parents.Ironically (but quite understandably), it often seems that the greater the parent, the more difficulty raising children to follow his or her example. It should be no surprise that only one of Abraham’s eight children...
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Chayei Sarah: Beyond Death

November 02, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our patriarchs and matriarchs did not have easy lives. Each faced problems of famine, of wandering from place to place, of foreign rulers, and of course, problems with their children. Our founding mothers and fathers often disagreed, sharply at times, on the most basic of decisions relating to the raising of their families. The dispute between Abraham and Sarah as to the place of Yishmael in their household was so fierce that G-d had to...
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Breisheet: Guardians of the Garden

October 16, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"G-d took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it, l'ovdah, and watch it, l'shomrah" (Breisheet 2:15). A perfect world beckons. Everything is "very good" and man, as the centre of creation, is free to enjoy the fruits of G-d's labour. He is to “fill the earth and conquer it; dominate the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every beast that walks in the...
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