Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

Yom Yerushalayim: Sason and Simcha

June 05, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Numbers play a significant, if usually symbolic, role in Jewish thought. Perhaps the most symbolic number is seven, representing completeness; the most obvious example is Shabbat, the highlight that completes the week. Even our new year, Rosh Hashanah, takes place in the seventh month, and the holidays of Pesach and Sukkot are meant to be seven days long. Shavuot, the culmination of the exodus, is celebrated after seven weeks of seven days. The...
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Beha'alotcha: It's Good to Complain

June 01, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the causes for disappointment with the generation that left Egypt was their constant complaining.  Each week, as we study Sefer Bamidbar, we witness another complaint, often more than one per week. Whether it's the food, the drinks, the leaders, the religious obligations, the long journey, or the dangers lurking, there is always something to complain about. The lesson some derive from this is the destructiveness of...
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Shavuot: A New Holiday

May 22, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The shalosh regalim of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot are a celebration of great historic events coupled with the recognition of G-d's role in our agricultural success. Even if the land of Israel experiences drought and the like, the knowledge that G-d controls nature is quite comforting. These three pilgrim festivals, with their deep ties to the land, resonate differently in the land of Israel than they do in the Diaspora. Hence it is not...
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Emor: Religious Secularism

May 02, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Two of the most dangerous threats to society are religious fanaticism and rampant secularism. The dangers of the former have received more attention in recent years, as people literally fear for their physical safety. Furthermore, violently extremist positions that claim to be divinely based are a desecration of the name of G-d and affect all practitioners of religious faith. When people are convinced G-d is on their side even as they engage in...
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Metzora: Home Sweet Home

April 18, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The home plays a critical—if not the critical—role in the development of Jewish life. The efforts of schools, shuls, camps, Israel trips, and the like are unlikely to have major lasting impact if the messages of Jewish living are not reinforced at home. Passover, the holiday that laid the foundation for Jewish nationhood, is thus centred around the home. It is interesting to note that chapter twelve in Exodus, which...
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