Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

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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Yitro: Nine Commandments

February 13, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
 This week's d’var Torah is sponsored by Dr. Charles and Nathalie Piwko in observance of the yahrzeit of Charlie's mother, ob”m, and in celebration of the bar mitzvah of their children, Jeremy and Imanuel. Mazal tov to the extended family.It is customary in most shuls to read the aseret hadibrot in what is known as ta'am elyon, the upper cantillation. Whereas the ta'am tachton (the lower...
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VaEra: Status Quo

January 23, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And they did not listen to Moshe, from short spirit and hard work" (7:9). Moshe had a daunting dual task before him. Not only did he need to demonstrate to Pharaoh that he must free his slaves, he needed to convince the Jewish people that they would be better off following him into the desert. And the latter was a prerequisite for the former."Even the Israelites will not listen to me; how can I expect Pharaoh to listen to me?" (7:12). Moshe...
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