Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman

VaYetze: Why Leave Home?

December 09, 2005 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is quite evident that Yitzchak and Rivka had differences of opinion regarding the difficult task of raising their twin boys. Their contradictory assessments of Eisav and Yaakov continued to the end of their days. Rivka sensed that Eisav would not, could not, be rehabilitated from his nefarious ways, whereas Yitzchak never gave up hope that Eisav would ultimately remain a Jew. This dichotomy can be seen in many places, including the opening...
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VaYera: Moderating Chesed

November 18, 2005 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Judaism eschews extremism. This obligation to be moderate is codified into law by no less an authority than the Rambam; it is, as he points out, "the path of G-d" (Deot 2:7). Furthermore, the goal is not limited to the development of traits of moderation in our attitude towards money, food, or honour; it is to make them second nature to us.When it comes to character development, our role model par excellence is Avraham Avinu, ...
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Breisheet: Science and Torah

October 28, 2005 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  “In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth” (1:1). Light, sky, land, vegetation, animals and humans: the Torah's description of creation is summarized in thirty-one short verses.  It is the purpose of creation, not its process, which interests the Torah. It is left to the scientists to explain the complex process of creation. The Ramban notes the obvious, that the process of creation cannot be...
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Lech Lecha: The First Child

October 01, 2005 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"Sarai said to Abram, 'G-d has kept me from having children. Come to my concubine; perhaps I will be built up through her'" (16:2) Abram and Sarai represent the first recorded case of infertility in the Bible. In fact, in the first eleven chapters of the Biblical narrative, the Torah spends no less than 86 verses detailing who gave birth to whom. These records of names (how many of us can even identify them?)...
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Mikketz: Family First

December 10, 2004 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Judaism has always maintained that a strong family life is the most important ingredient to create and sustain a person of character and integrity. The Torah spends an entire book detailing the family life of our founders so we can learn from their examples and, at times, even learn from their mistakes. If we are fortunate, the lessons learned from our upbringing are so strong that they shape and guide us throughout our life. There is no better...
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