Nasso: The Righteous Adulterer

  Judaism has long insisted that we give people the benefit of the doubt: one is innocent until proven guilty. It is always difficult to determine what happened in any questionable situation and even in those rare cases when we might know all the facts, we will rarely be privy to a person's motivation, a factor that is most crucial and telling. This reluctance to judge others is rooted in the fact that only G-d is the true...
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Shavuot: An Evolving Torah

May 29, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
“Rav Yossi said: It would have been appropriate had the Torah been given through Ezra, but Moshe preceded him… and even though the Torah was not given by him [Ezra], it was changed by him” (Sanhedrin 21b). The Talmud explains that this change relates to the “font” of the Torah, which was changed from ketav Ivri, the initial font in which the Torah was given, to ketav Ashurit, the “font...
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Shabbat 69: What Time is It?

May 28, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
That we are living in unprecedented times hardly needs to be stated. It is hard to believe that less than three months ago we in the west were living in blissful ignorance, oblivious to what lay just around the corner. We may have heard vague reports of something amiss in China, but we continued along our merry way. As the world came to a virtual standstill time slowed down, if not scientifically, then at least in our perception of it. (And...
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Bamidbar: Change for the Better

One of the hallmarks of a strong society is its ability to smoothly effect change. New leaders and policies, crises and confrontations are all dealt with in an orderly fashion without the threat of violence. New ideas are incorporated within the existing structure. It is a process of evolution, as opposed to revolution.  Many people find change—any change—disconcerting and prefer the status quo, no matter the repercussions. The...
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Yom Yerushalayim: Natural and Supernatural

May 21, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
The Jewish nation waited for close to 1,900 years to regain sovereignty over G-d’s chosen land. It took an additional 19 years until sovereignty was established “in the place that I will choose to place My name” (Devarim 12:11). The famous words of Brigade Commander Motta Gur, “Har haBayit b’yadeinu, the Temple Mount is in our hands,” marked one of the momentous events of Jewish history; the presence...
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