Rosh Hashanah: Early, Late or Just Right

September 28, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
"And on the seventh month on the first day of the month, it shall be a day of rest. It is a sacred day for remembrance and blowing" (Vayikra 23:24). What the Torah calls a day of blowing (of the ram's horn) is more commonly known as Rosh Hashanah, the New Year. Yet the seventh month seems an odd time to be celebrating the start of a new year. We are apparently six months late…or perhaps it is six months early...
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Nitzavim: Pass the Water

September 27, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"You are standing this day all of you before the Lord your God: your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, all the men of Israel: your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in the midst of the camp, from the hewer of wood unto the drawer of water” (Devarim 29:9-10). As Moshe’s life nears an end and the Jewish people are poised to enter the Land of Israel, Moshe, as he has been doing...
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Keritot 28: Please Go First

September 26, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“Rabbi Shimon says: Kevasim, lambs, precede se’irim, goats, in all places” (Keritot 28a). Rabbi Shimon notes that while lambs and goats are often mentioned together, the Torah (almost) always refers to lambs first. “Is it possible [that this is] because they are preferred? Thus, the verse states: ‘And he shall bring for his offering a goat’ (Vayikra 4:28) after which...
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A Tribute to Rav Binyamin Tabory z"l

September 24, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Birthright Education
The transition from elementary to high school was quite a jarring one. My school day was some two-and-a-half hours longer, added to that was another five hours of school on Sunday, not to mention that we started school—limudei kodesh only—a week before Labour Day.  We, and I speak first and foremost about myself, were a rowdy bunch, more interested in sports than in Gemara. Yet by the time I graduated from high school...
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Keritot 28: And all it Pathways are Peace

September 22, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, when asked to define the main role of a rabbi, responded that it is to help the poor, the widow and the orphan. This towering genius—who refined and systemized an analytical approach to Talmudic study that literally changed the course of Talmudic study around the world—well understood that helping those in need is more important than resolving a contradiction in the Rambam.  Ironically, his genius often...
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