Ki Tavo: Language Barriers

September 04, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Those of us living in Canada are especially sensitive to the importance of language to the fabric of a country. The language that one speaks is, more often than not, indicative of cultural norms and attitudes. It is thus no surprise that on many an issue, the views of the people of Quebec differ sharply from those residing in the rest of the country. While it may seem strange to us today, the modern-day Zionist movement debated the question...
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Ki-Teze: Let's Make a Deal

August 28, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"All of man's earnings are decreed on Rosh Hashanah, except for expenses regarding Shabbat and Yom Tov and expenses relating to Jewish education" (Beitzah 16a). The more we spend in the latter two areas, the more G-d will graciously grant us. Though the above is hard to prove, it reflects the fundamental notion that while we are required to work for our sustenance, ultimately it is only through the...
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Shoftim: Words are Not Enough

August 21, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"The hand of the witnesses should be against him first to put him to death, and the hand of the nation at the end" (Devarim 17:7). Giving testimony in a court of law, especially in capital cases, is an awesome responsibility. The Talmud describes the harsh tone and even accusatory statements directed at the witnesses, warning them of the dire consequences of false testimony: "You are responsible for their blood and the blood of...
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Eiruvin 2: A Holy Home

August 17, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
The focus of masechet Shabbat is the definition of the parameters of the 39 prohibited melachot, creative activities prohibited on Shabbat. Of the 39 melachot, it is that of carrying that, by a large margin, takes up more Talmudic discussion than any other. There may even be more discussion on this melacha than the other 38 melachot combined. The other 38 melachot are also creative activities...
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Re'eh: Please Join Us

August 14, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the most vexing issues we face today is how to deal with those who violate, wilfully or not, the precepts of the Torah. Whether our approach should be one of rejection, reaching out, turning a blind eye, or even acceptance to some extent is one that has engendered much debate, and continues to do so. Such debate may be reflected in an ancient Talmudic debate regarding our relationship with G-d.  "You are the children of the...
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