Terumah: It's all in the Details

February 07, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Symbols play a crucial role in self and group identification and affect almost everything we do. Be they roses or a diamond ring, symbols can speak louder than actions (not to mention words). Failure to understand the symbolic meaning behind many a gesture can lead to embarrassment and friction.  While symbols plays a major role in our personal lives they have an even greater role in the life of a nation. This is why burning a country...
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Chulin 54: We Can Talk Later

February 01, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
Dan Arielly begins his best-selling book, Predictably Irrational, by noting that for we humans it’s all relative. We do not by evaluate A by looking at A alone, we do so by comparing A to B. Much the same applies in religious life. Fasting on Yom Kippur is most important, but not when compared to the importance of preserving a life. It was this idea that underlined a comment I heard from Rabbi Moshe Tendler back in my...
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Mishpatim: Divine Justice, Human Mercy

February 01, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot” (Shemot 21:24). Perhaps no Biblical verse has generated as much controversy regarding its true meaning. As is well known, traditional Jewish exegesis has always maintained that this verse requires monetary compensation for bodily injuries caused and monetary compensation only. Critics throughout the ages have argued that the true meaning of the text is...
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Chulin 44: A Kosher Animal?

January 25, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
That the “Orthodox” community is more careful about kosher food than kosher money is sadly obvious, and demonstrated all too often. Despite the Torah’s manifold commands relating to money, somehow these mitzvot are not blessed with the same mazel that surround the laws of kashrut. The yetzer hara, desire, for money is much, much greater than for some forbidden food. This...
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Chulin 44: The Business of Kashrut

January 24, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
That the “Orthodox” community is more careful about kosher food than kosher money is sadly obvious, and demonstrated all too often. Despite the Torah’s manifold commands relating to money, somehow these mitzvotare not blessed with the same mazel that surround the laws of kashrut. The yetzer hara, desire, for money is much, much greater than for some forbidden food. This ...
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