Eikev: 100 Streams

August 07, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And now, Israel, what does G-d, Ma Hashem, want from you but just to fear the Lord your G-d, to walk in all His ways, to love Him and to worship the Lord your G-d with all your heart and all your soul" (Devarim 10:12). in a seemingly strange play on the word ma, The Talmud (Menachot 43b) derives from this verse the obligation to recite me'ah, 100 blessings a day.  According to...
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Shabbat 151: I Want a Reward

August 06, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“Mitzvot were given only to purify people” (Breisheet Rabba 44). By refraining from gossip, not bearing a grudge, not giving misleading advice, by showing sensitivity to the orphan, widow, stranger and poor, paying our debts on time, willingly accepting rebuke, and by acting in ways that demonstrate our love towards others, we are able to embody the traits that are meant to define a Jew: rachamanim, baishanim and...
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Tu B'Av: Breaking the Glass

August 05, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
One of the best-known wedding customs is the breaking of a glass during the chuppah. The common explanation given for this custom is that it serves as a reminder of the destruction of the Temple. Our breaking of the glass is meant as a fulfilment of the verse, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten; let my tongue stick to my palate if I do not mention you, if I do not raise Jerusalem above my highest joy...
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VaEtchanan: Beyond the Law

The most obvious connection between Tisha b’Av and parshat Vaetchanan—which is always read on the Shabbat following this saddest of days—lies in the opening lines of the parsha, where Moshe pleads to enter the land from which his beloved people would be exiled hundreds of years later.   The origins of Tisha B’Av stem from the chet hameraglim, the sin of...
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Marriage over Mourning

July 29, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
A Jewish wedding consists of two distinct parts: eirusin and nisuin. In eirusin (also known as kiddushin), the chatan gives the kallah something of monetary value—the universal custom is to give a ring—and declares, Harei at mekudeshet li b’taba’at zo k’dat Moshe v’Yisrael, "Behold, you are betrothed to...
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