New Paths for Ba'alei Teshuva: Part One

This series of blog posts seeks to discuss, if only preliminarily, the journey of ba’alei teshuvah (loosely defined as those who were not raised in a home of halakhic observance but chose this way of life at some point) and their place within Orthodox communities. Along with reflecting upon my own experience as a ba’al teshuvah, I would like to examine the mirror that ba’alei teshuva hold up to Orthodox society and the phenomenon of self-...
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The Catholic Church, Gay Rights and the Jewish Community

June 11, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Another Perspective
The mark of maturity is the ability to disagree with others respectfully; to be able to appreciate the integrity and sincerity of an argument even as you may fundamentally disagree with it. This is easier said than done, and it is truly the rare individual who can walk this fine but crucial line. As hard as this may be for individuals, it is infinitely harder when dealing with issues debated in the public square. When was the last time you...
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Beha'alotcha: Moshe's Helpers

Like many a great leader, Moshe—the greatest of all leaders—had difficulty delegating authority. Knowing you can do the job better than others, it is not easy to watch as subordinates are not quite up to the level of their superiors.Even if this is true, acting alone can only carry one so far; generally, not nearly as far as one needs to go. It was Moshe’s father-in-law Yitro who first taught Moshe this crucial lesson. “[You will] stumble [and]...
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We Have the Money

June 04, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Birthright Education
As summer approaches, day school parents will soon be getting notifications regarding tuition fees for next year. Undoubtedly, fees will—as they do each and every year—rise at two to three times the rate of inflation. This is to be expected as cost-cutting measures that may be employed in other industries can have little impact in a service industry such as education. Unless one wants to replace teachers in the classroom with some...
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The Hertz Chumash United Us

June 03, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Another Perspective
During shul this past week, I was reading the notes of the Hertz Chumash, as I often do. This likely puts me in small company as the Hertz Chumash has gone the way—pardon the expression—of the dodo bird. It so happens the shul at which I daven has a number of them still around, and I often enjoy using the Hertz over the “competing” chumashim that adorn our beit midrash.Perhaps this is so because the Hertz Chumash reminds me of certain aspects of...
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