VaYigash: Below the Surface

December 11, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“He kissed all his brothers and wept on their shoulders, and afterwards his brothers spoke with him” (45:14). What a change from twenty-two years earlier when “they hated him and could not speak to him in peace” (37:3). Even while they were plotting what to do with Joseph, the brothers spoke about him—but never to him. Only when the brothers are standing before the Egyptian Viceroy does the Torah tell us that Joseph had been...
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Chanukah: Down Memory Lane

December 02, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
We tend to assume that, with the recital of the shir shel yom (the daily psalm—or Aleinu if you daven nusach sefarad), Shacharit is over. Yet a quick glance at the siddur demonstrates that this is not necessarily so. While not widely observed today, there is a custom to recite the shesh zechirot, six remembrances, printed at the end of Shacharit in all standard siddurim. These zechirot ...
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An 'A' for Effort

November 30, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Money Matters
One of the key aspects of the world of business is the crucial importance of the bottom line. And that is the way it should be. The primary—and some would argue, only—goal of business is to make money, or as Milton Friedman famously noted, “the business of business is business”. It is not the role of the private, profit-driven sector to address social needs, crucial as they may be. That is the role of government, private philanthropy and the non...
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Vayishlach: Two is a Crowd

November 20, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is for good reason that co-wives are described as tzarot (literally, problems). Competing as they inevitably must for the same man, their relationship is doomed to be one of jealousy, bickering and even (unfortunately) hatred. Jewish law, recognizing this sad situation, disqualifies the testimony of one spouse regarding the other—we are afraid that they will simply lie. Despite the best of intentions to make this "...
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Good Luck, Mr. Mayor

November 01, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Money Matters
In electing Rob Ford as mayor, voters in the city of Toronto have voted for change. Our mayor-elect has been most forthright in his plan of action, with a focus on the need to cut city spending. Yet despite the wide margin of victory and solid mandate from the voters, it is far from clear how much of his agenda he will manage to implement. Unlike our federal and provincial parliamentary systems, where leaders are able (for better or worse) to...
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