Shavuot: A New Holiday

The shalosh regalim of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot are a celebration of great historic events coupled with the recognition of G-d's role in our agricultural success. Even if the land of Israel experiences drought and the like, the knowledge that G-d controls nature is quite comforting. These three pilgrim festivals, with their deep ties to the land, resonate differently in the land of Israel than they do in the Diaspora. Hence it is not...
Continue Reading »

Emor: Religious Secularism

Two of the most dangerous threats to society are religious fanaticism and rampant secularism. The dangers of the former have received more attention in recent years, as people literally fear for their physical safety. Furthermore, violently extremist positions that claim to be divinely based are a desecration of the name of G-d and affect all practitioners of religious faith. When people are convinced G-d is on their side even as they engage in...
Continue Reading »

Metzora: Home Sweet Home

The home plays a critical—if not the critical—role in the development of Jewish life. The efforts of schools, shuls, camps, Israel trips, and the like are unlikely to have major lasting impact if the messages of Jewish living are not reinforced at home. Passover, the holiday that laid the foundation for Jewish nationhood, is thus centred around the home. It is interesting to note that chapter twelve in Exodus, which...
Continue Reading »

Pesach: Where Is Hallel?

April 02, 2007 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
It is the holiday of Pesach that celebrates our becoming a nation and is the cornerstone of Judaism. Remembering the Exodus provides the backdrop to so many of our mitzvoth, whether it is Shabbat or Yom Tov, tefillin, mezuzah, kindness to strangers, or our sexual ethics. On Pesach, we focus on the meaning of freedom; but the mitzvah to remember the Exodus, zechirat yetziat mitzraim, is one that must be fulfilled each and every day, if by nothing...
Continue Reading »

Lech Lecha: Finding G-d

October 01, 2006 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"G-d said to Abraham, ‘Go away from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father's house to the land that I will show you' (12:1)". Abraham is seventy-five years old when he begins his trek to the anonymous land that G-d has singled out for the Jewish people. Who is this Abram, and what has he done to merit G-d's promise that "I will bless you and make you great. I will bless those who bless...
Continue Reading »

Pages