Beshalach: Ahavat Yisrael, Defined

January 30, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The book of Shemot details the emergence of the Jewish people as a nation. Though descending from spiritual giants, the nascent nation displayed great fickleness in their relationship to G-d. On the one hand, they showed tremendous faith in following Moshe into an unknown desert. These same Jews, however, wasted no time complaining whenever things were a little tough. G-d's past benevolence was quickly forgotten. This behaviour was to...
Continue Reading »

VaEra: The Right Reason

January 04, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Sometimes the reason why one does something can be even more important than what was actually done. While our Sages note that one should strive to perform mitzvoth even for the wrong motives, the commentaries note exceptions to this rule (see, for example, a fascinating responsa of the Netziv, Meisheev Davar 1:46, in which he notes that the opening of new synagogues in an established neighbourhood is generally forbidden). It appears...
Continue Reading »

Lech Lecha: A Loving Son

October 31, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And Terach’s years were 205 years, and Terach died in Charan. G-d said to Abram, Go away from your land, your birthplace and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you” (11:30-12:1).  These two verses are separated from each other by nothing more than the weekly parsha cycle, with the death of Terach ending parshat Noach and the command to Avraham the opening verse in parshat Lech Lecha....
Continue Reading »

Noach: A Penny Saved

October 16, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Noach was a righteous man, perfect in his generation” (6:9). It is hard to imagine a greater endorsement than that which the Torah gives to Noach. Surrounded by a society steeped in evil, he towered above all. Man had sunk so low; murder, idolatry and sexual immorality (Rashi 4:26) were so rampant that G-d had had enough: “I will blot out man whom I created from the face of the earth” (6:7).  G-d did not do so only because “Noach found...
Continue Reading »

Parshat Bereshit - Science and Torah

September 21, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth" (1:1). Light, sky, land, vegetation, animals and humans. The Torah's description of creation is summarized in thirty-one short verses.It is the purpose of creation, not its process, which interests the Torah. It is left to the scientists to explain the complex process of creation. The Ramban notes the obvious, that the process of creation cannot be understood from the Biblical text. For...
Continue Reading »

Pages