Mikketz: Counting on Charisma

December 23, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week's d’var Torah is dedicated in honour of Ira and Rona Kellman, for organizing a family reunion of 305 members of the greater Kelman family from around the world this Shabbat Chanukah in Stamford, CT.Yosef was a most charismatic figure. How else to explain the appeal he had to so many people? The Torah wastes little time in telling us that, both in Potiphar's home and in jail, he immediately found favour in the eyes of his bosses. It is...
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VaYeishev: The Successful Man

December 16, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our Sages attach the appellation Tzadik, righteous one, to Yosef, presumably because of his ability to withstand the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife. Yet the Torah itself refers to Yosef as an ish matzliach, a successful person, no less than three times.  And what a success story Yosef is!Pulled out of a pit and sold into slavery, Yosef rises to be the second most powerful person in the world, establishing much of the...
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VaYeze: Jacob's Journey

December 03, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And Jacob was a pure man, dwelling in the tents” (25:27). Like his father before him, Yaakov had little interest in the wider world surrounding him; he preferred to remain near home, engrossed (in the view of our Sages) in study. He was the direct opposite to his twin brother, who was “a man of the field”. The fact that Yaakov is cooking soup while his brother is out hunting—apparently for sport, as he returns from the hunt famished—...
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Chayei Sarah: Moving to Hebron

November 18, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
This week's dvar torah is being sponsored by Nolene and David Maresky and family in memory of  Rina and Shim Maresky, and Jack Epstein z"l. "And Sarah died in Kiryat Arba, that is Hebron, in the land of Canaan" (23:2). Sefer Breisheet is the book of life, focusing on the creation of life in all of its forms. Much of parshiot Breisheet and Noach is taken up by seemingly meaningless lists of names of those who were born and helped to...
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Sixty Years and Spending

November 09, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Money Matters
Tragically, natural disasters are a relatively common occurrence. The scene is relatively familiar: pictures of destruction and death, with pale-looking survivors searching eagerly for help. Calls go out for money to help rebuild lives and property. The cyclone in Myanmar has created a second tragedy which, from a moral point of view, surpasses the natural one. The refusal of the country’s “leaders” to accept aid, thereby causing so much death...
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