VaEra: 137 and Counting

January 20, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One hundred and thirty seven is not a number that would appear to have much significance, at least not from a Jewish perspective. Yet the Torah found it necessary to record that Levi lived to that age (Shemot 6:16). A mere four verses later we are told that Amram, Moshe's father, also lived to the age of 137. As Moshe and Aaron are about to set in motion the redemption of the Jewish people, the Torah “digresses” and records the...
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Nortel Justice System

January 16, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Money Matters
The mention of Nortel Networks makes many a Canadian cringe. Once the darling of the tech world and the most heavily weighted stock in the Toronto Stock Exchange, today it serves as symbol of failure. The greatest insult to any company is to wonder if they are another Nortel.  The recent sale of its 6,000 patents marked the end of a company that once had a market capitalization of $398 billion dollars.I write these words as opening...
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VaYechi: Adding Numbers

January 06, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  Sefer Breisheet begins with the grandeur of creation, detailing the many new life forms, and with great hope for the human race. This hope was to be short-lived, with story after story of man's pettiness and propensity for evil. By the end of the book, the theme is that of death, and the stage is set for the enslavement of the Jewish people.   The opening verse of this week's parsha, “Jacob lived in the land...
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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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