Tu B'Av : The Happiest Day

August 15, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
“Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said: There were no days more joyous than the 15th of Av (Tu b'Av) and Yom Kippur, for on those days the daughters of Jerusalem would go out in borrowed white clothing, in order not to embarrass those who did not have...and the daughters of Jerusalem would dance in the vineyards.” (Mishna Ta’anit 4:8). Our tradition teaches that the birth of the Mashiach will take place on Tisha B'Av...
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Thoughts on Tisha B'Av: Constructive Hatred

August 09, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One does not have to look very hard to find sources within our tradition that allow, encourage, or even demand that we “hate” others.  While the mitzvah to love our neighbour as ourselves is, according to Rabbi Akiva, the fundamental principle of the Torah, many restrict our neighbour (re'acha) to re'acha b’mitzvot, our neighbour in mitzvoth, excluding those are not observant.The Shulchan Aruch codifies laws regarding...
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Devarim: Location, Location, Location

August 06, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Location, location, location are the central pillars of real estate. The same can be said for Jews throughout history. One's location often determined if one would have peace or persecution, tranquility or terror, and even life or death.  While the Torah can be observed everywhere, its primary location is in the land of Israel. In addition to the many laws related to the land itself, to the setting up of all matters of state—social,...
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RiM Woes

August 01, 2011 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Money Matters
As we have often noted, economic decisions reflect moral choices. As the world economy slowly recovers from near-catastrophe, another potential disaster looms in the horizon: that of the United States government defaulting on its debt. While families understand that they cannot live beyond their means, governments worldwide seem oblivious to this fact; after all, they can just print money as needed.Decisions that would lead to personal...
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Massei: Journeys

“And these are the journeys of the people of Israel” (33:1). The Torah lists over 40 stops along the long and winding route the Jewish people took on their journey to the land of Israel. Many of these names have never appeared before in the Bible and will never appear again. Their mention highlights the lack of purpose of so much of the stay of the Jewish people in the desert, going from meaningless place to meaningless place...
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