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...
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Devarim: Developing Torah

September 07, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
After forty years of wandering in the desert, the Jewish people were finally ready to enter the land of Israel. Their experience in the desert and the raising of a new generation would enable them to confidently enter the land. Yet the desert served not only as physical training ground for the Jewish people, but also as spiritual training for the future, much of which would be lived outside the land of Israel.In a fascinating analysis of the...
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The Appeal of a Teacher

August 25, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Money Matters
Issues of church and state—especially in the United States, with its constitutional separation of these two realms—are always controversial, often fascinating, and at times trailblazing.As briefly reported in this newspaper (August 20), a fascinating case is set to be heard by the New York State Appellate Court. At issue is the degree, if any, to which the secular courts may intervene in rulings of a beit din (religious court). What was the...
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Devarim: Have No Fear

August 08, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
After 40 long and, with important exceptions, mostly uneventful years, the Jewish people stood poised to enter the Promised Land. Undoubtedly, they had much to feel nervous and apprehensive about. It is not by chance that the first episode Moshe mentions in his recounting of the many failings of the Jewish people in the desert is that of the meraglim ; warning the people not to repeat the mistake of their parents, further delaying entry to the...
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Happy With "His" Lot

July 28, 2009 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Money Matters
Rav Yisroel Salanter, the 19th century ethicist, noted that it takes much more moral strength to be a businessman with integrity than to be a rabbi. The moral challenges presented by the rough and tumble of the business environment far outweigh those faced by your typical rabbi, who may be shielded from the realities of the “real” world. While the businessman faces temptation on a daily basis, it is the rare shul where, for example, davening...
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