Divrei Torah

Rosh Hashanah: The Right Focus

September 09, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
“On Rosh Hashanah, it is written; and on Yom Kippur, it is sealed, who shall live and who shall die…” (Machzor). It is doubtful that there is a more powerful, emotional or poignant part of the davening on the yamim noraim than the recital of Unetaneh Tokef. The haunting tune sets the mood of the day, while the stark words highlight the fragility of life. If we are successful in taking its words to heart, we will be...
Continue Reading »

The Morning After

September 02, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
The High Holiday period is one (we hope!) filled with introspection, reflection and a commitment to try to become a better person. Our religious antennae are at their highest point as we spend the day in prayer and fasting. For many, it is the only time of the year that any significant amount of time is spent in communal prayer. It is a day in which we focus on the fragility of life, remembering those who are no longer and pleading that we be...
Continue Reading »

Time to Share

July 05, 2010 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Money Matters
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet recently announced the launch of the “Giving Pledge” campaign, asking that all billionaires in America donate at least 50% of their wealth to charity—and to publicly outline their intentions with a written letter—during their lifetimes or upon their deaths. On June 16th, four families took up the challenge, publicly announcing their intent to do exactly that. Eli Broad, pledging to give away 75 percent of...
Continue Reading »

The Power of Kaddish

I wrote the thought below on that last day of saying kaddish for my father, Harav Chaim Yosef ben Harav Zvi Yehudah, z"l, four years ago. It generated more comments than any other piece I have ever written. As we ready to observe his Yahrzeit tonight, I would like to share these thoughts again for the many who have since joined the TiM mailing list. For those reading it again, I hope you feel it is...
Continue Reading »

Acharei Mot: Preparing for Yom Kippur

“And G-d spoke to Moshe after the death of the two children of Aharon when they came close before G-d and they died” (16:1). The Torah then proceeds with the elaborate details of the special Yom Kippur service.What is most unclear is why the Torah mentions the death of the Nadav and Avihu as the prelude to the Yom Kippur service. Mention of their deaths at this point is especially strange as their death took place more than six months...
Continue Reading »

Pages