Toldot: A Second Famine

November 09, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And there was a famine in the land, aside from the first famine that was in the days of Avraham...And G-d appeared to him [Yitzchak] and said: Do not go down to Egypt, dwell in the land that I will tell you” (Breisheet 26:1-2). It is quite clear that this famine was not the same one that occurred during the days of Avraham. Approximately 100 years had lapsed since Avraham went to Egypt searching for food. Presumably, Avraham...
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Menachot 65: Saturday Night Harvesting

November 08, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
The Jewish people are a most contentious one. We argue about (almost?) everything and then some. Debate is most healthy and part and parcel of our tradition, reflecting the vitality of our people, and the seriousness with which we address the issues of the day. There is little that is sadder than having one’s views ignored, not even deemed worthy of debate. Ideally all involved in debate, fierce as they may be, share a common set of...
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Chayei Sarah: Anonymous

November 02, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Man has an innate desire to make a name for himself. The fear of being forgotten is a fear that grips us all. For many, this serves as a key stimulus to have children (and in many cultures, specifically male children) who will carry on the family legacy. This desire not to be forgotten motivates some to write books, some to build monuments and even some to enter public life, hoping to attain some measure of immortality. "There are three...
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Menachot 53: Chametz and Matza

November 01, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
"All korbanot mincha, flour offerings, are to be made of matza with the exception of the chametz of the korban todah, thanksgiving offering, and the shtei halechem, two loaves of bread [offered on Shavuot] that are made of chametz” (Menachot 52b). That flour offerings may not be made of chametz is explicitly[1] stated in the...
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VaYerah: Living in Sedom

October 26, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And the people of Sedom were evil and sinners towards G-d beyond all measure” (Breisheet 13:13). Despite their depravity, Avraham Avinu argued, challenged, pleaded and negotiated with G-d for their welfare. It is specifically this trait of caring and concern for “evil” people—a trait that characterized all the Avot and Imahot—that demonstrates their greatness. They may...
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