Musings from Morocco: Berber Blessings

July 08, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Travel
Eizo asheer? Hasameach bechelko, Who is wealthy? One who is happy with his lot”. It is often hard for many of us raised in the affluence of the West to appreciate the beauty of a simple way of life, devoid of all the modern conveniences we take for granted—and can't live without. A visit to a Berber village can help with some perspective. The indigenous Jews of Morocco, known as the toshavim,...
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Korach: No Unity Without Diversity

It is in times of crisis that effective leadership is most important—and the years spent wandering in the desert represented the first major crisis of the Jewish people. Aimlessly wandering with little to look forward to, knowing that they would die in the desert, the hope and excitement of the Exodus was long gone. It is not surprising that, when faced with a crisis, instead of looking inward, people often look to blame others for their...
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Musings from Morocco: Welcome to Fez

July 04, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Travel
Outside of the world of the yeshiva, it’s a safe bet to assume that most who study Talmud do so as part of the Daf Yomi cycle. This innovation of Rav Meir Shapiro was special not only because Jews around the world study the same page of Talmud every day, but because Jews around the world would study Talmud at all. For most of our post-Talmudic history, only a select few studied Gemara. For much of that time, those Jews who...
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Musings from Morocco

July 03, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Travel
“With fidelity to its irreversible choice to construct a democratic State of Law, the Kingdom of Morocco…having as its bases the principles of participation, of pluralism and of good governance. It develops a society of solidarity where all enjoy security, liberty, equality of opportunities, of respect for their dignity and for social justice… A sovereign Muslim State…the Kingdom of Morocco intends to preserve, in its...
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Erachin 3: Priestly Obligations

June 28, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
In our opening post on masechet Erachin we discussed how the use of the word hakol, everybody, comes to obligate one in a mitzvah, someone whom we might otherwise have exempted. We discussed no fewer than ten examples appearing on the first page alone.  Moving to the second page of the masechet, the Gemara continues on this same theme, where the use of the word hakol ...
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