Chanukah: An Eternal Message

December 23, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
One of the painful realties of Jewish life is that the Jewish people are often judged by a double standard. What in other cultures is done with impunity often causes an uproar when it is the State of Israel doing the exact same thing. While frustrating and unfair, this is a burden of which we should be most proud.  The nations of the world have an innate ability to grasp the uniqueness of the Jew. How else to explain the fixation of the...
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VaYeshev: The Successful Man

December 20, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our Sages attach the appellation Tzadik, righteous one, to Yosef, presumably because of his ability to withstand the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife. Yet the Torah itself refers to Yosef as an Ish Matzliach[1], a successful person, no less than three times. And what a success story Yosef is. Pulled out of a pit and sold into slavery, Yosef rises to be the second most powerful person in the world...
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Nidah 30: The Lord is Against Me

December 18, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“And it does not leave the womb before it is made to take an oath…and what is the oath one is made to take? Be righteous and do not be wicked” (Nidah 30b). As He was set to destroy Sedom, G-d—talking to Himself—muses that He is choosing Avraham to bring His message to the world because, “I know that he will command his children and his household to follow in the path of G-d, to do righteousness and justice...
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VaYishlach: The Unsung Hero

December 13, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
How common it is for people to return from a funeral and realize how little they knew about the deceased. All too often, it is only after a person’s death that one realizes the tremendous contributions made by the deceased. Alas, at that point, it is too late and we soon tend to return to our daily activities. “And Devorah, Rivka’s wet-nurse, died and she was buried below Beit-El under the oak, and he [Yaakov] called its name...
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Nidah 30: In Utero

December 10, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
Being pregnant with one’s first child is the best of times. One imagines a talmid chacham, a nuclear physicist, a Nobel laureate, an Olympic athlete and a great philanthropist all wrapped in one. It is only when one gives birth and begins to raise a child that one realizes that is not exactly how it works out. It is not only the expectations of the parents that change with birth. The baby, too, undergoes a great awakening....
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