Eikev: A Long Journey

August 23, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"According to the days that you spent exploring the land, forty days, a year for a day, you shall carry your sin and you will know My actions" (Bamidbar 14:34). The sin of rejecting the land of Israel was not easily forgiven and forty days would turn into forty long years, enough time for an entire generation to die. This is well known and seemingly indisputable.  However, Moshe Rabbeinu, speaking to the second generation weeks...
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Philanthropy Works: We Just Need More of It

August 22, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Birthright Education
Hillel Rapp has identified a serious impediment to solving the tuition crisis—namely, the spiraling costs incurred by day schools. This, according to Rapp, is caused in large measure by the pressure to raise the costs ever higher in an ongoing effort to attract more donations. He suggests that if schools would instead focus on the needs of the student body, market forces would ensure that affordable education were the...
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Tu BAv: Coming Together

August 16, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
One of the lessons Nehama Leibowitz, z”l, drilled into us during the time I was fortunate to study with her was that if Rashi has two explanations for a pasuk, it means he was not fully satisfied with either. Had he been, he would have given only that one explanation. If such is true regarding just two explanations, what can we say about something that has six explanations?  “Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said:...
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VaEtchanan: Learning to Read

August 16, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our Torah encompasses all aspects of life: it regulates our existence from the day we are born until the day we die, and from the moment we awake until we retire at night. It is only after one has accepted the binding nature of the Law that one may begin to question the whys of the Law. While clearly some laws are more important than others, our attitude towards them all must be one of absolute obedience. "Be as meticulous in the light...
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Devarim: Equality for all

August 09, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
With old age comes knowledge of life that can only be gained by experience. Thus, Jewish law insists that all elders, even non-observant or non-Jewish ones, must be given honour and respect. There is no substitute for experience. The more the person has experienced, the more they can teach us about life. Moshe Rabbeinu, as the only person to ever speak "face to face" with G-d, surely had much to impart to all of us. Knowing that he...
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