Divrei Torah

Re'eh: Please Join Us

August 14, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the most vexing issues we face today is how to deal with those who violate, wilfully or not, the precepts of the Torah. Whether our approach should be one of rejection, reaching out, turning a blind eye, or even acceptance to some extent is one that has engendered much debate, and continues to do so. Such debate may be reflected in an ancient Talmudic debate regarding our relationship with G-d.  "You are the children of the...
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Shabbat 151: Nothing New in Messianic Times

August 11, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“For there will never cease to be needy within the land. Therefore, I command you, saying, you shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your poor one, and to your needy one in your land” (Devarim 15:11). It is rather depressing to imagine that poverty can never be eradicated. Yet thousands of years of human existence would seem to indicate that such seems quite true. Despite unprecedented wealth, modern methods of...
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Eikev: 100 Streams

August 07, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And now, Israel, what does G-d, Ma Hashem, want from you but just to fear the Lord your G-d, to walk in all His ways, to love Him and to worship the Lord your G-d with all your heart and all your soul" (Devarim 10:12). in a seemingly strange play on the word ma, The Talmud (Menachot 43b) derives from this verse the obligation to recite me'ah, 100 blessings a day.  According to...
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Shabbat 151: I Want a Reward

August 06, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“Mitzvot were given only to purify people” (Breisheet Rabba 44). By refraining from gossip, not bearing a grudge, not giving misleading advice, by showing sensitivity to the orphan, widow, stranger and poor, paying our debts on time, willingly accepting rebuke, and by acting in ways that demonstrate our love towards others, we are able to embody the traits that are meant to define a Jew: rachamanim, baishanim and...
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Tu B'Av: Breaking the Glass

August 05, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
One of the best-known wedding customs is the breaking of a glass during the chuppah. The common explanation given for this custom is that it serves as a reminder of the destruction of the Temple. Our breaking of the glass is meant as a fulfilment of the verse, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten; let my tongue stick to my palate if I do not mention you, if I do not raise Jerusalem above my highest joy...
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