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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Shelach Lecha: Confirmation Bias

How can two people witness the exact same events and yet offer two distinct and different reports? This question is one that jumps out as we examine the story of the meraglim. The Torah had been received, the mishkan built and dedicated, the census taken. All that remained was the march to the Promised Land of Israel to implement the Torah way of life.  The Jewish people were nervous, wondering about the...
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All are welcome to Masechet Erachin

June 24, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
Amongst the most obscure laws of the Torah are those of erachin, which form the subject matter of the last chapter of sefer Vayikra. The Torah details the amount of money that one must give to the Temple treasury when one proclaims his or her erech, loosely translated as one’s value. The amount is determined by one’s age and sex with no reference to one’s personal attributes. In contradistinction, if...
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Beha'alotcha: Dan and Din

  “Then journeyed the camp of Dan, m’aseif, the gatherer, of all the camps” (Bamidbar 10:25). As the Jewish people prepared to march to the land of Israel—no one imagined it would take forty years until they would arrive—they formed a precise pattern with four groups of three tribes each, with the tribe of Levi and the Mishkan in the middle of the camp. The tribe of...
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