An Introduction to Masechet Tamid

October 18, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“The one sheep you shall do in the morning and the second sheep you shall do in the evening”. Cited twice in the Torah (Shemot 29:39 and Bamidbar 28:4), this verse, is, at least according to one view, its most important. Many are familiar with the view of Rabbi Akiva who, echoing Hillel, teaches that “to love your neighbour as yourself” is the most important verse of the Bible. However, in the introduction to the Ein...
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Shabbat Chol Hamoed: Opposites Attract

October 18, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
Sukkot is a holiday full of contradictions. At the time we celebrate our harvest, we are bidden to leave the comfort of our home and expose ourselves to the elements of nature. Even the two reasons given for sitting in the sukkah are contradictory. According to Rabbi Akiva, the sukkah is meant to replicate the sukkot that the Jews actually resided in as they sojourned in the desert: flimsy huts representing...
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Sukkot: Time to Teach

October 13, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
Holidays are a most opportune time to instill in our children the values and character traits that personify a Jewish lifestyle. At first glance Pesach, more than any other holiday, seems to embody the critical importance of teaching our children. The entire seder is focused on children of all types and stripes; the intense preparation for the holiday and the excitement of the seder make it a most...
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Haazinu: The Lessons of History

October 11, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Despite our long and frequently miraculous past, the actual study of Jewish history is an oft-neglected field. It is perceived by many, to a large degree correctly, to be less important than “pure” Torah subjects such as Chumash (which itself is often neglected), Talmud or Jewish law.  Yet the neglect of the study of Jewish history runs deeper. By its very nature, history is a subject which often lends itself to much bias; this...
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The Day After

October 10, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
“It was on the next day…” (Shemot 18:13). Apparently, something of significance had happened on the previous day, yet the Torah makes no mention of it. The day, that special day that needs no mention, can be none other than Yom Kippur (Rashi). And what was it that happened on the day after that first Yom Kippur? “Moshe sat to judge the people, and the people stood by Moshe from the morning until the evening”. Inspired by their repaired and...
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