Rabbi Kelaty

Vaera 5780

THE TALE OF THE HOLY  VESTMENT In this week’s parasha there is a narrative that includes two verses that seem superfluous.  The Torah, in reintroducing Aharon and Moshe to us as they emerge as leaders of Klal Yisrael, also defines their lineage.  While tracing their heritage, the Torah also enumerates the descendants of all the […]

Vayeishev 5780

The Twilight Zone   This week’s parasha contains four words that changed the course of history. We all know the story of Yosef’s arrest and imprisonment.  Shortly afterwards, two members of Pharaoh’s Court were also thrown into jail.   We need to understand what it was like to be in jail with two officers of […]

Chayei Sarah 5780

Parasha Insights This week’s parasha discusses the purchase of a burial plot by Avraham Avinu for his wife Sarah. He buys the plot from the newly elected head of the Hittites, a scoundrel of a fellow by the name of Ephron. The Medrash describes Ephron as a person who was “nivhal l’hon” – a person […]

Yom Kippur 5780

FROM SUBLIMATION TO INTENSITY    Yom Kippur, the ultimate day of repentance, has the Jewish nation simultaneously praying, fasting and asking for forgiveness. It begins with the somber, quiet, and melodious intonation of Kol Nidrei and ends with the entire congregation shouting Hashem hu HaElokim (G-d is the Al-Mighty) seven times after various requests of […]

Behalotecha 5779

NAUGHTY BOYS   Imagine a school classroom. The school day is nearly finished. The kids are fidgeting and restless. The teacher is still finishing off his lesson. While he is writing on the board, the bell goes. The teacher finishes writing. Seconds later, he swings around to address the class, ready to explain what he […]

Shavuot 5779

I Know What You Did Last Shavuot        I once heard a shiur given by Rav Moshe Aaron Stern zt’l. In his inimitable way, he posed the following question. Hillel the Elder had 80 talmidim. The top of the list was Rav Yonatan ben Uziel, otherwise known as the Targum Yonatan. He used […]

Pesach edition 5779

HEROES IN THE SAND   And gave us the Torah, and brought us into the Land of Israel” (Dayeinu, Pesach Hagaddah)   There is a famous question, asked year after year at almost every Seder table. Why did the Holy One, Blessed is He, give us the Torah in the desert? Why did He not […]

Vayechi 5779

KEEP IT SIMPLE   “Vayechi Yaakov b’Eretz Mitzrayim {And Yaakov lived in the land of Egypt} for seventeen years. And the years of Yaakov’s life were one hundred and forty seven years.[47:28-29]” The parsha of “Vayechi Yaakov {And Yaakov lived}” paradoxically deals with Yaakov’s preparations for his death. It’s interesting to note that the two […]

Pesach 5778

It Takes All Sorts   I always find the month of Nissan a very frantic time. Have you ever experienced this? Or is it just me?   I kid you not. There’s a lot flying around [for once, I’m not referring to drones]. Pesach is a time of furious work. It’s almost like we are […]

Yom Kippur 5778

THE ELEPHANT AND THE IVORY TOWER   Elephants are pretty powerful creatures. They can weigh as much as 12 tons, and stand as high as thirteen feet tall. Their trunks are strong enough to rip branches off a tree. But despite their enormous power, elephants can be chained. Chaining an elephant isn’t as simple as […]

Beha’alotecha 5777

NAUGHTY BOYS          Imagine a school classroom. The school day is nearly finished. The kids are fidgeting and restless. The teacher is still finishing off his lesson. While he is writing on the board, the bell goes. The teacher finishes writing. Seconds later, he swings around to address the class, ready to […]

Tetzaveh 5777

DIVINE RETURN ON INVESTMENT           In this week’s parashah,  Hashem commands Moshe to gather “all the wise-hearted people whom I have invested with a spirit of wisdom” to make the priestly garments (Exodus 28:1). But the Torah is unclear.  Were these select people Divinely ordained with a spirit of wisdom for this particular mission, or were […]