Behar: Legal Loopholes

  Legal loopholes are a mainstay of the legal profession. People are often frustrated when criminals are let off the hook on a technicality, perhaps subverting the intent of the law. But it is not only secular law that is criticized for its seeming preference of the letter over the spirit of the law.   Halacha has often come under criticism for its use of these same technicalities. Whenever the rabbis felt a law...
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What a Story: Kiddushin 66

May 25, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
  One of the fascinating, exciting even suspenseful aspects of learning Gemara is how a detailed discussion on the minutiae of Jewish law can without notice transition into philosophical, historical or theological issues and transition right back without missing a beat. Each facet of the discussion is deemed no less or more important than the other. Theory and practice, law and story, philosophy and history, theology and science all blend...
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I Don't Know You: Kiddushin 65

May 23, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
In our last post we discussed the unusual situation, to say the least, of a father or even the daughter herself being unable to recall to whom the girl was betrothed. But what about a case where we know who the husband and wife may be but the couple can't agree if they were betrothed? "One who says to a woman I betrothed you and she says you did not..." (Kiddushn 65a)   As is typical of the Talmud the discussion...
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Emor: The Animal Kingdom

  When we think of the most important parts of the Torah we may think of the aseret hadibort, the shema or the mitzva to love your neighbour as yourself.    These sections of the Torah are most noticeable and given with much fanfare; the discussion between G-d, Moshe and the Jewish people as they prepared for Sinai, the call to holiness and the gathering together of the people as the...
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Who Did I Marry?: Kiddushin 63

May 19, 2016 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
  You have to wonder sometimes about the strange relationships between parents and children. While parents may not always know where their children are, and while they may at times mix up the names of their children, it is hard to imagine a parent not recalling exactly whom their children may have married. Hard, but apparently not impossible.   “I betrothed my daughter but I do not know to whom I betrothed her[1].” (...
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