Bava Batra 141: I Love My Sister

June 28, 2017 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
There is something very special about being pregnant with one’s first child. One has grandiose dreams (hopefully) of carrying a great Torah scholar, a Nobel Laureate and a great philanthropist wrapped into one. Unaware of the realities of child rearing, one can live in a dream world. Yet along with great dreams come great responsibilities, one of which is providing for one’s children. And it is never too early to start saving for one...
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Korach: Power Outage!

The lust for power can destroy a person. It is amazing how people who are otherwise very competent are blinded to reality when the smell of power is in the air. We need look no further than the central character of this week's parsha, KorachAs our Rabbis tell us (see Rashi Bamidbar 16:7), Korach was a smart man. What did he think he would gain by trying to oust Moshe and Aharon? Did he really think he would be...
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Shelach Lecha: Right People, Wrong Mission

Having the right people for the wrong job can lead to tragic consequences. Such was the fate of the meraglim. Twelve handpicked leaders, who represented the best the Jewish people had to offer, were to serve as the final link between Egyptian slavery and Israeli redemption. Yet something went terribly wrong and this was not to be. In the forty days they spent on their mission these great leaders sowed the seeds of despair, pain and...
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Bava Batra 139: From Father to Daughter

June 15, 2017 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
One of the great disparities between the modern Western mode of thought and traditional Jewish thought is the concept of egalitarianism. Modern thinking has blurred any form of distinction between classes of people; even the line separating male from female is too thick for many. Notions such as the priesthood, the rights of the firstborn, hereditary leadership, and restrictions based on gender are anachronistic at best, and more likely,...
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Bava Batra 133: For You My Dear Child....Nothing

June 12, 2017 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“One who writes his property for others [in his will] and leaves his children [with nothing]—what is done is done, but the spirit of our Sages is not happy with him. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel says, if his son does not act kshura, properly, we remember him for good” (Bava Batra 133b). It is not easy to raise children; and raising them to follow in one’s religious path is doubly difficult. G-d chose Abraham to...
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