The Bare Torah: Sotah 21

November 24, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In our last post we discussed the view of Rabbi Eliezer that one who teaches his daughter Torah is as if he has taught her tiflut, frivolity. To support this assertion the Gemara quotes the proof text "I wisdom, I dwell with arma" (Mishlei 8:12). Since Ben Azzai disagrees obligating a father to teach his daughter Torah the Gemara wants to know how he interprets the verse from Mishlei. Rather than interpreting the verse as referring to those who...
Continue Reading »

Our Daughter's Torah: Sotah 21

November 23, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It is this notion that lay at the heart of one of the most important disputes of the Talmud (though many are aware of only one side of the dispute) and whose application was one of the most important developments and debates of 20th century Jewish life. As we discussed in our last post there is a Mishnaic dispute as to whether the effect of the sotah water - discolouration, bulging eyes, bloated body,...
Continue Reading »

Time for Carpool: Sotah 20

November 20, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
For most people carpool is a scheduling nuisance, one of those necessary but unwanted jobs of parenting. Helping with homework is not much better. Yet perhaps we should volunteer to do carpool more often and ask teachers to assign more homework. “She did not even finish drinking and her face would turn green, her eyes protrude and her veins swell and they would say: ‘get her out before she defiles the courtyard’” (Sotah 20a). Despite the...
Continue Reading »

VaYetze: Sisters In Love

November 20, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One could hardly find fault with the claim that sibling rivalry is the major theme of Sefer Breisheet. Beginning with the first set of brothers, Cain and Hevel, and continuing through Joseph and his brothers, we confront dispute after dispute. The lack of conflict between Ephraim and Menashe is so unique that their model served as the basis for Jacob's blessing for the Jewish people, "May G-d make you like Ephraim and Menashe" (48:20), a...
Continue Reading »

A Holy Sinner: Sotah 15

November 19, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Just this week an Ontario Court ruled that a 19 year old convicted of first degree murder of a police officer would be spared jail time (he was 15 at the time of the murder) as the judge ruled that the injuries he suffered as a result of his actions - he is now a quadriplegic - is punishment enough. I have little interest in commenting on the case itself[1] (see here for further details) but the story came to my mind as I was learning the...
Continue Reading »