Thoughts from the Daf

Menachot 44: A Slap in the Face

October 18, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
There is little that turns one off from religion more than corruption in the religious sphere. When one sees someone cheating who outwardly presenting as religious, the harm to religion is incalculable. It is the ultimate in chilul Hashem, causing others to disdain religion and even to hate G-d (see Yoma 86a). And when the dishonesty manifests in the religious sphere itself, the chilul Hashem is...
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Menachot 43: Missing No Longer!

October 09, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
Our generation has been blessed with the renewal of two mitzvot that had, for all intents and purposes, lay dormant for centuries.  It is our generation that merited the ingathering of the exiles from the four corners of the earth and the reestablishment of a Jewish state. For the first time in close to 2,000 years, we are sovereign in our own land, affording us the opportunity to become a “light unto the...
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Menachot 28: The Temple Lulav

September 28, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
The opening Mishna of masechet menachot teaches that just because one lacks proper intent when slaughtering an animal, the korban remains valid (though the person offering the korban has not fulfilled their obligation and would have to bring another korban). In other words, the slaughtering does not impact on the other aspects of the korban (see here for further discussion). However, there are many mitzvoth where each part forms such...
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Menachot 29: Moshe Meets Akiva

September 21, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
“Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: When Moses ascended on high, he found the Holy One, Blessed be He, sitting and tying ketarim, crowns, on the letters of the Torah[1]. Moses said before G-d: Master of the Universe, mi meakev, who is preventing You [from giving the Torah without these additions]? G-d said to him: There is a man who is destined to be born after several generations, and Akiva[2] ben Yosef...
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Menachot 29: The Death of Rabbi Akiva

September 17, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
One of the most moving parts of the Yom Kippur davening is the recital of the asara harugei malchut, the ten rabbinic leaders martyred by the Romans. A similar piyut is recited on Tisha B’Av, though the purpose of each—and hence, the piyyutim themselves—differs. On Tisha B’Av, it is included as part of the mourning process on the saddest day of the...
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