Thoughts from the Daf

Temurah 14: Get it in Writing

August 08, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Night and day reflect polar opposites. The former symbolizes hope and excitement, the latter fear and trembling. They join together to form a complete day, but separate they must remain. Hence, those mitzvot that are to be done in the daytime, such as shofar, tzitzit, hallel, or lulav, can be performed during the day only. And those mitzvot that are to be performed at night, such as harvesting and counting of...
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Erachin 16: To Rebuke or Not to Rebuke

August 01, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“How do we know that one who sees something unseemly in his friend, that he must rebuke him? Because it says (Vayikra 19:17), ‘You shall rebuke, rebuke, amitecha, your friend’” (Erachin 16b). While on the surface this seems like a straightforward question and answer, it is in fact much more. It is not, for good reason, the practice of the Gemara to ask, “how do we know” that which is explicitly...
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Erachin 16: Where's The Fire!

July 25, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Which would you prefer? That those who gossip about you do so behind your back and thus, you may never hear about it? Or that the gossip be said to your face, even in the presence of others? One might argue that ignorance is bliss, and that it is best that we not hear what others have to say about us. Yet only with “in-your-face" lashon hara is it possible to “have it out” with those who think ill...
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Erachin 15: To Speak or Not to Speak

July 23, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“What is lashon hara?” (Erachin 15b). This is a most reasonable question—had it been asked at the beginning of a discussion on the laws of lashon hara. However, this question appears after more than a page of Talmudic discussion regarding the prohibition of lashon hara. Why the wait[1]?   Furthermore, the answer to this question is rather opaque, to say the least. “Rava says...
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Erachin 15: Money Talks

July 18, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One would not expect to find the major Talmudic discussion on the laws and moral failings of speaking lashon hara in masechet Erachin. This masechet concerns itself with technical laws of gifts of valuations to the Temple, laws that are no longer applicable today. But as we have encountered many times, Talmudic discussions flow from one topic to another—always in a most precise and logical fashion[1]....
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