Thoughts from the Daf

Shabbat 151: Nothing New in Messianic Times

August 11, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“For there will never cease to be needy within the land. Therefore, I command you, saying, you shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your poor one, and to your needy one in your land” (Devarim 15:11). It is rather depressing to imagine that poverty can never be eradicated. Yet thousands of years of human existence would seem to indicate that such seems quite true. Despite unprecedented wealth, modern methods of...
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Shabbat 151: I Want a Reward

August 06, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Mitzvot were given only to purify people” (Breisheet Rabba 44). By refraining from gossip, not bearing a grudge, not giving misleading advice, by showing sensitivity to the orphan, widow, stranger and poor, paying our debts on time, willingly accepting rebuke, and by acting in ways that demonstrate our love towards others, we are able to embody the traits that are meant to define a Jew: rachamanim, baishanim and...
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Marriage over Mourning

July 29, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
A Jewish wedding consists of two distinct parts: eirusin and nisuin. In eirusin (also known as kiddushin), the chatan gives the kallah something of monetary value—the universal custom is to give a ring—and declares, Harei at mekudeshet li b’taba’at zo k’dat Moshe v’Yisrael, "Behold, you are betrothed to...
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Shabbat 139: It's Good to Forget

July 27, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Rav Yehuda said in the name of Shmuel: Three thousand halachot were forgotten during the days of mourning for Moshe” (Temurah 16a). All too often, we take things for granted, only realizing what we were blessed with when we no longer have it.  It had never entered the mind of the Jewish people that they would have doubts regarding issues of Jewish law. If ever a question arose, they could simply...
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Shabbat 87: If G-d Agrees

June 09, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the distinguishing marks of many successful companies is the encouragement they give to employees to experiment, encouraging innovation and new ideas. It is this ability to engage in fruitful experimentation, even mind-wandering, that can often lead to great insights and applications. In the best-selling book Start up Nation the authors describe the amazing economic success of Israel, a tiny country that has yet to know a...
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