Thoughts from the Daf
Chulin 139: Where is Moshe?
“Where is Moshe [mentioned] in the Torah?” It is hard to imagine a more—let's be gentle here—superfluous question. A better question would be where isn’t Moshe mentioned in the Torah. Who knows if without Moshe there would even be a Torah. Perhaps the only question that can match it in incomprehensibility is asking where Haman, Esther and Mordechai are mentioned in the Torah. Considering they lived some 1,...Continue Reading »
Chulin 109: Can I Have Some Udder Please
When I ask ba’alei teshuva what the hardest thing for them to give up is, the most common response I receive is "lobster". This should come as no surprise. Our Sages recognized that having enjoyed the taste of “forbidden fruit”, it is most difficult to give it up, and those who do so are greater than those who never tasted that forbidden fruit: “In the place where penitents...Continue Reading »
Chulin 105: Time for a Field Trip
It is an often-cited truism that the Orthodox community, most ironically, tends to place much greater emphasis on kosher food than on kosher money. Of course, it is much easier to keep kosher than to ensure our monetary dealings are kosher. This misplaced emphasis is most unfortunate. Unlike kashrut, which involves a mitzvah between man and G-d only, the laws relating to our business dealings has the added component of being a mitzvah...Continue Reading »
Chulin 105: Can We Drink Milk Yet?
“Mar Ukva said: I am, with regard to this matter, like vinegar, son of wine, with respect to Father. Father, if he were to eat meat at this time, would not eat cheese until tomorrow at this time. But as for me, only at this meal, do I not eat cheese; at a different meal I will eat cheese” (Chulin 105a). The prohibition of mixing meat and milk form part of the warp and woof of Judaism. Yet...Continue Reading »
Chulin 100: Torah at Sinai
“Because of this the children of Israel, to this day, do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the socket of the hip, since Jacob’s hip socket was wrenched at the thigh muscle” (Breisheet 32:33). The prohibition to eat gid hanasheh dates to Yaakov’s encounter with the mysterious “man” as, alone at night, he prepared to meet Eisav. It is the third of the three mitzvot that appear in...Continue Reading »