Thoughts from the Daf

Eiruvin 30: Eating Together

September 10, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the hardest hit industries of the pandemic has been the restaurant industry. Many restaurants have permanently closed; surely, many more will close in the coming months, and those that survive may never fully recover.  Socially distanced eating is somewhat of an oxymoron. Eating is as much a social activity as it is something we do to satisfy our biological needs. That is why we like to eat with others, and why our tradition places...
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Eiruvin 2: A Holy Home

August 17, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The focus of masechet Shabbat is the definition of the parameters of the 39 prohibited melachot, creative activities prohibited on Shabbat. Of the 39 melachot, it is that of carrying that, by a large margin, takes up more Talmudic discussion than any other. There may even be more discussion on this melacha than the other 38 melachot combined. The other 38 melachot are also creative activities...
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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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