Shabbat 4: Praying Alone

March 16, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the hardest mitzvot to properly fulfil is that of rebuke, “hocheiach tocheech et amitecha” (Vayikra 19:17). We are commanded, when necessary, to “prove” to our fellow Jews that what they are about to do is wrong and thus, they must desist. We must do so in a manner that does not cause embarrassment—hence, the continuation of the verse, “You shall not bear a sin because of him...
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Shabbat 2: From Place to Place

March 12, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“The carrying out on Shabbat are two that are four [for one] inside [a home] and two that are four [for one] outside [the home]” (Shabbat 2a). The Mishna discusses who violates Shabbat, and under what circumstances, when an object is passed from a private, “inside”, to a public, “outside”, domain. It is with these laws of carrying that we begin masechet Shabbat, the opening tractate of Seder Moed,...
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Shabbat 157: Some Concluding Thoughts on Masechet Shabbat

March 12, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Masechet Shabbat deals primarily with the 39 forbidden activities on Shabbat--especially that of carrying. Yet, as is the norm for Talmudic discussion, one subject leads to another, so that we have a wide range of discussion. As we go through its pages, we find the primary discussion of Chanukah; the laws of brit milah; debates on the role, if any, of astrology; the discussion of mama'ad har Sinai (the giving...
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Shabbat 151: Waiting for Mashiach?

March 10, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Since at least the time of the Rambam, Jews have yearned for the coming of the Mashiach. Many Jews went to their deaths asserting the twelfth principle of faith of the Rambam: Ani Maamin, I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even if he tarries, I will await him daily.   It may therefore come as a surprise that, at least according to some Talmudic views, the coming of the Messianic Age is...
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Shabbat 147b: Sin City

March 07, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"Rav Helbo said: The wine of Perugitha and the water of Diomsith cut off the Ten Tribes from Israel" (Shabbat 147b). As Rashi explains, Perugitha was the name of a country that produced great wine, and while he does not explicitly say so, Diomsith had wonderful bathhouses. Rashi goes on to explain that the ten tribes spent their time seeking pleasure, thereby neglecting Torah. This caused them, to use a modern term, "go...
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