Eiruvin 65: Extracurricular Reading

May 29, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the key components of the legal discussions of the Talmud is the bringing of proof texts to support a given position. At times, the proof texts are from the Torah; at times from Nevi’im; and at times from Ketuvim. At all times, they lend authority to a stated position.   “Rav Chiya the son of Ashi said in the name of Rav: Whosever mind is not settled should not pray, as it says, ‘in distress one should not give...
Continue Reading »

Eiruvin 64a-65a: L'Chaim, Yom Kippur, and Sin

May 27, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the methods used to help people remember those whom they meet is the mnemonic device of associating the person with some easy-to-remember concept. By linking the new with the known, we increase our capacity to retain that new information. For our Sages, there was no better association than that of Torah. "When Rabbi Abba the son of Shumni and Rav Menashia the son of Yirmiya from Gifti were talking leave of each other on the banks of...
Continue Reading »

Eiruvin 63a: May We Debate?

May 22, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The teacher/student relationship is a most special one.  A teacher must treat his student as he would treat his own child, and a child must relate to his teacher as a parent. The Talmud even rules that one must return the lost object of one’s teacher before that of a parent, for “a parent brings you into this world, whereas a teacher brings you to the World to Come”1 (Bava Metzia, 33a). One of the ways in which a student...
Continue Reading »

Eiruvin 60b: He's Only a Prophet

May 20, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
To tell someone that his words are those of prophecy would seem to be the highest compliment one can give. The prerequisites for being a prophet are tough indeed, and those who can meet them are certainly most worthy of praise (see Maimonides, Laws of Foundations of Torah 7:1). Our great prophets help inspire, teach, comfort, and lead the people. Their uplifting words laid the vision for the Jewish nation, and even those who...
Continue Reading »

Eiruvin 54b: Over and Over and Over

May 13, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The mitzva of Talmud Torah consists of both learning Torah, and knowing Torah. And of the two, it is the former that is more important. One can determine how much time and effort one puts into learning Torah; but how much one actually knows includes factors beyond one's control--first and foremost, the level of intelligence G-d has blessed you with. When we complete a tractate of Talmud, we recite the hadran. In this beautiful...
Continue Reading »