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...
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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...
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Eiruvin 53a: A Great Speaker

May 12, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
As is well known, our tradition places great importance on proper speech. While we generally view this as a moral imperative -- avoiding unnecessary negative comments about others, gossip, and slander -- it is also a necessary ingredient for proficiency in Torah study. "Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: The people of Yehuda[1] who were careful with their speech, the Torah was sustained in their hands; the people of Galil who were...
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Eiruvin 46b: Ignoring the Rules

May 06, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
While the basis of Jewish law (and much more) is to be found in the Talmud, the Talmud, in and of itself, is not a very good text for determining Jewish law. The legal analysis, the range of views, the tendency to move from one topic to another, and the fact that any given topic may be discussed in a variety of places makes reaching a conclusion on any particular issue a difficult task. As the Talmud is focused on the process of law, it can...
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Eiruvin 43a: Too Busy for Mashiach

May 03, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the educational goals of the Sages--especially as the exile wore on--was was to instill a belief in the coming of the Mashiach. They did so by the use of such terms as, "it shall be put aside until Eliyahu comes", used in unresolvable monetary disputes; or Teiku, which literally means that the issue shall stand [unanswered], becoming an acronym for Tishbi yetaretz kushiot vbaayot...
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