Pesachim Comes to a Close

November 10, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Mashechet Pesachim details the events of the busiest day of the year, beginning with the search for chametz the night before the seder, the destruction of such the next morning, and the bringing of the korban pesach in the afternoon; and concluding with the seder in the evening. The contours of the seder, the oldest of Jewish rituals, are detailed in the Mishnah. The last Mishnah in the...
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Pesachim 120: What's On the Menu?

November 06, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
With the destruction of the Temple, the focus of the seder menu shifted from the eating of the korban pesach to the eating of matza. The importance of eating the korban pesach is such that it carries the punishment of karet, excision, for those who neglect it (along with only one other positive mitzva, that of brit milah). The original paschal lamb was what allowed the Exodus to occur. It marked the...
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Pesachim 117: King of the Poets

November 01, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Great poetry resonates across generations and even cultures, with all finding different layers of meaning that speak to them. Yet at the same time, many great poets with the ability to speak on many levels are writing about themselves, reflecting their personal triumphs and tribulations, which in turn reflect the highs and lows of so many others. “Our Rabbis taught the songs and praises that David Hamelech said in the Book of Psalms;...
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Pesachim 113: The Chicken, the Prostitute, and the Rabbi

October 29, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Netziv, in his commentary on Chumash, explains that the first verse of the priestly blessing "May G-d guard you and protect you"   has different connotations for different types of people. For one engaged in business, we ask G-d to bless us with great material success, yevarechecha, and that such success does not destroy our character, veyishmerecha. For the Torah scholar, for whom material...
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Pesachim 113: A Love/Hate Relationship

October 24, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In our last Daf Yomi Thought we spoke of the three people whom G-d loves. However, there are those whose actions are such that G-d actually hates them. "Three the Holy One blessed be He hates: one who speaks one thing with his mouth and another with his heart; one who knows [favorable] testimony on behalf of his friend, yet does not testify for him; and one who sees a friend engaged in illicit activity and testifies alone" (...
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