Pesachim 103: Five Jews, Nine Opinions

October 10, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the basic ways we express gratitude is simply to say thank you. One way in which observant Jews do such is by reciting abracha before deriving benefit from this world.    Our tradition teaches that a Jew should say at least 100 brachot a day. At times, we must make two or more brachot simultaneously, and Jewish law had to determine which would take precedence. Beit Shammai and Beit...
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Pesachim 100: Table Manners

October 06, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Considering the myriad of opinions on almost every aspect of Jewish law, it is not surprising that many pious Jews would try to act in a way that complies with as many differing opinions as possible. Such a sincere desire is lauded by the rabbis, who teach "hamachmir tavo alav beracha", to the one who wants to be strict, blessings should accrue.   However, there are times when being strict is inappropriate,...
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Pesachim 99: Drinks On Us

October 04, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Jewish law is most strict when it comes to accepting charity. "Make your Shabbat like a weekday"--eating less quantitatively and qualitatively--"and do not have need for others [for support]"(Pesachim 113a). The argument that some jobs are too demeaning is addressed by the Talmudic ruling, "Skin carcasses in the marketplace and receive wages, and do not say 'I am a kohen, I am too important a person [for this]!'...
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Pesachim 91: Keeping Our Children Honest

September 29, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the unusual laws regarding the korban pesach is that it can only be eaten leminuyav, by those who were specifically intended to be included as part of that particular sacrifice at the time of the slaughtering of the animal. With the animal being slaughtered on the 14th of Nissan and eaten only later that evening on the 15th, the question arose as to the status of those who were ritually impure—...
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Pesachim 88: Watch Those Dates

September 23, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It is amazing how a slight change in perspective can make a huge difference. "R. Hiyya taught: What is meant by the verse, 'G-d understands the way and He knows the place'? (Iyov 28:23). The Holy One, blessed be He, knows that Israel is unable to endure the cruel decrees of Edom[1]; therefore, He exiled them to Babylonia" (Pesachim 87b). The Talmud presents a series of possible explanations as to why we were exiled to Bavel,...
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