Yoma 12: Messianic Laws

November 25, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The opening Mishnah of Yoma teaches that a backup kohen gadol was to be prepared lest the kohen gadol become tameh, ritually impure, and thereby unable to perform the avodah, ritual service, on Yom Kippur. What happened in those cases where the backup actually had to fill in? "Our rabbis taught: if a disqualification occurred and another was appointed in his stead,...
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Yoma 10: Home Sweet Home

November 22, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house” (Devarim 6:9). The mitzvah of mezuzah is a most beloved and popular one—and many a Jew far from traditional practice proudly identifies his home as a Jewish one. The obligation to have a mezuzah only applies to beitecha, your home, a place set aside for dwelling—exempting, for example, a ...
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Yoma 9: Sinning in Secret

November 19, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Although it is mashechet Gittin (55b-57b) that records the stories relating to the destruction of the Temple[1], the famous Talmudic passage stating that the first Temple was destroyed because of the three cardinal sins of idolatry, adultery, and murder, and the second because of sinnat chinam is actually found in mashechet Yoma (9b). The Talmud, as discussed in our previous post, explained how the...
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Yoma 8: Dying for Glory

November 18, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
About twenty-five years ago, a series of studies[1] found that upwards of 50% of elite athletes would take a drug that would guarantee overwhelming success such as an Olympic gold medal, yet would kill them within five years. Later researchers questioned this study, with their research showing that "only" 6% of elite athletes would do such. Whatever the explanation for this great disparity—and I suspect the true number is...
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Yoma 3: To Work or Study

November 15, 2013 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"Abba Chanan said, in the name of Rav Elazar: One verse says, 'make for you an ark of acacia wood' and one verse says and 'they (not you) shall make an ark of acacia wood'. How is it [possible]? This verse refers to when the Jewish people are doing the will of G-d, and this verse to when they are not doing the will of G-d" (Yoma 3b).  What the Gemara does not explain is which is which. Is the reward for...
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