Heaven or Earth : Chagigah 6

September 19, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Heaven or Earth: Chagigah 6   "Three mitzvoth were the Jewish people commanded when they went up [to Jerusalem] on the festival, re'iyah, chagigah and simcha"(Chagigah 6b). These three obligations of "seeing, holiday and joy" refer to the threefold obligation of sacrifices that one was to bring on the shalosh regalim.    When coming to visit someone's...
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Making G-d Cry: Chagigah 5

September 17, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Making G-d Cry: Chagigah 5   In our last post we discussed the reasons that a number of our Sages cried. But humans are not the only ones who cry. “Our Rabbis taught: for three does the Holy One blessed be He cry every day: on the one who can occupy himself with Torah but does not; on the one who is unable to occupy himself with Torah and [yet] does; and regarding the communal leader who is haughty towards the people...
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Chagigah 5: The Gates of Tears

September 16, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Even though the gates of prayer are closed, the gates of tears are never closed”. With the destruction of the Temple--“the house of prayer for all the nations”--prayer is no longer enough. Rather, we must cry out to G-d with all our heart. In the midst of the discussion of the mitzvah of aliya laregel, of celebrating the festivals at the Temple, the Gemara records that when Rav Huna read the verses...
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Chagigah 3: There Is Always Something New

September 15, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of the Yamim Tovim, especially in Temple times, was the coming together of Jews from all walks of life to celebrate together in Jerusalem. “Rava expounded: What is the meaning of the verse: ‘How beautiful are thy steps in sandals, O prince's daughter’. [It means:] How beautiful are the feet of Israel when they go up on the festival pilgrimage” (Chagiga 3a). When Jews join together--...
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Some Opening Thoughts on Masechet Chagigah

September 11, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The mitzvah of aliyah laregel--going up to Jerusalem on Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot--was a central feature of these holidays of national celebration. While we now have the ability to come to Jerusalem for Yom Tov, and many do just that, we can no longer bring the festive sacrifices associated with each holiday. It is this mitzvah of that opens Masechet Chagigah. Like so much of the Talmud, this discussion focused on Jewish law as...
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