Yevamot 63: I Want Pea Soup

December 09, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"The signature of G-d is truth" (Sanhedrin 64a). "Accept the truth from wherever it comes" (Rambam, Introduction to Avot). There are few values more important than that of truth. While Jewish law allows and encourages one to tell a white lie for the sake of peace (Yevamot 65b), such has its limits. Parallel with a discussion about the mitzvah of pru verevu, the Gemara discusses the mitzvah of marriage--not...
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Yevamot 63: Why Have Children?

December 08, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"And G-d blessed them; and G-d said unto them: 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every beast that walks on the land'" (Breisheet 1:28). Here we have the source for the very first mitzvah of the Torah--or do we? "One must not cease from pru urevu unless he has children: Beit Shammai says...
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Why Can't We Marry? Yevamot 59

December 04, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
To Western man the notion that one must marry somebody in specific or even that restrictions be placed on the choice of a marriage partner is an unacceptable encroachment on personal freedom and autonomy. Yet until relatively recently this notion was accepted by all and is still the norm in many parts of the world. As a general rule Judaism adopts the "western model"; the notion of coerced marriage is mostly foreign to our way of...
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Yevamot 52: Living With Your In-Laws

November 30, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Rav ordered that lashes be given to any person who betrothed by cohabitation, who betrothed in the open street, or who betrothed without previous negotiation; who annulled a letter of divorce, or who made a declaration against a letter of divorce; who was insolent towards the representative of the rabbis, or who allowed a rabbinical ban upon him to remain for thirty days and did not come to the Beit Din to request the removal of that ban...
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Yevamot 52: Preparing for Marriage

November 27, 2014 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Masechet Kiddushin opens by delineating the three methods by which one is mekadesh, betroths, a woman. Masechet Yevamot, on the other hand, opens by delineating the fifteen cases where yibum is not required and hence not allowed. The first fifty pages of the masechet focus on analyzing various scenarios and their impact on the mitzvah of yibum. Only after we near the midway point...
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