Mind Your Own Business: Sotah 21

November 30, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In our last post we discussed how a rasha arum, a cunning evildoer, is amongst the mevali olam, those who are destroyers of the world. We focused on two aspects of such a person - those that relate to religious hypocrisy. I would now like to discuss the four cases dealing with monetary cunning and deceit.    “Who is a cunning evildoer...Rav Yochanan says: He who explains his case to...
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The Religious Hypocrite: Sotah 22

November 26, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  “He [Rabbi Yehoshua] used to say: a pious fool, a cunning evildoer, an ascetic woman and the wounds of the ascetics destroy the world” (Sotah 20a). Our sages understood that as humans we make mistakes, sin and are riddled with inconsistencies. It is for this reason teshuva, repentance, was created - even prior to the physical world itself, allowing us to grow from our mistakes. As our Sages note in a somewhat...
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The Bare Torah: Sotah 21

November 24, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In our last post we discussed the view of Rabbi Eliezer that one who teaches his daughter Torah is as if he has taught her tiflut, frivolity. To support this assertion the Gemara quotes the proof text "I wisdom, I dwell with arma" (Mishlei 8:12). Since Ben Azzai disagrees obligating a father to teach his daughter Torah the Gemara wants to know how he interprets the verse from Mishlei. Rather than interpreting the verse as referring to those who...
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Our Daughter's Torah: Sotah 21

November 23, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It is this notion that lay at the heart of one of the most important disputes of the Talmud (though many are aware of only one side of the dispute) and whose application was one of the most important developments and debates of 20th century Jewish life. As we discussed in our last post there is a Mishnaic dispute as to whether the effect of the sotah water - discolouration, bulging eyes, bloated body,...
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Time for Carpool: Sotah 20

November 20, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
For most people carpool is a scheduling nuisance, one of those necessary but unwanted jobs of parenting. Helping with homework is not much better. Yet perhaps we should volunteer to do carpool more often and ask teachers to assign more homework. “She did not even finish drinking and her face would turn green, her eyes protrude and her veins swell and they would say: ‘get her out before she defiles the courtyard’” (Sotah 20a). Despite the...
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