A Holy Sinner: Sotah 15

November 19, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Just this week an Ontario Court ruled that a 19 year old convicted of first degree murder of a police officer would be spared jail time (he was 15 at the time of the murder) as the judge ruled that the injuries he suffered as a result of his actions - he is now a quadriplegic - is punishment enough. I have little interest in commenting on the case itself[1] (see here for further details) but the story came to my mind as I was learning the...
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What a Beginning: Sotah 14

November 16, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
What a Beginning!: Sotah 14     “Rav Simlai expounded: The Torah begins with an act of chesed, benevolence, and ends with an act of chesed. It begins with an act of chesed, as it is written: ‘And the Lord G-d made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them' (Breisheet 3:21); and it ends with an act of kindness, as it is written:...
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Sotah 14: Where is Moshe Buried?

November 13, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
As we end the first chapter of masechet Sotah (and as discussed in our last post) we transition from discussing the punishment of the sotah to the reward for mitzvoth. The last example cited is that of Moshe who as reward for busying himself with Yosef's bones as the Jewish people left Egypt merited being buried by G-d Himself (Sotah 9b).    "Rabbi Chama the son of Rabbi Chanina said: 'Why was Moses buried next...
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Sotah 12: The Heroics of Miriam

November 10, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  "In the measure that a person measures so it is measured to him. She [the sotah] adorned her body in order to transgress, God has disgraced her; she exposed her body in order to transgress, God has exposed her. She began the transgression with the thigh and afterwards with the belly; therefore will the thigh be smitten first, and afterwards the belly, and the rest of her body shall not escape" (Sotah 8b).   ...
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Sotah 10: Giving Thanks

November 09, 2015 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Teaching is what one would call a long-term investment. Teachers plant seeds but rarely get to see the fruit of their labour, leading many to ponder how much of a difference they really make. Contrast this to the business world where results are (over) analyzed quarterly and it the rare executive who has the luxury of being judged in five (not to mention ten) years' time. The impact of an education only comes to the fore years later,...
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