Some Concluding Thoughts on Masechet Gittin

March 15, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  After 90 double-sided pages, Masechet Gittin is coming to a close. We have discussed in great detail the intricacies of the laws of Gittin; how to write them, how to deliver them, how to sign them, what to say in them. We have even discussed the events leading to the destruction of the Temple - G-d's near divorce of the Jewish people - and a series of Rabbinic enactments to better the world and to bring peace to the world. But what...
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What's in a Name: Gittin 87

March 14, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  We as a society identify people by their last name (or sadly, even if understandably, by a number). Such was not always the case. When life was simpler and populations smaller people were on a first name basis something that today would make it impossible to locate people. Perhaps reflecting the small Jewish world in which we live and expressing a desire for closeness that a first name indicates, our tradition still refers to people by...
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Living Together: Gittin 81

March 10, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There are certain rabbinic debates where one can only say thank G-d that we do not follow a certain view. Such would be the case in the debate regarding the definition of a mamzer. Halacha has accepted the view that in order to be declared a mamzer one must be the product of an adulterous or incestuous relationship. “Merely” violating a negative command, such as a kohen marrying a divorcee, would not render any...
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Who is Wise?: Gittin 67

February 28, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
As a teacher one of my favorite parts of my work is parent teacher meetings. I (usually) find it most interesting talking to parents in general and hearing the comments their children have told them in particular. Yet one of the most frustrating comments for me to have to say and for a parent to hear is that “Chaim is very bright, and a good student - when he wants to be. He could achieve much better results if he only put in more...
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The First Aliyah: Gittin 59

February 24, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  "These are the things that are said mipnei darchei shalom." (Gittin 59) After listing a series of rabbinic enactments mipnei tikkun olam,for the betterment of the world, the Mishna lists a series of laws instituted mipnei darchei shalom, in order to promote peace. While promoting peace surely falls under the rubric of making the world a better place the enactments mipnei...
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