Good Habits: Kiddushin 40

April 28, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
We are creatures of habit. We tend to do what we have done in the past, which is why it is so important to get things right the first time. Learn it wrong initially, and the mistakes can stay with you a lifetime. Practice does not make perfect. It is proper practice that makes perfect, practice only helps to form our habits.    This explains why the mitzva of chinuch, educating our children, applies only when a child...
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This or the Other: Kiddushin 39

April 27, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There is no more tragic figure in Talmudic literature than that of Acher, the Other. Destined for greatness, the teacher, colleague and friend of Rav Meir left the path of Torah, becoming perhaps the most famous apostate in Jewish history. Yet despite, or perhaps because of, his rejection of Judaism he was figure of great interest to his colleagues. They implored him to return but he was unwilling or perhaps unable, to return. "Return...
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A Strange Song: Kiddushin 31

April 21, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In our last post we discussed the extraordinary efforts to which Dama ben Netinah went to honour his father including his willingness to forego a huge monetary windfall.   While there are times when we must spend money on others - the mitzva of tzedaka being the prime example - the mitzva of kibud av v’eim is primarily a service obligation. It is time and effort, not money that we must...
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Let Your Parents Sleep: Kiddushin 31

April 18, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  There are few mitzvoth more important than that of kivud av veim, honouring parents. “Our Rabbis taught: There are three partners in [the creation] of man. The Holy One blessed be He, one’s father and mother. When one honours their father and mother the Holy One blessed be He says: 'It is as if I dwell amongst you and you honour Me” (Kiddushin 30b) Is it any wonder that the mitzva to honour one’...
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Pass the Pepper: Kiddushin 30

April 14, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our evil inclination is most powerful and capable of causing so much harm. So much so that when G-d saw “that the inclination of man is bad from his youth...He regretted that He had created man.” (Breisheet 6:5-6)   The yetzer hara ebbs and flows; at times it seems all-powerful and impossible to resist whereas at other times doing what is right seems so natural and simple.    Yet one never knows...
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