Bava Kama

The Law of the Land: Bava Kamma 113

September 28, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Dina demalchuta dina, the law of the land is the law, is one of the most famous, far-reaching and even revolutionary laws of the Talmud. At its most basic level it requires Jews to be law-abiding citizens of whatever country they find themselves in. Dina demalchuta dina allowed us to survive and thrive as a people through our historical travels. I shudder to think the fate of the Jew had we not accepted the law of the land as part of our Torah...
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Travelling for Teshuva: Bava Kamma 103

September 25, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The distinction between a ganav and a gazlan is fairly well known. The former in trying to hide his crime pays double the amount stolen whereas the latter consistent in his fear of neither G-d nor man must return that which he stole and is given no further fine or punishment. Somewhat less well known is a third type of thief, one who denies under oath that they have stolen something only to admit later to their crime. In...
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Keep the Money: Bava Kamma 94

September 20, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Doing teshuva is hard work. Sinning can be fun, easy to do, financially beneficial and habit forming. Change is hard. It requires hard work, commitment, dedication and sacrifice. And such is when we are talking about changing our actions. Changing a character trait so that we will be less tempted to sin helping make our teshuva sustainable is so much harder. Becoming less materialistic, less anger prone, more generous and more...
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The Wisdom of the Common Man: Bava Kamma 92

September 16, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the revolutions of Judaism was its democratization. No person is inherently superior to another--all are created in the same Divine image. One may not sacrifice the life of the criminal in order to save the life of the leading rabbi of the generation[1]. It was to the entire nation, from the prophet to the maidservant, that G-d revealed himself at Sinai; and it was with “all the people of Israel…from the hewer...
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Please Forgive Me: Bava Kamma 92

September 12, 2016 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Even though he repays him he is not forgiven until he asks him.” (Bava Kamma 92a) In our last couple of postings we have discussed the five categories of damages one must pay if one assaults another. These can easily add up to many, many thousands of dollars, possibly more. Yet such payments are not enough. One must ask for forgiveness from the aggrieved, something that has become part of our Yom Kippur preparations. The Mishna...
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