Bava Metzia

Bava Metzia 107: A Good Neighbour

January 23, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Reish Lakish said: Whomever has a beit knesset in his city and he does not enter it, he  is called a bad neighbour” (Brachot 8a). All too often today, people do not even know their neighbours, let alone visit them. Such is the sad reality in today’s impersonal world that one can live with hundreds of people in the same apartment building and yet be extremely lonely. Hearing a friendly knock on the door can be a...
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Bava Metzia 105: Will that be Wheat or Barley?

January 22, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Throughout most of history wealth was primarily a result of land ownership. The more land one owned the wealthier one was. It is quite likely that it is the importance of land, and the Torah’s desire to ensure that one forced to sell his land not doom his descendants to perpetual poverty, that stands behind the Torah’s law of Yovel, where every 50 years, land reverts back to its original owner. It is only in recent times that real...
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Bava Metzia 103: Time to Move

January 16, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
We often imagine that the ancient world was one in which almost all lived on farms tilling their land, and only in modern times with the advent of the industrial revolution did cities become the centre of economic activity. There is much truth to this – as recently as the turn of the 20th century some 63% of Canadians lived on farms (compared to some 2% today). Students have farmers to thank for their long summer vacations –...
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Bava Metzia 97: I Just Don't Know

January 13, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Arba shomrim hem, there are four guardians, a shomer chinam, an unpaid guardian; the shoel, the borrower; the sachar, the paid guardian and the socher, the renter” (Bava Metzia 93a). Proper classification of those who are in possession of an object belonging to another is crucial in determination of liability should something happen to the object. While a shomer chinam, one who...
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Bava Metzia 87: The Beauty of Old Age

January 10, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Our society venerates youth, with an entire industry dedicated to keeping people looking and feeling young. While youth is great, it is old age that our tradition venerates. “For an old person you shall rise, v’hadrata pnei zaken, and give honour to the elderly” (Vayikra 19:32). While our society equates beauty with youth, the Torah emphasizes that it is the zaken the old one, who is hadar,...
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