Bava Batra

Bava Batra 133: For You My Dear Child....Nothing

June 12, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“One who writes his property for others [in his will] and leaves his children [with nothing]—what is done is done, but the spirit of our Sages is not happy with him. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel says, if his son does not act kshura, properly, we remember him for good” (Bava Batra 133b). It is not easy to raise children; and raising them to follow in one’s religious path is doubly difficult. G-d chose Abraham to...
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Bava Batra 133: Oops! My Mistake

June 08, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the differences one notices in teaching adults, as opposed to children, is that the former are generally less inclined to respond to questions posed by the teacher, afraid to say something that may indicate their ignorance of the subject material. Children, on the other hand, are typically eager to say what they think, oblivious to any perceived ignorance. They are, after all, children and can’t be expected to know the material...
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Bava Batra 115: Younger and Wiser

June 01, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the primary lessons of sefer Breisheet is that birth order matters little. Yitzchak, Yaakov and Yosef were all younger brothers, in Yosef’s case tenfold. Similarly, in the pre-covenantal period it was Hevel, the younger brother of Cain, whose sacrifice was accepted by G-d; and it is Shem, a younger son of Noach (see Rashi, Breisheet 10:21), who is ancestor to Abraham. And Lavan reflects the ancient norm when he states that we...
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Bava Batra 91: Avraham Avinu and Mother's Day

May 11, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Here is a great trivia question to try on a friend. Who was Noach’s wife? What was Abraham’s mother’s name? Don’t feel bad if you don’t know. While the Torah tells us whom Eisav married, the Torah is silent regarding the wife of Noach. While we know who the mother of Amalek is, we are left to guess whom the mother of Abraham might be.  The Torah is not a history book, nor a biography of our founding fathers (...
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Bava Batra 88: Sorry, No Teshuva Allowed

May 04, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In our last post, we discussed the Gemara’s claim that the punishment for false weights is greater than that for sexual immorality. As the Gemara explains, while one can do teshuva for sexual sins, one cannot do teshuva for dishonest weights and measurers. The Gemara never explains why teshuva is possible for one but not the other. One might even argue the exact opposite. Is teshuva really possible after adultery? One cannot just...
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