Bava Batra

Bava Batra 88: Watch your Weight

May 02, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
All too often, we equate being a religious Jew with the observance of Shabbat, kashrut and taharat hamishpacha. Without at all minimizing these crucial identifying markers of religious observance, unless they are coupled with basic morality—honesty in one’s business dealings, avoiding unnecessary dissension, and basic  menschlichkeit—they are not only of little import, but their observance may...
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Bava Batra 75: Reason to Believe

April 24, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
We live in an age of great skepticism—often for good reason. In a time where science-with its demand for rigorous proofs, detailed experimentation and peer review-has contributed so much to the advancement of life in so many areas, asking someone to accept unverifiable claims is almost ludicrous.  The “scientific” approach has always been the hallmark of Talmudic and halachic discourse[1]. Views must be backed up with...
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Bava Batra 60: Please Don't Marry Me

April 08, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The third chapter of Bava Batra is some 30 pages long, making it one of the longest in the Talmud. It is focused on the rules of acquisition of property: land, fields, courtyard, parapets, roofs, balconies, pits, cisterns, rights-of-way and the like. Claims and counterclaims are analyzed and debated as the Talmud seeks to clarify who owns disputed property. As important as real estate is to today’s economy and to one’s personal...
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Bava Batra 64: 20/20 Vision

April 05, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
It was at the well that Abraham’s servant met Rivka, Yaakov met Rachel and Moshe met Tzippora. It is hard for us--who, when thirsty, simply turn on a nearby tap--to appreciate the necessity of having a well nearby. Its vital importance, coupled with the fact that the well was located outside of the home, meant that it was not just an appendage to a home but had its own independent identity. “One who sells a home does not sell...
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Bava Batra 30: Don't Start With Me

March 19, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
If you are going to pick a fight with someone, it’s best to know who your adversary is. There are certain people with whom it just doesn’t pay to start up. “A man [Reuven] said to his friend [Shimon]: What are you doing in my field? He said to him, I purchased it from ploni [Levi] and have been here for the [three] years of a chazakah” (Bava Batra 30b). As we discussed in our last post, a claim...
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