Bava Batra

Bava Batra 3: Time for a New Shul

January 29, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Rav Chisda said: One may not destroy a beit knesset until another one is built” (Bava Batra 3b). After spending close to two double-sided pages discussing the building of fences, fences that separate neighbours, Rav Chisda discusses the building of shuls, which (hopefully) bring people together. While building a new shul is great[1], there must be no time gap between the destruction of the old and the building of the new[2]. The...
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Bava Batra 2: Mind Your Own Business

January 26, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
There is a beautiful custom to recite “ma tovu, how goodly are your tents Jacob and your dwelling place Israel” (Bamidbar 24:6). These words uttered by the heathen prophet Bilaam as he attempted to curse the Jewish people are understood by our Sages as a reference to the modesty of our homes; specifically, that the entryways to the homes of the Jewish people were not directly opposite each other. By having staggered...
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An Introduction to Bava Batra

January 24, 2017 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The three Bavas - Kamma, Metzia and Batra - are the bread and butter of Talmudic learning. If I, like many others, began my formal learning of Talmud in elementary school with Eilu Metziot, the second chapter of Bava Metzia (see here), my introduction to Talmud in high school was via  Chezkat Habatim, the third chapter of Bava Batra, detailing the law of presumptive ownership. And coincidentally, though not surprisingly, when I arrived in...
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