Zevachim 88: Clothes Make the Man - and Woman
The fashion industry is a one that employs millions of people worldwide and both reflects and molds societal trends. Top designers are paid astronomical sums for creating both popular and exclusive lines of clothing. Clothes literally do make the man –and woman. We instinctively know that how we dress impacts both upon how we are perceived and how we perceive ourselves. Clothes we wear affect our behavior, attitudes, personality,...Continue Reading »
Zevachim 88: Back-to-Back
One of the frequent questions Rashi asks in his commentary to the Chumash is lamah nismicha, why are two parts of the Torah juxtaposed next to each other? The underlying assumption of the question is that these sections should not have been placed next to each other, i.e., the events did not occur successively. If such were not the case, there would be no basis for the question. When Rashi, for example, asks why the...Continue Reading »
Zevachim 48: Go North
“The ox and goat of Yom Kippur are slaughtered in the north” (Zevachim 47a). As we discussed in our last post, the fifth perek of masechet Zevachim details where in the Temple each of the sacrifices were to be slaughtered, who could eat them, until when they could be eaten and what was to be done with their blood. With the sacrifices of Yom Kippur offering atonement like no other, it makes...Continue Reading »
Zevachim 47: I Agree!
Other than belief in G-d, there is almost nothing in Judaism that is not subject to debate. Does G-d have a body? Should Biblical stories be understood literally? Is the Mishkan (and korbanot) an ideal or a concession to human weakness? What will the Messianic era look like? On and on it goes. And this before we even discuss the thousands of halachic debates that appear on almost every page in the Talmud. The opening teaching...Continue Reading »
Zevachim 46: What's On Your Mind?
One of the classic debates of the Talmud – and one with no clear resolution – is whether or not mitzvoth tzreechot kavanah. The term kavanah, which literally means “direction”, is not easy to translate into precise halachic terminology, but is generally understood to mean focus and concentration on what one is doing. In numerous discussions in the Talmud (see, for example, Brachot 13a)...Continue Reading »