Thoughts from the Daf

Shabbat 139: It's Good to Forget

July 27, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Rav Yehuda said in the name of Shmuel: Three thousand halachot were forgotten during the days of mourning for Moshe” (Temurah 16a). All too often, we take things for granted, only realizing what we were blessed with when we no longer have it.  It had never entered the mind of the Jewish people that they would have doubts regarding issues of Jewish law. If ever a question arose, they could simply...
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Shabbat 87: If G-d Agrees

June 09, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the distinguishing marks of many successful companies is the encouragement they give to employees to experiment, encouraging innovation and new ideas. It is this ability to engage in fruitful experimentation, even mind-wandering, that can often lead to great insights and applications. In the best-selling book Start up Nation the authors describe the amazing economic success of Israel, a tiny country that has yet to know a...
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Shabbat 69: What Time is It?

May 28, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
That we are living in unprecedented times hardly needs to be stated. It is hard to believe that less than three months ago we in the west were living in blissful ignorance, oblivious to what lay just around the corner. We may have heard vague reports of something amiss in China, but we continued along our merry way. As the world came to a virtual standstill time slowed down, if not scientifically, then at least in our perception of it. (And...
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Shabbat 63: I Did Not Know

May 15, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the changes accompanying the creation of the State of Israel is the flourishing of the study of Tanach. Returning to our ancient homeland, and able to see with our own eyes where much of the Tanach actually happened, the Tanach comes alive in ways it just cannot outside of the Land of Israel. Furthermore, there has been a return to placing much greater emphasis on the pshat[1], the plain meaning of the text[2]. The output of...
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Shabbat 33: Silence is Golden

May 12, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
When our Sages entered the vineyard in Yavne, Rabbi Yehuda, and Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Yossi, and Rabbi Shimon were there, and a question was asked before them…Rabbi Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ila’i, rosh hamedabrim b'kol mamkom, the head of the speakers in every place, responded” (Shabbat 33b).  The Gemara’s simple question as to why Rabbi Ila’i is called rosh hamedabrim b'kol mamkom...
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