Thoughts from the Daf

Brachot 31: Where to Pray

September 04, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Talmud spends a good deal of time discussing the proper frame of mind for prayer. In a rather obvious remark (yet, much easier said than done), the Gemara notes that “One must aim their thoughts towards heaven” (Brachot 31a). As an example of such the Talmud records the following: “Rav Yehuda says this was the custom of Rabbi Akiva, when he would pray between him and himself, one would leave him in this corner and find...
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Brachot 27: Too Close for Comfort?

September 04, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Gemara (Brachot 27a), in discussing the propriety of making an “early Shabbat”, records that Rav Yirmiya davened just behind his teacher, Rav, on Friday afternoons while Rav was reciting the prayers for Shabbat. The Gemara questions how he could do so, as it was Rav himself, the founder of the great academy in Sura, who taught that it is inappropriate to daven next to or behind one’s teacher. Rashi explains...
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Daf Yomi Thoughts: Going for Gold

August 02, 2012 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
"Mei’emati korin et hashema b’arvit, from what time may one begin reciting the evening shema?" So begins the Talmud Bavli, the first volume of the Gemara and the page that will be studied by hundreds of thousands of Jews around the globe as they begin the 13th cycle of Daf Yomi on Friday. The hundreds of thousands who celebrated the completion of the 12th cycle highlight the enduring relevance of this...
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