Thoughts from the Daf

Menachot 65: An 11 Day Journey

November 15, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
The opening Mishna of masechet Megillah teaches that those living in small rural communities could fulfill the obligation to hear the Megillah on the Monday or Thursday prior to Purim. With no one to read the Megillah in their villages, a special Megillah reading was arranged for them when they came to the cities on the market day, i.e., the Monday or Thursday that preceded Purim. Expecting the farmers to come in an additional...
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Menachot 65: Saturday Night Harvesting

November 08, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
The Jewish people are a most contentious one. We argue about (almost?) everything and then some. Debate is most healthy and part and parcel of our tradition, reflecting the vitality of our people, and the seriousness with which we address the issues of the day. There is little that is sadder than having one’s views ignored, not even deemed worthy of debate. Ideally all involved in debate, fierce as they may be, share a common set of...
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Menachot 53: Chametz and Matza

November 01, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
"All korbanot mincha, flour offerings, are to be made of matza with the exception of the chametz of the korban todah, thanksgiving offering, and the shtei halechem, two loaves of bread [offered on Shavuot] that are made of chametz” (Menachot 52b). That flour offerings may not be made of chametz is explicitly[1] stated in the...
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Menachot 43: Women and Tzitzit

October 24, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
It is well known that the mitzvah of tzitzit is a classic case of a mitzvah aseh shehazman grama, a time-bound positive mitzvah from which women are exempt[1]. Though there are as many exceptions to this rule as the rule itself, tzitzit is one of the mitzvot that follow the general rule[2]. This is based on the verse u’re’item oto, that you...
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Menachot 44: A Slap in the Face

October 18, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman
There is little that turns one off from religion more than corruption in the religious sphere. When one sees someone cheating who outwardly presenting as religious, the harm to religion is incalculable. It is the ultimate in chilul Hashem, causing others to disdain religion and even to hate G-d (see Yoma 86a). And when the dishonesty manifests in the religious sphere itself, the chilul Hashem is...
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