Thoughts from the Daf

Keritot 25: When in Doubt

September 17, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One brings a korban for one of two reasons: either because one wants to or because one has to. One may offer a korban as a way of saying thank you for the blessings of life. Instead of, or perhaps in addition to inviting some friends over to celebrate, one transforms the feast into a seudat mitzvah by celebrating in Jerusalem, publicly offering thanksgiving to G-d and sharing their bounty with...
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Keritot 13: Under the Influence

September 10, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
In our last post, we discussed the serious prohibition of issuing halachic rulings after having had even minimal amounts of alcohol. Yet the practical impact of this prohibition is rather limited.  “Is it possible [the teaching of] Mishna is also [forbidden]?” (Keritot 13b). To this seemingly strange question—why would one think teaching Mishna[1] after having a drink is allowed?—the Gemara says there is no...
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Keritot 13: Let's Not Drink to That

September 06, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Jewish tradition teaches that we are to celebrate joyous occasions—Shabbat and Yom Tov, brit milah, a wedding—by drinking wine. Used appropriately, “Wine gladdens the heart of man” (Tehillim 104:15); used inappropriately, wine can literally kill.  “Drink no wine or other intoxicant, you or your sons, when you enter the Tent of Meeting, that you may not die. This is a law for all time...
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Keritot 8: The Rabbinic Market

September 02, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The most basic rule of economics is that of supply and demand. The interaction between these two forces is the key—often the only—factor in determining the price of an object or service. In order to maximize economic efficiency, providing consumers with the goods they want at the lowest possible price, market forces must not be tampered with. Hence, violation of anti-trust laws, which forbid companies from colluding to limit supply...
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An Introduction to Masechet Keritot

August 28, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“One should be as careful with a light mitzvah as with heavy mitzvah” (Avot 2:1). Contrary to what is often taught, not all mitzvot are created equal. Some are more important, some less so. The mitzvah to accept upon oneself to observe the commandments (done through the recital of the shema) is clearly of greater importance than, say, ensuring we put salt on all our sacrifices[1]. Yet one who wants to maximize...
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