Thoughts from the Daf

Menachot 99: Let's Break Some Bread

November 23, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“And you shall place on the table showbread before Me tamid, at all times” (Shemot 25:30). The lechem hapanim consisted of 12 loaves of bread, baked fresh erev Shabbat and eaten fresh the following Shabbat, split between the outgoing and incoming kohanim who were on duty that week. The Mishna (Menachot 99b) quotes a rather obscure argument regarding the exact method for placing...
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Menachot 99: The Broken Tablets

November 20, 2018 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“At that time, the Lord said to me, ‘Hew for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to Me onto the mountain, and make for yourself a wooden ark. And I shall inscribe on the tablets the words that were upon the first tablets, אֲשֶׁ֣ר שִׁבַּ֑רְתָּ  וְשַׂמְתָּ֖ם בָּֽאָרֽוֹן, which you shattered and you shall place them into the ark” (Devarim 10:2).  The plain meaning of the verse is that...
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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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