Thoughts from the Daf

Brachot 21: What Did I Say

January 26, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the things I love about the Gemara is how realistic and human it is—how it portrays people, rabbis and laypeople alike, in all their complexity, never shying away from pointing out their foibles. “Rav Yehuda said: One who is uncertain whether he recited shema or whether he did not recite it does not recite it again. One who is uncertain whether he recited emet veyatziv, must recite ...
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Brachot 17: Do You Know What I Know

January 23, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“A jewel in the mouth of Rava. The purpose of chochmah, wisdom, is teshuva and maasim tovim, good deeds”(Brachot 17a). Knowledge that increases one’s knowlege and nothing else is worth little, is largely a waste of time and is a tragic misuse of so much potential. With increased knowledge comes increased responsibility, both towards our own personal development i.e., ...
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Brachot 12: The Heretics and The Ten Commandments

January 19, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“The appointed one [assistant kohen gadol] said to them [the priests in the Temple]: ‘Recite a single blessing.’ They recited a blessing, and read the aseret hadibrotShema, veHaya im Shamoa and vaYomer, blessed the people with three blessings; emet veyatziv, avodah and birchat kohanim, and on Shabbat, they would add a...
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Brachot 8: Go to Work

January 16, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Rabbi Chelbo said in the name of Rav Huna: All who have yira’at shamayim, fear of Heaven, his words are heeded, as it is stated: ‘The end of the matter, all having been heard: Fear G-d and keep His commandments; for this is all of man’” (Kohelet 12:13). It is this message, and only because of this message, that our Sages agreed to include Kohelet in the Biblical canon.  Not only...
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Brachot 7: What Does G-d Pray For?

January 13, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
What should one pray for? If we were to take a survey of the typical shul-goer, or even one who is not, I suspect we will hear such ideas as health, peace, justice, economic success, a wonderful family. One might take a look at the siddur and see what our rabbis suggested we pray for. We could then add such items as wisdom, repentance, forgiveness, redemption and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. These are all wonderful things to pray for, and it is...
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