Thoughts from the Daf

Brachot 26: Prayer is Mercy

February 02, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
As we transition from the third to the fourth chapter of masechet Brachot, our focus shifts from the mitzvah of kriat shema to that of tefillah or, more accurately, the amidah. That which we say before the amidah—be it songs of praise, or the acceptance of the kingdom of G-d, i.e., the shema—is said as preparation for tefillah, i.e., the...
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Brachot 21: Before and After

January 29, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Shehechiyanu vekemanu vhegeyanu lazman hazeh. It was when daf yomi last reached Brachot 27 that I wrote my first “Daily Daf”. For the past seven and a half years it has been a tremendous privilege to share my thoughts on the daf. I want to thank so many of you for your comments, questions, critique and giving me the inspiration continue writing. At the bottom of this years thought there is a link to...
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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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