Keritot 28: Please Go First

September 26, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“Rabbi Shimon says: Kevasim, lambs, precede se’irim, goats, in all places” (Keritot 28a). Rabbi Shimon notes that while lambs and goats are often mentioned together, the Torah (almost) always refers to lambs first. “Is it possible [that this is] because they are preferred? Thus, the verse states: ‘And he shall bring for his offering a goat’ (Vayikra 4:28) after which...
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A Tribute to Rav Binyamin Tabory z"l

September 24, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Birthright Education
The transition from elementary to high school was quite a jarring one. My school day was some two-and-a-half hours longer, added to that was another five hours of school on Sunday, not to mention that we started school—limudei kodesh only—a week before Labour Day.  We, and I speak first and foremost about myself, were a rowdy bunch, more interested in sports than in Gemara. Yet by the time I graduated from high school...
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Keritot 28: And all it Pathways are Peace

September 22, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, when asked to define the main role of a rabbi, responded that it is to help the poor, the widow and the orphan. This towering genius—who refined and systemized an analytical approach to Talmudic study that literally changed the course of Talmudic study around the world—well understood that helping those in need is more important than resolving a contradiction in the Rambam.  Ironically, his genius often...
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Ki-Tavo: Speak Up

September 20, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the key aspects of our being created in the Divine image is the gift of speech. As the world was created with ten Divine utterances (Avot 5:1), our tzelem elokim, divine image, allows us to create, or G-d forbid, destroy, many little “human” worlds through our speech. Yet strangely—perhaps brilliantly is a more apt description—there is very little a Jew must actually say.  Mitzvoth, the core of...
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Keritot 25: When in Doubt

September 17, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
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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