Menachot 99: Let's Break Some Bread

November 23, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“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...
Continue Reading »

VaYishlach: Alone at Night

November 23, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
“Therefore, the Jewish people will not eat the gid hanasheh, sciatic nerve, that is on the hip joint, to this day” (Breisheet 32:33).  Sefer Breisheet provides much information on how not to act; we read about every kind of social dysfunction—be it drinking, sibling rivalry, jealousy, greed or more violent crimes such as robbery, kidnapping, rape, incest and murder. Unfortunately, many of the...
Continue Reading »

Menachot 99: The Broken Tablets

November 20, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“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...
Continue Reading »

Vayetze: The Complexity of Chesed

November 16, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
The Torah is a most complex work, and nowhere more so than in sefer Breisheet. Story after story lends itself to multiple and contradictory interpretations. The Torah often leaves out crucial details as it narrates the stories, and rarely passes judgment on the actions of the protagonists. Was Avraham correct to go to Egypt when famine struck Israel? Was it appropriate to enter a peace deal with Avimelech? Did Yaakov act correctly in...
Continue Reading »

Menachot 65: An 11 Day Journey

November 15, 2018 By: rabbi jay kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
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...
Continue Reading »

Pages