Brachot 21: What Did I Say

January 26, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
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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Vaera: It Took A While

January 24, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Moshe was frustrated. Having been coerced by G-d to redeem the Jewish people, things were not going as planned. As Moshe confronted Pharaoh, demanding—as G-d had instructed—that he let them go free, Pharaoh worsened the conditions for the Jewish people. Moshe could not take it and cried out, “O Lord, why do You mistreat Your people? Why did You send me? As soon as I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he made things worse...
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Brachot 17: Do You Know What I Know

January 23, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“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 Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“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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Shemot: Irrational Thinking

January 17, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
Amongst the unsung heroes of the Jewish people are Shifra and Puah. Despite the genocidal decrees of the Egyptian regime against Jewish newborns, these two unknown women risked their lives to save the lives of others. This is all the more remarkable according to those commentaries that claim that Shifra and Puah were non-Jews, and thus, the first of the Righteous Gentiles. Surely they had to know that they might be caught—and they were....
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