Chulin 109: Can I Have Some Udder Please

April 11, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
When I ask ba’alei teshuva what the hardest thing for them to give up is, the most common response I receive is "lobster". This should come as no surprise. Our Sages recognized that having enjoyed the taste of “forbidden fruit”, it is most difficult to give it up, and those who do so are greater than those who never tasted that forbidden fruit: “In the place where penitents...
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Tazria and Hachodesh: Home Building

The first of Nissan and the first of Tishrei mark the beginnings of the Jewish year. The solar aspect of our calendar—representing the fixed laws of nature—begins in Tishrei; whereas the lunar cycle—symbolizing the ups and down of Jewish history—begins on the first of Nissan. The solar year mirrors the agricultural cycle and begins as the rainy season approaches, whereas the lunar year, reflecting the supernatural...
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Chulin 105: Time for a Field Trip

April 03, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
It is an often-cited truism that the Orthodox community, most ironically, tends to place much greater emphasis on kosher food than on kosher money. Of course, it is much easier to keep kosher than to ensure our monetary dealings are kosher[1]. This misplaced emphasis is most unfortunate. Unlike kashrut, which involves a mitzvah between man and G-d only, the laws relating to our business dealings has the added component of being a mitzvah...
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Shmini: Tragic Lessons

When tragedy strikes there is a tendency to search for some rational explanation as we subsequently attempt to find meaning and a degree of comfort, however inadequate. Tragic events often afford an opportunity to learn from what transpired, thereby creating something positive, and possibly helping to prevent further tragedies. The attempt to find some rationale for what is almost by definition irrational dates back to Biblical times. While...
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Chulin 105: Can We Drink Milk Yet?

March 27, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“Mar Ukva said: I am, with regard to this matter, like vinegar, son of wine, with respect to Father. Father, if he were to eat meat at this time, would not eat cheese until tomorrow at this time. But as for me, only at this meal, do I not eat cheese; at a different meal I will eat cheese” (Chulin 105a). The prohibition of mixing meat and milk form part of the warp and woof of Judaism. Yet...
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