Chulin 42: Heavenly Truth

January 17, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
In the introduction to his responsa, Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that the Sages of each generation are permitted and obligated to issue halachic rulings despite the fact that they may not “decide according to truth in heaven”. Applying the rules of Divine law to evolving human conditions is a most difficult task, and even the greatest of Sages may be misunderstanding G-d’s intent. All that can be asked of a posek...
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Chulin 17: I Would Love Some Pork

January 13, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“And it will be, when the Lord, your G-d, brings you to the land He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things…and you shall eat and be satisfied” (Devarim 6:10-11). The Torah does not define what the “good things” are that we will find in the homes (and which we may eat) when we arrive in...
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Bo: My Dear Enemy!

January 11, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
One of the great difficulties we often have is making a clear distinction between people and the ideas that they espouse. While one might reject an idea, we may not reject the person who espouses it. This is true even of ideas that we find offensive or heretical.  Judaism goes one step further and demands that we even separate the actions of an individual from our feelings towards that person. In a famous Talmudic passage (Brachot 10a),...
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Chulin 15: Please Be Quiet

January 09, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
In a beautiful teshuva (Orach Chaim 4 #89) written during Chanukah 1960, Rav Moshe Feinstein was asked (by Rabbi Leo Yung, rabbi of the Jewish Centre in Manhattan) if one should protest the building of an eiruv in Manhattan. As Rav Moshe notes, “we do not have the power to allow” the building of such an eiruv and “I do not see anything that will change my mind in this matter”. In other words,...
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Chulin 15: Shabbat Slaughter

January 07, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
“It is a sign between Me and the Jewish people that in ‘six days’ G-d created the heavens and the earth” (Shemot 31:17). Shabbat, more than any other mitzvah, marks the special relationship between G-d and the Jewish people. Our observance of Shabbat is a sign of our faithfulness to our Creator and, G-d forbid, our desecration of it indicates the abandonment of G-d (at least in Talmudic times, it did). The Talmud thus...
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