Brachot: A New Cycle Begins

January 05, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
Rashi begins his commentary to Chumash asking why the Torah begins with the story of creation and not with the first mitzva given to the Jewish people, that of establishing a calendar. Put slightly differently, Rashi wonders why do we begin with a divine clock and not a human one? Rashi answers that the Torah wanted to impress upon us that the world is G-d’s to divide as He pleases. In other words, the Torah opens with the notion...
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Nidah 73: The Last Word

January 04, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
Tanna devei Eliyahu, the school of Eliyahu, taught: Kol hashoneh, all who study (and review) halachot every day are guaranteed that they are destined for the World-to-Come, as it is stated: ‘His ways, halikhot, are eternal’ (Habakkuk 3:6). Do not read the verse as halikhot; rather, read it as halakhot” (Nidah 73a). With no Tanna by...
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VaYigash: A Pilot Trip

January 03, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Parsha Thoughts: Rabbi Jay Kelman
  "And he [Yaakov] sent Judah ahead of him l'horot, to make preparations, in Goshen (Breisheet 46:28). With great fear and trepidation, Yaakov, along with 68 of his descendants, began the long trip down to Egypt. Despite his tremendous joy at knowing Yosef was alive and doing very well, Yaakov—not without reason—feared for the spiritual future of his descendants. Only after G-d assured him...
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Daf Yomi, Football and New Year's

January 01, 2020 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Thoughts from the Daf
There is something surreal about 92,000 people gathering at a football stadium on New Year’s Day to make a siyum on the entire Talmud. That thousands should gather in a football stadium on New Year's is not at all surprising. Growing up it was the only time I might have watched college football. Between The Rose Bowl, The Sugar Bowl, The Cotton Bowl, The Orange Bowl (am I forgetting any?) there was little else to watch on...
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Chanukah: Timing the Market

December 30, 2019 By: Rabbi Jay Kelman Category: Holiday Thoughts
Before there were clocks and standard time, time was determined in relation to the position of the sun—hence, the importance of the sundial. As a rule our Sages followed this course, teaching, for example, that one may daven mincha until sunset, may recite the morning shema until a quarter of the day has passed, or that the earliest time to do a brit milah is at sunrise. ...
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