daf yomi

Yoma 22: Murder in the Mikdash

One of the fundamental teachings of Judaism is that nothing is inherently good or bad--it all depends on how it is used. Even the evil inclination can be most positive and without it, we would not have children or an advanced economy (see Yoma 69b). Greed, revenge, money, even kindness[1] can be used for both positive and negative purposes. It can be no other way, as G-d is the Creator of all. If G-d "saw all that He did, and it was very good" (Breisheet 1:31), then everything must have the potential for good.

Yoma 19: Yom Kippur Sleep

The kohen gadol had a hard day of work on Yom Kippur. The avodah, the special Yom Kippur Temple service, was intricate and difficult, and had to be performed after the kohen gadol was forced to stay up all night. He was kept up to avoid the possibility of a seminal emission, which would disqualify him from working on Yom Kippur. The Gemara relates how the mikarei Yerushalayim, the important people of Jerusalem, would also stay up making noise through the night, to make it difficult for the high priest to doze off (Yoma 19b).

Yoma 18: Look Who Saved Torah From Oblivion

Sometimes the choices we make turn out to be better than we could have imagined in our wildest dreams. The baseball player drafted in the 11th round who becomes a superstar; the shul rabbi who is the fourth choice of the board, yet is an inspiration for so many; the unassuming summer student who so impresses and eventually becomes CEO.

Yoma 13: When the Competition Gets Tough...

“And he shall atone for himself and for his household” (Vayikra 16:6). The Rabbis derive from this verse that the kohen gadol, in order to effect atonement, must be married[1]. What if the kohen gadol should suddenly become single? What would happen if his wife were to die suddenly, just prior to Yom Kippur? The Sages argue that we need not worry about such.

Yoma: Some Opening Thoughts

Seder Moed, the order of Mishnah dealing with our festivals, begins with Shabbat and includes such tractates as Pesachim, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkah and Megillah. One need not be well versed in Jewish law to immediately know the main theme of each of the above tractates. Yet the tractate dealing with Yom Kippur, instead of being referred to by the name of the holiday, is simply called Yoma, the day. Yom Kippur is a special day like no other, affording us the opportunity for forgiveness and a fresh start, the day of reconciliation, repentance, and renewal.  

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