daf yomi

Pesachim 99: Drinks On Us

Jewish law is most strict when it comes to accepting charity. "Make your Shabbat like a weekday"--eating less quantitatively and qualitatively--"and do not have need for others [for support]"(Pesachim 113a). The argument that some jobs are too demeaning is addressed by the Talmudic ruling, "Skin carcasses in the marketplace and receive wages, and do not say 'I am a kohen, I am too important a person [for this]!'" (ibid).

Pesachim 68b: Fasting or Feasting

The Gemara (Pesachim 68b) records a debate as to the proper way to celebrate Yom Tov. Rabbi Eliezer says that one must make a choice; we must either “eat and drink, or sit and learn”, whereas Rabbi Yehoshua says, “Divide it—half for eating and drinking, and half for the beit midrash”. Rav Yochanan (living three generations later) explains that this argument is actually rooted in contradictory Biblical texts.

Pesachim 66: People Power

One of the underlying pillars of democratic thought is confidence in the people to make the right choices, and in leaders to respect those choices. In a healthy democracy, people are well informed, allowing for vigorous debate; and leaders have the best interests of the state at heart. The will of the people is constricted by the Constitution, which reflects the core values that are sacrosanct—and as such, can be changed only with great difficulty and a consensus to do so[1].

Pesachim 66a: A Humble Lesson for Hillel

While Korbanot tzibbur, public offerings, were sacrificed on Shabbat and Yom Tov--and serve as the basis for our davening mussaf on these days--private sacrifices were not. 

Similar to a public offering, the korban pesach was brought at a fixed time. On the other hand, the obligation to bring such rests on the individual, leading to uncertainty as to whether it may be brought on Shabbat. 


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