Thoughts from the Daf

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.  

Pesachim 120: What's On the Menu?

With the destruction of the Temple, the focus of the seder menu shifted from the eating of the korban pesach to the eating of matza. The importance of eating the korban pesach is such that it carries the punishment of karet, excision, for those who neglect it (along with only one other positive mitzva, that of brit milah). The original paschal lamb was what allowed the Exodus to occur.

Pesachim 113: The Chicken, the Prostitute, and the Rabbi

The Netziv, in his commentary on Chumash, explains that the first verse of the priestly blessing "May G-d guard you and protect you"   has different connotations for different types of people. For one engaged in business, we ask G-d to bless us with great material success, yevarechecha, and that such success does not destroy our character, veyishmerecha.

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