Thoughts from the Daf
G-d's greatest gift to man is that He created us in His image. As heretical as it sounds, man and G-d are, in effect, opposite sides of the same coin. Flowing from this is the notion that all aspects of our relationship to G-d must be reflected in our actions towards man, and our actions towards our fellow man must be reflected in our relationship to G-d. This can best be seen in the aseret hadibrot, which can be read both vertically and horizontally.
Our Sages have long recognized that the desires for money, honour, and sexual gratification are most powerful. Avoiding sin in these areas, something most difficult in practice, makes one worthy of praise—from G-d Himself.
"Rav Yochanan said: Concerning three [people] does G-d proclaim [praise] every day: on a bachelor who lives in a city and does not sin, on a poor person who returns a lost object to its owner, and on the wealthy [person] who tithes his produce in secret" (Pesachim 113a).
Today's daf is sponsored by Arthur Little in observance of the Yahrzeit of his father, Areyeh Ben Avraham Yitzhak z"l, Leonard Little. May we share in smachot.
Perhaps the major social issue facing the Orthodox community today is defining the proper role for women within the observant community. While the specific issues may be different, the discussion of women's role in ritual has a long history. Two issues that may seem trivial today concerned some of the most basic aspects of the Pesach seder.
The Talmud is the written record of the Oral Law. With the destruction of the Temple and subsequent exile of the Jewish people, it was no longer feasible to rely on oral transmission of our tradition. In recording teachings spanning some 600 years, both the Mishnah (circa 220 CE) and the Gemara (circa 500 CE) meticulously recorded not only what was said, but who said it, and in whose name it was said.
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).
One of the unusual laws regarding the korban pesach is that it can only be eaten leminuyav, by those who were specifically intended to be included as part of that particular sacrifice at the time of the slaughtering of the animal.