Month: June 2021

Yoma 80

  We have previously noted in the Mishna (Yoma 8:1) that one who eats the equivalent of a כותבת הגסה (a large date) on Yom Kippur is liable. Additionally, the Mishna also states that ‘all foods combine for the volume equivalent of a large date’ – meaning that if someone ate two or more pieces of…

Details
Yoma 79

  Having been taught in the Mishna (Yoma 8:1, 73b) that one who eats the equivalent of a כותבת הגסה (a large date) on Yom Kippur is liable, today’s daf (Yoma 79a) attempts to understand what this unusual measure is, and it is here where we are told that it is an amount that דבהכי מיתבא…

Details
Yoma 78

 Today’s daf (Yoma 78b) discusses the prohibition of wearing leather shoes on Yom Kippur. Yet notwithstanding the severity of the prohibition, we are taught that Rabbi Eliezer rules that a new mother (which is understood to mean a woman who has given birth within 30 days) may wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur, and as…

Details
Yoma 77

In today’s daf (Yoma 77b) we encounter a fascinating psak which highlights the broad considerations at play when a posek renders a halachic decision. As noted in the Gemara, any form of bathing in water is forbidden on Yom Kippur. However, we are then taught in a Beraita that if a person needs to pass…

Details
Yoma 76

Once in a while, especially in the realm of aggadata, we encounter a highly creative interpretation which, on first glance, seem to significantly ‘overstretch’ the meaning of a text or concept which they are seeking to explain. In this spirit, today’s daf (Yoma 76a) contains a Beraita which relates how Rabbi Tarfon, Rabbi Yishmael and…

Details
Yoma 75

Today’s daf (Yoma 75a) contains timeless advice for those with worries – as derived from a somewhat cryptic verse in Sefer Mishlei (Proverbs).The verse, from Mishlei 12:25, states: “Worry in the heart of man ‘ישחנה – yashchena’, and a good word ‘ישמחנה – yesamchena” – and in terms of the second word ‘ישמחנה’, this clearly…

Details
Yoma 74

 Much of today’s daf (Yoma 74b) is dedicated to exploring the instruction of ‘תְּעַנּוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם – afflict yourselves’ (Vayikra 16:29), and later on, ‘וְעִנִּיתֶם אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם – and you shall afflict yourselves’ (Vayikra 23:32) – which is commanded with respect to Yom Kippur and which is understood to be the biblical source from where…

Details
Yoma 73

Today’s daf (Yoma 73a) begins by exploring the relationship between the Kohen Gadol and the Kohen Mashuach Milchama (the Kohen anointed for battle) and the importance of avoiding enmity between the two, and it then proceeds to discuss the Urim V’Tumim – the divine communication tool that featured on the Choshen (breastplate) worn by the…

Details
Yoma 72

Some years ago I delivered a shiur on ‘How the Torah is often used as a defense for things that the Torah finds indefensible’, in which I highlighted a number of modern examples where Torah is misrepresented by Jews and religious leaders across the religious spectrum in the name of Torah, and reflecting on what…

Details
Yoma 71

 Today’s daf (Yoma 71a) includes what I believe to be a stunning insight about what it means to live a life that is guided by Torah laws and values.As you may know, many of the verses in Mishlei (Proverbs) are understood to refer to our relationship with Torah wisdom, and it is there where we…

Details
Yoma 70

 We were previously taught in the Mishna (Yoma 7:1, 68b) that included among the duties of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur was to read select passages from the Torah about Yom Kippur (specifically, Vayikra 16:1-34 and Vayikra 23:26-32). Having done so, the Kohen Gadol then pronounced: יותר ממה שקראתי לפניכם כתוב כאן – “More…

Details
Yoma 69

Twice in today’s daf, reference is made to actions and decisions taken in very particular situations which thereby overrode particular prohibitions. In Yoma 69a we read how Shimon HaTzaddik wore the Bigdei Kehuna (priestly clothes) outside of the Temple when meeting and petitioning Alexander the Great in order to forestall the destruction of the Temple,…

Details
Yoma 68

Today in daf yomi we began the seventh chapter of Massechet Yoma (Yoma 68b) whose first Mishna (Yoma 7:1) describes the ritual of how the Kohen Gadol would read passages about Yom Kippur from the Torah text and then by heart while holding onto the Torah. Moreover, we are then told that he followed this…

Details
Yoma 67

We are taught in today’s daf (Yoma 67a) that a crimson thread was tied on the outside of the door of the entrance hall of the Beit HaMikdash prior to the se’ir hamishtaleach (the scapegoat) being taken out to the desert: הלבין – if it turned while, היו שמחים – they rejoiced; לא הלבין –…

Details
Yoma 66

Today’s daf (Yoma 66b) relates how Rabbi Eliezer was asked a number of questions which he evaded answering, and as the Gemara then proceeds to explain, ‘it was not that Rabbi Eliezer was trying to avoid the topic, but instead, because he was not say anything that he had never heard from his teacher’ (see…

Details
Yoma 65

Much of today’s daf (Yoma 65b) is dedicated to exploring which contributions and decisions from one year may be carried over until the next year. For example, we are taught that קרבנות ציבור, communal offerings, should ideally be brought from the donations of the current year and not from the donations of the previous year,…

Details
Yoma 64

Much of today’s daf (Yoma 64a) examines a disagreement between Rav and Rav Yochanan. According to Rav, בעלי חיים אינם נידחים, ‘living creatures are not rejected’ – which means that if an animal was consecrated to be offered in the Beit HaMikdash and then, prior to it becoming slaughtered, it developed a blemish and became…

Details
Yoma 63

Today’s daf (Yoma 63b) cites a Beraita where we encounter the only recorded ruling of a Tana called חנן המצרי – Chanan the Egyptian – who was of the opinion that if the he-goat fated by the goral (lottery) to ‘Azazel’ died prior to it being cast to the wilderness, but after the he-goat –…

Details
Yoma 62

Today’s daf (Yoma 62a-b) discusses the two se’irim (he goats) whose different fates provided observers with a dramatic illustration of the different fates that may befall each of us. As Rav Soloveitchik explains: ‘the two male goats were identical… but their fates led them in opposite directions, as determined by chance (goral) decisions, entirely beyond…

Details
Yoma 61

The recent dapim (pages) of Massechet Yoma have been intensely focused on the Avodah – the service – of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, and more recently (from the Mishna on Yoma 60a onwards), on whether the Kohen Gadol must repeat aspects of his service if done out-of-order.On this point, today’s daf (Yoma 61a)…

Details
Yoma 60

The Mishna (Yoma 5:7) in today’s daf (Yoma 60a) begins by stating that all the actions performed by the Kohen Gadol which have previously been described in Massechet Yoma על הסדר (in order), need to be performed על הסדר (in order), to the extent that אם הקדים מעשה לחבירו, if he performed one of the…

Details
Yoma 59

While describing the precise activities of the Kohen Gadol’s daubing of blood on the incense altar on Yom Kippur, we were previously taught (Mishna Yoma 5:6, 58b) that once he daubed blood on each of its four corners, he needed to sprinkle blood על טהרו – literally, ‘on the purity’ – of the altar seven…

Details
Yoma 58

In today’s daf (Yoma 58b) we are taught that having performed the blood sprinkling service, the Kohen Gadol then daubed blood on each of the four corners of the incense altar. Yet, what is significant is that the corner which the Kohen Gadol first encounters (as he walks towards the altar) is not where he…

Details
Yoma 57

A significant disagreement in today’s daf (Yoma 57a) concerns the blood of the Yom Kippur bull and goat offerings that were sprinkled towards the curtain of the Kodesh Kodashim. Specifically, the question raised in the Gemara is whether the blood merely needed to be sprinkled towards the curtain (with its drops not needing to make…

Details
Yoma 56

 Basing itself on Vayikra 16:16 (“and so shall he do in the Tent of Meeting that dwells (HaShochen) among them in the midst of their impurities”) which describes the avodah of the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, today’s daf (Yoma 56b) deduces that ‘even at a time that they (i.e. the Jewish people) are impure,…

Details
Yoma 55

Much of today’s daf (Yoma 55a) focusses its attention on the Yom Kippur ceremony and the sprinkling of the blood – above and below – both inside and outside the Kodesh Kodashim as detailed in Mishna Yoma 5:3-4 (Yoma 53b). In fact, the Mishna even tells us how the Kohen Gadol would count while doing…

Details
Yoma 54

Today’s daf (Yoma 54a) quotes from Mishna Shekalim 6:2 to tell a story of a certain Kohen who was מתעסק – a word we shall translate in just a moment – while seemingly collecting some wood for the mizbeach, at which time he noticed that one of the stones of the floor of the storeroom…

Details
Yoma 53

In today’s daf (Yom 53b) Rabbi Alexandri quotes a teaching of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi that someone who has prayed must take three steps backwards and then give (יתן) ‘Shalom’ (Peace).In trying to make sense of this teaching, the Beit Yosef (on Orach Chaim 123) cites a variety of interpretations, including that of the Shibbolei…

Details
Yoma 52

When Am Yisrael reached the Yam Suf, with the water ahead of them and the Egyptians behind them, Moshe began to pray. However, as Chazal explain, God then spoke with Moshe and said, “Now is not the time for a prolonged prayer when the people of Israel are in distress” (see Rashi on Shemot 14:15).…

Details
Yoma 51

In today’s daf (Yoma 51b) we are taught a Beraita presenting three opinions about the path taken by the Kohen Gadol as he proceeded towards the Kodesh Kodashim. According to Rabbi Yehuda, he walked between the inner Mizbeach (altar) and the Menorah. According to Rabbi Meir, he walked between the Shulchan (table) and the inner…

Details