Month: July 2021

Sukkah 24

We were previously taught in a Beraita (see Sukkah 23a) about using an animal as a wall for the sukkah, which Rabbi Meir invalidated, and Rabbi Yehuda validated. In terms of why this is the case, it seemed that Rabbi Meir was concerned (according to Abaye) that the animal may die, or (according to Rabbi…

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Sukkah 23

Today’s daf (Sukkah 23) discusses the unusual scenario of building a sukkah ‘on the back of an animal’ which Rabbi Meir validates, and Rabbi Yehuda invalidates. In explaining this debate, the Gemara explains that Rabbi Yehuda asserts from the words: חַג הַסֻּכֹּת תַּעֲשֶׂה לְךָ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים – ‘the festival of Sukkot you shall make for…

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Sukkah 22

Today’s daf (Sukkah 22) opens with a Mishna (Sukkah 2:2) stating that ‘a sukkah whose shade exceeds its sunlight is kosher’. As the Gemara (Sukkah 22b) observes, ‘this implies that a sukkah which has equal amounts of shade and sunlight is invalid.’However, as the Gemara then proceeds to explain, this seems to conflict with a…

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Sukkah 21

Towards the end of today’s daf (Sukkah 21b) we are taught a lesson from Rav that שיחת תלמידי חכמים צריכה לימוד – ‘the casual conversations between Torah scholars are deserving of study’, and as the Ben Ish Chai explains (see Ben Yehoyada on Sukkah 21b), it is particularly noteworthy that Rav is the author of…

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Sukkah 20

 A curious teaching of Resh Lakish is quoted in today’s daf (Sukkah 20a) where we are told that, ‘initially, when Torah was forgotten from [the people of] Israel, Ezra ascended from Babylon and gave it a proper foundation. When it was again forgotten, Hillel the Babylonian ascended [to Israel] and gave it a proper foundation.…

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Sukkah 18

Today’s daf (Sukkah 18a) contains two teachings of Rabbi Yehuda bar Ilai which seem totally unrelated – other than the fact that they use similar language. In terms of the first, we are told that, ‘Rabbi Yehuda bar Ilai taught: “Where the roof of a house was breached and s’chach was placed over the opening, it…

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Sukkah 17

Today’s daf (Sukkah 17a) continues to discuss the laws of constructing a sukkah and how our Sages imagined relatively small gaps in the roofs and walls of a sukkah as being closed. For example, we learn about the rule of ‘Dofen Akuma’ (literally ‘bent wall’) which asserts that an area of roof above a sukkah…

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Sukkah 16

Every family and every community have their stories about ‘the time when…[an unusual halachic situation arose and a creative halachic solution was found]’, but as we learn from today’s daf (Sukkah 16b), great care must be taken to accurately share the details of those stories so as to avoid confusion and perhaps even future halachic…

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Sukkah 15

 The Mishna (Sukkah 1:7) in today’s daf (Sukkah 15a) presents a variety of opinions about what must be done to transform a yet-to-be-finished roof of a house where the beams are in place, to a valid sukkah roof.For example, according to Beit Shammai, the beams must be loosened and symbolically moved (to demonstrate that this…

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Sukkah 14

In today’s daf (Sukkah 14b) we are told by Rabbi Yehuda how, while living in a period and place of danger, he and others used four-tefachim-wide boards to cover a porch in order to fulfil the mitzvah of dwelling in a sukkah. However, the Sages then responded to him saying that, אין שעת הסכנה ראיה…

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Sukkah 13

Today’s daf (Sukkah 13b) quotes a beraita to teach us that, ‘fig branches with figs on them, vines with grapes on them, straws with ears of grain on them, and brooms of palms with dates on them – in all these cases if the non-edible part (i.e. branch/vine/straw) is greater than the food, then it…

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Sukkah 12

As you will have likely noticed from my daily daf posts, I believe that spiritual messages are often embedded in the words used by our Sages to express technical halachic statements, and I personally take much pleasure in identifying and developing ideas relating to hashkafa (our spiritual outlook and attitude) from halacha (the rules relating…

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Sukkah 10-11

While learning yesterday (Sukkah 10) and today’s daf (Sukkah 11) over Shabbat (given that today was Tisha B’Av), I was drawn to explore a phrase which is used on four occasions in Sukkah 11b – namely קציצתן זו היא עשייתן – ‘their detaching is their making’.Specifically, this phrase is used in a discussion concerning the…

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Sukkah 9

The Mishna in today’s daf (Sukkah 9a) presents a disagreement regarding the halachic validity of a ‘sukkah yeshana’ (literally, ‘an old sukkah’) – which actually means a sukkah on which s’chach has sat for over 30 days prior to Sukkot that had not expressly been placed there for the sake of the upcoming Sukkot festival.…

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Sukkah 8

If you like Mathematics you will likely enjoy the end of yesterday (Sukkah 7b) and much of today’s daf (Sukkah 8a), whereas if you don’t, you may find it a little tricky. This is because the discussion relates to the minimum dimensions of a circular sukkah which requires a journey into the history of pi…

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Sukkah 7

We were previously taught in the first Mishna of Massechet Sukkot that a sukkah שחמתה מרובה מצלתה – “in which there is more sun than shade” פסולה – “is invalid”, while in today’s daf (Sukkah 7b) we are taught that this rule only applies to the shade provided by the s’chach – whereas if there…

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Sukkah 6

In addition to considerable discussion about the authority of the Oral Torah, today’s daf (Sukkah 6b) teaches that while a sukkah can have either four of three full walls, a sukkah must minimally have just two full walls and a third mini-wall (which need only be as long as a tefach – approx. 10 cm).Yet,…

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Sukkah 5

While continuing its discussion about the minimum height of a Sukkah, today’s daf (Sukkah 5b) explains that the measure of 10 tefachim is derived from the gap which existed between the holy Aron (Ark) and the wings of the Keruvim (Cherubim) which sat atop the Aron.Interestingly, the reason for this association is due to the…

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Sukkah 4

Today’s daf (Sukkah 4a) continues its discussion about the permitted height of the Sukkah which, as Mishna Sukkah 1:1 previously taught, cannot be taller than 20 amot (approx. 10 metres), and must be at least 10 tefachim (approx. 1 metre). Beyond this, our daf also rules that in a situation where the sukkah is exactly…

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Sukkah 3

 In his preface to his ‘Shemoneh Perakim’, the Rambam urges us to ‘accept the truth [regardless of] which person said it’, and while this is an excellent piece of advice in all situations, the reason for me mentioning it here is in response to an exchange between Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak and Rabbi Abba found…

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Sukkah 2

 The first Mishna of Massechet Sukkah begins by teaching us that ‘a sukkah whose s’chach is above twenty amot (approx. 10 metres) is invalid’, and in the subsequent discussion in the daf (Sukkah 2a), the question of מנא הני מילי – ‘from where do we know this rule?’ is asked, to which the Gemara cites…

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Yoma 88

For today’s final daf of Massechet Yoma, I decided to record my thought which I very much hope you enjoy! הדרן עלך מסכת יומא והדרך עלן.

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Yoma 88

For today’s final daf of Massechet Yoma, I decided to record my thought which I very much hope you enjoy! הדרן עלך מסכת יומא והדרך עלן.

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Yoma 87

Today’s daf (Yoma 87a) – which is the penultimate daf of Massechet Yoma – references the so-called ‘heter (‘permission’) of Rav Huna’:Rav Huna said in the name of Rav: “When someone commits a transgression, and then repeats it, it becomes permitted to them.” Does it really become permitted to them? Of course not! Instead, it…

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Yoma 86

As part of its discussion about repentance and atonement, today’s daf (Yoma 86a) speaks about the severity of ‘one who bears the sin of Chillul Hashem (Desecration of the Name)’ and it then proceeds to offer some varied examples of Chillul Hashem. For example, according to Rav, a Chillul Hashem occurs when someone who is…

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Yoma 85

As I’ve previously explained about my daily learning ritual, each morning I learn the daf, I review it, and I then consider which passage, statement or idea I wish to explore or explain further – at which point I study a range of commentaries relating to that passage or teaching, and then start writing. In…

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What do you really want? by Rabbanit Shayna Goldberg

‘WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?’ BY RABBANIT SHAYNA GOLDBERGA universal experience of human nature is that we feel a deep sense of connection when we see people like us on TV and in movies, or encounter people like us in magazines or in the books that we read. Moreover, when those people not only look…

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Yoma 84

On five occasions in today’s daf (Yoma 84b) our Sages teach us that where there is even the slightest risk to life, הזריז הרי זה משובח – ‘someone who is quick to do whatever it takes [including the breaking of Shabbat and other commandments] is praiseworthy’, ואין צריך ליטול רשות מבית דין – ‘and there…

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Yoma 83

As part of today’s daf Yomi (Yoma 83a) discussion about the treatment of the sick of Yom Kippur, a stirring pasuk from Mishlei is quoted to affirm that someone who feels that they need to eat on Yom Kippur should do so – even in a situation where experts do not see it that way.…

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Yoma 82

 Much of today’s daf (Yoma 82a) is dedicated to the mitzvah of lifesaving (פיקוח נפש), and it is here where we learn that, even on Yom Kippur, אין לך דבר שעומד בפני פיקוח נפש – nothing stands in the way of lifesaving – except for idolatry, sexual immorality, and murder. As Rashi explains (on Yoma…

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Yoma 81

 Having been taught about the prohibition and liability of eating food and drinking drinks on Yom Kippur, today’s daf (Yoma 81b) considers whether it is prohibited, and whether one is liable from eating non-foods (i.e. products that are generally understood to be unfit for consumption, such as leaves of reed) and from drinking non-drinks. However,…

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