Month: October 2021

Rosh Hashanah 2

Having been taught in the Mishna (Rosh Hashanah 1:1) that the first of Nissan is the New Year for kings, the Gemara (Rosh Hashanah 2b) explains that this is deduced from Melachim I 6:1 where the reign of Shlomo HaMelech is calculated in relation to the Exodus from Egypt: ‘just as the Exodus is counted…

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Beitzah 40

When considering what should be my thought for today’s daf (Beitzah 40b) – the final in the Massechet – I was drawn to an observation found within the final lines of the Massechet. We are taught in a Beraita (see Beitzah 40a) that Rebbi is of the opinion that range animals are mukzeh on Shabbat…

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Beitzah 39

Having previously explained how the laws of ‘techumin’ (i.e. the prohibition of walking more than 2,000 amot beyond a town or city’s boundary on Shabbat and Yom Tov) apply not only to people by their possessions, and that if one borrows an item on Shabbat or Yom Tov then the item is physically limited to…

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Beitzah 38

 Today’s daf (Beitzah 38a-b) contains one of the most confusing and cryptic exchanges in the entire Gemara.We are told that soon after Rabbi Abba moved from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael, at which time he offered up a prayer that his Torah insights be accepted by the scholars in Eretz Yisrael, he became involved in a…

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Beitzah 37

A fascinating principle relating to ‘techumin’ (boundaries) is taught in the Mishna (Beitzah 5:4) found in today’s daf (Beitzah 37a) – from which we can learn much about sharing & caring. As we’ve previously learnt in Massechet Eruvin, a person is limited in walking 2,000 amot on Shabbat and Yom Tov based on their location…

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Beitzah 36

The Mishna (Beitzah 5:2) in today’s daf (Beitzah 36b) lists a variety of activities which our Sages forbade on Shabbat and Yom Tov for fear of what they may lead to. This includes לא מטפחין ולא מספקים ולא מרקדין – ‘we do not clap nor to we slap our hand to our thighs nor do…

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Beitzah 35

The Mishna (Beitzah 5:1) in today’s daf (Beitzah 35b) informs us that “We may put a vessel under dripping water on Shabbat [and then move that vessel as and when the vessel is filled]”. Significantly, the halachic concern which the Mishna seeks to clarify relates to the rain or drain water that has dripped into…

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Beitzah 34

In today’s daf (Beitzah 34a) we are taught a Beraita which describes an unusual situation where a number of people play a role in the forbidden act of cooking on Shabbat: ‘If one brings the fire, and one brings the wood, and one places the pot in position, and one brings the water, and one…

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Beitzah 33

Today’s daf (Beitzah 33b) makes reference to woods with a fragrance, noting that ‘we may handle fragrant woods [on Shabbat] to smell them’. And while it is true that some woods have a fragrance, a further truth is that the עץ חיים – the tree of life – of Torah also has a fragrance.Significantly, the…

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Beitzah 32

     Today’s daf (Beitzah 32b) informs us of a halacha that we may be מוחט a wick on Yom Tov – which is explained to mean that it is permitted to remove the burnt charcoaled section of a wick to make a lamp shine more brightly. Interestingly, when codifying this halacha, the Rambam (Shevitat…

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Beitzah 31

 Today’s daf (Beitzah 31b) raises the question of whether food may be taken on Yom Tov from a room that was previously sealed – which the Gemara initially understands to refer to a room that is literally sealed with bricks and mortar.To give some background, the laws of mukzeh teach us that items that are…

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Beitzah 30

The Mishna (Beitzah 4:1), as cited in today’s daf (30a), rules that in order to distinguish between Yom Tov and weekday activities, they should be performed with a שינוי, ‘a difference’. As the Mishna then notes, ‘one who brings pitchers of wine from place to place may not bring them in a basket or box…

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