Day: July 30, 2022

Ketubot 24

Given that today’s daf (Ketubot 24a-b) discusses the reliability of someone who claims they are a Kohen in terms of whether they can receive priestly honours (eg. eat Terumah) and whether they can perform priestly duties (eg. recite the Birkat Kohanim), I decided to spend some of Shabbat reviewing this topic and other related issues…

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Ketubot 23

Do you know what is going on in the life of your close neighbour?There are some people who presume that they do because they talk with their neighbours on a regular basis.Then there are others who – though they aren’t aware of every day-to-day event in their neighbours’ life – presume that they’d be told…

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Ketubot 22

‘We cannot control what others say or do, but we should strive to do what we can so that others don’t have easy reasons to say less than complimentary things about us.’This, in short, is what our Sages in today’s daf (Ketubot 22b) derive from Mishlei 4:24 which states: הָסֵר מִמְּךָ עִקְּשׁוּת פֶּה וּלְזוּת שְׂפָתַיִם…

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Ketubot 21

Today’s daf (Ketubot 21b) relates how Rabbi Abba taught that a witness can become a judge. In response, Rav Safra challenged this ruling based on Mishna Rosh Hashanah 3:1. Rabbi Abba then replied to Rav Safra’s challenge saying אַף לְדִידִי קַשְׁיָא לִי, meaning “I also had this difficulty”. However, Rabbi Abba then informed Rav Safra…

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Ketubot 20

Amidst its wide-ranging discussion about evidence, testimony and memory, today’s daf (Ketubot 20a) draws a fascinating distinction between the concept of הזמה (hazama) and הכחשה (hakhasha). But to explain the difference between the two, we need to define what each of these are.If a pair of witnesses testify in a Beit Din that someone committed…

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Ketubot 19

Embedded in its discussion concerning the dangers of holding onto already paid-up notes of indebtedness, today’s daf (Ketubot 19b) quotes a teaching of Rabbi Ami that it is permitted to be in possession of a ספר (which is understood to directly refer to a Sefer Torah or any volume of Tanach, and which the later…

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Ketubot 18

Within today’s daf (Ketubot 18b), reference is made to the principle of אין אדם משים עצמו רשע – ‘a person may not make themselves into an evildoer’ which teaches that self-incrimination and confessing is inadmissible.On first glance, this rule simply appears to be a procedural principle that is a ‘scriptural decree’ derived from Devarim 17:6…

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Ketubot 17

Basing himself on today’s daf (Ketubot 17a), the Rambam (Hilchot Avel 14:8) rules that: ‘in a situation where someone is confronted with the opportunity to help bury the dead or participate in a bridal procession, they should put aside the opportunity to join the procession and involve themselves with the dead. At the same time,…

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Ketubot 16

In general, I am averse to making generalizations about any groups of people, and I am particularly averse to making generalizations when comparing the temperaments of men and women. At the same time, this does not negate the fact that some generalizations do contain kernels of truth.In this case, I’d like to share a creative…

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Ketubot 15

Given that today’s daf (Ketubot 15a-b) includes a substantive discussion about fundamental principles of halachic doubt – such that Moshe Halbertal (in his book ‘The Birth of Doubt: Confronting Uncertainty in Early Rabbinic Literature’ p. 34) rightly identifies this discussion as being ‘one of the most central developments of the doctrine of uncertainty in the…

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