Rav Johnny’s Daf Yomi Insights

Since the beginning of the recent cycle of Daf Yomi, Rav Johnny has been writing an original daily thought on Daf Yomi – each accompanied with a relevant image – which is read each day by thousands of men and women around the world.

Rather than summarising the daf, Rav Johnny explores a particular teaching found in the daily daf while often referencing classic and modern Torah commentaries.

In terms of feedback, readers have told Rav Johnny: ‘When I read your online lessons my soul feels refreshed and purified’. ‘Your summaries are goldmines!’. ‘You bring it to life and make it fit in my heart’. And, ‘to read your commentary after reading my daily daf is like a dessert after a meal’.

Here you can find all of Rav Johnny’s Daf Yomi thoughts – each of which can be shared directly onto social media.

Beyond this, if you would like to receive these daf yomi thoughts via whatsapp:

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Nedarim 5

As we know, the meaning of the word Nedarim is ‘vows’, and as the past few dapim of Massechet Nedarim…

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Nedarim 4

Today’s daf (Nedarim 4a) begins by discussing the halachic implications of someone who vows to become a Nazir while standing…

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Nedarim 3

“The Torah speaks in human terms” (דברה תורה בלשון בני אדם). This principle, which is often invoked by our classic…

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Nedarim 2

If we had to summarise the first Mishna of Massechet Nedarim (2a), it would be that if you sincerely wish…

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Ketubot 112

The final daf of Massechet Ketubot (daf 112b) discusses two topics that are very dear to my heart: Torah study…

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Ketubot 111

There is a teaching of Rabbi Elazar in today’s daf (Ketubot 111b) which calls for further elucidation. Specifically, we are…

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Ketubot 110

 As we near the end of our study of Massechet Ketubot, today’s (Ketubot 110b) – along with the upcoming dapim…

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Ketubot 109

Oftentimes we keep upcoming significant personal, professional and financial transitions and decisions private to just us, our spouse (where relevant),…

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Ketubot 108

 There is a concept in the Gemara, itself based on a biblical verse (see Shemot 22:8), of מודה במקצת –…

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Ketubot 107

If you studied today’s daf (Ketubot 107a) with care, you will have noticed that on four separate occasions reference is…

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Ketubot 106

A story – spanning the end of yesterday’s daf (Ketubot 105b) and the beginning of our daf (Ketubot 106a) –…

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Ketubot 105

“A rabbi whose community does not disagree with him is no rabbi. A rabbi who fears his community is no…

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Ketubot 104

Today’s daf (Ketubot 104a) records the parting words of Rebbi from his deathbed who, with his ten fingers extended heavenward,…

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Ketubot 103

Two days ago, I received a message from someone whose closest friend is unfortunately at the end stages of her…

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Ketubot 102

Within the halachic codes and responsa literature we find an ongoing debate about whether כתיבה כדיבור דמי – ‘writing is…

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Ketubot 101

The Mishna (Ketubot 12:1) in today’s daf (Ketubot 101b) describes a situation where a man marries a woman with a…

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Ketubot 100

Today’s daf (Ketubot 100a) discusses the situation when a Beit Din makes an error in terms of the amount of…

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Ketubot 99

As part of its discussion about the laws of agency (שליחות), reference was made in yesterday’s daf (Ketubot 98b) to…

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Ketubot 98

Towards the end of yesterday’s daf (Ketubot 97b) we read the view of Rabbi Shimon who teaches that if a…

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Ketubot 97

We learn in today’s daf (Ketubot 97a) that if a person sold land because they needed money, and then circumstances…

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Ketubot 96

Up until now, Gemara Ketubot has made it clear that while land (קרקע) can be taken from an estate, movable…

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Ketubot 95

It has been said by Rav Chaim of Volozhin (see his Ruach Chaim commentary on Avot 5:22) that the study…

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Ketubot 94

Sometimes we can learn a story in the Gemara that has so many holes in it that it requires us…

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Ketubot 93

As the cases concerning ketubah law become more and more complex, with the Mishna (Ketubot 10:5) in today’s daf (Ketubot…

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Ketubot 92

Today is the day after Yom Kippur, and as I study today’s daf (Ketubot 92) – which speaks about the…

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Ketubot 91

I hope you all had a meaningful Yom Kippur, and having made Havdalah, had something to eat, checked in with…

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Ketubot 90

While I strive to learn the daf every day, I also strive to live with the daf every day. Consequently,…

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Ketubot 89

The Mishna (Ketubot 9:9) in today’s daf (Ketubot 89a) quotes a ruling of Rabban Shimon Ben Gamliel who states that…

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Ketubot 88

Today’s daf (Ketubot 88a) informs us that debts can be collected even in a debtor’s absence due to the consideration…

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Ketubot 87

There is a lovely phrase used in today’s daf (Ketubot 87b) describing a situation when a husband and wife have…

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Ketubot 86

I want to share something personal: my feet are both long and wide which therefore makes shoe shopping a challenge…

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Ketubot 85

A question addressed in today’s daf (Ketubot 85b) concerns the way in which decisions are made when someone dies having…

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Ketubot 84

As we know, Rosh Hashanah is known as יום הדין, ‘the Day of Judgement’. Yet notwithstanding the awesomeness of Rosh…

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Ketubot 82 & 83

Shana Tova & I hope you had an uplifting start of 5783!In terms of Daf Yomi, over Rosh Hashanah we…

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Ketubot 81

Three times in today’s daf (Ketubot 81a-b) we read how one scholar sent a halachic query to another – and…

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Ketubot 80

A phrase that appears three times in today’s daf (Ketubot 80b) during its discussion about the usages of financial resources…

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Ketubot 79

Today’s daf (Ketubot 79a) teaches us that in a situation where a couple have money to invest, and one spouse…

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Ketubot 78

There is a remarkable halacha discussed in today’s daf (Yevamot 78a) that if a pregnant woman immerses in a mikveh…

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Ketubot 77

Towards the end of today’s daf (Ketubot 77b) is a line that sent shivers down my spine – especially given…

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Ketubot 76

Some years ago I came across a stunning interpretation of an oft-cited halachic principle that is referenced in today’s daf…

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Ketubot 75

Within today’s daf (Ketubot 75a) is a commentary of Rabbi Meyasha the grandson of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi on a…

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Ketubot 74

One of the various well-known rules of a wedding is that the gift that the groom gives his bride –…

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Ketubot 73

Today’s daf (Ketubot 73a) makes reference to the Talmudic presumption of אין אדם עושה בעילתו בעילת זנות – which means…

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Ketubot 72

Today’s daf (Ketubot 72b) is a key source for the laws of hair covering for married women, and a close…

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Ketubot 71

Imagine this situation: A woman vows not to have marital relations with her husband, and upon hearing her vow, her…

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Ketubot 70

Much of today’s daf (Ketubot 70b) examines the question of agency and, in particular, the halachic question of when someone’s…

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Ketubot 69

Towards the end of today’s daf (Ketubot 69b), and as part of a demonstration of his Torah knowledge, Ilfa proclaims…

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Ketubot 68

Today’s daf (Ketubot 68a) quotes a Beraita which teaches that someone who ‘[temporarily] blinds their eye, or bloats their stomach,…

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Ketubot 67

Towards the end of today’s daf (Ketubot 67b) we are told a story that highlights the great lengths with which…

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Ketubot 66

Today’s daf (Ketubot 66b) relates two stories about Miriam who was the daughter of the incredibly rich Nakdimon ben Guryon…

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Ketubot 65

Among the phrases of the Mishna (Ketubot 5:9) which are analysed in today’s daf (Ketubot 65b) includes ואוכלת עמו –…

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Ketubot 64

The Mishna (Ketubot 5:8) in today’s daf (Ketubot 64b) details what a husband must give his wife as part of…

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Ketubot 63

Sometimes a Talmudic story can be read in two radically different ways. Early on in today’s daf (Ketubot 63a) we…

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Ketubot 62

Earlier this week I started a conversation with someone and asked them how they were doing. Their response was just…

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Ketubot 61

Today’s daf (Ketubot 61a) quotes a number of teachings from Rav Yitzchak bar Chananya, including one which states that if…

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Ketubot 60

We live in a time where we fundamentally believe that each situation should be addressed and determined on its individual…

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Ketubot 59

Among the various reasons for tension and strife in a marriage is ‘expectations’, and specifically, where the expectations of one…

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Ketubot 58

There is a debate in today’s daf (Ketubot 58b) about the principle of whether אדם מקדיש דבר שלא בא לעולם…

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Ketubot 57

The Mishna (Ketubot 5:2) in today’s daf (Ketubot 57a) records the practice of a bride having a year of preparation…

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Ketubot 56

While speaking about a bride and groom’s wedding night, a beraita quoted in today’s daf (Ketubot 56a) uses the phrase…

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Ketubot 55

Today’s daf (Ketubot 55b) raises an important question about the Talmudic principle of אומדנא, or what we may describe as…

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Ketubot 54

Knowing your prefixes is necessary – both when studying biblical Hebrew, and speaking modern Hebrew, and one of the most…

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Ketubot 53

Central to Massechet Ketubot are the personal and financial responsibilities that a husband accepts upon himself as delineated in the…

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Ketubot 52

The Mishna (Ketubot 4:12) in today’s daf (Ketubot 52b) relates how אנשי ירושלים, the men of Jerusalem, would include the…

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Ketubot 51

The opening words of the Mishna (Ketubot 4:7) in today’s daf (Ketubot 51a), which speak of a case of לא…

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Ketubot 50

In the instances when I have suggested a Torah interpretation and I have subsequently found the same interpretation in the…

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Ketubot 49

A major theme in today’s daf (Ketubot 49a-b) relates to a father’s duty to sustain his children both during his…

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Ketubot 48

Twice in today’s daf (Ketubot 48a) reference is made to what Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (in his commentary to Shemot…

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Ketubot 47

Today’s daf (Ketubot 47b) cites Shemot 21:10 which emphasises how a husband is obligated to provide his wife with שְׁאֵרָהּ…

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Ketubot 46

When we think of the word רע – which is often translated as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ – we generally presume…

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Ketubot 45

Today’s daf (Ketubot 45b) discusses the punishment due to an adulteress and a defamer and it notes how זו מעשיה…

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Ketubot 44

While discussing the punishment given to a Jewish woman who committed adultery having formally married her husband (kiddushin) but not…

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Ketubot 43

Today’s daf (Ketubot 43a) touches on an important topic which talks to me very personally. Specifically, what will happen to…

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Ketubot 42

Having just started the fourth chapter of Massechet Ketubot titled נערה שנתפתתה meaning ‘a girl who was seduced’, and given…

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Ketubot 41

The Mishna (3:9) in today’s daf (Ketubot 41a) informs us that while those responsible for causing personal harm or for…

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Ketubot 40

  The Mishna (Ketubot 3:6) in today’s daf (Ketubot 40a) invokes the opinion of Rabbi Elazar about the fines that…

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Ketubot 39

A beraita is cited in today’s daf (Ketubot 39a) which lists a number of at-risk situations (eg. a pregnant or…

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Ketubot 38

Sometimes, notwithstanding the subject of a daf being one topic, certain words or phrases leap out because they speak to…

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Ketubot 37

Today’s daf (Ketubot 37b) dedicates much of its time to discuss various punishments that were meted out by the Sanhedrin.…

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Ketubot 36

Whispers, gossip, and rumours. Nobody wants to be spoken about behind their back and especially if what is being said…

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Ketubot 35

There is one biblical word that has been the focus of attention in recent dapim (Ketubot 30a, 33a, 34b, 35a):…

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Ketubot 34

Today’s daf (Ketubot 34a) cites a beraita – quoted in at least six other places in the Talmud (eg. Shabbat…

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Ketubot 31-33

We were previously taught in Ketubot 31b about the punishment of lashes, while much of Ketubot 32b focuses its attention…

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Tisha B’Av

What daf am I to study today?Since today is Tisha B’Av, the study of today’s daf yomi (Ketubot 32) must…

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Ketubot 30

Today’s daf (Ketubot 30a) quotes a verse from Mishlei 22:5 which states: צִנִּים פַּחִים בְּדֶרֶךְ עִקֵּשׁ שׁוֹמֵר נַפְשׁוֹ יִרְחַק מֵהֶם…

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Ketubot 29

The primary focus of discussion in today’s daf (Ketubot 29) is the financial penalty for those who have committed the…

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Ketubot 28

The Mishna (Ketubot 2:10) in today’s daf (Ketubot 28a) lists the realms of testimony where an adult is relied upon…

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Ketubot 27

Today’s daf (Ketubot 27b) recounts how the brother of Mari bar Isak, who had spent his early years with Mari…

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Ketubot 26

In the first few lines of today’s daf (Ketubot 26a), reference is made to a fascinating halachic principle called מסיח…

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Ketubot 25

Today’s daf (Ketubot 25a) references the mitzvah of חלה (challah) – which is the portion of dough given to Kohanim…

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Ketubot 24

Given that today’s daf (Ketubot 24a-b) discusses the reliability of someone who claims they are a Kohen in terms of…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Ketubot 14

Early on in today’s daf (Ketubot 14a), reference is made to the position of Rabban Gamliel who – as I…

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Ketubot 13

A curious phrase is used in a Mishna (Ketubot 1:6) found in today’s daf (Ketubot 13a) – which is also…

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Ketubot 12

Today’s daf (Ketubot 12b) references the halachic principle of ברי ושמא ברי עדיף – which literally means ‘certain and possible,…

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Ketubot 11

Today is the (postponed) fast of the 17th of Tammuz which commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date…

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Ketubot 10

Today’s daf (Ketubot 10b) tells a story where a halachic question is asked by a husband to Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi…

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Ketubot 9

Today’s daf (Ketubot 9b) references the ‘war get’ which married soldiers of the army of King David were required to…

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Ketubot 8

It is a well-known fact that wherever Jews live, they are meant to face Jerusalem in prayer (see Brachot 30a).…

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Ketubot 7

If you’ve been to what we often refer to as a ‘traditional Jewish wedding’, you will know that the ceremony…

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Ketubot 6

On three occasions, today’s daf (Ketubot 6a-b) draws a halachic comparison – twice when discussing the physiological consequences of a…

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Ketubot 5

As part of its technical discussion about the possibility of someone getting so distracted in their preparations for a meal…

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Ketubot 4

Today’s daf (Ketubot 4b) draws a distinction between the kinds of personal gestures that a woman may do for her…

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Ketubot 3

A topic addressed both in yesterday (Ketubot 2b) and today’s daf (Ketubot 3a) is the status of a ‘get’ (Jewish…

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Ketubot 2

Today we begin our study of Massechet Ketubot (1:1) which informs us in its opening Mishna that the marriage of…

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Yevamot 122

Mazal Tov! Today, those studying Daf Yomi complete their study of Massechet Yevamot which has spanned 4 months! and which…

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Yevamot 121

If you have ever walked around the national cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, you may have noticed the memorial…

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Yevamot 120

Amid a discussion seeking to resolve an apparent contradiction between a Mishna in Massechet Yevamot (16:3) and a Mishna in…

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Yevamot 119

I previously explained in my commentary to Yevamot 99a (see https://rabbijohnnysolomon.com/yevamot-99/ how the seemingly improbable case described in that Mishna…

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Yevamot 118

Today’s daf (Yevamot 118a), while discussing the laws of testimony about the death of a husband by co-wives where one…

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Yevamot 117

Today’s daf (Yevamot 117a) contains a stunning insight about our relationship with Torah – as derived from a verse in…

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Yevamot 116

A story is told in today’s daf (Yevamot 116b) which is the basis for an important Talmudic rule:‘It occurred at…

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Yevamot 115

Today’s daf (Yevamot 115a) states a principle that people don’t lie about facts that are likely to become known in…

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Yevamot 114

The Mishna (Yevamot 15:1) in today’s daf (Yevamot 114b) discusses the circumstances where a woman testifying to the death of…

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Yevamot 113

Today’s daf (Yevamot 113a) informs us how ‘there was once a certain deaf-mute who was living in Rav Malkiyo’s neighbourhood.…

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Yevamot 112

Today’s daf (Yevamot 112a) quotes a Mishna from Massechet Nedarim (11:12) that uses a very powerful phrase. Specifically, in the…

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Yevamot 111

Oftentimes, instead of writing a commentary to the Mishna and Gemara, I simply just try and listen to the emotions…

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Yevamot 110

Today’s daf (Yevamot 110b) touches on a topic that I have addressed every year in my ‘Jewish Moral Dilemmas course’,…

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Yevamot 109

In today’s daf (Yevamot 109a), Bar Kapara teaches a Beraita which states how: ‘A person should always cleave to three…

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Yevamot 108

Three dapim ago (Yevamot 105b) we read the dramtic story which Jeffrey L. Rubenstein calls, ‘The Shaming of Abdan’ (see…

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Yevamot 107

Early on in today’s daf (Yevamot 107a), in seeking to provide a rationale for Beit Shammai’s position who asserts –…

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Yevamot 106

The final lines of today’s daf (Yevamot 106b) elaborate upon Devarim 25:10 which informs us, concerning the Yavam who refuses…

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Yevamot 105

Today I would like to elaborate on my commentary to Rosh Hashanah 18a (see https://rabbijohnnysolomon.com/rosh-hashanah-18/) and address the teaching found…

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Yevamot 103-4

A review of Yevamot 103-104 informs us that the Halitzah ceremony must involve the removal of a shoe from the…

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Yevamot 102

Six months ago in my commentary to Megillah 16a (see https://rabbijohnnysolomon.com/megillah-16/) I spoke about the importance of us being prepared…

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Yevamot 101

A few weeks ago the Jewish world mourned the death of Rabbi Nota Greenblatt (1925-2022) who, aside from being the…

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Yevamot 100

We are taught in today’s daf (Yevamot 100a) how Rava changed his Beit Din prioritisation policy in response to hearing…

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Yevamot 99

Sometimes all it takes is a few words to help make sense of what seems to be an unnecessarily confusing…

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Yevamot 98

I would like to share what I believe to be an original reading of a cryptic story in today’s daf…

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Yevamot 97

Following the discussion initiated on Yevamot 96b about the importance of attributing Torah insights to their original composers, today’s daf…

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Yevamot 96

The Mishna (Yevamot 10:5) in today’s daf (Yevamot 96a) begins by telling us about a man who, having been informed…

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Yevamot 95

Yevamot 95a-b examines the human cost of forbidden sexual relationships, and specifically, how a marriage is halachically impacted when the…

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Yevamot 94

In response to the interpretation given by Rabbi Elazar ben Matya in Mishna Yevamot (10:3, 92a) to Vayikra 21:7, our…

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Yevamot 93

Much of the focus of today’s daf (Yevamot 93a) concerns the question of אדם מקנה דבר שלא בא לעולם, i.e.…

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Yevamot 89-92

While I generally endeavour to write an individual post on every page of daf yomi, in very rare instances –…

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Yevamot 88

There is a lovely phrase used repeatedly in today’s daf (Yevamot 88b) that I feel is a wonderful message for…

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Yevamot 87

The Mishna (Yevamot 10:1) in today’s daf (Yevamot 87b) describes one of those terrible ‘what-if’ cases, where a woman whose…

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Yevamot 86

Today’s daf (Yevamot 86b) quotes a verse (Ezra 8:15) describing an event which ostensibly only took place because of a…

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Yevamot 85

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Yevamot 9:3, 84a) that marriages forbidden by Torah law (eg. a Kohen Gadol…

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Yevamot 84

Among the various cases recorded in the Mishna (Yevamot 9:2) in today’s daf (Yevamot 84a) are cases of women ‘who…

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Yevamot 83

In today’s daf (Yevamot 83a), reference is made to Mishna Shevi’it 2:6 which discusses the permitted timeline for planting and…

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Yevamot 82

One of my favourite films is Cast Away which tells the story of Chuck Noland, a systems analyst for Fedex…

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Yevamot 81

Today’s daf (Yevamot 81b) makes reference to a fascinating halachic principle of כל דבר שבמניין אינו בטל – literally ‘any…

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Yevamot 80

Much of today’s daf (Yevamot 80a-b) addresses the physical סימנים (signs) indicating how a woman or a man have reached…

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Yevamot 79

For some people, Yevamot 78-79 (i.e. yesterday and today’s daf) are simply more of the same technical halachic debates relating…

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Yevamot 78

There is a remarkable halacha discussed in today’s daf (Yevamot 78a) that if a pregnant woman immerses in a mikveh…

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Yevamot 77

One of the most frequently quoted verses in Orthodox girls’ schools and Seminaries are the words of Tehillim 45:14: כָּל…

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Yevamot 76

Today’s daf (Yevamot 76b) informs us that while the mistreatment of Bnei Yisrael by the male Amonites and Moabites led…

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Yevamot 75

Much of today’s daf (Yevamot 75b) deals with the laws of a פצוע דכא – someone with wounded or crushed…

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Yevamot 74

Today’s daf (Yevamot 74a) focusses on the restrictions of various individuals such as an אונן (someone whose close relative has…

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Yevamot 73

For reasons which I’ve yet to fully understand, many Jews don’t consider the terrifying statistics of assimilation as being something…

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Yevamot 72

There is a remark in today’s daf (Yevamot 72b) which serves as a powerful reminder about the need for time,…

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Yevamot 71

I previously noted in my commentary to yesterday’s daf that those who are ערלים (uncircumcised) are not permitted by Torah…

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Yevamot 70

Today we begin Chapter 8 of Massechet Yevamot titled הערל which is often translated as ‘an uncircumcised person’, and it…

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Yevamot 68 & 69

If I had to pick a theme that emerges from our study of Yevamot 68 & 69, it would be…

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Yevamot 67

Throughout today’s daf (Yevamot 67a), reference is made to the laws of inheritance, and specifically, to the laws of inheritance…

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Yevamot 66

Today’s daf (Yevamot 66b) quotes from Mishna Terumot 11:9 to teach us that a cow rented by a Israel from…

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Yevamot 65

In today’s daf (Yevamot 65b), Rabbi Abba quotes from Mishlei 9:8 which states, אַל תּוֹכַח לֵץ פֶּן יִשְׂנָאֶךָּ הוֹכַח לְחָכָם…

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Yevamot 64

The Mishna (Yevamot 6:6) in today’s daf (Yevamot 64a) states that if a couple are married for ten years and…

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Yevamot 63

Many of us – myself included – worry. Still, among the various teachings from the Book of Ben Sira that…

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Yevamot 62

Today’s daf (Yevamot 62a) tells the story of the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students, and while I have previously attempted…

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Yevamot 61

Of those who read my daily daf insights, they differ significantly in terms of age, background, and location. Yet beyond…

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Yevamot 60

Early on in today’s daf (Yevamot 60a) an attempt is made to understand the reasoning of one of Rabbi Eliezar…

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Yevamot 59

Much of today’s daf (Yevamot 59a) focusses on the laws of marriage for a Kohen Gadol about whom the Torah…

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Yevamot 58

Today’s daf (Yevamot 58b) discusses the complex halachot concerning a woman who is a בת כהן (the daughter of a…

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Yevamot 57

While various cases are presented in today’s daf (Yevamot 57a) relating to Kohanim, I would like to focus on just…

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Yevamot 56

Three years ago I attended a conference where Rabbi Dr. Rafi Feuerstein spoke about a topic close to his heart;…

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Yevamot 55

The Torah’s model of yibum, which our Massechet has discussed at length, involves a woman marrying her deceased husband’s brother…

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Yevamot 54

Amid the various complex and – at times – startling cases discussed in today’s daf (Yevamot 54a), Rav Ashi teaches…

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Yevamot 53

If you’ve been following my commentary on Massechet Yevamot (and especially my remarks on Yevamot 3 – https://rabbijohnnysolomon.com/yevamot-3/, Yevamot 8…

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Yevamot 52

Today is Yom HaZikaron LaShoah VeLaGevurah, and though – as every day – my task is to study today’s daf…

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Yevamot 51

Early on in our study of Massechet Yevamot (see for example my commentary to Yevamot 8b) we explained that though…

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Yevamot 50

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Yevamot 4:13, 49a) that ‘if a man’s wife died, he is permitted to…

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Yevamot 49

In most houses and apartments, the glass used in toilet and bathroom windows differ from those in the rest of…

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Yevamot 48

The final teaching in today’s daf (Yevamot 48b) states that once a non-Jew has decided to convert to Judaism, they…

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Yevamot 46&47

One of the most profound perspectives in the teachings of Rav Soloveitchik is his examination, in ‘Kol Dodi Dofek’, of…

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Yevamot 45

The final teaching in today’s daf (Yevamot 45b) was said by Rav Chama bar Gurya, quoting Rav, stating that: ‘If…

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Yevamot 44

Throughout my posts on Massechet Yevamot I have emphasised how the mitzvah of Yibum is fraught with moral and ethical…

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Yevamot 43

Towards the end of today’s daf (Yevamot 43b) we find a Beraita listing what may or may not be done…

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Yevamot 42

A Beraita is cited in today’s daf (Yevamot 42b) which makes reference to a ruling מפי חכמים בכרם ביבנה –…

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Yevamot 41

Embedded in the Mishna (Yevamot 4:10) in today’s daf (Yevamot 41a) is a fascinating remark reflecting – at least according…

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Yevamot 40

As we are in the midst of the festival of freedom, and having just had our Pesach Seder, it seems…

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Yevamot 39

In my commentary to Yevamot 3a (see https://rabbijohnnysolomon.com/yevamot-3/), I referenced Yevamot 39b, because it is here where Abba Shaul teaches…

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Yevamot 38

While not the only example, it is rare for a Mishna to appear verbatim as a Mishna in two different…

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Yevamot 37

I have often said that halachic sayings and teachings contain and seek to convey Jewish values and philosophy, and upon…

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Yevamot 36

The final lines of today’s daf (Yevamot 36b), continuing onto tomorrow’s daf (Yevamot 37a), raises an oft-overlooked and highly misunderstood…

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Yevamot 35

A principle discussed in today’s daf (Yevamot 35b) and stated explicitly in a later Mishna (Yevamot 4:10, 41a) is that…

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Yevamot 34

In today’s daf (Yevamot 34b) we find a curious teaching of Rav Yochanan that: כל ששהתה אחר בעלה עשר שנים…

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Yevamot 33

Both in today’s (Yevamot 33b) and yesterday’s (Yevamot 32b) daf, reference is made to the level of transgression committed by…

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Yevamot 32

Today’s daf (Yevamot 32a) makes reference to the biblical verse (Devarim 25:9) describing the halitzah procedure where the woman makes…

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Yevamot 31

Much of today’s daf (Yevamot 31) explores the difference between קידושין (marriage) and גירושין (divorce) and, specifically, the differences between…

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Yevamot 30

The first Mishna (Yevamot 1:1) in Massechet Yevamot (2a) discusses the situation where a man with more than one wife…

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Yevamot 29

The Mishna (Yevamot 3:5) in today’s daf (Yevamot 29a) describes a case of three brothers, where two of the brothers…

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Yevamot 28

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Yevamot 3:1, 26a) about a case of four brothers, where two of them…

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Yevamot 27

Earlier on in Massechet Yevamot (14b-15a) we learnt a Beraita where we were informed of Rav Yochanan ben Nuri’s attempt…

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Yevamot 25

The Mishna (Yevamot 2:9) in today’s daf (Yevamot 25a) informs us that if a man brings a Jewish divorce bill…

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Yevamot 24

I have previously explained that Massechet Yevamot contains much material about conversion, and given this, I would like to make…

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Yevamot 23

In previous posts I have spoken about my method of learning and writing my thoughts on the daily daf, and…

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Yevamot 22

A topic that is regularly addressed in Massechet Yevamot which, as those currently studying it have come to discover, is…

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Yevamot 21

We are taught in Massechet Moed Katan 28a that Rav Chisda was blessed with good Mazal, and this is affirmed…

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Yevamot 20

As part of its discussion about the various biblically and rabbinically prohibited relationships, today’s daf (Yevamot 20a) quotes a remarkable…

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Yevamot 19

As we know, almost all of Massechet Yevamot is about relationships, and specifically, the closeness or distance of relationships that…

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Yevamot 18

A week ago the Jewish world lost a beacon of Torah dedication and Torah scholarship, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky zt’l, who…

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Yevamot 17

Today’s daf (Yevamot 17a) contains a brief teaching which, depending on how it is interpreted, has radical implications.The question posed…

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Yevamot 16

Today’s daf (Yevamot 16a) records an exchange between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yonatan ben Harkinas – who was a student…

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Yevamot 15

It is possible that you have an accent that clearly informs those who speak with you about the location where…

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Yevamot 14

As we know, the Gemara is replete with over 300 disagreements between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai. However, what we…

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Yevamot 13

Within its discussion about the different Yibbum and Halitzah policies of Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai as recorded in the…

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Yevamot 12

Today’s daf (Yevamot 12a) contains a teaching of Rebbi which, though said with respect to the laws of Yibbum and…

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Yevamot 11

The Beraita towards the end of today’s daf (Yevamot 11b) tells us about a very particular situation where a couple…

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Yevamot 10

Purim Sameach! Yesterday’s daf (Yevamot 9a) contained an insult said by Rebbi about his student Levi – כמדומה לי שאין…

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Yevamot 9

Today is Ta’anit Esther and though – from afar – today’s daf (Yevamot 9a) has little to say about this…

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Yevamot 8

Towards the end of today’s daf (Yevamot 8b) is a brief statement which should agitate anyone with a moral compass.…

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Yevamot 7

In its pursuit of finding proof that a positive commandment (מצות עשה) can override a negative commandment (מצות לא תעשה)…

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Yevamot 6

As part of the Gemara’s pursuit in finding proof for how various mitzvot override others, today’s daf (Yevamot 6a) cites…

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Yevamot 5

Much of yesterday, today’s (Yevamot 5), as well as the upcoming dapim are dedicated to the topic of proof, and…

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Yevamot 4

Sometimes, when studying the Gemara, we encounter a teaching that prompts us to do a double take because we struggle…

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Yevamot 3

Having been taught that if a co-wife of a woman whose husband has died without children is forbidden to marry…

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Yevamot 2

Today we begin our study of Seder Nashim and, specifically, Massechet Yevamot, though it should be noted that in the…

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Chagigah 27

Today we finish our study of Massechet Chagigah and consequently our study of all of Seder Moed! And to say…

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Chagigah 26

Today’s daf (Chagigah 26a) – the penultimate page in Massechet Chagigah – contains an exquisite teaching about the way people…

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Chagigah 25

We were taught in the Mishna (Chagigah 3:4, see Chagigah 24b) that wine and oil brought by those who are…

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Chagigah 24

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Chagigah 3:2) that ‘with regard to teruma (priestly food), if one of one’s…

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Chagigah 23

Today’s daf (Chagigah 23a) informs us of an unsettling story: ‘There was an incident involving a certain person who was…

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Chagigah 22

An age-old question in the world of rabbinics is what should be the right psak and policy when at least…

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Chagigah 21

We were previously taught in Mishna Chagigah 3:1 (20b) about a variety of stringencies concerning the laws of spiritual purity…

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Chagigah 20

What happens if someone plans to travel to a particular destination and, given their excess luggage, they hire donkey drivers…

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Chagigah 19

In today’s daf (Chagigah 19a) we are taught the principle of אין מטבילין באויר – ‘we do not do immersion…

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Chagigah 18

One of the first questions that a gym instructor or personal trainer might ask a new client is what is…

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Chagigah 17

Basing itself on Devarim 16:7, we learn in today’s daf (Chagigah 17a-b) that having come to Jerusalem and consumed the…

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Chagigah 16

While evil which is witnessed by others can be testified about by others, today’s daf (Chagigah 16a) raises the question…

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Chagigah 15

Almost all of today’s daf (Chagigah 15a-b) examines the personality of Elisha ben Ayuva – otherwise known as ‘Acher’ (literally,…

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Chagigah 14

Today’s daf (Chagigah 14b) informs us how four different Torah scholars – Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Acher and Rabbi Akiva…

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Chagigah 13

Much of today’s daf (Chagigah 13b) compares and seeks to interpret the prophetic visions of Yeshayahu (Isaiah) and Yechezkel (Ezekiel).…

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Chagigah 12

Reflecting on how God uses the name “I am El Shaddai” (Bereishit 35:11), today’s daf (Chagigah 12a) records the opinion…

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Chagigah 11

There are some subjects which are so delicate, and so open to misunderstanding, that they should only be taught in…

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Chagigah 10

Having reached Mishna Chagigah 1:8 in today’s daf (Chagigah 10a) which, though it does refer to the laws of the…

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Chagigah 9

What choices of your past that you cannot fix do you most regret?This, fundamentally, is the question posed in the…

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Chagigah 8

The Mishna (Chagigah 1:5) in today’s daf (Chagigah 8b) states that someone with many dependents and a more limited budget…

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Chagigah 7

Today’s daf (Chagigah 7a) repeatedly references Mishlei 25:17 which states: הֹקַר רַגְלְךָ מִבֵּית רֵעֶךָ פֶּן יִשְׂבָּעֲךָ וּשְׂנֵאֶךָ – ‘Let the…

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Chagigah 6

Today’s daf (Chagigah 6a-b) explores a dispute between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai referenced in the first daf of Massechet…

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Chagigah 5

We all know that there is a prohibition called לשון הרע (Lashon HaRa, whose primary biblical prooftext is Vayikra 19:16),…

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Chagigah 4

There are times when an item or experience that we want is, for various reasons, not available to us. There…

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Chagigah 3

According to Rambam’s 8th ‘Principle of Faith’, it is essential to consider every word of the Written Torah to be…

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Chagigah 2

The first daf of Massechet Chagigah (2a) focusses on the mitzvah of ראייה, meaning the ‘appearing’ and ‘being seen’ at…

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Moed Katan 29

Mazal Tov! Today we complete our study of Massechet Moed Katan which, over the past month, has taught us a…

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Moed Katan 28

This Shabbat we will be reading Parshat Tetzaveh, which teaches us about the various בגדי כהונה (priestly clothes), and it…

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Moed Katan 27

Sometimes you can read about an incident that took place in the past and not fully appreciate the impact that…

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Moed Katan 26

Today’s daf (Moed Katan 26a) informs us that קריעה should be performed not only on the death of one’s mother…

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Moed Katan 25

Early on in today’s daf (Moed Katan 25a) a ‘suggestion’ is made that children die young because their parents did…

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Moed Katan 24

The Mishna (Moed Katan 3:7) at the end of today’s daf (Moed Katan 24b) states that only the seven closest…

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Moed Katan 23

We are taught in today’s daf (Moed Katan 23a-b) that there was a dispute between בני יהודה (the Judeans) and…

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Moed Katan 22

Today’s daf (Moed Katan 22b) speaks about קריעה – the tefach-long tear that a mourner rips into their clothes upon…

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Moed Katan 21

Today’s daf (Moed Katan 21b) informs us that a mourner is forbidden בשאילת שלום (which is generally translated as meaning…

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Moed Katan 20

It is a concept which I began exploring many years ago, and one that is explicitly discussed by a range…

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Moed Katan 19

The Mishna (Moed Katan 3:3) in today’s daf (Moed Katan 18b) lists a variety of procedures and actions that may…

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Moed Katan 18

The Mishna (Moed Katan 3:3) in today’s daf (Moed Katan 18b) lists a variety of procedures and actions that may…

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Moed Katan 17

Today’s daf (Moed Katan 17a, and also repeated in Chagigah 15b) contains an oft-cited yet nevertheless cryptic teaching about the…

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Moed Katan 16

Sometimes you can look at the same text many times, each time thinking that you have understood it, but then…

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Moed Katan 15

Today is International Holocaust Memorial Day when many people around the world will learn about, and reflect upon, the horrors…

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Moed Katan 14

We are taught by Rav Yosef in today’s daf (Moed Katan 14b) that the Sanhedrin would try capital cases on…

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Moed Katan 13

A topic that arises in today’s daf (Moed Katan 13a) relates to the types of business deals and other work…

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Moed Katan 12

We are taught in today’s daf (Moed Katan 12b) in the name of Rav that it is permitted to cut…

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Moed Katan 11

Massechet Moed Katan, which spans three chapters, primarily addresses the laws of Chol HaMoed. However, much of its third chapter…

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Moed Katan 10

Today’s daf (Moed Katan 10) addresses a range of activities that people may want – or feel that they need…

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Moed Katan 9

It happens twice in our daf (Moed Katan 9b). A son is encouraged by his father to receive a bracha…

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Moed Katan 8

We are taught in the Mishna (Moed Katan 1:7) that weddings may not be held on Chol HaMoed. However, as…

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Moed Katan 7

The Mishna (Moed Katan 1:5) and the subsequent discussion in today’s daf (Moed Katan 7a), contains what I believe to…

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Moed Katan 6

Having been taught in the Mishna (Moed Katan 1:2) that ויוצאין אף על הכלאים – ‘[agents of the court] also…

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Moed Katan 5

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Moed Katan 1:2) that it is permissible to fix markers on an unmarked…

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Moed Katan 4

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Moed Katan 1:2) that ומתקנין את המקולקלת במועד – ‘we may repair a…

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Moed Katan 3

Much of today’s daf (Moed Katan 3a-b) explores the various activities which are prohibited during the Shemitta year, and it…

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Moed Katan 2

To be a ‘Shaliach’ is generally translated, at least in the purely halachic sense, as a ‘messenger’ whose task it…

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Megillah 32

Mazal Tov! Today we completed our study of Massechet Megillah, and in the final daf (Megillah 32a) we are taught…

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Megillah 31

Today’s daf (Megillah 31b) contains a pithy teaching that conveys a lesson derived from an episode in Sefer Melachim (The…

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Megillah 30

We were taught in the Mishna (Megillah 3:4) that on the second of the series of the four special Shabbatot…

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Megillah 29

Much of today’s daf (Megillah 29a) explores the concept that, even absent of the Temple, God’s presence (Shechina) remains with…

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Megillah 28

Much of Megillah 27b-28a is filled with the responses of various elderly Talmudic masters to the question posed to them…

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Megillah 27

Sometimes we can learn a text and do a double-take because either we suspect that we haven’t understood the text…

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Megillah 26

We generally assume that once an item has been sanctified for sacred purposes, it is then considered to be sacred.…

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Megillah 25

Today’s daf (Megillah 25a-b) contains two Mishnaic teachings that – on first glance – are contradictory, while – at the…

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Megillah 24

A fascinating discussion in today’s daf (Megillah 24b) relates to a verse in Devarim 28:29 which warns the Jewish people…

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Megillah 23

There are times when the word ‘Torah’ is used to exclusively refer to the Pentateuch (חמישה חומשי תורה), times when…

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Megillah 22

Today is Rosh Chodesh Shvat, and today’s daf (Megillah 22b) teaches us that on Rosh Chodesh there is an extra…

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Megillah 21

We are taught in today’s daf (Megillah 21a) that one must stand when reading the Torah for a congregation, and…

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Megillah 20

The Mishna (Megillah 2:4) in today’s daf (Megillah 20a) lists a variety of mitzvot that need to be performed in…

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Megillah 19

The Mishna (Megillah 2:3) in today’s daf (Megillah 19a) records a debate between Rabbi Meir, Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Yosi…

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Megillah 18

We are taught in today’s daf (Megillah 18b) that a Megillah or, in fact, even one letter of the Megillah,…

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Megillah 17

Today’s daf (Megillah 17a) contains many fascinating and profound teachings. But since the daf opens with a teaching – echoed…

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Megillah 16

In recent weeks I’ve been listening to the podcast ‘A Slight Change of Plans’, and when I studied a particular…

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Megillah 15

Today’s daf (Megillah 15a) includes the teaching of Rabbi Elazar in the name of Rabbi Chanina that the blessing of…

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Megillah 14

Much of today’s daf (Megillah 14a-b) teaches us about the שבע נביאות – the seven biblical prophetesses (Sarah, Miriam, Devorah,…

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Megillah 13

Today’s daf (Megillah 13b) provides us with a stark reminder that the Jewish people are in danger when those with…

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Megillah 12

Today’s daf (Megillah 12b) decodes the information that we are told about Mordechai in the beginning of the Megillah (Esther…

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Megillah 11

Throughout the Tanach we find people or groups of people who presume that they can know, with both precision and…

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Megillah 10

While not experienced by all those who had the displeasure of COVID, nevertheless one of the oft-discussed side effects of…

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Megillah 9

In today’s daf (Megillah 9a-b) we are taught that beyond a Torah scroll being written in the classic כתב אשורית,…

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Megillah 8

Today’s daf (Megillah 8a-b) contains many of the Mishnayot in the first chapter of Massechet Megillah where each of them…

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Megillah 7

Today’s daf (Megillah 7b) includes the oft-quoted teaching of Rava that: ‘It is the duty of a man to intoxicate…

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Megillah 6

Today’s daf (Megillah 6b) contains a blunt yet important teaching by Rabbi Yitzchak that I often cite:‘If someone tells you…

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Megillah 5

In one of his stand-up performances, British comedian Ashley Blaker speaks of those Jews who go to synagogue just twice…

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Megillah 4

Today’s daf (Megillah 4a) records a fascinating rule taught by Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi which, though codified by many of…

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Megillah 3

Today’s daf (Megillah 3a-b) records how those serving in the Beit HaMikdash must temporarily cease doing so in order to…

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Megillah 2

Today we begin Massechet Megillah whose opening Mishna informs us that while residents of walled cities (כרכין המוקפין) read Megillat…

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Rosh Hashanah 25

Rabban Gamliel was a remarkable Torah scholar and religious leader. He was a direct descendent of Hillel, and he was…

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Rosh Hashanah 24

Today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 24a-b) explores what witnesses must see in order for their testimony about the new moon be…

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Rosh Hashanah 23

Today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 23a) contains a teaching by Rav Yochanan that ‘whoever learns Torah and does not teach it…

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Rosh Hashanah 22

Having discussed some laws relating to testifying about a new moon, the Mishna (Rosh Hashanah 1:8) in today’s daf (Rosh…

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Rosh Hashanah 21

The Mishna (Rosh Hashanah 1:6) found in today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 21b) describes a fascinating situation concerning the halacha which…

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Rosh Hashanah 20

The sole focus of our daf today (Rosh Hashanah 20a-b) are the laws pertaining to Rosh Chodesh and the various…

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Rosh Hashanah 19

The theme of much of today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 19a) is the Jewish Calendar and the sanctity of the festivals,…

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Rosh Hashanah 18

We are taught a profound idea in today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 18a) that Torah study, together with acts of kindness…

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Rosh Hashanah 17

 Much of the discussion in today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 17a) relates to God’s final judgement of our deeds at the…

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Rosh Hashanah 16

Today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 16b) contains many profound theological teachings, including many associations with Parshat Vayera that we just read…

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Rosh Hashanah 15

We have previously learnt (Sukkah 35a) that one of the reasons why an Etrog is referred to with the word…

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Rosh Hashanah 14

Today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 14b) quotes an oft-cited Beraita – capturing a unique period in Jewish history where personal halachic…

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Rosh Hashanah 13

In today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 13a), as part of a broader discussion about the time it takes for fruit to…

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Rosh Hashanah 12

Almost every year, at some point on January 1st, we read of a similar story highlighting one of the most…

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Rosh Hashanah 11

Every Friday night, as part of the Kiddush, we recite the words of Bereishit 2:1-3 which begins with the phrase:…

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Rosh Hashanah 10

Today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 10a-b) explores the question of whether periods shorter than a year can, in particular circumstances and…

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Rosh Hashanah 9

Much of Massechet Rosh Hashanah explores the concept of time, and in today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 9a) we encounter a…

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Rosh Hashanah 8

We are taught in today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 8a) that Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak said that the first of Tishrei…

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Rosh Hashanah 7

Many years ago I read a unique book which unfortunately has few parallels before or since. Titled ‘One People, Two…

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Rosh Hashanah 6

Much of today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 6a) explores the laws of נדרים (vows), and it is here that a Beraita…

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Rosh Hashanah 5

Yesterday, the 7th of Cheshvan, was the 88th yartzheit of Rav Meir Shapiro (1887-1933) who is regarded by many as…

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Rosh Hashanah 4

Today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 4b) contains a rabbinic aphorism that I regularly invoke which, though mentioned in our daf as…

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Rosh Hashanah 3

There is an interesting phrase used in today’s daf (Rosh Hashanah 3b) in relation to Daryavesh (Darius) who, as is…

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Rosh Hashanah 2

Having been taught in the Mishna (Rosh Hashanah 1:1) that the first of Nissan is the New Year for kings,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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)…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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]…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Beitzah 29

Today is Isru Chag (in Israel) which is when we reflect on the Yamim Tovim that we have experienced throughout…

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Beitzah 28

Having been taught in today’s daf (Beitzah 28a) that the only difference between the Shabbat and Yom Tov laws is…

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Beitzah 27

Quite often, while explaining a particular halachic ruling, the Gemara will make a statement which is rich with theological meaning…

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Beitzah 26

Today’s daf (Beitzah 26b) records a question posed by [the Amora] Hillel to Rava concerning יש מוקצה לחצי שבת –…

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Beitzah 25

Having just read the Kriat HaTorah this morning of VeZot HaBracha, it was lovely to see one of the beautiful…

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Beitzah 24

Much of today’s daf (Beitzah 24a) explores the prohibited melacha of ציד (trapping) on Shabbat and Yom Tov, during which…

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Beitzah 23

Early on in today’s daf (Beitzah 23a) we are taught that ‘inverting a fragrant cup on silk garments on Yom…

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Beitzah 22

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Beitzah 2:6, 21b) that on three matters Rabban Gamliel ruled strictly in accordance…

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Beitzah 21

In today’s daf (Beitzah 21a) we read that Rav Avya the Elder asked Rav Huna a technical and theoretical question…

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Beitzah 20

 Today’s daf (Beitzah 20a) recounts a dramatic story where the elderly sage and disciple of Shammai, Baba ben Buta, prevented…

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Beitzah 19

Early on in today’s daf (Beitzah 19a), we are introduced to a fascinating Talmudic principle of מחשבתו נכרת מתוך מעשיו…

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Beitzah 18

In today’s daf (Beitzah 18a-b), reference is made to the mitzvah of immersing in a mikvah where the Gemara raises…

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Beitzah 17

I remember the first time I learnt today’s daf (Beitzah 17a) because through the journey I went on then, I…

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Beitzah 16

It is just over an hour after Yom Kippur has finished. I’ve had something to eat with the family, and…

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Beitzah 15

It is Erev Yom Kippur, and I am looking at today’s daf (Beitzah 15b) which informs us that what we…

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Beitzah 14

In seeking to explain the distinction drawn by Beit Hillel in the Mishna (Beitzah 1:7) in today’s daf (Beitzah 14a)…

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Beitzah 13

We learn in today’s daf (Beitzah 13a) that the obligation to take terumah only begins once grain, fruit and vegetables…

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Beitzah 12

In today’s daf (Beitzah 12b), reference is made to terumah – which may not be separated on Yom Tov, and…

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Beitzah 11

The Mishna (Beitzah 1:5) in today’s daf (Beitzah 11a) notes how Beit Hillel permitted placing an animal hide on Yom…

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Beitzah 10

  Today’s daf (Beitzah 10a) explores the Talmudic principle of ברירה (‘Bereira’ – meaning ‘clarification’) which concerns an ambiguous situation…

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Beitzah 9

 Today’s daf (Beitzah 9a) addresses the prohibition of מראית העין (‘mar’it ayin’) which forbids us from performing permitted acts within…

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Beitzah 7-8

Among the laws discussed in the two dapim we studied over Rosh Hashanah (Beitzah 7-8) is the mitzvah of כיסוי…

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Beitzah 6

Towards the end of today’s daf (Beitzah 6b) we encounter the halachic position of Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov that, even…

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Beitzah 5

Today’s daf (Beitzah 5a) invokes the halachic principle that כל דבר שבמניין צריך מניין אחר להתירו – ‘any formal halachic…

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Beitzah 4

A story is told in today’s daf (Beitzah 4a-b) where Rav Pappa was asked a she’elah (halachic query) about the…

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Beitzah 3

Having previously introduced the concept of נולד – whereby an item or substance that either evolved into existence on Shabbat…

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Beitzah 2

Almost all of the first daf of Massechet Beitzah (2) deals with the law of נולד (literally ‘that which is…

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Sukkah 56

Mazal Tov! Today we have reached the final daf of Massechet Sukkah (Sukkah 56), yet like many final dapim, there…

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Sukkah 55

We are taught in the Mishna (Sukkah 5:6) in today’s daf (Sukkah 55b) that a total of seventy bulls were…

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Sukkah 54

Having been taught that different songs were sung in the Beit HaMikdash on different holy days, today’s daf (Sukkah 54b)…

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Sukkah 53

 Having been taught in the Mishna (Sukkah 5:4, 51a) that ‘חסידים (pious people) and אנשי מעשה (people of deeds) would…

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Sukkah 52

 In today’s daf (Sukkah 52b) we encounter a fascinating teaching from the school of Rabbi Yishmael relating to how we…

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Sukkah 51

On first glance, much of today’s daf (Sukkah 51b) focusses on the external beauty and splendour of the most exquisite…

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Sukkah 50

 The Mishna (Sukkah 5:1) and subsequent Gemara in today’s daf (Sukkah 50b) discuss the musical accompaniment of the Simchat Beit…

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Sukkah 49

 Today’s daf (Sukkah 49b) is very special as some of the most exquisite teachings about Chessed are found in today’s…

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Sukkah 48

While numerous words are used in Tanach and our Tefillot to describe the feelings of joy and happiness, much ink…

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Sukkah 47

 In the midst of a detailed halachic discussion in today’s daf (Sukkah 47a) concerning the possible necessity of reciting the…

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Sukkah 46

 Today’s daf (Sukkah 46a) addresses my favourite bracha – Birkat Shehecheyanu – and it is here where we are taught…

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Sukkah 45

 Following the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, Chazal needed to find ways to encourage Am Yisrael to see grandeur within…

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Sukkah 44

 Yesterday I received a message about a very dear friend who was recently in hospital for a relatively simple procedure…

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Sukkah 43

For those unfamiliar with the way in which Sukkot was celebrated in the Beit HaMikdash, today’s daf (Sukkah 43b) –…

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Sukkah 42

 “A child who knows how to wave the lulav is obligated in lulav”. These words, found in the Mishna (Sukkah…

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Sukkah 41

 We have previously noted that the hadassim (myrtle) and aravot (willows) are bundled with the lulav such that the lulav…

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Sukkah 40

 A principle taught in today’s daf (Sukkah 40) and derived from Vayikra 25:6 is that Shemitta sanctity only applies to…

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Sukkah 39

 A major debate relating to the intersection of Shemitta (the Sabbatical year) and Sukkot is recorded in today’s (Sukkah 39b)…

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Sukkah 38

 Towards the end of today’s daf (Sukkah 38b), a verse from Sefer Melachim describing an important historical event that occurred…

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Sukkah 37

 In the Mishna (Sukkah 3:9) towards the end of today’s daf (Sukkah 37b), we are informed of the different sections…

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Sukkah 36

 The Mishna (Sukkah 3:8) towards the end of today’s daf (Sukkah 36b) records a debate between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi…

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Sukkah 35

 Today’s daf (Sukkah 35a) provides us with a gorgeous insight about what has unfortunately become a rare yet true pleasure…

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Sukkah 34

When listing the Arba Minim (Four Species), the Torah (see Vayikra 23:40) first mentions the Etrog (פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר), then…

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Sukkah 33

Towards the end of today’s daf (Sukkah 33b), attention is given to the term עַרְבֵי נָחַל which is used by…

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Sukkah 32

 Today’s daf (Sukkah 32a) records a fascinating discussion between Ravina and Rav Ashi relating to the identity of the Lulav.…

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Sukkah 31

 We were previously taught that a dry lulav is invalid because it is not הדר – ‘beautiful’ (see Sukkah 30a).…

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Sukkah 30

As I have previously explained, I believe that Jewish ethics are found and expressed within Jewish law (and where we…

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Sukkah 29

Today’s daf (Sukkah 29a) quotes a ruling that ‘if someone was sleeping in a sukkah and it began to rain,…

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Sukkah 28

 The Mishna (Sukkah 2:8) in today’s daf (Sukkah 28a) rules that ‘a קטן (minor) who does not need his mother…

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Sukkah 27

Today’s daf (Sukkah 27b) informs us that there is a duty להקביל פני רבו ברגל – literally, ‘to greet the…

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Sukkah 26

 Having previously been taught that ‘the sick and their attendants are exempt from the mitzvah of sukkah’ (see Mishna Sukkah…

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Sukkah 25

 Today’s daf (Sukkah 25b) informs us that a bridegroom is exempt from the mitzvah of sukkah either, as Rava explains,…

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Sukkah 24

We were previously taught in a Beraita (see Sukkah 23a) about using an animal as a wall for the sukkah,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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Shekalim 22

 As our study of Massechet Shekalim draws to a close, the final lines of Shekalim (22b) refer to the fact…

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Shekalim 21

In explaining the position of Rabbi Yosi in the Mishna (Shekalim 8:1), today’s daf (Shekalim 21b) quotes a Beraita describing…

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Shekalim 20

Today’s daf (Shekalim 20a) records a curious exchange between Rabbi Mana and Rabbi Yosi about the mitzvah of Hashavat Aveida…

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Shekalim 19

Today we begin Chapter Seven of Massechet Shekalim (Shekalim 19a) whose opening Mishna (Shekalim 7:1) addresses the question of how…

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Shekalim 18

In today’s daf (Shekalim 18b), and basing itself on the seemingly superfluous word קרבן in the verse ‘if a person…

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Shekalim 17

 Today’s daf (Shekalim 17a) begins with a Mishna (Shekalim 6:3) and it specifies the location by each of the gates…

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Shekalim 16

 Much of today’s daf (Shekalim 16) explores the dimensions and manufacture of the Aron (Ark), and it is here where…

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Shekalim 15

While the Gemara’s method of communicating various teachings and rulings often involves lengthy dialogues and discussions, as well as detailed…

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Shekalim 14

 We were previously taught (see Mishna Shekalim 5:1) that the House of Garmu were responsible for the production of the…

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Shekalim 13

 The Mishna (Shekalim 5:1) in today’s daf (Shekalim 13a) tells us about Petachiah – better known to use as Mordechai…

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Shekalim 12

The Mishna (Shekalim 4:6) found in today’s daf (Shekalim 12a) informs us of a dispute between Rabbi Akiva and Ben…

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Shekalim 11

 Having made reference in the previous Mishna (Shekalim 4:2) to the special ramp that was built for the transportation of…

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Shekalim 10

 The Mishna (Shekalim 4:2) found in today’s daf (Shekalim 10b) begins by listing three items that were purchased מתרומת הלשכה…

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Shekalim 9

Having informed us of the importance of being “נקיים (literally ‘clean’, but generally understood to be ‘free from sin and…

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Shekalim 8

We are taught in the Mishna (Shekalim 3:2) found in today’s daf (Shekalim 8a) that someone who withdraws money from…

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Shekalim 6-7

A central theme in both yesterday’s (Shekaim 6) & today’s daf (Shekalim 7) is the status of מותר – (surplus)…

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Shekalim 5

The Mishna (Shekalim 2:1) found in today’s daf (Shekalim 5a) informs us that just as there were half-shekel donation boxes…

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Shekalim 4

Today’s daf (Shekalim 4) informs us that donations for the upkeep of the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) should not be sought…

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Shekalim 3

The Mishna (Shekalim 1:1) quoted in today’s daf (Shekalim 3a) informs us that the Beit Din in each city were…

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Shekalim 2

 As part of its discussion about the contribution of the half-shekel for the maintenance of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and later…

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Pesachim 121

Today’s daf (Pesachim 121b) – the final page of Massechet Pesachim – concludes with a discussion about Pidyon HaBen (the…

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Pesachim 120

Today’s daf (Pesachim 120b) records a disagreement between Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah and Rabbi Akiva concerning the time up to…

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Pesachim 119

 Shavua Tov! Towards the end of today’s daf (Pesachim 119b) the Gemara quotes and discusses the Mishna (Pesachim 10:8) which…

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Pesachim 118

 Among the excerpts from Tehillim which form the Hallel is chapter 116 which begins with the words אהבתי כי ישמע…

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Pesachim 117

 We often think of Hallel as merely being a collection of joyous songs of praise. However, today’s daf (Pesachim 117a)…

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Pesachim 116

 The Mishna (Pesachim 10:5) found in today’s daf (Pesachim 116b) contains the remarkable teaching – which was to then become…

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Pesachim 115

 Towards the end of today’s daf (Pesachim 115b) we are informed that early on in the Pesach seder, the table…

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Pesachim 114

 As part of the Gemara’s explanation (Pesachim 114a) for the position of Beit Hillel (see Mishna Pesachim 10:2) that text…

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Pesachim 113

 Whenever we read a written record of spoken words, it should be clear to us that a dimension of those…

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Pesachim 112

Today’s daf (Pesachim 112a) contains a stunning expression that exquisitely captures the passion and emotions of a teacher. To give…

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Pesachim 111

There are many Jewish practices which evolve from considerations expressed in Jewish texts, and in general, the more those texts…

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Pesachim 110

 In order to make sense of today’s daf (Pesachim 110), we must begin by taking a moment to reflect on…

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Pesachim 109

Today’s daf (Pesachim 109a) informs us that ‘a person is obligated to bring joy to his children and to the…

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Pesachim 108

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 108b) cites a Beraita which informs us that the wine used at the Seder ‘must have the…

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Pesachim 107

 Have you ever had the experience of really wanting to consume a certain food or drink, but afterwards coming to…

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Pesachim 106

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 106a) records how those who did not hear Havdalah on Motzei Shabbat may do so up until…

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Pesachim 105

 Towards the end of today’s daf (Pesachim 105b) we are told that there is a difference between bringing in Shabbat…

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Pesachim 104

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 104b) tells a story that contains many layers and many messages:We are told how the great Ulla…

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Pesachim 103

 Almost all of today’s daf is concerned with one question – namely, the order of the Havdalah.For example, Pesachim 103a…

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Pesachim 102

 In today’s daf (Pesachim 102b), while discussing a situation where a meal has been held just prior to the onset…

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Pesachim 101

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 101b) focuses its attention on the association between eating, reciting brachot before and after eating, and the…

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Pesachim 100

 Pesachim 100a relates a dispute between Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Yossi. According to Rabbi Yehuda, if someone has started a…

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Pesachim 99

 The opening Mishna of Chapter ‘Arvei Pesachim’ (Pesachim 10:1) which is found in today’s daf (Pesachim 99b) informs us that…

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Pesachim 98

 The Mishna (Pesachim 9:9) found in today’s daf (Pesachim 98b) describes a situation where a group of people who intend…

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Pesachim 97

Today’s daf (Pesachim 97a) addresses the laws pertaining to a lost Korban (sacrifice), and it is here where we are…

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Pesachim 96

 “What is the difference between the Pesach celebrated in Egypt (פסח מצרים), and the Pesach celebrated in subsequent generations (פסח…

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Pesachim 95

 The Mishna (Pesachim 9:3), at the beginning of today’s daf (Pesachim 95), informs us about two rules regarding the recitation…

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Pesachim 94

 You’ve probably heard the idea that if something non-kosher is mixed with a kosher dish that is hot, then if…

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Pesachim 93

 We are taught in a Beraita in today’s daf (Pesachim 93a) that someone who converted to Judaism between Pesach and…

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Pesachim 92

The Torah informs us that “if any person is ritually impure from contact with the dead” אוֹ בְדֶרֶךְ רְחֹקָה –…

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Pesachim 91

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 91) begins and ends with Mishnayot (Pesachim 8:6, 8) which each start by referring to an אונן…

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Pesachim 90

 When Bnei Yisrael were first commanded in Egypt about the Korban Pesach, they were told that it should be slaughtered…

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Pesachim 89

 Although it may sound oxymoronic, I generally avoid generalisations – especially when contrasting women and men. Moreover, while – on…

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Pesachim 88

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 88a) references how each of the three patriarchs referred to Mount Moriah – which was to become…

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Pesachim 87

 As many of you know, aside from being blessed to learn directly from Rabbi Sacks zt’l on a number of…

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Pesachim 86

 The offering and the consumption of the Korban Pesach while Bnei Yisrael was in Egypt was a bold theological statement…

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Pesachim 85

In response to the Mishna’s discussion found in today’s daf (Pesachim 85b) about the boundaries of Jerusalem within which the…

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Pesachim 84

Today’s daf (Pesachim 84a) records an apparent disagreement between Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish highlighting their different approaches to the…

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Pesachim 83

 The most significant thesis of the author of the Sefer HaChinuch, which he repeatedly promotes in that magnificent work, is…

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Pesachim 82

 We were taught in the previous Mishna (Pesachim 7:8) that if part, or all, of a Korban Pesach became טמא…

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Pesachim 81

 As previously explained in yesterday’s daf, טומאת התהום (literally “the impurity of the deep”) refers to a situation where, notwithstanding…

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Pesachim 80

 The Mishna (Pesachim 7:7) in today’s daf (Pesachim 80b) discusses various cases where a Korban Pesach was offered in the…

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Pesachim 79

 We have previously discussed the law of פסח שני which states that individuals who are טמא (impure from contact with…

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Pesachim 78

 While addressing the relationship between the offering and the eating of the Korban Pesach, today’s daf (Pesachim 78b) cites a…

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Pesachim 77

 In general, I am a very time-conscious person, and though I don’t think I can speak much about high fashion,…

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Pesachim 76

Halacha teaches that when two foods are cooked together then there is a transfer of flavours between them. Given this,…

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Pesachim 75

Last Shabbat we read Parshat Beshalach which concludes with the story of Bnei Yisrael’s battle with Amalek, and this Shabbat…

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Pesachim 74

 During the discussion in today’s daf (Pesachim 74) about the ways in which the Korban Pesach should be cooked, we…

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Pesachim 73

Today’s daf (Pesachim 73a) cites two rules about the Korban Pesach based on the principle of עלו לא ירדו (once…

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Pesachim 72

How would you feel if you suddenly discovered that you weren’t who you thought you were? For example, if you…

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Pesachim 71

 Throughout rabbinic literature, the Hebrew word אַךְ is understood to be a word of “exclusion” – meaning that whenever it…

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Pesachim 70

 In today’s daf (Pesachim 70b) we are told about Yehuda Ben Dortai and his son who, one year when the…

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Pesachim 69

Among the many different responsa volumes on my shelves is ‘Melumdei Milchama’, in which Rabbi Dr. Nahum Rabinovitch addresses questions…

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Pesachim 68

 Towards the end of today’s daf (Pesachim 68b) we are told how Rav Sheshet (who, we should recall was blind…

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Pesachim 67

Toward the end of yesterday’s daf (Pesachim 66b), reference was made to the law of ‘Pesach Sheni’ concerning which we…

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Pesachim 66

Twice in today’s daf an exquisite phrase is used which, since the time of the Gemara, has been invoked in…

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Pesachim 65

 There are times when the Gemara records a halachic opinion that is supported by proof, or a halachic opinion that…

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Pesachim 64

Within today’s daf (Pesachim 64b), we read of a disagreement between Abaye and Rava concerning the events that occurred in…

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Pesachim 63

In today’s daf (Pesachim 63b) we read of a disagreement concerning the efficacy of התראת ספק – which has been…

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Pesachim 62

 In today’s daf (Pesachim 62b) reference is made to a now-lost work called the ספר יוחסין (literally, ‘a book of…

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Pesachim 61

 The Mishna (Pesachim 5:3) in today’s daf (Pesachim 61a) teaches us that the Korban Pesach may not be offered before…

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Pesachim 60

 In today’s daf (Pesachim 60a) we are introduced to a fascinating halachic rule of מקצת אוכלין לא פסלא (literally ‘if…

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Pesachim 59

 We are taught in the Mishna (Pesachim 5:2) in today’s daf (Pesachim 59b) that the Korban Pesach must be slaughtered…

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Pesachim 58

 Given the commandment that the Korban Tamid be offered every day in the morning and afternoon (see Bemidbar 28:4), the…

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Pesachim 57

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 57a) contains a number of stinging critiques towards spiritual leaders – including Kohanim Gedolim (High Priests) and…

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Pesachim 56

 In today’s daf (Pesachim 56a) we encounter the interpretation of Rabbi Yehuda on the Mishna (Pesachim 4:8) who explains that…

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Pesachim 55

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 55a) refers to the halachic concept of יוהרא (hubris) – which is the word used to describe…

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Pesachim 54

 We are taught in today’s daf (Pesachim 54b) that שבעה דברים מכוסים מבני אדם – ‘seven things are concealed from…

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Pesachim 53

The Mishna (Pesachim 4:4) in today’s daf (Pesachim 53a) notes how there were divergent customs concerning the eating of roasted…

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Pesachim 52

 Until COVID, I visited different communities around the world as a scholar-in-residence – with the Chag where I was almost…

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Pesachim 51

 Chapter 4 of Massechet Pesachim is called מקום שנהגו (“In a place where it is the custom to…”), and it…

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Pesachim 50

 Much of the final lines of the third chapter of Massechet Pesachim is dedicated to exploring the difference between עולם…

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Pesachim 49

 The Mishna (Pesachim 3:7) lists a number of places where a person may find themselves on the fourteenth of Nissan…

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Pesachim 48

 As we know, any act of baking dough on Pesach runs the risk of it rising and becoming chametz especially…

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Pesachim 47

 There is a beautiful rabbinic aphorism, based on the words of Mishlei 31:14 (הָיְתָה כָּאֳנִיּוֹת סוֹחֵר מִמֶּרְחָק תָּבִיא לַחְמָהּ –…

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Pesachim 46

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 46a) tells us about the (literal) lengths that one should go to in order to perform a…

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Pesachim 45

 We are taught in the Mishna (Pesachim 3:2) in today’s daf (Pesachim 45a) that dough which has become stuck in…

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Pesachim 44

 Much of today’s daf (Pesachim 44) explores the halachic principle of טעם כעיקר – which is the idea that we…

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Pesachim 43

The previous Mishna (Mishna Pesachim 3:1, see Pesachim 42a) listed a number of different chametz-based products including ‘kutach’ – which…

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Pesachim 42

  We are taught by Rabbi Yehuda in today’s daf (Pesachim 42a) that ‘a woman should only knead [the dough for…

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Pesachim 41

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 41) deals with the Korban Pesach, and specifically, how the Korban Pesach must be cooked. This is…

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Pesachim 40

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 40) makes reference to halachic strictures on Pesach which, though not demanded by halacha, are encouraged to…

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Pesachim 39

 In addition to eating Matzah on Seder night, we also eat Maror, with this requirement being derived from the Torah…

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Pesachim 38

 ‘A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots…

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Pesachim 37

 When is bread not bread? This is, in effect, the question addressed in today’s daf (Pesachim 37) while considering which…

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Pesachim 36

 Devarim 16:3 describes matzah as לֶחֶם עֹנִי, and in today’s daf (Pesachim 36a), two different explanations are offered as to…

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Pesachim 35

 ‘Demai’ is the term given to produce grown in the Land of Israel where a doubt exists whether Terumah and…

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Pesachim 34

 Much of today’s daf (Pesachim 34) discusses the halachic principle of היסח הדעת (i.e. diverting or ceasing to focus one’s…

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Pesachim 33

Within today’s daf (Pesachim 33b) we find a curious discussion about the spiritual status of the juice squeezed from grapes…

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Pesachim 32

Undoubtedly, the most referenced Torah law in all of Massechet Pesachim is the prohibition of eating Chametz on Pesach. However,…

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Pesachim 31

 Having discussed the prohibition of owning, eating or benefiting from chametz on Pesach, the Mishna (Pesachim 2:3) in today’s daf…

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Pesachim 30

In today’s daf (Pesachim 30a) we are informed of Rav’s position that earthenware dishes which previously absorbed chametz flavour may…

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Pesachim 29

 Today’s daf (Pesachim 29b) presents a variety of opinions about the status of non-chametz food into which biblically prohibited chametz…

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Pesachim 28

We were previously taught in Mishna Pesachim 2:1 (see Pesachim 21a) that while Rabbi Yehuda ruled that ביעור חמץ may…

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Pesachim 27

Among the different topics addressed in today’s daf (Pesachim 27b) is whether consecrated items which have been burnt nevertheless maintain…

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Pesachim 26

As part of the Gemara’s ongoing discussion about הנאה (deriving benefit) from a forbidden object or substance even when this…

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Pesachim 25

Having spent much of the past few dapim discussing the halachic concept of הנאה (benefit) and the situations when it…

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Pesachim 24

  Today’s daf (Pesachim 24b) contains an important halachic principle which has numerous practical applications, but which also teaches us about…

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Pesachim 23

  This Sunday* I will be speaking alongside a number of other disciples about Rabbi Sacks zt’l, and while preparing my…

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Pesachim 22

Today’s daf (Pesachim 22b) makes reference to one of the most fascinating mitzvot in the Torah which has, unfortunately, been…

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Pesachim 21

Shavua Tov & Chanukah Sameach! In today’s daf (Pesachim 21b) two different Amoraim offer a biblical prooftext for the prohibition…

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Pesachim 20

Today’s daf (Pesachim 20b) returns to the question – previously examined earlier on (see Pesachim 14a) – regarding the disposal…

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Pesachim 19

Towards the end of today’s daf (Pesachim 19b) the Gemara uses a curious phrase with reference to objects whose spiritual…

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Pesachim 18

The biblical word that sits at the centre of much of the discussion in today’s daf (Pesachim 18a-b) is יטמא,…

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Pesachim 17

A central element of the Chanukah story is that the oil that was used in the Beit HaMikdash was spiritually…

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Pesachim 16

The topic of much of today’s daf (Pesachim 16a) concerns the extent to which liquids are susceptible to טומאה which,…

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Pesachim 15

Today’s daf (Pesachim 15b) quotes a Beraita which informs us of a fascinating qualification which has a significant impact on…

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Pesachim 14

There is a rule, as derived from Devarim 12:4, that we may not destroy the name of God which is…

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Pesachim 13

 A major idea in Judaism, one that I particularly focus on in my (upcoming) book on the Shehecheyanu blessing and…

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Pesachim 12

Today’s daf (Pesachim 12) discusses time-precision in halacha, and the extent to which margins of error are or are not…

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Pesachim 11

In today’s daf (Pesachim 11a-b) we are taught that אדם בהול על ממונו – ‘a person is in turmoil about…

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Pesachim 10

Today’s daf (Pesachim 10a-b) expends much time discussing the laws of searching for chametz and specifically, the chance that mice…

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Pesachim 9

In today’s daf (Pesachim 9a), we consider the case where chametz has certainly entered a property but may possibly have…

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Pesachim 8

Today’s daf (Pesachim 8a) invokes one of the most fascinating yet misunderstood principles relating to mitzvah performance, namely שלוחי מצוה…

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Pesachim 7

Much of today’s daf (Pesachim 7a-b) explores the various formulae used in the brachot that we recite, beginning with the…

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Pesachim 6

‘It was taught in a baraita: One asks about and teaches the halachot of Pesach thirty days before Pesach’ (Pesachim…

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Pesachim 5

Today’s daf (Pesachim 5a) contains a cryptic aggadic teaching which, upon first glance, seems almost impossible to make sense of.…

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Pesachim 4

Today’s daf (Pesachim 4a) draws a comparison between the laws of בדיקת חמץ (searching for chametz) in a rented home,…

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Pesachim 3

Much of today’s daf (Pesachim 3a-b) is dedicated to the topic of using refined language, and by citing Bereishit 7:8…

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Eruvin 105

  Dear friends, Over the past 104 days we have studied Massechet Eruvin. During this period, we have examined the…

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Eruvin 104

Having reached the penultimate daf of Massechet Eruvin (nb. I hope to share something special tomorrow to celebrate our completion),…

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Eruvin 103

Sometimes you can read a text in one way, while nevertheless feeling that there is more to it than meets…

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Pesachim 2

The first Mishna in Massechet Pesachim (1:1, 2a) teaches us that we perform the mitzvah of bedikat chametz (checking for…

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Eruvin 102

The Mishna at the end of today’s daf (Eruvin 10:13, 102b) informs us that ‘one may tie up a string…

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Eruvin 101

Much of today’s daf (Eruvin 101) is interested in doors, keys and locks, with Mishna Eruvin 10:9 (101a) focussing its…

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Eruvin 100

Today’s daf (Eruvin 100b) contains what I believe to be one of the most enigmatic passages from the entire Talmud:‘Said…

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Eruvin 99

  One of the Mishnayot in today’s daf (Eruvin 10:6, 99b) informs us that someone who is standing in a…

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Eruvin 98

‘A person may stand in a reshut hayachid (private domain) and move things in a reshut harabim (public domain), or…

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Eruvin 97

The Mishna in today’s daf (Eruvin 10:3, 97b) speaks of someone reading a sacred scroll (i.e. containing biblical verses) in…

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Eruvin 96

Today’s daf (Eruvin 96a) mentions Michal Bat Shaul who wore tefillin, and Yona’s wife who ascended to Yerushalayim for the…

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Eruvin 95

The Mishna in today’s daf (Eruvin 10:2, 95b) presents the creative halachic solution of Rabbi Shimon which was seemingly offered…

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Eruvin 94

Over the past few days of Daf Yomi we have encountered a series of debates between Rav and Shmuel, and…

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Eruvin 93

Towards the end of today’s daf (Eruvin 93b), Rav Hoshaya raised the question about the case of a large courtyard…

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Eruvin 91-92

Yesterday, for the first time in over five months, I did not post a Daf Yomi thought, and this is…

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Eruvin 90

Just as yesterday’s daf contained a debate between Rav and Shmuel about the application of גוד אסיק מחיצתא (i.e. where…

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Eruvin 89

 In today’s daf (Eruvin 89) we are taught about the fascinating halachic concept of גוד אסיק מחיצתא (‘extend and raise…

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Eruvin 88

 Like the past few pages of Massechet Eruvin, today’s daf (Eruvin 88) spends much of its time discussing the rules…

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Eruvin 87

In today’s daf (Eruvin 87b) we are taught that Rabbi Chananya Ben Akavya – who was a resident of Tiberias…

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Eruvin 86

In today’s daf (Eruvin 86a) we are taught that both Rabbi Akiva and Rebbi would show respect towards those wealthy…

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Eruvin 85

As part of its ongoing debate examining the halachic position of Rav concerning the use of airspace, today’s daf (Eruvin…

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Eruvin 84

If I had to identify a Talmudic debate that captures the spirit of Talmudic legal reasoning, it would probably be…

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Eruvin 83

As part of its discussion about the size of a loaf that can be used for an Eruv, today’s daf…

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Eruvin 82

To date, much of Massechet Eruvin has been focussed on explaining ‘how’ to construct various forms of Eruvin, while far…

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Eruvin 81

We have previously noted (see Eruvin 71b and my commentary on that daf) that while various foodstuffs may be used…

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Eruvin 80

In today’s daf (Eruvin 80a) we are told how Rabbi Chiya rendered a controversial halachic ruling where he forbade the…

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Eruvin 79

Towards the end of todays’ daf (Eruvin 79b) we are taught three rulings from the Elders of Pumbedita – whom…

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Eruvin 78

Today’s daf (Eruvin 78b) continues its discussion of walls that divide courtyards, and how the access provided by a ladder…

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Eruvin 77

Today’s daf (Eruvin 77b) contrasts two types of ladders and their respective efficacy in terms of ‘reducing the height’ of…

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Eruvin 76

  The Mishna in today’s daf (Eruvin 7:1, 76a) discusses the status of a wall containing a window that divides…

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Eruvin 75

 The Mishna (Eruvin 6:9-10, 75a) in today’s daf examines the interrelationship of two courtyards, A & B, such that to…

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Eruvin 74

 In his interpretation of Mishna Eruvin (6:8, 73a), Rav explains that a מבוי (an alleyway adjoining a public domain) can…

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Eruvin 73

‘Baruch Shekivanti!’ (which loosely translates as ‘Thank you G-d for directing me [to the same conclusion as someone far greater…

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Eruvin 72

While addressing the need to establish an Eruv by independent householders, the Mishna in today’s daf (Eruvin 6:7, 72b) speaks…

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Eruvin 71

Today’s daf (Eruvin 71b) informs us that while various foodstuffs may be used to establish an Eruv Techumin, and while…

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Eruvin 70

Over the past few dapim we’ve been discussing the concept of ‘Bittul Reshut’, meaning ‘renouncing rights to a domain’, which…

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Eruvin 69

Today’s daf (Eruvin 69) contains a fascinating halachic discussion about core Jewish beliefs and practices, and it is here where…

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Eruvin 68

Today’s daf (Eruvin 68a) includes a fascinating ruling relating to Hilchot Shabbat, medical needs and mental health.The case begins by…

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Eruvin 67

At the end of today’s daf (Eruvin 67b) we are taught a fascinating principle – originally formulated by Rav Yehuda…

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Eruvin 66

 Today’s daf (Eruvin 66) explores two possible halachic models relating to the establishment of an Eruv by Jewish tenants who…

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Eruvin 65

Today’s daf (Eruvin 65a) contains a teaching which – if taken at face value – would likely provide a justification…

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Eruvin 64

Today’s daf (Eruvin 64a) makes reference to an oft-quoted (yet oft-misunderstood) teaching of Mari bar Rav Huna which informs us…

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Eruvin 63

Today’s daf (Eruvin 63b) contains a crucial insight into how to maintain a healthy marital relationship and it is a…

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Eruvin 62

Much of today’s daf (Eruvin 62) is dedicated to explaining the halachic position of Rabbi Eliezer Ben Yaakov as stated…

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Eruvin 61

Eruvin 61 contains two debates which – though discussing very different laws – each address how the residence of others…

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Eruvin 60

In yesterday’s Mishna (Eruvin 5:6, 59a) we were taught that in order to construct an Eruv for a town that…

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Eruvin 59

The Mishna in today’s daf (Eruvin 5:6, 59a) discusses the case of towns that change ownership from public to private…

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Eruvin 58

Having been taught in yesterday’s daf that the techum Shabbat may only be measured with a 50-amah rope, today’s daf…

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Eruvin 57

Having provided a series of detailed measurements relating to spaces that surround or that separate different towns, the Mishna at…

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Eruvin 56

Today’s daf (Eruvin 56b) returns back to a theme previously referenced in Eruvin 51a, where biblical support for the 2,000…

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Eruvin 55

Today’s daf (Eruvin 55a) begins with three different interpretations to Devarim 30:12-13 which states that, ‘[This mitzvah that I am…

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Eruvin 54

There are times in our lives when all we need to do is to truly listen – with our hearts…

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Eruvin 53

Today’s daf (Eruvin 53) is rich with insights and examples about what can be learnt from those who are thoughtful…

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Eruvin 52

As we know, one of the most revered prayer services throughout the Jewish year is Kol Nidrei, which is a…

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Eruvin 51

In attempting to provide a biblical support for the rabbinic concept of the 2,000 amot Shabbat limit, today’s daf (Eruvin…

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Eruvin 50

[As this is the first year when part of my Motzei Yom Kippur activities includes learning and writing a short…

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Eruvin 49

The Mishna in today’s daf (4:7, 49b) describes someone who is travelling on Friday afternoon and who, notwithstanding their best…

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Eruvin 48

Today’s daf (Eruvin 48a) begins by quoting a Beraita taught by Rabbi Chiya stating that where a water-filled ditch separates…

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Eruvin 47

Jewish law prohibits a Kohen from having contact with the dead (see Vayikra Ch. 21), and consequently, a Kohen may…

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Eruvin 46

  When laypeople, Torah scholars and rabbis discuss concepts of halacha (Jewish law), they invoke various halachic principles in order…

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Eruvin 45

In today’s daf we are taught in a Mishna (Eruvin 4:4, 45a) that a traveler may designate a symbolic residence…

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Eruvin 44

Towards the end of yesterday’s daf (Eruvin 43b), an innovative halachic solution was offered in response to a situation where…

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Eruvin 43

In today’s daf (Eruvin 43b), reference is made to the timing and the coming of Moshiach (the Messiah), and as…

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Eruvin 41-42

Shana Tova! In April of this year, while reflecting on the severe impact of the Coronavirus pandemic as well as…

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Eruvin 40

As many of you will know, I have a particular affinity with the Shehecheyanu bracha and that I am writing…

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Eruvin 39

Nowadays, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated both in Israel and the Diaspora as a two-day festival. However, it is noteworthy that…

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Eruvin 38

Given that the concept of an Eruv is to establish a symbolic home, the Rabbis were insistent that for any…

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Eruvin 37

Today’s daf (Eruvin 37) is tricky to follow. Having previously been taught in the Mishna (Eruvin 3:5, 36b) about the…

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Eruvin 36

We often forget that there is a big difference between something that is technically available, and something that is practically…

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Eruvin 35

In attempting to make sense of the Mishna in today’s daf (Eruvin 3:4, 35a), we are informed that Rabbi Meir…

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Eruvin 34

The Mishna in today’s daf (Eruvin 3:3, 34b) discusses the question of whether we may rely on an Eruv (Chatzeirot)…

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Eruvin 33

Today’s daf (Eruvin 33) discusses the status of an Eruv which has been placed or hung on a tree, and…

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Eruvin 32

On a number of occasions in today’s daf (Eruvin 32a-b) reference is made to a חבר (chaver) which, though generally…

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Eruvin 31

Towards the end of today’s daf (Eruvin 31b), while discussing the extent to which various people can be relied upon…

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Eruvin 30

  As previously mentioned, an Eruv Techumin allows someone to walk beyond 2,000 amot from the boundaries of a town…

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Eruvin 29

In general, I only comment on passages in the Gemara whose meaning I believe I have grasped at least on…

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Eruvin 28

Today’s daf (Eruvin 28b) informs us that when Rabbi Zeira felt weak from his Torah studies, he would go and…

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Eruvin 27

Much of today’s daf (Eruvin 27a) is focused on exploring Rabbi Yochanan’s principle of אין למדים מן הכללות ואפילו במקום…

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Eruvin 26

One of my all-time favourite movies is ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. However, what many people don’t realise is that while ‘Shawshank’…

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Eruvin 25

Today’s daf (Eruvin 25a) makes reference to various acts used to halachically ‘shotgun’ (i.e. claim rights and acquire) an ownerless…

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Eruvin 24

I have an admission to make which is that I love watching TV shows – like the British DIY SOS…

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Eruvin 23

The Mishna in today’s daf (2:5, Eruvin 23a) discusses a garden or what is known as a קרפף – an…

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Eruvin 22

Today’s daf (Eruvin 22a) contains a Mishna (2:4) wherein Rabbi Yehuda and the Chachamim (Sages) debate whether the unique private…

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Eruvin 21

In contrast to the various detailed discussions about the finite physical boundaries of different types of Eruvin, today’s daf (Eruvin…

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Eruvin 20

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Eruvin 2:2, 17b) about the enclosure created by affixing four right-angled posts around…

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Eruvin 19

There are times when the Halachic and Aggadic masters of the Gemara teach ideas and laws that are clearly understandable,…

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Eruvin 18

Among the many fascinating lessons found in today’s daf (Eruvin 18b) are a series of teachings from Rabbi Yirmiyah Ben…

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Eruvin 17

Like most people, one of my greatest fears is being alone and in need of assistance – yet when I…

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Eruvin 16

Much of today’s daf (Eruvin 16a-b) discusses the various ways in which partitions (מחיצות) can be constructed to create halachic…

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Eruvin 15

Much of today’s daf (Eruvin 15a) addresses a disagreement between Abaye and Rava concerning a לחי (sidepost) found at the…

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Eruvin 14

There is a fascinating contrast found in today’s daf (Eruvin 14a-b) which speaks volumes about a tension within – as…

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Eruvin 13

While there are certain dapim (pages) in the Gemara that, on first glance, seemingly contain a variety of disjointed themes,…

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Eruvin 12

Today’s daf (Eruvin 12a) tells us about an incident that occurred in a shepherds’ village, where an inlet of the…

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Eruvin 11

Today’s daf (Eruvin 11a-b) discusses the צורת הפתח (‘a form of a doorway’ – consisting of two vertical sideposts [לחי],…

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Eruvin 10

 We have previously discussed how a קורה (crossbeam) or a לחי (sidepost) placed at the entrace of a מבוי enable…

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Eruvin 9

In addition to my belief that rich Jewish values can be found in nuanced halachic details, I also believe that…

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Eruvin 8

One of the great fascinations of the Rabbis of the Talmud were threshholds and boundaries in space and time, and…

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Eruvin 7

Yesterday, in the Torah reading of Parshat Re’eh (Devarim 13:15), we encountered a fascinating phrase which appears once again in…

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Eruvin 6

Today’s daf (Eruvin 6a-b) is one of the most fundamental throughout Massechet Eruvin in outlining the principles and details necessary…

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Eruvin 5

We have previously explained that a קורה (cross-beam) can be placed across the entrance of a מבוי (an alleyway adjoining…

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Eruvin 4

Kohelet 4:12 famously states that ‘a three- stranded cord will not quickly be broken’ – which is understood to teach…

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Eruvin 3

In yesterday’s daf (Eruvin 2a) we contrasted the law of the מבוי with the law of the Sukkah, and in…

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Eruvin 2

The opening line of the first Mishna of Massechet Eruvin (Eruvin 1:1, 2a) informs us that an קורה (cross-beam), which…

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Shabbat 157

 Today, after 157 days, we reach the final page of Shabbat, and with this, the final lines of this Massechet…

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Shabbat 156

 Today’s daf (Shabbat 156), which is the penultimate page of Massechet Shabbat, primarily focusses on two quite different themes: i)…

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Shabbat 155

In today’s daf (Shabbat 155b) we are told that Rabbi Yona shared a biblical exposition at the entrance of the…

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Shabbat 154

In yesterday’s Mishna (Shabbat 24:1, 153a) we were taught that if someone arrives at a city once Shabbat has commenced,…

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Shabbat 153

Having already spent much of the past few pages presenting various philosophical teachings relating to the preciousness of life and…

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Shabbat 152

This morning I will be delivering my penultimate shiur on Sefer Mishlei (The Book of Proverbs) to a fabulous and…

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Shabbat 151

While much of today’s daf (Shabbat 151b) considers the halachot pertaining to what may and may not be done for…

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