Warning: Division by zero in /home/customer/www/rabbijohnnysolomon.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/essential-addons-for-elementor-lite/includes/Elements/Post_Grid.php on line 1088

Yoma 88

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

Read More

Yoma 87

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

Read More

Yoma 86

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

Read More

Yoma 85

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

Read More

Yoma 84

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

Read More

Yoma 83

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

Read More

Yoma 82

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

Read More

Yoma 81

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

Read More

Yoma 80

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

Read More

Yoma 79

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

Read More

Yoma 78

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

Read More

Yoma 77

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

Read More

Yoma 76

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

Read More

Yoma 75

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

Read More

Yoma 74

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

Read More

Yoma 73

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

Read More

Yoma 72

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

Read More

Yoma 71

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

Read More

Yoma 70

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

Read More

Yoma 69

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

Read More

Yoma 68

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

Read More

Yoma 67

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

Read More

Yoma 66

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

Read More

Yoma 65

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

Read More

Yoma 64

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

Read More

Yoma 63

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

Read More

Yoma 62

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

Read More

Yoma 61

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

Read More

Yoma 60

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

Read More

Yoma 59

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

Read More

Yoma 58

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

Read More

Yoma 57

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

Read More

Yoma 56

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

Read More

Yoma 55

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

Read More

Yoma 54

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

Read More

Yoma 53

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

Read More

Yoma 52

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

Read More

Yoma 51

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

Read More

Yoma 50

A curious statement is found in today’s daf (Yoma 50a), which can also be found elsewhere in the Gemara (Moed Katan 24a, Zevachim 93b, Menachot 7b & 26b), and which requires some background, and some explanation.In terms of our daf, the topic of discussion between the 3rd century Amoraim Ravin Bar Rav Ada and Rava…

Read More

Yoma 49

In today’s daf (Yoma 49a), two versions of a statement of Rabbi Chanina are recorded, with the second seemingly being the more accurate of the two.In terms of the first statement, it referred to those who had experienced a particular injury and queried whether such people were able to ‘survive’ the injury. Here, the word…

Read More

Yoma 48

In yesterday’s daf (Yoma 47b) we encountered three questions of Rav Pappa, to which the Gemara responded with the word ‘Teiku’. In today’s daf (Yoma 48a-b), we encountered three further questions of Rav Pappa, along with an additional question of Mar Bar Rav Ashi, to which ‘Teiku’ was again the response. And in tomorrow’s daf…

Read More

Yoma 47

Today’s daf (Yoma 47a) makes reference to the righteous actions of some of Kimchit’s sons, and it then quotes a Beraita stating that she had seven sons and that all of them served as Kohen Gadol.This clearly impressed the Sages of the time, and they therefore enquired of Kimchit: מה עשית שזכית לכך?, ‘what actions…

Read More

Yoma 46

In today’s daf (Yoma 46b) we are informed of a debate concerning someone who, after scooping up coals from the altar for the incense fire-pan, extinguishes a coal. And why should this be a problem? Because we are taught that ‘a permanent fire shall be aflame on the altar; it shall not be extinguished’ (Vayikra…

Read More

Yoma 45

Mishna Yoma (4:4) teaches that while the incense that was brought each day in the Beit HaMikdash was finely ground, the incense that was brought by the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur had been ground even further. As we learn in today’s daf (Yoma 45a), what this means is that once the incense was ground,…

Read More

Yoma 44

We were previously taught in the Mishna (Yoma 4:4) that throughout the year when the Kohen scooped up the coals to be used for the Ketoret (incense), he scooped up 4 kav’s (approx. 8 litres) of coal with a silver fire-pan, and then poured this into a gold fire-pan with a capacity for 3 kav’s…

Read More

Yoma 43

We are told in today’s daf (Yoma 43b) that when Rav Yochanan and Reish Lakish delved into the topic of the Parah Adumah with the intention to better understand the biblical verses of this passage and their practical application, they were ‘unable to produce more than what a fox can bring up from a ploughed…

Read More

Yoma 42

Today’s daf (Yoma 42a) relates that around the time when the Rabbis were exploring the association between Parah Adumah and the se’ir hamishtaleach (the scapegoat), the Amora called Ravya bar Kisi died, which then prompted the statement that ‘[the death of] Ravya bar Kisi atones like a se’ir hamishtaleach’. However, what is not clear is…

Read More

Yoma 41

The Mishna (Yoma 2:4) in today’s daf (Yoma 41b) makes reference to a crimson thread that was tied to the se’ir hamishtaleach (the scapegoat) on Yom Kippur, and in the subsequent discussion, reference is also made to the crimson thread used within the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) ceremony (see Bemidbar 19:6) and the crimson thread…

Read More

Yoma 40

Today’s daf (Yoma 40b) records a question raised by Rabbi Akiva’s students to their revered teacher concerning the lottery drawn by the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur. In terms of the lottery, there were two engraved plates placed in a box: One ‘L’Hashem’ (to God) – which destined one of two identical he-goat’s to be…

Read More

Yoma 39

An oft-referenced principle that is mentioned in today’s daf (Yoma 39a) and in numerous other places in halachic literature is that התורה חסה על ממונן של ישראל – “the Torah is concerned with the income/finances/expenditure of the Jewish people”.In terms of today’s daf, this principle is invoked in order to highlight how certain objects that…

Read More

Yoma 38

 Today’s daf (Yoma 38b) makes reference to the phrases זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה – ‘may the memory of the righteous be for a blessing’, and וְשֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָב – ‘and the name of the wicked will rot’, which are both mentioned in contrast to one another in Mishlei 10:7.In general, we think of these phrases as…

Read More

Yoma 37

Today’s daf (Yoma 37a) quotes a teaching of Rebbi who draws a beautiful lesson from a Torah verse. In his stirring words of Parshat Ha’azinu, Moshe told the Jewish people: כִּי שֵׁם ה’ אֶקְרָא הָבוּ גֹדֶל לֵאלֹהֵינוּ – “when I call the Name of God, ascribe greatness to our God” (Devarim 32:3) – which, interestingly,…

Read More

Yoma 36

Today’s daf (Yoma 36b) informs us about the viduy (confession) which accompanied the Kohen Gadol’s offering of a bull as a Korban Chatat (sin offering) on behalf of himself, his household and prior Kohanim on Yom Kippur, and beyond this, the Kohen Gadol also recited a viduy to accompany the ‘se’ir hamishtaleach’ (the scapegoat) on…

Read More

Yoma 35

Today’s daf (Yoma 35b) contains a powerful message – requiring almost no further commentary – for each and every one of us as we prepare to celebrate Shavuot tonight.‘The Rabbis taught: A poor person, a wealthy person and a wicked person (which, more accurately here, means someone who is constantly battling – and occasionally succumbing…

Read More

Yoma 34

In general, my daf insights on Motzei Shabbat reflect the fact that Shabbat provides me with more focused time for limud Torah than the average weekday, which means that my motzei Shabbat daf thoughts are generally expressive of the spiritual and intellectual gain accrued from the menucha of Shabbat.Unfortunately, this isn’t the case this week,…

Read More

Yoma 33

Some weeks ago I learnt a fascinating insight explaining a well-known Gemara and then today, when pondering a curious statement in today’s daf (Yoma 33b), I realised that perhaps these two are connected. Let me explain.At the back of the Sefer ‘Ma’alot HaTorah’ of Rabbeinu Avraham the brother of the Vilna Gaon is a section…

Read More

Yoma 32

 While discussing the bigdei kahuna (priestly clothes) worn by the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur and the changes of clothing performed by a Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur, today’s daf (Yoma 32a) refers to Vayikra 16:23 which states how “Aharon shall then go into the Ohel Moed (Communion Tent), and take off the white linen…

Read More

Yoma 31

 The Mishna (Yoma 3:5) in today’s daf (Yoma 31b) informs us with respect to the Kohen Gadol’s five mikveh immersions on Yom Kippur that: ‘if the Kohen Gadol was old or was physically sensitive, they heated water for him and poured the hot water into the cold mikveh water so that it would lose some…

Read More

Yoma 30

The Mishna (Yoma 3:3) in today’s daf (Yoma 30a) states that ‘no one may enter the Azara (Temple Courtyard) for service – even if they are tahor (spiritually pure) – unless they immerse in a mikveh’. However, this seems like a strange demand. As Ben Zoma was asked, ‘why does a kohen need to immerse…

Read More

Yoma 29

Today’s daf is Yoma 29a, and today is also the 28th of Iyar – Yom Yerushalayim – when we celebrate the victory of the six-day-war and the reunification of Jerusalem. And ordinarily, there should be no obvious connection between these two. Yet while by no means the first time when this has occurred, when I…

Read More

Yoma 28

 Today’s daf (Yoma 28b) contains an oft-cited and widely misunderstood rabbinic saying that Avraham Avinu kept the entire Torah. In fact, at least one Amoraic opinion mentioned in our daf goes so far as to say that Avraham didn’t just observe the laws in the written Torah, or just the laws that are clearly deduced…

Read More

Yoma 27

Today’s daf (Yoma 27a) quotes from Vayikra 1:8 from where it is learnt that the word וערכו – ‘and they shall arrange’ – comes to teach us that ‘two’ (or more) kohanim should be involved in arranging and laying out the limbs of the sacrifices on the altar. Interestingly, the word ערך has various meanings…

Read More

Yoma 26

In today’s daf (Yoma 26a) we find a debate concerning which Kohanim brought the limbs of a sacrifice onto the ramp and up to the altar. Significantly, this service was performed in two stages: First, the limbs were first brought onto the lower half of the ramp, and then, they were then carried up the…

Read More

Yoma 25

Other than the fact that he was a Kohen Gadol during the Second Temple period, I know little about Ben Katin who is mentioned in a Beraita in today’s daf (Yoma 25b) as well as later on in Mishna Yoma (3:10, 37a). However, as the Mishna notes, Ben Katin made two significant changes to the…

Read More

Yoma 24

Today’s daf (Yoma 24a) records a dispute concerning whether the sacred garments worn by the Kohen Gadol on any given Yom Kippur were used again, or whether they were put away never to be used again, and reflecting on this dispute reminded me of a story that I read many years ago in ‘The Maggid…

Read More

Yoma 23

 Today’s daf (Yoma 23a) tells a story reflecting a low point in the spiritual service and leadership of the Beit HaMikdash where two Kohanim raced each other up the ramp of the altar in order to decide who would lead the sacrificial service. Then suddently, when one Kohen neared the other, he took out a…

Read More

Yoma 22

 Towards the end of today’s daf (Yoma 22b), Rav Yehuda quotes a teaching of Shmuel who contrasted the reign of Shaul and of David, wondering why the former was so brief (2 years – see Shmuel I 13:1) and did not continue with Shaul’s descendants, while the latter was much longer (40 years – see…

Read More

Yoma 21

 We often look at the world from the perspective of a person, but not from the perspective of the soul – which is precisely why Mishna Avot 4:22 is such a significant teaching of Chazal as it tells us that: “against your will were you formed, against your will were you born, against your will…

Read More

Yoma 20

Today’s daf (Yoma 20b) relates an incident when Rav Shila, who had moved from Israel to Bavel, was about to deliver a public shiur, but there was no ‘meturgeman’ – someone to translate his talk from Hebrew to Aramaic – available. As it happens, Rav – who was a senior Amora and who founded the…

Read More

Yoma 19

Today’s daf (Yoma 19a-b) raises the fascinating question – one that is also addressed in numerous other places in the Talmud – whether Kohanim are primarily שלוחי דרחמנא (an agent of God), or שלוחי דידן (an agent of us, i.e. the Jewish people).Significantly, this discussion arises from a statement in the Mishna (Yoma 1:5) where…

Read More

Yoma 18

 In the Mishna (Yoma 1:6) at the end of today’s daf (Yoma 18b) we are taught that as a way to keep the Kohen Gadol awake throughout the night of Yom Kippur, if he was a Torah scholar then he would deliver shiurim on matters of halacha or he would study Tanach. And if he…

Read More

Yoma 17

As we are taught in today’s daf (Yoma 17b), the Kohen Gadol has priority rights to offer any sacrifice he wishes as well as the first right to take any portion to eat, as the Beraita teaches us: “How does he exercise his priority rights to offer any portion? He says, “I will offer this…

Read More

Yoma 16

 Much of today’s daf (Yoma 16a) explores the structure and dimensions of the Beit HaMikdash while also quoting extensively from Massechet Middot, which then leads the Gemara to note that Massechet Middot was taught and edited by Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov.According to tradition, Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov’s life spanned the final years of the second…

Read More

Yoma 15

We are taught in today’s daf (Yoma 15a) that the Kohanim were tasked with placing sufficient oil in the Menorah so that it will continue to burn “from evening until morning” (Shemot 27:21) – and this led me to think about the symbolism of the Menorah as a representation of Torah.In general, when teaching Torah…

Read More

Yoma 14

Today’s daf (Yoma 14b) presents two different views about the order in which the ketoret (incense) was offered and the neirot were prepared (by removing the ashes and old wicks from the Menorah from the previous day) by the Kohen Gadol in the days leading up to Yom Kippur.According to the majority opinion, the preparation…

Read More

Yoma 13

In today’s daf (Yoma 13b) we are taught the principle that כהן גדול מקריב אונן – meaning that while a regular Kohen who has just suffered a bereavement among one of their seven closest relatives (mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, spouse) is exempt from serving in the Beit HaMikdash, a Kohen Gadol is expected…

Read More

Yoma 12

While conflicting opinions are initially presented on the topic, the conclusion from today’s daf (Yoma 12a) is that ירושלים לא נתחלקה לשבטים – literally ‘Jerusalem was not apportioned among the tribes’ – and meaning that Jerusalem is not owned by any individual tribe, party or person.Reflecting on this teaching, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein explained in a…

Read More

Yoma 11

Today’s daf (Yoma 11a) continues with the theme of mezuzah and discusses the types of buildings that do and do not require a mezuzah. For example, we are told that a storage house is exempt from requiring a mezuzah because it does not fall under the category of being ביתך – your “home” (Devarim 6:9).However,…

Read More

Yoma 10

 A central theme in the first chapter of Massechet Yoma has been how the Kohen Gadol was sequestered in the Parhedrin chamber within the Temple complex for the seven days prior to Yom Kippur, and in today’s daf (Yoma 10a) the Gemara cites a Beraita discussing whether this chamber necessitated having a mezuzah affixed to…

Read More

Yoma 9

We are taught in today’s daf (Yoma 9a) that in contrast to the first Beit HaMikdash which stood for 410 years and which was served by 18 Kohanim Gedolim, more than 300 Kohanim Gedolim served in the second Beit HaMikdash which stood for 420 years. Still, we are then told that there were a number…

Read More

Yoma 8

Today’s daf (Yoma 8a) cites a Beraita discussing the limitations placed on a person upon whose skin the name of God has been written. According to the Beraita: Such a person ‘may neither bathe, nor smear oil on their flesh, nor stand in a place of filth’, and if they need to immerse themselves in…

Read More

Yoma 7

 Towards the end of today’s daf (Yoma 7b) we are taught the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda that when the Torah speaks of how the tzitz (the special golden band engraved with the name of God and worn by the Kohen Gadol) ‘shall be always (תמיד) upon his forehead’ (Shemot 28:38), it means שלא יסיח דעתו…

Read More

Yoma 6

Today’s daf (Yoma 6a) continues its examination of the Mishna (Yoma 1:1) which informs us that the Kohen Gadol was sequestered for the seven days prior to Yom Kippur. However, it would seem that not only was the Kohen Gadol kept away from his house for this 7-day period, but also from his wife, which…

Read More

Yoma 5

Much of today’s daf (Yoma 5b) is dedicated to identifying the ceremonies that took place during the 7-day inauguration of the Mishkan and to considering whether these ceremonies were required in future generations. And according to Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, among these ceremonies was מקרא פרשה (literally, ‘the reading of scripture’). To understand what is…

Read More

Yoma 4

 Today’s daf (Yoma 4b) makes reference to the events surrounding Matan Torah, and it is here – as well as elsewhere in the Talmud – where we are told that the experience of Matan Torah was both one of profound joy, and profound trepidation. In fact, as an attempt to capture the emotions of that…

Read More

Yoma 3

A word that appears regularly in today’s daf (Yoma 3b) is קח – take – which is discussed with reference to the contributions given and the donations made to the Mishkan.Significantly, the term קח is used in a range of different ways in the Torah. For example, it is used with respect to marriage (see…

Read More

Yoma 2

 In the first Mishna (Yoma 1:1) of our new Massechet (Yoma 2a) we are told that while the Kohen Gadol was sequestered for seven days before Yom Kippur, a further safety measure was taken to ensure the smooth running of the Yom Kippur service by designating a second Kohen Gadol as his ‘understudy’. This was…

Read More