June 15, 2021

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, while אין הגורל קובע משנה לחברתה – the lottery does not determine designations from one year to another.

Reflecting on these statements as we draw this academic year to a close – a year which has been hard for all, and brutal for many – I wonder what aspects of the past year will affect and determine our decisions in the coming year, and which will be left in the past, not to be carried over to the future? Which aspects of the past year should we grasp onto? And which should we cast away?

While a little too abstract for direct application, the very fact that today’s daf teaches us how some things can be carried over, while other things cannot, highlights the importance of living in the moment, while not ignoring the lessons of the past, and how, ultimately, מצוה להביא מן החדש – it is a mitzvah to find and bring new resources to respond to new and exciting opportunities.

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