Monthly Archives: September 2012

Brachot 59 – Practical halachah. The blessings on lightning and thunder

The Gemara concludes that for lightning and thunder, one recites either the blessing, “Oseh Ma’aseh Bereishit” or the blessing, “she’Kocho u’Gevurato Malei Olam.” What is the Halachah in practice? The Mishnah Berurah (OC 227:5) writes that the common practice is to recite … Continue reading

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Brachot 58 – Censorship in the Talmud

There are many cases of censorship in the Talmud and one of the most endearing things about the Koren Talmud is that it includes the original uncensored text and points out why the censorship was incorporated. Our daf includes a … Continue reading

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Brachot 57 Elisha ben Avuya

One of the most interesting characters in the Talmud is Elisha ben Avuya otherwise know as Aher. The Koren has an interesting biographical sketch which I set out below (trying something new….a photo rather than me typing it all out … Continue reading

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Brachot 54 – Bless the good and the bad!

Whilst sitting on a very grey and damp monday morning drinking a pre-Yom Kippur decaf coffee (!) I was struck by the very long Mishna which starts the final chapter of masechet Brachot and takes up nearly half of the … Continue reading

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Brachot 53 – More nicknames

And so we finish the penultimate chapter of Masechet Brachot! Just 11 days to go until we finish the Masechet. Please Koren, ensure that Volume 1 of Shabbat arrives in time. This blog has now covered a couple of interesting … Continue reading

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Brachot 52 – The blessing on fire

In the Mishnah, Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel argue about the text of the blessing for fire. Beit Shamai says that the text is, “Bara Ma’or ha’Esh,” and Beit Hillel says that the text is, “Borei Me’orei ha’Esh.” The Gemara … Continue reading

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Brachot 51 Asparagus!

A theme of this blog has been health and the Talmud. Daf 51 deals with the health benefits and risks of asparagus. The Talmud advises us to eat or drink it in different ways in order to bring about different … Continue reading

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Brachot 50 – more on nicknames, insults and dark uniforms….

An interesting complement… פתיא אוכמא PATYA UCHMA – black pot, i.e. you are also well-versed in the Torah, as much as a pot is blackened from use (Rashi to Avodah Zarah 16b). Or is the phrase an insult or simply a description … Continue reading

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A thought for Tzom Gedaliya

The Prophet Yirmiyahu, the author of the Books of Melachim, uses succinct language at the end of Melachim Bet to describe the pillage of the Temple, its burning, and the destruction of the City of Jerusalem. Here his language is … Continue reading

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Rav Kook’s Orot HaTeshuva

And so we find ourselves beyond Rosh Hashanah and in the 10 days of repentance. Over Yom Tov I wanted to have something to read when I was not learning the daf. I found a translation and commentary on Rav … Continue reading

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