Monthly Archives: November 2012

Shabbat 56 – Did Reuben sin?

I find the concept that the Talmud introduces today so difficult to understand. We are told several times in the Talmud that if we believe that ‘x‘ sinned (in this case Reuben and in others David HaMelech) we are mistaken. … Continue reading

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Shabbat 55 – Rebuke, even if they wont listen!

Social responsibility plays a big role in today’s daf. We are told that a householder who does not reprimand the members of his house who sin is responsible for the sin, right up to the exilarch being responsible for the … Continue reading

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Shabbat 53 – Cruelty to animals

Today’s daf touches on the subject of cruelty to animals. One of the most famous teshuvot written on this subject was by Rabbi Yechezkel Landau – the author of the Noda B’Yehuda. In a responsum on the subject of the … Continue reading

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Shabbat 52 – We can’t know everything!

The Red Heifer is the quentessential Chok in the Torah. The commandment from God for which we have no understanding, no rationale. Today’s daf mentions it in passing and it made me think that we live in a world where … Continue reading

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Shabbat 51 – Bishul Akum

And so we finish the 4th chapter of Tractate Shabbat. The Talmud (51a) discusses the case of food which can be eaten raw and concludes that such food, in our case – water, is not subject to the prohibition of … Continue reading

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Shabbat 50 – Preparing items for use on Shabbat

The Talmud wants to know whether hard palm branches are Muktzah or not on Shabbat and can be used as a chair. איתמר, רב אמר: קושר, ושמואל אמר: חושב, ורב אסי אמר: יושב, אף על פי שלא קישר ואף על פי … Continue reading

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Shabbat 49 – Elisha Man of Wings

Whilst I find it very difficult to imagine that my learning or my prayers have any impact on God’s decision making process in relation to current events in Israel I do hope that maybe my deep feelings of concern for … Continue reading

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