Daf (Berachos 5) and Chumash (Vayechi) by Shlermie

Berachos 5 speaks extensively about afflictions: afflictions of love, afflictions that cannot be love, financial afflictions, afflictions involving children, etc.  This is a daf about pain, suffering, and our trying to understand this pain and suffering.  Similarly, Parshas Vayechi directly follows Parshas Vayigash without the usual Parsha break.  Rav Hirsch points out that Yaakov’s 17 … [Read more…]

Nevi’im (Yehoshua Perek 1) by Shlermie

Hashem tells Yehoshua to “be strong and courageous” (Chazak v’Ematz).  This is contrasted with Hashem telling Yehoshua to “not fear and not to lose resolve” (al ta’arotz v’al taychat).  In both cases, Hashem is speaking to Yehoshua following his Torah.  And when Yehoshua speaks with the tribes of Reuven, Gad and half the tribe of … [Read more…]

Mnach Yoma

While we’re discussing bain hashemashos in the current dafs, I wanted to mention that Rabbi Emanuel (Menachem) Gettinger (zzl) wrote an excellent sefer titled “Mnach Yoma” (Hebrew) on Rabbeinu Tam’s opinion on bain hashemashos.  “Mnach Yoma” can be ordered from Ezras Torah at this link.

Fast (10th of Tevet) by Shlermie

THREE FASTSThree fasts (another three) are connected to each other: the 10th of Tevet, the 17th of Tammuz, and the 9th of Av.  The Chochomim could have made the 9th of Av, Tisha B’Av, a fast day and left it at that.  But, for obvious and less obvious reasons, they wanted Jews to memorialize more … [Read more…]

Daf (Berachos 3) by Shlermie

When it is night, when you are facing darkness, are there three or four watches? (There appears to be three.) And the Daf speaks to several threes which, seemingly, are connected. (And, at the risk of going too far in terms of threes, this is Daf 3.) One is unity, agreement, simplicity.Two is duality, tension … [Read more…]

Daf (Berachos 2) by Shlermie

Within the Daf (Berachos 2), while determining at what time we can say the Shma at night, we compare the times when (a) a poor person eats, (b) a person eats their Shabbas meal, and (c) a Kohain immerses. obviously these three examples are significant because they speak to specific times. But one can’t help … [Read more…]