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Showing Results 1 - 40 (796 total)
Self Injurious Instinct Yevamos 119 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
July 4th, 2022

As we mentioned on the last daf, our Gemaras have been discussing various self destructive impulses. On the last daf we examined self-destructiveness that hurts others simultaneously. On today’s daf we still discuss self-destructive urges that are directed at self instead of others. According to researchers Tiffany B. Brown and Thomas Kimball, there a number of misconceptions about self-harm behaviors as well as functions that should be und …
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The Psychology of Murder-Suicide Yevamos 118 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
July 3rd, 2022

  The next two dappim of the Gemara will discuss various situations of self-injury and self-destruction.  The Gemara references Shimshon’s ”Kamikaze” act upon the Philistines.  At the end of his life, deprived of his miraculous strength, he was tied up and mocked in a public stadium.  He prayed that God grant him one last strength, so that he “May die with the Philistines.”  Thus, he was able …
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Decoding Mother in Law Hatred Yevamos 117 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
July 1st, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph and Beis discusses various halakhic ramifications of mother in law to daughter in law hatred.  What does psycholgy and contemporary social research say about trends and comments of mothers in law? Researchers Christine E. Rittenou and Jody Koenig Kellas surveyed prior research and itemized and described various forms of hurtful content within Mother-in-Law (MIL) communication: (Rittenour, Christine E. and Koenig Kell …
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I Didn’t Really Mean It! Yevamos 116 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
July 1st, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses circumstances where there is suspicion of bias in testimony from a woman that her husband is deceased.  One such situation is, “when there is a marital discord.” The Gemara seeks to define the term more precisely: קְטָטָה בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינָהּ וְכוּ׳. הֵיכִי דָּמֵי קְטָטָה בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינָהּ, אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר …
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Facts Do Not Care About Feelings, But We Do Yevamos 115 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 30th, 2022

Ben Shapiro is famous for saying, “Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings”.  While he may be right, there is more to this than meets the eye. Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses halachos about when we assume a captive to have been certainly killed or possibly just held hostage. One line of reasoning considered is that women may be different than men in this regard. A woman might be able to survive in captivity longer than a ma …
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Rabbi Meir and the Hooligans Yevamos 114 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 29th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph refers to the verse in Vayikra (21:1) that discusses the Priestly code of conduct, but uses an unusually verbose phrase: “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: None shall become impure for the dead souls among his people” (Leviticus 21:1). What does “speak to them”, and then “say to them” come to include? להזהיר גדולים על הקטנים That the adults ar …
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Sexual Torture Yevamos 113 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 28th, 2022

  As we saw on Psychology of the Daf 107, the Talmud believes there are gender differences in attitudes and wishes to get married, in that women want to marry more than men. We also saw that modern social research shows a similar trend, in that women want to marry at a younger age than men do, and it seems to be universal, the world over. Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us: יוֹתֵר מִשֶּׁהָאִישׁ רוֹצֶה לִישָּׂא …
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Marriage Made in Heaven but Repaired Down to Earth Yevamos 112 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 27th, 2022

Does the Talmud believe in romance? Our Gemara on amud aleph discusses a woman who has a substantial complaint regarding her husband’s fitness, which in and of itself is subject to several different interpretations: A woman who says: Heaven is between me and you, the court deals with the matter by way of a request. This complaint, “Heaven is between me and you”, has the appearance of a euphemism, as otherwise why would she not e …
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Can You Force Someone to Do You a Favor? Yevamos 111 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 26th, 2022

What are the bounds and limits for helping another person out, and to what extent is there a legal halachic obligation?  Our Gemara on amud beis describes a situation where a man is not obligated personally to perform chalitzah, as according to his account he is not bound by yibum and she was not able to furnish objective proof as to her status.  However, the woman, according to her subjective account, is bound by her own admission.&nbs …
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Compatibility Factors in Marriage Yevamos 110 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 24th, 2022

Our gemara on amud beis discusses the idea that certain people may have preference in marriage for someone similar to them, such as a deaf person may prefer to marry a deaf person. If compatibility and similarity in interests are important in marriage, to what extent and what domains can be identified?  Doing this can help couples work on enhancing them together, and also help people who are dating identify these areas as priorities.  R …
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Peace at Any Price Yevamos 109 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 24th, 2022

Arguments and quarrels are ubiquitous in human nature, but also destructive and corrosive.  Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us: A person should always cling to three things and distance himself from three things. He should cling to three things: To ḥalitza rather than levirate marriage, to bringing about peace, and to the nullification of vows. And he should distance himself from three things: From refusal (miyun performed to nullify certai …
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Am I Supposed to be a Mind Reader? Yevamos 108 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 23rd, 2022

One of the modern marriage and therapy tropes is that no one can be a mind-reader, and people must take responsibility to express and communicate their needs.  While this is common sense, it can be taken as diminishing the value of intuitive understanding of one’s spouse.  I emphatically state to the contrary! Understanding of non-verbal cues and bids is absolutely an important relationship asset. Our Gemara on Amud Beis speaks of …
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Gender Differences in Desire for Marriage Yevamos 107 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 22nd, 2022

  Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses the various pros and cons that might run through the mind of a person contemplating a marriage that can be annulled through the process known as miyun.  Without us getting into the complex halakhic details, the Gemara discusses why a person might risk entering a marriage that could later be dissolved. One such rationale is: תַּרְוַיְיהוּ נִיחָא לְהוּ, כְּדֵי דְּלִי …
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Selling Umbrellas in the Rain Yevamos 106 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 21st, 2022

What is the Torah ethical position on charging a fee for necessary services, and what about charging excessive fees during times of peak demand? Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us  “הֲרֵי שֶׁהָיָה בּוֹרֵחַ מִבֵּית הָאֲסוּרִין, וְהָיְתָה מַעְבּוֹרֶת לְפָנָיו, וַאֲמַר לֵיהּ: טוֹל דִּינָר וְהַעֲבִירֵנִי — אֵין לוֹ אֶלָּ …
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Repairing the Damage Yevamos 105 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 20th, 2022

  Are certain attitudes we develop so ingrained that we cannot easily change them? What steps can be taken to overcome our personal biases and blind spots? Our Gemara on Amud Aleph tells us about the curse and fate of the sons of Eli the Cohen: כִּדְרַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי. דְּאָמַר רַב שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר אַמֵּי אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹנָתָן: מִנַּיִן לִגְזַר ד …
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It Hurts to Speak Yevamos 104 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 19th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the halakhic status of a mute person: אָמַר רָבָא: אִלֵּם וְאִלֶּמֶת בְּנֵי דֵעָה נִינְהוּ, וּפוּמַּיְיהוּ הוּא דְּכָאֵיב לְהוּ. A mute man and woman do have intellectual capacity. Rather, it is their mouth that hurts them. Mute individuals have full intellectual capacity; they merely lack a means of expression.  This Gemara is poss …
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Stray Thoughts During Prayer Yevamos 103 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 17th, 2022

Our Gemara Amud Aleph to Beis makes an assertion: כׇּל טוֹבָתָן שֶׁל רְשָׁעִים רָעָה הִיא אֵצֶל צַדִּיקִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תְּדַבֵּר עִם יַעֲקֹב מִטּוֹב עַד רָע״, בִּשְׁלָמָא רַע — לְחַיֵּי, אֶלָּא טוֹב אַמַּאי לָא? אֶלָּא שְׁמַע מִינַּהּ: טוֹבָת …
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Even a Broken Home is Still a Home Yevamos 102 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 17th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis relates an encounter between Rabbi Gamliel and a heretic: A certain heretic said to Rabban Gamliel: You, the children of Israel, are a nation whose Master removed [ḥalatz] Himself from them, for God has left you in much the same way in which a yavam would perform chalitzah with his yevama, as it is written: “With their flocks and with their herds they shall go to seek the Lord, but they shall not find Him. He has r …
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Having Your Psychological Cake and Eating it Too Yevamos 101 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 16th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis quotes a verse in Shir Hashirim (4:7): כֻּלָּ֤ךְ יָפָה֙ רַעְיָתִ֔י וּמ֖וּם אֵ֥ין בָּֽך      Every part of you is fair, my darling, There is no blemish in you. There is a Midrash (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 4:7) on this verse which elaborates on the idea of no blemishes. The verse is referring to the Jewish people at the time of the giving of the Torah: באותה …
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Zealots and Instinct Yevamos 100 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 15th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis teaches us that a cohen must have precise knowledge of his lineage in order to serve in the Temple. This applies even if he is sure that he is a cohen. So long as he does not know his exact father, then he is invalid. The derivation comes from the verse: ״וְהָיְתָה לּוֹ וּלְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו״, בָּעֵינַן זַרְעוֹ מְיוּחָס אַחֲרָיו. “And it shall be to him …
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Quantum Torah Theory Yevamos 99 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 14th, 2022

  Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the famous principle: הַשְׁתָּא בְּהֶמְתָּן שֶׁל צַדִּיקִים אֵין הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מֵבִיא תַּקָּלָה עַל יָדָן, צַדִּיקִים עַצְמָן לֹא כׇּל שֶׁכֵּן Now consider: If, even through the animals of the righteous, the Holy One, Blessed be He, does not bring about a stumbling block, then throug …
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Stubborn People Might Be Prophets Yevamos 98 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 13th, 2022

  Our Gemara on Amud Aleph quotes Rabbi Akiva who observed that the prophet Yonah lost his prophecy as a result of his disobedience. He refused to deliver God’s message to the people of Nineveh. Our understanding of Yonah’s behavior is that he was afraid that the people of Nineveh would do Teshuva and this would reflect poorly on the Jewish people. The Midrash sees this as impudent in that he advocated for the honor of the &ldquo …
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Immortal Teachings Yevamos 97 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 12th, 2022

The Gemara on 96b and 97a deals with Rabbi Yochanan’s strong concern that his Torah be quoted and attributed to him.  The Gemara explains this as stemming from the following idea and verse: Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai: With regard to any Torah scholar in whose name a matter of halakha is said in this world, his lips mouth the words in the grave, as though he is talking. Rabbi Yitzḥak ben Ze’eira …
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Was Pharaoh a Lamdan? Yevamos 96 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 10th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis states that a halachic male minor who is nine years and one day old can perform the mitzvah of Yibum.  However, the status of this marriage is not complete until he consummates as a bar mitzvah, and if he dies before doing so, and now his wife falls to yibum to another brother, she must have chalitza and not yibum.  There is some discussion amongst the Rishonim about whether the marriage is valid according to Tor …
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Taking Mitzvos “Light”ly Yevamos 95 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 10th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud aleph refers to Adultery as an Issur Kal, a relatively light prohibition, which Rashi (“makom”) explains is because the prohibition is not permanent, i.e. it lifts after divorce or death.  Presumably, the Gemara does not equate the severity of the transgression and the punishment (death), with the technical aspects of the mitzvah that make it considered less severe than other forms of forbidden relations that r …
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The Sage who Overplayed his Hand Yevamos 94 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 9th, 2022

Rashi on amud beis (“v’es achas”) discusses a hermeneutical principle which is occasionally used in Shas.  A word from a different language, often Greek and often the numeral one, is read into the text. For example, the Hebrew word “Hen”, is reinterpreted in the verse to mean “one”.  Some good examples of this are Shabbos (31b) Moed Kattan (28a) and Sanhedrin (76b). Although I do not have a well …
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Uplink to the Heavenly Cloud Yevamos 93 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 8th, 2022

On amud beis we find Rav Yannai troubled by a dream that he had, of a splintered reed. He the dream to mean that he made a halakhic mistake, by relying on a weak proof. Rav Chiyyah comforted him, by reading the dream as the opposite, implying a broken reed is humble and therefore merits to see the truth: How did the Gemara treat dreams?  Are they prophetic, or to be ignored as the result of random images and impulses firing during the night? …
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Pearls of Wisdom Yevamos 92 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 7th, 2022

Our Gemara on amud beis quotes an interesting idiom: Rabbi Yannai said to Rabbi Yoḥanan: Had I not lifted the earthenware shard for you, would you have discovered the pearl [marganita] beneath it? Rabbi Yannai was referring to the fact that his teaching inspired Rabbi Yochanan to notice a Mishna that was “hiding in plain sight” which really made the same point as his teaching. Tosafos (Bava Metzia 17b, “Iy Lav”) explains …
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Is the Rabbinate Inherited? Yevamos 91 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 6th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis quotes a Mishna in Gittin (8:5) If he wrote the date on the bill of divorce using a calendrical system that counts years in the name of a kingdom that is not legitimate…in all these case, the bill of divorce is not valid.  According to Rashi on our daf, the definition of “a kingdom that is not legitimate” is the Roman government. Rashi references a Gemara in Avoda Zara (10a) that denigrates the legi …
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All Relationships Are Permanent Yevamos 89 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 3rd, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses the principle behind the financial obligation of the Kesubah, שלא תהא קלא בעיניו להוציאה that divorcing a wife should not be a light matter. Since upon divorce, the husband will have to pay out a large sum, he naturally will think twice about divorce. The Rashbah in Bava Kama (89a) elaborates on this and explains that should a woman feel that the marriage can be dismissed lightly, her gener …
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Direct Consequences Yevamos 90 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 3rd, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the power of the prophet to temporarily supersede a Torah law. That is, even though no prophet after Moshe can change the Torah on a permanent basis, for a particular need of the moment and through prophetic sanction, a law can be suspended or enacted. A lesser known idea related to this is a principle from the Sefer Haikkarim (III:18).  This idea only applies to Torah laws from Moshe, however the portion of …
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Greatness is Earned, not Given Yevamos 88 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 3rd, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis brings the verse that directs us to treat cohanim with extra honor, and in fact directs the Beis Din to enforce the priestly marriage restrictions. The Mei HaShiloach Parashas Emor discusses the nature of the distinction of the Cohanim, and even the nature of the distinction of Jews in general: His first point is based on the Gemara’s interpretation (Chulin 57a) of a verse in Zecharia (10:4). Though Cohanim are obvio …
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A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory Yevamos 87 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 2nd, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis quotes a verse in Vayikra 4:28 which uses an ambiguous phrase regarding a sin-offering, “Or, if his sin be known to him.”  The phrase seems to emphasize knowing about the sin, but it is redundant, as how would he bring a sacrifice if he did not know about his sin?  From there the Gemara derives a number of rules relating to what kind of information obligates a sacrifice, and what does not.  If he …
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Love it or Levite Yevamos 86 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
June 1st, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis tells us that Levites were punished in the times of Ezra because they did not join the group returning back to Israel, and instead stayed in Babylonia, as it stated in Ezra (8:15), “and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.” The punishment was that they no longer would be eligible to receive the Maaser Rishon tithes. Tosafos here asks, the Gemara Kiddushin (69a) states …
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Pure Mother’s Love Yevamos 85 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 31st, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph quotes the verse in Vayikra (21:1) “Speak to the Cohanim, the sons of Aharon, and say to them, do not become defiled for a dead person amongst your people.” Because of the redundancy, “Cohanim, sons of Aharon”, the Gemara deduces that only the sons have this obligation, and not the daughters.  Thus, female cohanim are not prohibited from becoming exposed to impurities of death, and in practica …
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Alternate Generation Theory Yevamos 84 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 30th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis discusses the prohibition of the Egyptian convert. A regular Jewish person cannot marry into that family fit the first two generations. He may only marry into the third generation born after the conversion, as stated explicitly in Devarim 23:9. We might wonder what is the significance of three generations? The Chizkuni (Op. Cit.) explains that it takes three generations to change the family culture. As we find the Torah de …
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Don’t Shrei Over Spilt Milk (Into Meat) Yevamos 83 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 29th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis states the famous halakhic principle that one cannot make another person’s possession forbidden. For example, if I declare an object of my friend’s to be my god and object of worship and bow to it, it does not become a forbidden object that must be destroyed, unlike if the owner had done that. A person has no authority over another person’s possessions. Tosafos (“Ein”) raises a question about …
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In the Quest for Truth, We Show No Favoritism Yevamos 82 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 27th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph uses a strange phrase, הא דרב אשי בדותא היא, which translates approximately as, “We must conclude that this teaching of Rav Ashi was mistaken.” The word בדותא translates into English with less contempt than the connotation In Hebrew. It is more than mistaken. It implies something made up without any basis (see Ran Nedarim 3a, “elah”, and Melachim 1:12:33.) It is difficult to un …
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The Maharal’s View on Inflation Yevamos 81 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 27th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Aleph discusses the concept that items which are numbered are considered more significant, which can affect the laws of nullification. That is, if ordinarily we might say a non kosher item will be nullified if mixed into a majority, if this non kosher item has a significance in that it is counted and sold by numbers instead of volume, it will not be nullified. The idea that something becomes important when it is counted is disc …
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Conceivably Correct Yevamos 80 Psychology of the Daf Yomi
Author: Rabbi Simcha Feuerman, DHL, LCSW-R
May 26th, 2022

Our Gemara on Amud Beis records an incident of a woman whose husband was away for twelve months delivered a baby.  Obviously, there ought to be a concern that this child was a mamzer, yet the Gemara rules that it is conceivable that her pregnancy lasted for twelve months, and so the child is kosher. What I find fascinating about Gemaras such as these is that often we must say Nishtanu HaTibiyyim, the medical and physiological realities have …
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