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Berakhot 12

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 15, 2020 | י״ח בטבת תש״פ

It was implied from something Rabbi Zeira said that the blessing the priests said in the temple before shema was “God who created light.” But the gemara rejects this and says that one can interpret that statement in a different way and it could be the blessing of “great love that God has for the…

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Berakhot 13

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 16, 2020 | י״ט בטבת תש״פ

Why is there a difference between the change of name of Yaakov and Avraham’s name change? Is it forbidden to call Avraham Avram? Does the mitzva of shema need intent? Why type of intent? Is one allowed to speak at all during shema and its blessings? On what does it depend? What is the significance…

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Berakhot 14

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 17, 2020 | כ׳ בטבת תש״פ

Can one talk in the middle of hallel or megila? Can one taste food on a fast day? Can one greet someone or deal with things before praying in the morning? Can one stop to greet someone in between the words “is our God” to “truth”? Why? Do we say the entire third paragraph of…

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Berakhot 15

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 18, 2020 | כ״א בטבת תש״פ

What is the order of activities one should do in the morning? Does one need to search far for water to wash one’s hands before shema and shmone esreh? Is it more important for one than the other? Does one need to hear the words one says in shema? Can one just think it in…

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Berakhot 16

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 19, 2020 | כ״ב בטבת תש״פ

Rabbi Elazar explains what to do when one gets confused at various points in shema. What are the laws regarding workers – can they come down from a tree or a high wall to say shema and shmone esreh? Is there a difference between the two? Why? Does it depend what type of salary the…

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Berakhot 17

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 20, 2020 | כ״ג בטבת תש״פ

The gemara lists prayers that rabbis would add at the end of their shmone esreh or at particular moments. What is the root of the debate between the rabbis and Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel regarding whether or not a groom can say shema on his wedding night? Is the issue that he not appear arrogant?…

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Berakhot 18

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 21, 2020 | כ״ד בטבת תש״פ

One whose close relative died is considered an ‘onen’ and is exempt from commandments. Why? What does it mean “if your dead is before you” – is it to be taken literally? What is forbidden to do in a cemetary if one is close to a dead body so that one does not upset the…

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Berakhot 19

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 22, 2020 | כ״ה בטבת תש״פ

The court excommunicates those who mock the rabbis or don’t listen to the words of the rabbis. According to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, this is found 24 times in the mishna. The gemara tries to figure out where are these 24 occurences. the gemara delves into the issues regarding the exemptions of those attending the…

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Berakhot 20

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 23, 2020 | כ״ו בטבת תש״פ

Rav Papa asked Abaye why miracles happened in previous generations but do not happen to them? Women, Canaanite slaves and children are exempt from shema and tefillin but are obligated in prayer, mezuza and blessings after the meal. Why? Why does each case need specifying? Why is it not obvious that they are exempt from…

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Berakhot 21

By Michelle Cohen Farber / January 24, 2020 | כ״ז בטבת תש״פ

From where do we derive that one needs to make a blessing after eating and before learning Torah? Can we say that the reverse also applies? The gemara brings various cases where one is unsure if one already said shema or the blessing after shema or shmone esreh? What does one do? Is shema a…

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