I always find it fascinating when seemingly aggadic statements become the basis of Halachic argumentation. An interesting example that I just came across appears concerning the topic of eglah arguah. The Gemara in Sotah asks why the eglah arufah ritual is done with a childless calf in a barren valley. It answers that something that has borne no fruit brought in a place that bears no fruit will come to atone for the person who was killed and can no longer produce fruit. The Gemara then questions what fruit are being referred to. It rejects the possibility that it refers to children, as logically that would dictate that an elderly or impotent person who was killed would not obligate the bringing of an eglah arufah. Thus, the Gemara concludes that the killed person is no longer able to perform mitzvoth. Continue reading Homiletics or Halacha: An Example from Eglah Arufah
I recently gave a shiur to visitng 10th graders. I had given this before for a Torah Tours training session. The shiur and sources are available: here. The summary/guide I wrote then is below:
This shiur deals with the question of what happened at Matan Torah. How did the Jewish people change? How did the nature of the mitzvoth change? Continue reading How Much Did Matan Torah Really Change?