Amidah Prayer. The Amoraim in the Talmud Yerushalmi dispute whether one should keep his/her feet together like the Angels or one in front of the other like the Priests in the Temple. The deeper significance of the Halakha regards the nature of the Amidah: Is it a substitute for the Sacrifices which are no longer brought or is it the universal and cosmic power of prayer that may have even pre-existed the creation of the World?
Peace in the Fabric of Jewish Life and Law The Mishnah mentions eating at a betrothal feast in the same list as the biblical commandments, bringing the Paschal offering and circumcising one’s son, whose infraction carries the severe punishment of extirpation. The concept of peace is woven into the very fabric of the Jewish Life and of Jewish Law. (Pesachim 23b) עברית (Reviewed by R. Yisroel Belsky)
Greeting a Rabbi or Superior (שאילת שלום רבו וגדול ממנו). Differences in etiquette existed between the Jews of Eretz Yisrael and Babylonia. In Eretz Yisrael greeting a teacher was common courtesy. Abstaining from doing so was considered disrespectful. The exact opposite was true in Babylonia where greeting a teacher was considered audacious. The underlying difference seems to be whether greeting someone is an act superiority or inferiority
Greater is the sanctification of God’s name than its desecration. (גדול קידוש השם מחילול השם) Sanctifying God’s name outweighs whatever desecration can come about it in its process. (Kiddushin 4:1)
Accepting God vs. His Commandments. (Hagigah 1:7 6b). The agreement to follow God’s commands because of the expectation that it will ultimately bring the Jewish People to accept God Himself. The Talmud Yerushalmi teaches us that observing God’s laws has the potential of bringing one to accept God himself (Reviewed by R. Yisroel Belsky)
Abraham turned his Evil Inclination to Good. (אברהם אבינו עשה יצר הרע טוב) Abraham had the ability to discipline his evil inclination to manifest in good. He did not have the need to resist himself from temptation and did not receive reward for this. Instead he had true virtue for which God promised him reward. (In progress . . . ) (Berakhoth 9:2)
Praying for Marriage. One can override God’s decrees in matchmaking by means of prayer and marry a woman that was decreed for someone else. There appears to be a few differences between the two Talmudim as the mechanism by which God’s decree changes and generally whether God will entirely abrogate or simply displace His decrees. (In Progress) (Beitza 5:2)
Purpose of Insects. (מפני מה ברא הקב”ה שקצים ורמשים בעולמו) All creation serves a purpose, but what about minuscule creatures such as insects? Although we may be more satisfied with cosmic reasons for existence, it is their mundane function in the world which is ultimately the reason for their existence.
Salvation – The Talmud Yerushalmi (Berachoth 1:1) teaches us that salvation is not instant, but in fact quite gradual. It likens the process of salvation to the manifestation of the light of the Ayelet ha-Shachar. Signs of salvation first manifest in small steps, often far apart from each other, but only with extended time do these steps become closer and more frequent.
Is there Small or Great among Israel? When performing a divine commandment all Jews are on equal grounds. Learned, prestigious or peasant all are created equal when they stand before God. It is only in regard to numbers that one group is weightier than the other. (Bikkurim 3:3)
“This is a great principle in the Torah” What is te epitome of the Torah? The phrase which tells us what the Torah is all about? Rabbi Akiva and Ben Azzai dispute this in the Talmud Yerushalmi. (Nedarim 9:4)
Renouncing one’s Dignity. Renouncing one’s dignity and stepping out of one’s ranks is permissible or even encouraged when it is for the sake of Heaven.
Avodah Zara is far while it seems close. (Berachoth 9:1 53a). Idols may be physically close to us while God who is up in the Heavens is distant from us, the reality is quite the opposite. Notwithstanding God’s location outside of the human realm He hears man whispers of prayer while one can scream at the top of his voice and the idol does not hear.
Humility is True Greatness (Hagigah 1:8 7a). The ability to admit ignorance (or negligence) on a subject is a positive trait which assures that one reach the truth. The Talmudim dispute whether admitting to ignorance or negligence in matters of the Torah are the ultimate admission for a sage
God judges Jews and Gentiles Favorably. God judges both Jews and Gentile favorably. Since He perceives Jews more positively than the Gentiles He is certain to judge them at their best hour: Jews during the day when they are performing mitzvoth and Gentiles at night when they are abstaining from sin.
Speech of Righteous Women. Sarah is the only woman in the Scripture which God accosts directly, at least concerning personal (as opposed to national) matters. Even so, God (or the heavenly visitors) initially approaches Abraham and not Sarah to bid him the good tidings that by next year his elderly wife Sarah will be child in hand.
For the Greater Good David was happy at the thought that people were awaiting the building of the Temple even though in effect it meant his death. For the greater good David was even willing to give up his life!
Lawlessness. The Rabbis maintained that there is an impropriety in going back on one’s word and that for doing so a person will incur Divine Retribution similar to the People of the Generation of the Flood.
Do out of Love. Do out of Fear. The Talmud Yerushalmi gives us advise on how to worship God and perform His commandments. A person can not be assumed to be completely in touch with his inner-self and can never be absolutely sure of his true disposition at a given moment.
- Salvation is a gradual process (Berakhoth 1:1)
- Creation: Functional or Divine purpose (Berakhoth 9:2 64a). Is the purpose of each creature primarily functional or does it serve a Divine purpose.
- Abraham’s and David’s Handling of the Evil Inclination. (Berakhoth 9:5, 67b). Abraham turned the Evil Inclination to Good while David was only able to distance himself from it.
- God’s fore-knowledge (355)
- God assistance against Sin (676). After one makes his own efforts at abstaining from sin, God involves Himself and assists the individual.
- Humility Outweighs Wisdom (Shabbath 1:3 8b)
- The Satan only Prosecutes at Times of Danger (Shabbath 2:6 19a)
- Attitude Towards Aggadah (16:1 79b)