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Living in the river of uncertainty (Daf Yomi Pesachim 9)

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“And is it so that an uncertainty does not override a certainty.”

The last few days of readings inspired me to research the marten, which is a type of weasel I have never encountered in my life. I learned that the marten is shy, nocturnal, and has a coat of soft brown fur. It has been on the verge of extinction due to demand for its fur. The marten primarily eats fruit, berries, rodents and small birds. There is a myth that it kills babies based on mixed-up details involving a story about a fox in England. The marten gets a very bad rap in the Talmud, which describes an animal that goes from house to house feeding on bread and consuming the remains of stillborn babies.

The marten in today’s Daf Yomi is a shrewd animal that appears right before Passover in order to consume the leaven ahead of the annual search. He seems to be ensconced in a game of “find the bread” as he drags morsels from house to house in an effort to confound the residences into declaring that the search is complete. The Mishna says that regardless of........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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