The g'mara discusses the case of the libation -- what exactly does this mean? They understand it to mean that he prepares to do so or mixes the other's wine with non-Jewish wine, and not that we're actually talking about pouring out a libation to a heathen god. Why do we conclude this? Because pouring a libation to a heathen god is idolatry, which is punished by death, and when there is a greater penalty halacha does not tack on a lesser penalty. That he is liable for a fine is evidence that he is not liable for death, meaning he didn't commit idolatry, so he must have done something else to make the wine unfit. (52b)
This is different from the American legal system, where somebody might be judged guilty of capital murder -- and also assorted weapons charges for which he's given another ten years in jail.
(Today's daf is 53, where the g'mara continues to discuss all this.)
Your goal is to play conservatively, lock up more resources, and let the other players lose by attrition. If you want to see these people again, I recommend not gloating, but simply state that you're playing to win, and that it wasn't your idea to play Monopoly in the first place.
Do some research on BoardGameGeek.com, and head down to your local gaming shop, where more often than not, you'll find knowledgeable staff and even demo sets for you to try before you buy. It shouldn't be too hard to convince your friends to try something new, especially if you offer to play another round of Monopoly.
The mishna continues, saying that captives should not be helped to escape, to prevent abuses (like putting them in chains or maltreating them). Rabban Shimon ben Gamaliel says the reason is to prevent ill treatment of other captives. Why does the difference matter, the g'mara asks? It matters if exactly one captive has been taken; if the reason not to help him escape is fear of what they will do to the other captives, that doesn't apply here and we can help him escape. (45a)
Let's hope bandits are not learned in talmud, lest they always take captives in groups.
(Today's daf is 46.)
Rabbah said: for these three offenses men become impoverished: for emancipating their heathen slaves, for inspecting their property on Shabbat, and for taking their Shabbat meal at the time when the discourse is given in the Beit Midrash (study hall). The g'mara relates a case where two families in Jerusalem did this last and became extinct. (38b)
I bet a lot of people don't know about the heavenly penalty for skipping out on the rabbi's talk! :-)
1 We are not talking about slavery like in the US's terrible history; slaves are still human beings made in the image of God and must be treated well under Jewish law.
(Today's daf is 39.)
According to the g'mara, Rabban Gamaliel is concerned about illegitimate children -- if she remarries and has children and then, retroactively, was not divorced after all -- and also with creating an agunah, a "chained woman" who is unable to remarry. Allowing an ex-husband to do either of these things grants him too much power over her. (Or, in my own words: if you've said you're moving on, then move on and leave her alone.) I don't know if the rabbis considered time limits for cancellation; cancelling a week later seems different to me than cancelling years later.
On 26a, the next mishna is going to talk about forms -- even in rabbinic times, apparently scribes wrote out documents with blanks to fill in the names and dates later. There is a dispute about whether you can do this with a get.
(Today's daf is 25.)
When a man divorces his wife, he goes to a beit din (rabbinic court) to have the bill of divorce written. This is then delivered by a third party to the wife. The first mishna of this tractate teaches that the bearer of the get declares to the wife: "in my presence it was written and in my presence it was signed". Why? Because it could otherwise be difficult to find witnesses to confirm the validity of the signatures. The bearer is serving as a witness.
But wait! Why do we trust a single witness, the bearer, when the torah tells us that on the word of two witnesses a matter is decided? How can we have only one here? An argument is made that two witnesses are required for damages, but for ritual matters one suffices. This is challenged: we're not talking about the kashrut status of a piece of meat here, but rather about a woman whose permissibility to other men is at stake! So this should require two witnesses -- two bearers, in this case. But, the g'mara goes on to say, the rabbis allowed a single bearer as a leniency for the woman, to reduce the chance of creating an agunah, a chained woman who is unable to get out of a marriage and go on with her life. (This is an issue if a man won't give a get or if he disappears.) (mishna 2a, g'mara 2b-3a)
Today's daf is 4.
I'm not sure what the purpose of measuring to the nearest (suitable) city is, since we're told explicitly that they're not going to bring a calf. I guess they still testify? If I find out more I'll update this.
The passage consists of three individual blessings, and outside of the temple they are said as three (with responses of "amen" after each). In the temple, however, they are said as one. Outside the temple they do not say the divine name, using the usual substitute instead, but in the temple they pronounce the name. Outside the temple they raise their hands to shoulder-height, but in the temple they raise them above their heads (but the kohein gadol, the high priest, raises only to his forehead). (37b-38a)
I don't see anything in the g'mara on in the next few pages (through the next mishna) that says why there are these differences, though I was skimming.
In the cases where they have relations or he prevents her from drinking, it sounds like they are nonetheless divorced, which seems odd. Unless the mishna is telling us that she's not disqualified from her ketubah if they later get divorced. I'm not sure; need to do more reading.
According to the midrash, Moshe recovered Yosef's bones on the night of the exodus -- while everybody else was occupied with gathering their own households and Egyptian loot (as commanded), Moshe was tending to the dead.
(Today's daf is 10.)