Daf Yomi Insights
[editors note: The following is my redaction and translation of a speech that Rav Ovadia Yosef gave at a Siyum HaShas held jointly by Nahalat Yitzhak, Porat Yosef, and Nahar Shalom]
From what time do we say the evening Shema, from the hour that the Kohanim(priest) enter to eat from their Trumah until the end of the first watch.
The Tanna starts us with the halakhot of the reciting of the Shema, matter which is done twice daily. Every boy, when he is made a Bar Mitzvah, what time is he made a Bar Mitzvah? At night! On the same day that he was born, at the start of the evening he is made a Bar Mitzvah. The first mitzvah that he will perform is this reciting of the Shema. Therefore it starts with the Kriat Shema.
At the time when the Kohanim enter to eat their Trumah.
The Kohanim they are impure(Tamea) and they immerse, on they same day that they immerse as it is written “At sunset they are pure”, after nighfall he is pure and permitted to eat the truma. Before this he is impure. There is in this a very strong prohibition, “Do not desecrate My Holy Name.” This is the Trumah which is holy- the holiness of Yisrael.
Therefore he says, the Kohanim enter to eat their Trumah, as these Kohanim are purified with nightfall and able to eat their trumah, so does the holiness of Torah purify the man. What does the verse put tents next to streams, “How beautiful are your tents Yaakov, like streams stretched out.” As the stream stream elevates a man from impurity to purity, so the words of Torah elevate a man from guilt to merit