Questions about the theory of Talmud study or general Talmudic concepts. Also for questions about a particular line of Talmudic-style reasoning.

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2
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1answer
50 views

Is “pikuach nefesh” on shabbos “hutrah” or “dichuya”?

Whenever two mitzvos come into conflict with each other, and one is given precedence over the other (such as in the case of מילה on Shabbos, or any עשה דוחה לא תעשה), there is usually discussion over ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Yibum and Chalitzah: stringency or leniency?

In Yevamoth 8a, we discuss a group of women (enumerated in mishna 1:1) with whom neither yibum (levirate marriage) nor chalitzah (the rejection of levirate marriage) takes place. According to the ...
3
votes
1answer
30 views

Yibum & Chalitzah: Questionable hekesh with wife's sister

In Yevamoth 3b, we learn that the reason for exempting fourteen women (of the fifteen enumerated in mishna 1:1) and their co-wives from yibum (levirate marriage) and chalitzah (the decision not to do ...
3
votes
0answers
18 views

What's wrong with Rashi's explanation of Hechsher Mitzvah?

A Daf Yomi Shi'ur that I listen to went into details about Hechsher Mitzvah when we reached Yevamoth 6a. Essentially, Rashi says that the Gemara's term, "Hechsher Mitzvah", is referring to a scenario ...
5
votes
1answer
65 views

Why does שבת דף לז ע״א reject a valid proof?

The Bavli, Shabas 37 amud 1, wonders about the permissibility of placing a pot of food adjacent to a stove-oven (rather than atop or in it) when the stove-oven has good fuel in it that has not been ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Source for split between דיני ממונות and דיני נפשות

There's a fairly commonly quoted idea in נזיקין masechtos, that a difference exists between דיני ממונות (monetary cases) and דיני נפשות (capital cases); that by דיני ממונות the חייב [whoever is חייב] ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Tosafoth's unique opinion that Building is biblically allowed on Yom Tov, contradicted by a simple Gemara in Beitzah?

Beitzah 9b seems to undermine a famous Tosafoth in Shabbath 95a that introduces a fascinating Hiddush that Boneh (construction) on Yom Tov should be Mutar, but is forbidden because of rabbinic ...
6
votes
2answers
68 views

I thought Gezeirah Shavah requires Mesorah

In Masecheth Rosh Hashanah (9b), the Gemara uses a Gezeirah Shavah from Tishrei, with the word שנה, to support the Mishnah's ruling that 'Orlah is counted from Tishrei. In response, however, the ...
8
votes
4answers
267 views

What is the practical difference between nebelah and terefah?

The second mishna on Chullin 32a explains that if an animal is rendered invalid by any death which does not occur through proper ritual slaughter it is nebelah while if it is rendered invalid for some ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

RaMBa“M's ”Wondrous Point“ about cooking ”treif" meat from a Kosher animal with milk undermined by a simple Gemara?

Beitzah 12b seems to undermine RaMBa"M's Nekudah Niflaah that cooking and enjoying (not eating) Basar Tehorah Neveilah with milk is Mutar. Beitzah 12a-12b has R' Yohanan appalled at the suggestion ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

What would be the problem with these strange walls?

The Gemara discusses whether a fence made with just Shesi (horizontal component) or just Eirev (vertical component) is a wall. Some opinions say that its not. Then there is another Gemara which ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

How does Ezra's decree prove Hefker Beith Din Hefker?

The Gemara in Shekalim 3a seeks to prove the concept of Hefker Beith Din Hefker. To that end, it cites the incident in which Ezra decreed that anyone who refused to gather in Jerusalem would forfeit ...
-3
votes
1answer
378 views

Mah Nafshach - Is hair part of the human body or not?

Inspired by this answer, I'm curious. We hold that hair of a married woman is 'Ervah. Yet it is not 'Ervah for an unmarried woman. According to the Gemara in Shabbath (Bab. 95a), braiding the hair ...
7
votes
3answers
240 views

Difference between Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le, Pesik Reshe Delo Ichpat Le, & Melacha She'en Sarich LeGufa

What is the practical difference between actions considered Pesik Reshe Delo Niha Le, Pesik Reshe Delo Ichpat Le, and Melecha She'en Sarich Legufa? What is an example that can demonstrate the ...
6
votes
2answers
79 views

Does Rashi's commentary on a quoted mishna reflect the true explanation?

Often the Bavli will quote a mishna from another maseches (tractate) or another part of the same maseches. Does Rashi's commentary on the Bavli's quotation of the mishna reflect his interpretation of ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Why does the RaMBa"M allow one to derive benefit from cooked mixtures of milk and meat of improperly slaughtered animals?

As noted in this other question and its comments and answers, the RaMBa"M allows one to derive benefit from the cooked mixture of milk and meat of an animal of a Kosher species that was not ...
3
votes
3answers
201 views

Why check pockets on Shabbos?

It says in Shabbos (12a) that one should always check his pockets on Friday so he won't accidentally carry on Shabbos. I don't understand the purpose of this checking. Even if one did carry ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

What is the source of Chazaka?

There are many halachic chazakas. Most of them are halachic assumptions, such as: Keeping things the way they always were - Either financial (Chezkas Marei Kama) or religious (Chezkas Tahara, ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Mishna Demai 5:11: why can't you take teruma from vadai on demai?

(Lomdus alert: this question is not for beginners.) In Maseches Demai (5:10-11) we learn that taking teruma from a vadai (=untithed produce) on demai (=possibly untithed produce) does not work, even ...
6
votes
2answers
170 views

Kiddushin 'Al Tnai and the effect of Nissuin

I just read a comment online asking, in a particular 'Agunah situation, why there was not an agreement before the wedding to allow a rabbinical court to a annul the marriage. Is this a legitimate ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Charging interest to “your brother”

A deleted post from a long time ago made the claim that [W]e are [allowed to charge interest to other Jews] but not from immediate family. Even from another Jew, if he or she is not a member ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

What is “blood that moved from one place to another”?

I'm learning laws of salting in the Shulchan Aruch. One concept I'm battling to understand is "דם שפירש ממקום למקום" - blood that moved from one place to another. Here's a good example of my ...
8
votes
1answer
91 views

Is Dina D'Malchusa a din in Gavra or in Cheftza?

Let's say that Reuvain owes Shimon money in American law, and Dina Demalchusa applies, does that mean: Reuvein has a halachic monetary obligation to Shimon which is as strong as any other ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Woman going out on Shabbath with a “Moch”

The Gemara (שבת, פ׳ במה בהמה) has lengthy discussions about animals going out with covers tied to their udders or other extremities, and repeatedly (briefly) mentions a Zav wearing a sac to catch his ...
5
votes
3answers
461 views

Source for the prohibition against Nivul Peh (foul mouth)

What is the source for the prohibition against Nivul Peh (using foul language)? Is it Biblical? Rabbinic? "Asmachta" (based on a principle derived from the Torah but ultimately not considered a ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Pesik Resheih DeLa'Avar (inevitable consequence relating to the past)

The RaM"a (Y"D 87:6) cites an opinion that one may shouldn't stoke a flame beneath a non-Jew's pot, for fear that there's some milk and meat residue in it, and you might come to cook said milk and ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Why are disputes in pairs?

The final paragraph of this answer: We do have the tools to derive from the Torah what those Halachos are (Moshe Rabeinu taught them to us), but these rules are very general in nature and ...
8
votes
3answers
168 views

Which word in “אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים” is חיים modifying?

"אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים" is generally translated as "These [and these are both equally] the words of the Living G-d" or some variation thereof. Is that correct, though? Is it not possible that it ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Three reasons not to enter ruins (Berachoth 3a)

In Berachoth (3a) a Beraitha states that there are 3 reasons not to enter ruins - that it is unseemly, that walls might collapse, and that unsavory characters might lie in wait and harm the person. ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Kohanim on first shift can't say Shema'?

The first Mishnah in Berachoth quotes R' Eli'ezer's opinion that the time for reciting Shema' in the evening extends only until the end of the first shift (the Kohanim would serve in the Beith ...
8
votes
3answers
118 views

Are בישול on Shabbos and בישול of Meat and milk the same?

Are the qualifications for being called בישול (cooking) the same for Shabbos (e.g., frying is a question in Halacha if it is recognized as Cooking to say אין בישול אחר בישול - there is no such thing ...
11
votes
3answers
245 views

Asei Doche Lo Sasei vs. Mitzvah Habaah Beaveirah

These are two concepts in Judaism: עשה דוחה לא תעשה - that if there is a Mitzvah Asei in the Torah, and a Mitzvas Lo Sasei, we say that the Asei overrides the Lo Sasei, and one should do it. For ...
7
votes
4answers
334 views

Neder vs. Shevua

Inspired by this answer (and more generally its question): What is the difference between a Neder (vow) and a Shevua (oath)? It seems to me that it is generally described as "issur cheftza" (neder) ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

The blessing of Shehechiyanu

Is Bircat Shehechiyanu a bircat shevach (a blessing of praise)? If it is, why sometimes do we make the beracha before the event (or in some cases an action representing an event, such as putting up a ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

How can one who contradicted witnesses use those witnesses later?

Case 1 Plaintiff Reuvein made a claim against Shimon that Shimon owes $100 to Reuvein through a loan. Shimon said: "I never borrowed anything from you". Reuvein brought two witnesses (Pair A) that ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Is the Mitzva of Tzitzit on the Gevra or the Cheftza?

Is the Mitzva of Tzitzit an obligation on the clothing or on the person?
7
votes
2answers
501 views

What is a hakira?

In the parlance of Talmud study and lomdus, what does the word "Hakira" mean and how should it be used? Why are Hakiras useful?
8
votes
2answers
313 views

How did Rambam eliminate “ben gilo” from the halacha?

The gemara in Elu Metzios (Bava Metzia 30b) says: אמר מר (אשר) ילכו - זה ביקור חולים. היינו גמילות חסדים! לא נצרכה אלא לבן גילו ,דאמר מר בן גילו נוטל אחד מששים בחליו ,ואפי' הכי מבעי ליה ...