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6
votes
2answers
141 views

“Hit him with a hammer until he pays attention!” Literally?

Abaye makes a rather harsh judgment on someone who is unattentive in prayer (Ber. 34a): Hit him with a hammer until he pays attention! Is this meant to be taken as Halachah? Or is it just meant to ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Help parsing the Midrashim of ר׳ חנינא from בר׳ ל״ג ב׳

Can anyone offer help parsing the Midrashim of ר׳ חנינא from בר׳ ל״ג ב? He seems to quote himself in third person a couple of times: ״ואמר ר׳ חנינא הכל...והא אמר ר׳ חנינא משום ר׳ שמעון בן יוחי אין לו....
3
votes
0answers
120 views

A Mashal of HaShem as a crazy king and Moshe as His weak-kneed friend?

The Gemara (Ber. 32a) quotes R' El'azar that when HaShem wanted to destroy Bnei Yisrael and Moshe intervened, it is comparable to a king who beat his son terribly, and the king's friend was at his ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Was Tevi a slave at death or not?

The gemarah (bava kama 74b) indicates that Rebbi Gamliel's slave, Tevi was given his freedom after his master blinded him in one eye. However, the gemarah elsewhere (Brachos 16b) indicates that Rebbi ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

Ma'ariv is obligatory?

Berachoth (4b) states conclusively that Ma'ariv is compulsory (לאפוקי ממאן דאמר ... רשות; קמ״ל דחובה). But one of the accepted premises when comparing Ma'ariv to other Tefilloth is that Ma'ariv is ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Who established the Shema?

The Gemara in Berachos 12b says "They sought to establish [various passages] in the Shema" and "they establish[ed] the passage of tzitzis in the Shema" (Artscroll trans.) I had thought that the ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Why don't translations of Tehilim 119 translate נשף like the Gemara?

The Gemara on Berachos 3b asserts that נשף can mean either "dawn" or "evening", and cites Tehilim 119:147 as an instance of "evening". However, every translation I have seen of this verse - the ...
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
113 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
176 views

Do you have to pay if you damage someone in order to stop them from sinning?

There is a story in Brachos where R' Ada bar Ahava ripped a Karbalta (a red non-tznius garment) off a woman, and then discovered that she was not Jewish. He then was fined for that act 400 zuz. He ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

Why don't we say Hagomel after driving through a desert?

The Gemara says that four have to say Hagomel: One who went overseas One who went into a desert. One who was [deathly] ill. One who was in prison [on a capital crime]. Everyone (to the best of my ...
7
votes
1answer
276 views

How was Rabbi Yochanan allowed to walk with his son's bone?

It says in Brachos 5B that R' Yochanan used to show people his tenth son's bone (all of his children passed away, and he used to carry a bone of his tenth child). How was he allowed to not bury this ...
6
votes
1answer
419 views

Shimi Ben Geira was Shlomo's Teacher?

The Talmud (Berachot 8A) seems to indicate that Shimi Ben Geira was King Shlomo's teacher: ואמר רבי חייא בר אמי משמיה דעולא לעולם ידור אדם במקום רבו שכל זמן ששמעי בן גרא קיים לא נשא שלמה את בת ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

Was King David the head of the Sanhedrin?

It's widely assumed that Dovid HaMelech was the head of the Sanhedrin; see, for example, Kesef Mishneh in the beginning of Rambam's introduction to Yad HaChazaka. However, the Gemara in Berachos 4a ...