The Talmud is a central text of Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history.

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Why do people say that a בנין עדי עד refers to a home?

The gemara in Kesubos 8a says that the בנין עדי עד (in one of the brachos of sheva brachos) refers to Chava. Additionally, the text of the beracha implies nothing about it referring to a home. So why ...
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56 views

Source for the oral traditions in Megillas Esther?

I'm trying to understand where the Rabbis in tractate Megillah get their information. I thought that the way they interpret the five books of Moses was because they already knew all the laws and ...
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2answers
73 views

Why do many boys begin learning Gemara with Elu Metzios?

There is a popular custom for boys to start their Gemara studies with Elu Metzios (the 2nd Perek in Bava Metzia). The Gemara (Bava Basra 175b) does say that financial laws are conducive to becoming ...
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2answers
162 views

Is sincere repentance always accepted?

Must repentance be accepted by Gd? Is sincere repentance always accepted? Is repentance a form of prayer? (Not all prayer is accepted.)
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164 views

Why learn Gemara?

Why do we learn Gemara? We can't learn any Halacha from Gemara, as brought in Yalkut Yosef Halachot Talmud Torah. So why do we learn Gemara at all-it's more useful to learn Halacha!
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Must Shevet Levi Follow Dina Demalchusa Dina In The Land Of Israel?

The Ran in Nedarim (28a) states: "The Law of Dina Demalchusa only applies to a non Jewish King, for the land is entirely his, and he can say if you do not follow my edicts I will banish you from ...
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1answer
98 views

Teshuva where Rambam says he forgot a Gemara

I once heard that there was at least one case in which various Acharonim offered complex explanations to explain how the Rambam did not contradict certain Gemaras, and subsequently there were responsa ...
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2answers
38 views

Tannaim vs Amoiraim

Can an Amora argue with a Tanna? From the Talmud it would seem that an Amora cannot argue with a Tanna and that is why it tries to fit in all Amoraic statements into the words of the Tannaim.
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Source for a Talmudic story of three caskets

In the Merchant of Venice, suitors attempting to win Portia's hand must choose from 3 caskets (of gold, silver and lead). Those who chose wrong must leave immediately and never marry anyone. One who ...
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2answers
45 views

Online Gemoro Shiurim

Are there any websites where I can listen/download a Gemara shiur in English with rishonim, acharonim at a relatively high level? I'm not looking for daf yomi bekiyus shiurim but rather a deeper ...
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Source for an Aggadah about Moshe feeding a bird

I was reading a book called "Shylock" by Hermann Sinsheimer and he made reference to a story from "the Jewish Talmud." I don't know to what he is referring. I looked online quickly and found someone ...
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Hard Yeshivish phrases to translate [closed]

Does anyone ever have trouble finding good English translations of certain yeshivish phrases, especially when in conversation with someone who would not understand the original? Post your favorite ...
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1answer
58 views

Medicinal etc. Sections of Talmud

Every now and then, then Gemara will go off on a tangent and discuss medical practices (such as towards the end of Gittin and scattered throughout maseches shabbos) or practical safety advice ...
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2answers
117 views

Brevity of the Rishonim

I have heard about Rashi that he measured his words very meticulously and that consequently every word he chose to write in his commentary is important for understanding his view. There are even ...
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2answers
537 views

What is the oldest manuscript of Torah Shebaal Peh?

We don't have (and more's the pity!) R' Yehudah Hanassi's autograph copy of the Mishnah (well, okay, it's a controversial issue whether he actually wrote it or only arranged it orally), or Ravina and ...
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4answers
288 views

Is there a source in the gemara for “Blei Gissen” (pouring lead)?

A recent article in the 5 Towns Jewish Times claims Blei gissen, the technique of pouring lead to nullify ayin ha’ra, the poisonous evil eye, has its source in the Gemara ... In his critique of ...
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34 views

Websites that explain the Talmud

I am looking for a website that explains the Talmud (more specifically Sanhedrin Perek 3) in a video form. Is there such a site?
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729 views

Why were some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz banned?

Apparently some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz were banned. What are the specific examples that prompted the ban? Is there a list of all of his works that have been banned, as I am interested in ...
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375 views

Academic review of Steinsaltz Gemara

One of the nice aspects of the Steinsaltz Gemaras is that he provides little historical background pieces to figures and objects referenced in the text, as well as linguistic analysis of certain ...
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1answer
51 views

Elazar ben durdayah and the Metaphors

The Gemara in Avodah Zarah (17a) says: “When Elazar ben durdayah was at the moment of the onset of cohabitation, [the harlot] blew with her mouth and said to Elazar, “Just as this current of air ...
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1answer
301 views

Sherlock Holmes-ian deduction in the Talmud

I remember learning a story in the Talmud (I think) and am trying to find the source. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but this is what I remember. There was a Talmudic Rabbi who was sold into ...
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1answer
92 views

When ended Beth Shammai?

I am looking for a way to recognize members of the Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel when I learn the gemara and mishna. I need to know when the Beth Shammai ended (as well as the Beth Hillel) to find out ...
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840 views

Self-defense in a street fight?

I was in a situation where someone basically approached me indicating he was going to fight me, squared up with me, stared me down etc. pushed me twice, and then I thought to myself, "If he raises a ...
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1answer
42 views

Who is the author of the notes Bechor Shor on Kidushin?

At the back of the gomoro Kidushin, in the Yalkut Meforshim [in the Oz Vahadar Gemoros, it seems that they were printed previously in a sefer and not at the back of the Gemoros], there are some notes ...
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46 views

Berur halachah - what is this called in English?

I'm translating an article concerning the need for a "berur halachah" in order to determine the legal status of individuals with mental retardation. How would say "berur halachah" in English? ...
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1answer
74 views

What side is a newborn supposed to nurse from first?

I have heard that there is a gemara that discusses what side a newborn is supposed to breastfeed from first. If this is true, where is this gemara and what's the idea behind it?
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Why study non-practical tractates of Talmud?

A quick background: I recently sat down with my step-father and brother and learned Masechet Makkot with them for a bit - this was their first time learning Talmud. Given that the masechet starts ...
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3answers
271 views

Which Talmudic source for Ḥanukah is the real source?

What is the Talmudic source for Ḥanukah? In discussing candles for Shabbath, the Talmud (Shab. 21b) goes into a discussion about candles generally, touching upon Ḥanukah candles, and ultimately asks, ...
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53 views

What mean “peley” and “nava mina”? [closed]

At a gemara Shiur, I often heard the expression "it is peley" and the word "navamina". I do not know what these words mean. Navamina is not in the Melamed Dictionnary... Can you please tell me the ...
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1answer
51 views

What mean Cholek, Chozer, modey and Gozer?

When studying Masseret Ketubot with a Rabbi, he often says "He is Cholek", "He is Chozer", "He is Modey" or "He is Gozer". These four words seems related. It seems, according to the context, that they ...
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2answers
256 views

What does the word Dochak mean?

When I study gemara with some people, I often heard the sentences "he is dochak", "he's not so dochak". What does this word mean exactly ? I do not find it in the dictionnary.
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I would like to see an actual Vilna Shas

I would like to see the pages of an actual Vilna Shas. I know there are many many reprints out there in bookstores, my bookshelf, and websites like http://www.e-daf.com, but that's not what I want. I ...
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1answer
196 views

What does “Aman deAmar” mean?

I go to a Gemara shiur, and the rabbi always says "the first aman deamar", "the second aman deamar"... What does it mean exactly? What is the meaning of the different words?
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What does it mean that Hashem plays with the Leviatan?

The Talmud in Avodah Zara 3b says that the last quarter of the day Hashem plays with the Leviathan. Is there any explanation of what that means? If so, where? הקב"ה יושב ועוסק בתורה....רביעיות ...
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3answers
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Where can I find examples of R. Yishmael's 13 talmudic rules?

We read Rabbi Yishmael's 13 principles of interpreting torah in the shacharit service and many of the explanations seem fairly straightforward, but I am not a very advanced student and I find I don't ...
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Wordplay concerning the Ayin and the Aleph in Gemara

I remember hearing about some interesting statements made about those that fail to distinguish pronunciation between the ayin and the aleph. An example was given in gemara about why such a distinction ...
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3answers
319 views

Where (in Talmud) does it say that people can see others' faults, but not their own?

Rav Michael Munk zt"l, quoted Bava Basra (16b) in his sefer The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, page 178, which states the following: Many people see very clearly when observing the faults of ...
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62 views

Are there any pranks in the talmud?

Are there any examples of someone pulling a prank or other practical joke on another person in the talmud?
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26 views

Talmud citations in order of pasuk [duplicate]

Is there any resource, online or otherwise, that lists all of the Talmud's citations of psukim in the order that the psukim appear in Chumash or Tanakh?
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Difference between the RamBam and Talmud Kiddushin 82a in list of jobs that posul a King/High Priest?

Anyone have any insight as to why there is a difference between the two, or why the RamBam seems to omit several of the jobs (i.e. cleaner, peddler, etc.)? Thanks
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36 views

Source text of Ketuvim's one-volume Bavli

There is a Shas Bavli printed in one volume by Ketvuvim Publishers in Jerusalem. Does anyone have any information about which version of the text they used(standard vilna, or did they change based on ...
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67 views

Can a magician cast a spell in water?

The power of magicians and magic, the Talmud speaks plenty about. One such example is that of Ze'iri and the donkey, in Sanhedrin 67: זעירי איקלע לאלכסנדריא של מצרים זבן חמרא כי מטא לאשקוייה מיא ...
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3answers
224 views

What is the source of my father's Hebrew name? It is כלאוונא

I am going getting a GET from my wife and the Rabbi asked for my father's Hebrew name. I told him it was כלאוונא, the same as my great-grandfather. The rabbi said he had never heard of the name. ...
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1answer
119 views

Source(s) for Chazon Ish and Rav Shach's position on Ir Hanidachat

We have been learning a Gemara on Masechet Sanhedrin that brings a Braita talking about Ir Hanidachat. It's on טו: and as follows: דתניא עד כמה עושין עיר הנדחת מי׳ ועד ק׳ דברי רבי יאשיה רבי יונתן ...
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1answer
443 views

Who is Shmuel’s father? & Why is he called by his son’s name?

Many times throughout the Gemara we come across the term אבוה דשמואל "the father of Shmuel". I was wondering if we know what his real name was? And why he is referred to by his son’s name?
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Is it important to learn Mishnah before Talmud?

I have recently started learning Talmud / Gemara recently, and though I am enjoying the experience greatly, something tells me that it would be helpful if I actually went about learning Mishnayot ...
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1answer
122 views

Rav vs. Rabbi in Talmudic Times

I was reading about the life of Rabbi Zera, and it said he was originally a Rav. The Rabbis of Eretz Yisrael offered to confer on him the title of Rabbi and at first he refused, until they told of ...
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1answer
68 views

New Tzurat haDaf

Since the 19th century, the common format for the Talmud Bavli has followed the Tzurat haDaf of the Widow Romm and Brothers. Would there be any reason, other than familiarity, to maintain the Vilna ...
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11answers
3k views

Talmud Study, Where to start

I would like to start to study Talmud, BUT do not know how, where to start. My Jewish training is basically non-existent. I learned how to read the Hebrew words in the Siddur, Machzor, and Chumash - - ...