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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When was the bending of the knees in bowing introduced?

The Gemara in Berachos 12a says that we bow at Baruch and we straighten at Hashem. Nowadays the familiar practice is to bend the knee at Baruch, to bow at Atah, and to straighten at Hashem, as stated ...
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464 views

Why should Bochurim learn Gemara in Aramaic?

Why is there so much emphasis in the Yeshivish world to learn Gemara in Aramaic? Why can't you find an English artscroll shas in most charedi yeshiva? It is not Lashon Hakodesh and it was written in ...
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586 views

Chanukah in the Mishnah

Why is the story of Chanukah not mentioned in the Mishnah at all, besides for to Passing references to Halachot which apply to them in the context of Damages an the laws of planting?
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215 views

What sages were known to have revived the dead?

The Talmud speaks of several rabbis who successfully appealed to G-d to revive a deceased colleague or some other individual. As I recall, one revived rabbi asked to be return to the world of the ...
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351 views

Talmudic Terminology

There are a number of English language works which to one degree or another discuss Talmudic terminology, i.e. the wider implication of certain phrases commonly used in the Gemara. Can anybody suggest ...
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182 views

Seemingly weak proof-texts from Tanach

What is the best way to understand how texts from Tanach are brought in the tradition (such as in the Talmud) to add proof or solidity to a point... according to a really unintuitive reading of the ...
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349 views

Pocket-size Talmud/Gemara

Is there is a pocket-size Gemara? Soft cover preferred. This would be a great invention if it doesn't already exist.
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301 views

Why masechet “Beitza”?

Why do we call it masechet Beitza now, and not masechet Yom Tov, as was apparently once common? Unlike the parshiot, which are named after their first words, masechtot are all named after topics, ...
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111 views

When is the Halacha like Raba and when like Abaye?

I've run across variations of the following: קיימא לן דהלכתא כרבא בכל מקום פרט ליע"ל קג"ם That the halacha is like Raba in every place in the Talmud except six place where it is like Abaye. The ...
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1answer
674 views

Yerushalmi Versus Bavli

What are the differences between the two Talmuds? or are there differences? Why did the two Talmuds develop separately or did they? Why do we Poskin like the Bavli or do we? Is it true that the ...
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215 views

Rabbi Shimon without any other qualifiers

When there is a "Rabbi Shimon" without giving his father's name or his town, who is it assumed to be? The specific example I'm looking at is in Yerushalmi Brachot Daf 25.-25:.
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195 views

Abigail's Thigh

The Talmud in Megillah 14b says that Abigail revealed her thigh, and that David followed her for 3 parasangs in his desire for her. In Tosafos it is asked how this righteous woman could have revealed ...
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131 views

Where did Rash"i's commentary leave off when he died?

Where did Rash"i's commentary leave off when died? Did he finish it? What was he working on?
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3answers
242 views

Mima nafshuch?

How do the words "ממה נפשך" mean what they mean, i.e. "either way"?
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4answers
1k views

Significance of the gemara statment תיקו Teku?

Why do we say תיקו Teiku when there is no answer in the Gemara?
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1answer
226 views

Is there any evidence of time-zones in Talmud? (Tanaim and Amoraim only)

There are many verses in the Talmud, Midrash and Siddur that state that the sun and moon rise and set through gates in the firmament. This would imply that there are no time-zones. To this world view ...
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1answer
415 views

Source for story about The Rabbi and the prostitute

I learned a great Gemara about a rabbi who visited a famous prostitute. But before he consummated the deal, his tallitot slapped him on the face, reminding him of his faith. Where's the story? Any ...
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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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353 views

Compare and Contrast: Artscroll and Koren Talmud Bavli

I want to know why would someone choose Artscroll Talmud Bavli over the Koren Talmud Bavliand and vice versa. What features do the Koren Talmud Bavli and the Artscroll Talmud Bavli and how do they ...
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1answer
107 views

If the “ten martyrs” didn't happen together, did the punishment-for-Joseph story happen? When?

It's commonly believed that the "ten martyrs" didn't all live in the same time period, and the description of them as a group is conceptual, not historical. Now the story opens with a Roman ruler ...
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2answers
72 views

How do different scholars define “aggadah”?

It is common to conceive of Shas (Bavli and Yerushalmi) as being an admixture of halakha and aggadah, and I've no doubt that people have differed from one another on the precise delineations of each. ...
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1answer
163 views

Would Chazal intentionally make a joke/pun?

Is making a joke in the Talmud something Chazal would do? What makes me wonder is the gemara in Pesachim (9b), which, in discussing the concern that a weasel may drag chometz around the house and ...
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72 views

How can one find a Gemarah Havruta in NYC?

For someone that has some basic gemarah skills with experience in learning the gemarah together with Rashi and Tosefot, what's a good resource for finding a daily havruta to study with in Brooklyn, ...
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92 views

Merit and Ein Mazal L'Yisrael

The Gemara (Shabbos 156b) tells a story with Shmuel and a non-Jewish astrologer named Avlait. They observed people entering a swamp. Avlait said that a certain man would not emerge from the swamp ...
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1answer
133 views

How could Yaakov name his children Gad and Dan?

Shabbos 67b says Gad was the name of an idol of the Amorites, and Dan was an idol of Samaria. If we're not supposed to even say the name of idols, how could Yaakov name his sons after them? (or is it ...
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177 views

Car falls into my ditch- I'm not responsible?

Halacha dictates that if someone were to dig a huge hole in the middle of the street and a car fell into it, he would not be responsible to pay for the damage to the car. The language of the Talmud ...
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110 views

Peirush HaMishnah L'Rambam

Anyone know where I can find Rambam's commentary on Mishnah online? I am especially looking for his commentary to Avos.
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1answer
129 views

A good beginner study Talmud for a student

I am looking to begin studying the Talmud. I have grown up a reform Jew and know most of the basic principals of Judaism, but I am looking to go deeper into the religion, ultimately with the goal of ...
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3answers
111 views

Are there any examples of Chazal pointing out a flaw in one of their contemporaries?

The Tanach is replete with examples of some of our greatest leaders and heroes' personal flaws and mistakes (however minuscule they might be when put into proper perspective). These flaws and mistakes ...
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1answer
280 views

Origin of a Jewish quote about fools

There is a quote about fools that I have heard, which is attributed to the Talmud. It goes as follows, "Never tell a fool he is a fool. All you'll have is an angry fool." I know that there are a ...
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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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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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79 views

Is the commonly worn undershirt known as a “beged tzitzit” actually obligated in tzitzit at all?

What is meant by ‘a garment exempt from tzitzit’? Does it mean a garment smaller than the prescribed measure? But it has been taught: A garment with which a child can cover his head and most of ...
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398 views

Looking for a source for well done Purim Torah Gemaras

One example that is utterly irreverent yet very well done and funny is the Simpsons episode done up as a blatt of gemera. (As a positive aspect, his use of B'Laz for Rav Shmuel David Ha'Tzair, as ...
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1answer
323 views

Different expressions for “permitted” in the gemoro and elsewhere

The Gemara and other sources use different words to say that something is permitted. There are "shari" "muttar" "leis lon boh". Is there any difference in shades of meaning between these and others ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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1answer
77 views

What does R' Shimon mean when he “Expounds the reason of a verse”?

There is a known argument In Kiddushin and other places where it says that R' Shimon "expounds [for Halachic purposes] the reason of a verse" (דרש טעמא דקרא). What does this mean? Does it mean that ...
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2answers
96 views

Do Jewish hermeneutics include an analogue for repudiating the “argument ad hominem”?

I'm wondering whether traditional sources have a name or an approach to dealing with what is known more generally as an "argument ad hominem". That is, are there sources in which some variation of ...
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2answers
156 views

What is the logical explanation for קם ליה בדרבה מיניה?

HodofHod: In essence, the idea is this: If a person does one act, and with that one act incurs two different kinds of penalties, we only apply the stricter one. So if a person (for example) ...
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43 views

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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90 views

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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57 views

Amoraim unique to Masechtas

I heard before (I think in the name of the Rogatchover) that there is one Amora in every masechta of Talmud that does not appear in any other masechta. Is there a source for this, and is there a list ...
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100 views

Identification of Censored Areas of Talmud

Unfortunately, the Talmud and other writings have been subject to censorship since their completion. These alterations seem still to be present in many modern editions of the Talmud. How ...
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174 views

Order of Masechtos in Seder Moed

According to the standard Shas print (Vilna Bavli), the order of Masechtas is Pesachim-Shekalim-Rosh Hashana-Yoma-Sukka-Beitza. This makes (some) sense as this is the order of holidays. However, the ...
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62 views

What is the status of the “minor tractates”?

There is a collection of "minor tractates" some of which contain material not found in other works of torah sh'baal peh (the oral law). What is the origin of these tractates? Who wrote/compiled them? ...
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64 views

Why are Masekhtot referred to by content while Humashim by their first word(s)?

Hamishah Humshe'i Torah (i.e. The Five Books of Moses) are most commonly referred to by the first word(s) in each (e.g. "Bereshit bara", "We'eleh HaDevarim"), though I'm aware of commentators (e.g. ...
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210 views

The concept of קם ליה בדרבה מיניה

I'm trying to understand this concept. I've Googled around and could't find any straightforward answers. I don't need too many details, just the explanation that's given in the Gemara (I understand ...
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5answers
272 views

Connecting Shas and Halacha

What resources are available to trace the connections from the Gemara to the Halachic codifications and the reverse? For example, how can someone learning Daf Yomi find the related Halachic rulings ...
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334 views

Tzlach - source of name?

The Noda BiYehuda has a commentary on Shas known as Tzlach - can someone help me by explaining what that stands for?
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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.