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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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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Talmudic Censorship

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. Why aren't these ...
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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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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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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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273 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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When and why does the Gemoro say “vehilchoso”?

Sometimes, after the Talmud records a disagreement, it concludes by saying that the Halacha is like one side of the debate (“vehilchoso”). See e.g. ...
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460 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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Do the Gemara and the Rema prohibit, or encourage, women putting on talit and/or tefillin?

An article in Ynet Judaism (in Hebrew) addresses the resent controversy regarding the prayer of Women of the Wall at the western wall. And claims the following claims: אף אחד גם לא הקריא להן את ...
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Did HaShem “regret” creating someone/something

I heard once that it says somewhere in Chazal that there were certain things or people that HaShem "regretted" (had "charatah") in creating. Although I don't remember which examples were given or if a ...
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Riddle: Honor-Dishonor [closed]

When is doing an action to honor something considered a dishonor and therefore okay?
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50 views

Source for Gemara about Gedalia

Where can I find the Gemara which this speaker is talking about ? In short, he quotes a Gemara which talks about Gedalia. Gedalia heard that Yishmael was coming to murder the people of the town but ...
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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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Brachos Daf 2a - What does Creation have to do with Krias Shema?

The Gemorah in Brachos Daf 2a asks two questions right away after learning the Mishnah. The second is: Why is it that the Mishnah taught about the time at night for Krias Shema first - really we ...
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102 views

Haman in the Torah

Similar to Alex's question, Why did the Gemara say "From where is the source of Homon in the Torah? Homin Hoetz." when it could have used "Vechaltem es Homon"? Anyways, what is the purpose of ...
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134 views

Can someone explain the meat-vinegar issue in 7th perek of Pesachym?

I have a question with regards to the sugya in Pesachym 74B regarding soaking meat in vinegar. To start with: if blood has already been purged, why soak in vinegar to remove the blood? how can the ...
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52 views

Gemara on volunteering?

I heard that there was a Gemara to the effect of "volunteers cost more than employees because their motivation is not as good" -- or somesuch. Any ideas? Thanks.
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Do they still print g'maras with regular Torah Or?

It used to be the standard for many many years that each in-text quotation of a Biblical verse in the Vilna edition Talmud Bavli had a little circle before the first word, which corresponded to a ...
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150 views

Do angels sing?

After reading the last Tosfos on Chullin 91b ( http://hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=31&daf=91b&format=text) I wondered if angels sing? Is there an explicit source in Tanach that they ...
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Which Raban Shimon ben Gamliel was it who was martyred?

The Ten Martyrs liturgy describes Rabbi Yishmael the High Priest and Raban [=nasi or "chief rabbi"] Shimon ben Gamliel as killed by the Romans at the same time. Rabbi Yishmael served as cohen gadol ...
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91 views

How would anyone ever “worship idols out of love or fear”?

It says in the Gemara (Krisus 3a) that if one worships an idol without accepting it as a god, he isn't liable to even bring a chatas. This opinion seems to held according to everyone. Yet, the Gemara ...
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109 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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61 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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103 views

Where does the Talmud discuss the reason for Onan's death?

Genesis 38 says that instead of impregnating Tamar, Onan let his seed go to waste, and that this angered God, and therefore God killed Onan. I have a vague memory of reading somewhere in the Talmud ...
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How were long-running talmudic discussions actually conducted?

Eiruvin 13b records two years-long disputes between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, and surely these are not the only long-running debates. How did that work in practice? Did they really have a single ...
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149 views

If someone doesn't believe in the Gemara, is he a heretic?

If someone says "I believe that the Mishnayos/Braisos/Toseftas are accurate, but I think that the Gemara made mistakes and has no holiness. Is such philosophy heresy? What about someone who argues ...
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78 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 ...
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Rashi on the Rif?

Is Rashi on the Rif the same as the one in the Gemara? If it is, why is it put there? If its not, then why did Rashi write a different pirush on the Rif, and does it have a different Derech then ...
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76 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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Is every mishna mentioned in the Bavli?

On a previous question that I asked, one correspondent pointed out the existence of a Mishnaic index, which lists every page of the early rabbinic literature on which there is a reference (or ...
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92 views

Where Does the Talmud Teach Not to Learn Halacha From Observation of Teachers?

Back when I was learning Daf Yomi, I ran into an interesting lesson I'm finding difficult to find again. It was a teaching that one should learn halacha from your rebbe's teachings and not through ...
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100 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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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) borrows a ...
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Why is there seemingly such a disconnect between the Geonim and the Rishonim?

It seems that there was a disconnect or upheaval of some kind between the times of the Geonim and the times of the Rishonim and the hakhamim that these two eras contained. Shittoth regarding tefila, ...
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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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Connection of Toch Kedei Dibbur to Walking 4 Amot

According to this, the gemara compares Toch Kedei Dibbur (the length of time neccasary to greet someone; see Shalom alecha rebbi (u'mori) ) to the time it takes to walk 4 amot (cubits). Thus, with ...
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source for obligation to recite the shema

The talmud in berachos 2a asserts that the verse ודברת בם בשבתך בביתך ובלכתך בדרך ובשכבך ובקומך is the source for the mitzva of reciting shema twice daily. Yet later on in daf 13, the talmud says ...
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Is this really in the Talmud?

I've seen this before on anti-semetic sites - is it really in the Talmud? Extracts from the Jewish text the Talmud "Just the Jews are humans, the non-Jews are no humans, but cattle" ...
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All but every 6th letter begins the name of a misechte

For each letter in the aleph beis, there is at least one misechte in shas whose name starts with it — besides for every 6th letter (vuv, lamed and tzadi). Did anyone ever hear any explanation ...
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Did the Jews in the Midbar know the entire Torah?

The G'mara in Y'vamos (ד) and B'rachos (כא) records a dispute over whether laws can be deduced from the fact of two p'sukim appearing adjacent to one another in the Torah. The Mahara"tz Chayos ...
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How should the vowel/s represented by “yud yud” be pronounced outside of Yiddish?

אורייתא, ברייתא and היינו are just three common examples of Aramaic words found in Gemara which are commonly pronounced containing the 'ay' (/ai/ei) sound. Of course, this corresponds to Yiddish whose ...
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What is the connection between giving tz'daka and tripping on steps?

"Paso'ach Tiftach Es Yadecha Lo", open up your hand to the poor (Re'eh 15:8). The Gemara in Bava Basra (10a) tells the story how Rav Papa was walking up the stairs and his foot slipped and he was ...
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90 views

Source of “Legitimate pleasures” quote

A quote that sometimes appears on the internet is the following: "Everyone will be called to account for all the legitimate pleasures which he or she has failed to enjoy." It is usually attributed ...
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76 views

What is a “migu”

A popular topic discussed sometimes at length in Yeshivas I would like to pose the question here with a few additional points: What is a "migu"? How is it used in Shas? What is a "classic" (or the ...
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Dialogue Between Jews and Romans in Jewish Tradition

I always wonder what people refer to when they quote things spoken between the Jews and the Romans. Does ancient Jewish doctrine include instances of dialogue between the Jews and the Romans?
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'fixed' wording of the g'mara justified by found mss.?

In the margins of the g'mara are many notations indicating changes that various rabbis (Bach, G'ra, Tzon Kadashim, Shita M'kubetzes, etc.) made in the wording of the g'mara, seemingly to resolve ...
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63 views

What are the opinions that explain why Gemara is authoritative?

Rambam and R' Hai Gaon say that Gemara is authoritative because of minhag, but are there other opinions as to the reason? The one that I'm familiar with (or that I most identify with) is the reason ...
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76 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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In the גמרא when should I read 'לך' as 'לְךָ' and when should I read it as 'לָךְ'?

When I use an Artscroll gemara with vowels, sometimes it will vocalize the word לך differently. The pattern I notice seems to be that it vocalizes לך as לְךָ for hebrew, i.e. a mishna or braisa, and ...
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Why is it Ok to have tzizit without techelet?

The Mishna in M’nachot 4:1 says that the mitzvah of the white tzizit is not gone if there is no techelet, and the mitzvah of the techelet is not gone if there is no white. That seems a straight ...