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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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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82 views

Why Italia of Yavan?

The gemara in Megila 6b refers to איטליא של יון זה כרך גדול של רומי, which translates literally as: Italy of Greece, this is the great city of Rome. This seems odd insofar as I know, Italy never ...
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127 views

Where can I find the booklet “Structure of Debate”?

I was in a different shul this past Shabbos when I saw a very interesting booklet of more than 200 pages called "Structure of Debate" by Jonathan Bailey. It's a primer to learning gemara. I tried ...
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187 views

What is the difference between Genaiva and Gezaila

The Torah or Talmud uses two terms for a thief -- the "Gonif", (which is the more familiar term) and the "Gazlin", and two corresponding terms for robbery "Genaiva" and "Gezaila". What is the ...
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50 views

Who was the son of Rabi Meir's father-in-law?

The gemara in Chulin 6b mentions Rabi Yehoshua ben Zeruz, the son of the father-in-law of Rabi Meir as having given testimony about a certain practice of Rabi Meir. The way the relationship is ...
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128 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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618 views

How do we understand Talmudic predictions of Moshiach?

There are some predictions in the Talmud for when Moshiach/Messiah will come. Avoda Zara 9b brings a Beraisa and Rabbi Chanina that say when Moshiach will come (the opinions are a few years apart), ...
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70 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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76 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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102 views

Rashi in Horayos

I'm learning now Horayos, and it seems to me that Rashi there is somewhat different. Too verbose, I would say. Are there any sources that in Horayos Rashi is indeed Rashi, or it is not?
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176 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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206 views

What's the practical difference of what Maveh means?

In the gemara in Bava Kama on Daf 3b there is a discussion about what the word Maveh (מבעה) in the Mishnah [on 2a] means. The gemara brings a dispute: Rav holds that Maveh means "man" (i.e. when a man ...
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510 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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6answers
693 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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265 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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4answers
366 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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211 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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5answers
527 views

What are some good resources for deciphering a Tosfos comment that I can't figure out?

What are some good resources for deciphering a Tosfos comment that I can't figure out? Here is what I am looking for in a resource: When Tosfos brings another gemoro this resource should provide ...
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2answers
429 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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3answers
190 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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179 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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862 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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230 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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135 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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289 views

Mima nafshuch?

How do the words "ממה נפשך" mean what they mean, i.e. "either way"?
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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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244 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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227 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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230 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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766 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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2answers
94 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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314 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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193 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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122 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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1answer
205 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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83 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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1answer
102 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
148 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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1answer
124 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
93 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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118 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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349 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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61 views

Are prayers only accepted when offered in a Synagogue?

I've always believed that "all prayers are accepted", at least if they're done correctly and with intention. But I was recently reading through Berachot 6a when I read the following: אין תפלה של ...
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104 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
73 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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89 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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572 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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468 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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125 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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83 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 ...