Tagged Questions

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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3
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2answers
99 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
231 views

Does Kiddushin 81b imply that one opinion allows for suicide if that is the only way to keep from sinning?

The Gemoro in Kiddushin 81b brings down the following (shortened version of the) story: Rabbi Chiya Bar Ashi used to say 'May God save me from the Yetzer Hora'! When his wife overheard him she ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Source for “Ein Mazal B'Yisroel”

I know that there is a Gemarah (somewhere in Shabbos I think), that discuses birth signs, based on days of the week and month. The Gemarah ends with Ein Mazal B'Yisroel and a few stories that ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Learning words from the servants of Rebbi

Where is the gemarah that discusses how the sages didn't know the meaning of certain words until their heard the servants of Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi using those words in everyday conversation?
2
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2answers
129 views

Why was Chanah called an “Ishah Kesheirah”?

The Gemoro says that when Chanah was caught by Eli davening and whispering, he asked the Urim Vetumim about her to see if she was ok. The letters ה ר ש כ appeared on the Urim Vetumim. Eli understood ...
3
votes
2answers
303 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
129 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) borrows a ...
4
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3answers
161 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
216 views

Who is the voice of Tosafoth?

Tosafoth were the sons-in-law, grandchildren, and students of Rashi (and their students), and "they" wrote a commentary on the Talmud that is often at odds with Rashi's earlier commentary. Sometimes ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Online English Rashi (Talmud)

Is there an English translation of Rashi's commentary on the Talmud available online?
12
votes
1answer
164 views

Best way to translate “קא”

In the Aramaic of the Babylonian Talmud, there is a widely used word "קא", like in the sentence והא קא קרי (in Berahot 13:1). What is the best way to translate it to Hebrew or English? Or maybe just ...
4
votes
5answers
572 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
458 views

What was wrong with the word Talmud?

The Wikipedia article on The Talmud says: and Pope Pius IV commanded, in 1565, that the Talmud be deprived of its very name. The convention of referring to the work as "Shas" (shishah sidre ...
9
votes
3answers
372 views

Are women forbidden from Teaching Gemara\Talmud?

Assuming that women are allowed to learn Gemara\Talmud\Torah she-Ba'al Peh, are they still forbidden from teaching it to others (either men or women)? Textual sources for (either references or links) ...
5
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
158 views

Sharp sword on the throat

The Gemara says Berachot 10a אפי' חרב חדה מונחת על צוארו של אדם אל ימנע עצמו מן הרחמים Even if a sharp sword is resting on one's thought he shouldn't hold back from (asking for) mercy." Why ...
10
votes
1answer
421 views

How were men allowed to watch an execution?

It says in Maseches Sota (8a) that that if a woman would be punished by stoning, she would be stoned virtually unclothed, and men would be allowed to attend. The Gemara says that there is no concern ...
13
votes
2answers
342 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
244 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
116 views

Why not “Where is Achashverosh in the Torah”?

In Chullin 139b, the Gemara asks about hints in the Torah for several of the figures in the Megillah, and provides answers: "Where is {Haman, Esther, Mordechai} hinted at in the Torah?" ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

Plural vs Singular masechtot names

Why are some masechtot names plural (e.g. gitin, kidushin) while others are singular (e.g. tomid, nida and shabos)?
14
votes
2answers
264 views

Insults in the gemarah

Why do tanaim and amoraim use disparaging terms (bavlai tipshai, for instance) or insults when talking with one another. If there is something positive to be learned from this behavior why is it no ...
5
votes
2answers
308 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.
3
votes
0answers
72 views

Can the Gemara be used as scriptural basis to prove a point? [closed]

In a discussion to my answer on Mordechai - was he or wasn't he? I was told that the Gemara can not be used as scriptural basis to prove a point. Being that the Gemara clarifies scripture is that ...
14
votes
5answers
282 views

Rabba bar bar Chana

There is a rabbi in the Talmud referred to as רבה בר בר חנה. Why is he called that way? It says that Rabba was the grandson of Chana. Who was Chana? Was it(?) a woman? Why wasn't he called after his ...
2
votes
3answers
128 views

How is there a Rshus Harabim according to R' Yehuda?

There is an argument how many walls does a Rshus Harabim need to have to make it a Rshus Hayachid (Deoraisa). R' Yehuda says that one needs two walls, while the Chachamim said one needs three. The ...
5
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between the Mishnah, Gemara and the Talmud

As a non-Jew, I would like to know the difference between the Mishnah, Gemara and the Talmud. I understand that the Oral Law was not written down until after the destruction of the second temple. That ...
5
votes
4answers
364 views

Why was the Gemara written in Aramaic?

The Gemara (the Bavli and Yerushalmi) are the fundamental texts that we possess of the Oral law. Why were they written in Aramaic? At first glance, Ravina and R' Ashi probably knew that this will be ...
2
votes
1answer
257 views

Why was the Mishna written in Hebrew while the Gemara wasn't?

By the time of the Mishna, people speaking in Aramaic on a day-to-day basis. Nonetheless, R' Yehuda Hanasi wrote the Mishna in Hebrew. So were the Toseftas and the Braisos. Why? On the other hand, ...
4
votes
1answer
54 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.
6
votes
3answers
298 views

Yaakov Avinu didn't die

This question was asked by msh210 during Parshas Hashavua chat. It says in the Gemara that R' Yitzchak said to R' Nachman in the name of R' Yochanan "Jacob our forefather didn't die". R' Nachman ...
6
votes
6answers
182 views

Talmud Yerushalmi Halachot

The halacha we have today is mostly sourced in Talmud Bavli(the Babylonian Talmud),Medrash and Zohar. I would like to know what Halachot which we have today which are sourced strictly in the ...
10
votes
2answers
338 views

Where are the magic cucumbers discussed in the Talmud?

Where are the magic cucumbers discussed in the Gemara by a Rabbi proud of his knowledge? Are magic cucumbers discussed elsewhere? Thanks.
4
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0answers
68 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
119 views

What is the provenance of Maseches Sofrim

Who wrote Maseches Sofrim and when did he live. Is it accepted by everyone? The Rashba in Brachos 34a writes that is one of the minor masechtes that were authored by the early sages. He reiterates in ...
3
votes
2answers
194 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, ...
9
votes
3answers
140 views

Why is המחזיר אבידה לכותי singled out?

The Gemara, Sanhedrin 76b, states that "one who returns a lost object to a כותי (or, per the marginal notes there, גוי) is censured by the Torah. Rashi there explains: "He is thereby equating the כותי ...
6
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
280 views

What Happens to People Who Don't Have a Portion in Olam Haba?

The last perek of Sanhedrin lists some people who have no share in Olam Haba. Other people who forfeit their share are discussed in the answers to this question: No Olam Habah for these? My question ...
12
votes
2answers
417 views

Why are the descendants of Rav Pappah mentioned in the text of the Siyum for a tractate of Talmud?

Who are the descendants of Rav Pappah mentioned in the text of the Siyum for a tractate of Talmud, and why are they so important that we mention them all by name? Why don't we mention any other great ...
8
votes
3answers
552 views

Why does the Talmud assume a woman cannot get pregnant on the first act of intercourse?

There is a rule in the Gemara (Yevamot 34a) that אין אשה מתעברת בביאה ראשונה. The question is why the Talmud assumes that a virgin cannot conceive on her first act of sexual intercourse if the hymen ...
14
votes
2answers
315 views

Why are these tractates, “Yeshivish Mesechtos”?

There is a cycle of tractates in the Talmud that are learned in Yeshiva each year. This is an exclusive list, where only a small number of volumes are covered in the curriculum. There must be some ...
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4answers
207 views

Is it idolatry to use the english word “God” to refer to Hashem?

Shabbos 67b says "Gad" (גד) was the name of an Amorite idol, and we shouldn't use it. Shouldn't this apply to the name "God" as well? eg. "God forbid"
5
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1answer
118 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 ...