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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Looking at the Nasi

It says in the Gemorah in Chagigah Daf 16a המסתכל בג' דברים עיניו כהות בקשת ובנשיא ובכהנים ...בנשיא דכתיב ונתת מהודך עליו That the eyes of anyone who looks at the "Nasi" (a leader of the ...
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99 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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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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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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Identity of the Reish Gelutha

There seems to be an accepted list of who served as Reish Gelutha. Is it possible to deduce who was Reish Gelutha in any or all references in stories involving the office holder in the Gemara?
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1answer
88 views

Statement from R' Yochanan

(Josh Waxman from the Parsha blog pointed this out in a recent post. I would like to put it here to see if there is any response to it.) It says in Sanhedrin Daf 24a מאי בבל א"ר יוחנן בלולה במקרא ...
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what is the longest masechta?

I heard that Bava Basra is the longest masechta in blatt but Brochos is the longest mesechta in words. Did anyone else hear anything about that?
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51 views

Help parsing the Midrashim of ר׳ חנינא from בר׳ ל״ג ב׳

Can anyone offer help parsing the Midrashim of ר׳ חנינא from בר׳ ל״ג ב? He seems to quote himself in third person a couple of times: ״ואמר ר׳ חנינא הכל...והא אמר ר׳ חנינא משום ר׳ שמעון בן יוחי אין ...
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A Mashal of HaShem as a crazy king and Moshe as His weak-kneed friend?

The Gemara (Ber. 32a) quotes R' El'azar that when HaShem wanted to destroy Bnei Yisrael and Moshe intervened, it is comparable to a king who beat his son terribly, and the king's friend was at his ...
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79 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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524 views

What are the authoritative Jewish documents?

When I'm reading through answers on this site I often see users make references like - Baba Batra 75A Or Chagiga 12A I don't understand what these mean. What are the documents that ...
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2answers
109 views

How do we understand the idea of something missing from the mishnah חסורי מיחסרא והכי קתני?

The gemoro often reconciles the argument of a mishnah with other evidence by saying חסורי מיחסרא והכי קתני - there is something missing from the mishnah and this is how you must learn it. See for ...
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103 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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127 views

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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136 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 ...
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Is the Talmud part of the Jewish canon? [closed]

In response to another question, I was told that the Talmud was considered canonical by Orthodox Jews. I have heard it called authoritative, but never canonical before. The cursory sources I checked ...
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1answer
115 views

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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81 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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286 views

Practical guide to the Brisker method in English?

Is there a book that serves as a practical guide in English to applying the Brisker method of learning Gemara?
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2answers
229 views

Paskening from Talmud vs. Shulchan Arukh

Sometimes poskim will pasken from the Talmud (gemara) instead of the Shulchan Arukh. However, I thought that we pasken from the Shulchan Arukh and not from the Talmud. What is the proper way for ...
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2answers
94 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 ...
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214 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 ...
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2answers
128 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 ...
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111 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 ...
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1answer
42 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?
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152 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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3answers
507 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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1answer
161 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 ...
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1answer
96 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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273 views

Teiku VS. Kashya

When a Gemara does not have a solution to a question why does it sometimes it end off with "Teiku" and sometimes with "Kashya"?
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328 views

Riddle: Where does a Non Jew have more Halachic power than a Jew? [closed]

When a Non Jew does something it would work according to Halacha, however when a Jew does the same thing it is useless.
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1answer
176 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 ...
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3answers
619 views

Zeh klal gadol batorah - really?

In the Talmud Yerushalmi, Nedarim 9:4 ואהבת לרעך כמוך: אמר רבי עקיבא זה כלל גדול בתורה: "You shall love your fellow as yourself. Said Rabbi Akiva: This is a great principle in the Torah." ...
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727 views
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298 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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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 ...
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81 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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398 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 ...
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178 views

Mamzer Question on Kiddushin 72b

The gemarah in Yevamos (78b) says "mamzer eino chai" (A mamzer [who is not known, look later in the daf] doesn't live [for more that 12 months] so not to proliferate mamzeirim). However, the Gemarah ...
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3answers
282 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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2answers
237 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
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)?
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104 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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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?" ...
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2answers
1k views

Citation format for G'mara

If one is citing a g'mara in a scholarly article, what is the proper publication information to use, including title, etc.? I can't seem to find reliable examples in either English or Hebrew. This ...
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2answers
248 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 ...
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2answers
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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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69 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 ...
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1answer
236 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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Anyone who says these people sinned is mistaken. For real?

The Gemara (Talmud Bavli Shabbos 55b-56b) relates that several Biblical figures who, from the text itself, seemed to have sinned, in reality did not. These statements take the form of "כל האומר פלוני ...