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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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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301 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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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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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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240 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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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347 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 ...
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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, ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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331 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.
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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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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 ...
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191 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, ...
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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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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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266 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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300 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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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"
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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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Doesn't prat u'klal mean that there are unnecessary words in torah?

This answer about R.Yishmael's 13 talmudic principles quotes the Artscroll siddur thus: Prat U'Klal - When specific cases are followed by a generalization, the rule applies by any case in the ...
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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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How to learn gemara independently

Is there an organized path that a Ba'al Teshuva can follow to learn Gemara and prepare the Daf by himself? I mean after he is able to learn with Artscroll.
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50 views

What is the significance of the Diet Information in Shas

It strikes me as I am learning Kesubos that the Gemara takes the time to speak of extensively the shortcomings and praises of dates (the fruit). I know the gemara does the same with cabbage and other ...
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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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layout of the Gemara

When was the current pagination of the Gemara finalized? It seems that it was before the Vilna print, though it seems from different Acharonim (the Rama, etc.) quoting the Mordechai that the Mordechai ...
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Is there a list of Mitzvot and their corresponding body parts?

The Talmud (Makkot 23B)and the Zohar (1:170B - unverified English translation here) say that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 limbs of the human body. (The Mishna (Ohalot 1:8) lists ...
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91 views

Bikkurim Baskets

Why do the poor have to give away their wicker baskets yet the rich get back their gold baskets and I know the Gemara says this proves that wealth goes to wealth and poor goes to poor but why IS THE ...
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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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What is Issur Moisef?

What is Issur Moisef I heard two people talking about this concept in the context of "AIN ISSUR CHAL AL ISSUR" please illustrate with example?
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290 views

Issur Kolel What is it?

What is Issur Kolel in the context of "AIN ISSUR CHAL AL ISSUR" I heard two people talking about the concept please illustrarte with example and explain the illustration of the example? Edit by ...
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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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163 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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80 views

Why does Rebbe Yehoshua need a passuk?

The Gemara (Nazir 65b) says that Rabbi Yehoshua learns from the passuk of לטהרו או לטמאו that the case of ספק שיער לבן קדם ספק בהרת קדמה the halacha is טהור. The question is why he needs a passuk to ...
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How did the Ten Martyrs actually die?

On Yom Kippur and Tisha B'av we read about the Ten Martyrs who were gathered and killed by Emperor Hadrian to atone for the Sale of Yosef HaTzadik. In addition to the idea that the Ten Martyrs didn't ...
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How does “eilu v'eilu” work out with an absolute truth?

I'm under the impression that religious Judaism believes in absolute truths. That being the case, how does the concept of "eilu v'eilu divrei elokim chaim" (Eruvin 13b) work out? When two scholars ...