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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The concept of glatt

Where in the Gemara do you find the concept of meat being "glatt"? Or where do you even find the concept of "kosher lmehadrin."
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Who is Shmuel’s father? & Why is he called by his son’s name?

Many times throughout the Gemara we come across the term אבוה דשמואל "the father of Shmuel". I was wondering if we know what his real name was? And why he is referred to by his son’s name?
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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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318 views

Sources for the world being round in the Gemara

Can anyone bring me proofs from the Gemara that proves the world was round-and that this was known 2000+ years ago? I have looked around and I can't seem to find any sources which prove this.
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How do you go from the Talmud to Halacha Lemaasah?

What is the process involved for figuring out the halacha of today based on something written in the Talmud? Basically, what does a modern day posek do starting from the Talmud to reach a halacha he ...
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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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Source for story of rabbi's claiming land said “you're both mine”

I heard the following story recently (though I paraphrase, and may have some details wrong): When Rabbi M'nachem Perr lived in Queens, New York, he had an Italian, non-Jewish neighbor who, during ...
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When the Gemarrah quotes midrashim mentioned in Avot D'Rav Nattan, why does it not attribute its source?

If my history is correct, Rav Natan lived before the Bavli was compiled. It seems that in a sense, Avot D'Rav Natan is a type of "tosefta". There are numerous midrashim and quotations in the Gemarrah ...
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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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77 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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108 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 ...
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Is there a Special Hadran for finishing the whole shas?

Is there a Special Hadran for finishing the whole shas? or do you just recite the Hadran for the masechta just completed?
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63 views

Tosfos Within the Same Mesechta

Are the comments of Tosfos in the same Mesechta generally considered to be aligned, meaning that, if there is an apparent contradiction, we try and look for a resolution? How about Tosfos in ...
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Who wrote the Piskei Tosfos?

After the section of Gemara in most sefarim, before the Rosh there is a section of the Piskei Tosfos. Who authored this work?
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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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200 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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reason for rav yehuda holding can't rip stitch of tunic

why in maccos when it is talking about hilchos shobbas and ripping the stitch on the neck hole of a tunic and opening a barrel stopper does rav yehuda hold that you can't rip the thread of the tunic ...
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128 views

Making a Bracha on pleasurable things

A couple lines up from the bottom of the first daf of Keitzad Mevarchin, the Gemarah gives its reason for making Brachas. Its answer (my translation) is "It is forbidden for a person to get pleasure ...
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When the Gemoro quotes a possuk, why does it sometimes not quote the part which is the reason for the quote?

(possibly related to Why does the Mishna misquote the Tanakh? ) When the Gemoro quotes a possuk, why does it not always quote the part which is the reason for the quote in the first place. For ...
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94 views

concept of Breira unknown to the Tana'im?

Breira is the concept that a choice can be made in the future that will retroactively determine the state of something in the the present (assuming I understood and articulated it correctly). There is ...
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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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Why Choose Talmud Bavli For The Daily Study

As we know it is a big custom to learn a daf of Talmud Bavli a day (Dafyomi). My question is why did they choose to pick Talmud Bavli. There are so many other Subjects that could actually affect ...
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Why do Yeshivos learn Talmud Bavli so extensively?

Most Yeshivos (from 5th Grade-End of Highschool) Learn Talmud Bavli. My question is: Why? What is the point of learning Talmud Bavli so extensively? I know that it is Hashem's Word, but there are a ...
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Inconsistent scheduling for the musaf offering

In P'sachim (58a), Abaye frames a disagreement between Rabbi Yishma'el and Rabbi Akiva regarding the ordering of the korban musaf and the bazichin (bowls of frankincense burned when the old showbread ...
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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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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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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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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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Are There Any Good Sources for How “Ancient” (Pre-Talmudic) Prayer Was Done?

While reading this answer to another question about the development of the Siddur (here, look specifically at the question about "Modern Laws Vs. Shulcan Aruch"), I came upon this question. Here is ...
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Do we know the date of death of Shammai Hazaken?

Do we know the Hebrew date of his death?
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Pinchas Ben Yair, Father-in-law or son-in-law of Rebbi Shimon?

Does anyone have any understanding how to settle this ? "We have R' Pinchas ben Yair, son-in-law of Rashbi, as mentioned in Gemoro shabbos (:ג"ל) appearing in the Zohar countless times as - his ...