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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does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
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4answers
197 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 ...
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3answers
760 views

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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6answers
696 views

“Chabad” Gemara learning?

Is there a specifically "Chabad" way of learning Gemara? Is there a Chabad commentary on the Gemara?
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183 views

What is the reason for שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום?

What is the reason for שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום? Why must it been done in that form of twice reading the verse and once reading the תרגום? The Gemara in ברכות דף ח states that one who does שנים מקרא ...
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8answers
671 views

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 ...
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2answers
112 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 ...
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1answer
666 views

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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8answers
1k views

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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4answers
660 views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
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4answers
1k views

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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2answers
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Apologetics for marriage at 3 years old

Are there contemporary apologetics for the Mishnah (Niddah 44b) that a girl of the age of 3 can be married by sexual relations? (It seems difficult to accept that such a thing is even allowed in ...
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185 views

Rabbinic speculations on history

Sometimes in the Rabbinic literature traditions are related about what happened in history, with multiple different opinions. For example, there was a historical development in the script used by ...
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8answers
2k views

Talmud Study, Where to start

I would like to start to study Talmud, BUT do not know how, where to start. My Jewish training is basicall non-existant. I learnt how to read the Hebrew words in the Siddur, Machzor, and Chumash - - - ...
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1answer
302 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 ...
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3answers
497 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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4answers
1k views

Hard Yeshivish phrases to translate

Does anyone ever have trouble finding good English translations of certain yeshivish phrases, especially when in conversation with someone who would not understand the original? Post your favorite ...
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2answers
251 views

Why no Talmud Bavli on Zeraim or Taharot?

The common reason given as to why there is no Talmud Bavli on most of Seder Zeraim or Seder Taharot (only the tractates of Berachot and Niddah are represented) is that the Amoraim were based in Bavel ...
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646 views

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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Do the Gemara and the Rema prohibit, or encourage, women putting on talit and/or tefillin?

An article in Ynet Judaism (in Hebrew) addresses the resent controversy regarding the prayer of Women of the Wall at the western wall. And claims the following claims: אף אחד גם לא הקריא להן את ...
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1answer
266 views

Which Raban Shimon ben Gamliel was it who was martyred?

The Ten Martyrs liturgy describes Rabbi Yishmael the High Priest and Raban [=nasi or "chief rabbi"] Shimon ben Gamliel as killed by the Romans at the same time. Rabbi Yishmael served as cohen gadol ...
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1answer
109 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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1answer
55 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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Online glossary of Talmudic terms

Is there an online glossary anywhere that explains important Talmudic terms, with similar scope to the Practical Talmud Dictionary? I'm more interested in an Aramaic-English resource, but ...
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4answers
834 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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2answers
440 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 ...
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1answer
155 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
224 views

Can one make a siyum mesechta if it was learned in English?

If someone has some trouble with Aramaic and learned parts of a mesechta in English (for example with an Artscroll Gemara), can he still make a siyum?
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2answers
198 views

Which Amora is mentioned most often in the Gemara?

Which Amora is mentioned most often throughout Talmud Bavli?
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5answers
237 views

Connecting Shas and Halacha

What resources are available to trace the connections from the Gemara to the Halachic codifications and the reverse? For example, how can someone learning Daf Yomi find the related Halachic rulings ...
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2answers
158 views

Did the Jews in the Midbar know the entire Torah?

The G'mara in Y'vamos (ד) and B'rachos (כא) records a dispute over whether laws can be deduced from the fact of two p'sukim appearing adjacent to one another in the Torah. The Mahara"tz Chayos ...
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2answers
97 views

Hints and thoroughness in Talmudic referencing of Tanach

There are times when the Talmud uses references to Tanach that do not seem to be proofs per se. They may not follow the middot and are more like hints. This has been discussed in answers to another ...
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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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What does “the Talmud” mean in the Talmud?

The G'mara Bavli says in Shabas 63: אמר רב כהנא, "כד הוינא בר תמני סרי שנין, והוה גמירנא ליה לכוליה תלמודא, ולא הוה ידענא דאין מקרא יוצא מידי פשוטו..." Rav Kahana said, "When I was 18 years ...
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5answers
621 views

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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5answers
778 views

High School Math in the Talmud

I'm currently tutoring someone in math that has an atitude of "what's the point of all this... why would I ever need this..." (which is typical of many high-schoolers). To try to pique his interest, I ...
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1answer
108 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?" ...
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1answer
106 views

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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1answer
142 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 ...
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3answers
555 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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4answers
271 views

Do any Rishonim discuss how to approach Rashi's commentary on gemara?

I heard a quote once how carefully a person needs to analyze every drop of ink in Rashi, but I don't remember who said it. Does any Rishon (medieval scholar) ever discuss their approach to Rashi's ...
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2answers
263 views

How did Rambam eliminate “ben gilo” from the halacha?

The gemara in Elu Metzios (Bava Metzia 30b) says: אמר מר (אשר) ילכו - זה ביקור חולים. היינו גמילות חסדים! לא נצרכה אלא לבן גילו ,דאמר מר בן גילו נוטל אחד מששים בחליו ,ואפי' הכי מבעי ליה ...
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3answers
595 views

Choking on a Fish Bone

I remember learning once that the גמרא says to perform a certain procedure / say certain words when someone is choking on a fish bone. I also remember hearing that this is the one cure mentioned in ...
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2answers
259 views

No Olam Habah for these?

At the end of Gemorah (Tractate) Sanhedrin, there is discussion of people who are not Zocheh to get into Olam Haba (Gan Eden). Is there a comprehensive list somewhere of people mentioned throughout ...
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3answers
162 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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3answers
159 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
322 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 ...
5
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1answer
154 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 ...
5
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6answers
483 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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1answer
96 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 ...