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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The Meaning behind the Kaf

Searching for the root for Kipah (כפה) I found the word Kaphaph (כפף) from the root Kaph or Kaf כף. Kaf (as a word) means (hand)palm, while yod refers to yad (the hand). Kaf (as a letter כ) has a ...
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Can one have a favorite pasuk/parsha/masechta?

This closed question asks for a 'favorite pasuk', presupposing that such a thing is allowed. When it comes to sugyos or sections/topics of Torah, Chazal say on the one hand, (Eiruvin 64a) that a ...
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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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Berur halachah - what is this called in English?

I'm translating an article concerning the need for a "berur halachah" in order to determine the legal status of individuals with mental retardation. How would say "berur halachah" in English? ...
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Does the name Rami (רמי‎) have a meaning based in Judaism? If so, what is it?

Does the name Rami (רמי‎), as used by figures in the Talmud such as Rami bar Papa and Rami bar Chama, have a meaning based in Judaism? If so, what is it? If רמ means high or exalted, does רמי mean my ...
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Shin of tefillin mentioned in the Gemara originally a reference to the division of the compartments of the Shel Rosh?

The source for [at least one of] the Shins on the tefillah shel rosh is the Gemara (b.Menahoth 35a): ואמר אביי שי"ן של תפילין הלכה למשה מסיני וצריך שיגיע חריץ למקום התפר רב דימי מנהרדעא אמר כיון ...
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Why does the Mishna/Gemara so rarely mention the practical Halacha?

The Mishna frequently mentions different opinions. Some opinions are generally rejected Halachicly (Rabbi Elazar, Beis Shammai). Why doesn't the Mishna mention who the Halacha follows (in general). ...
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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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Source for a Talmudic story of three caskets

In the Merchant of Venice, suitors attempting to win Portia's hand must choose from 3 caskets (of gold, silver and lead). Those who chose wrong must leave immediately and never marry anyone. One who ...
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I would like to see an actual Vilna Shas

I would like to see the pages of an actual Vilna Shas. I know there are many many reprints out there in bookstores, my bookshelf, and websites like http://www.e-daf.com, but that's not what I want. I ...
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Amoraim unique to Masechtas

I heard before (I think in the name of the Rogatchover) that there is one Amora in every masechta of Talmud that does not appear in any other masechta. Is there a source for this, and is there a list ...
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Identification of Censored Areas of Talmud

Unfortunately, the Talmud and other writings have been subject to censorship since their completion. These alterations seem still to be present in many modern editions of the Talmud. How ...
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Order of Masechtos in Seder Moed

According to the standard Shas print (Vilna Bavli), the order of Masechtas is Pesachim-Shekalim-Rosh Hashana-Yoma-Sukka-Beitza. This makes (some) sense as this is the order of holidays. However, the ...
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What is the status of the “minor tractates”?

There is a collection of "minor tractates" some of which contain material not found in other works of torah sh'baal peh (the oral law). What is the origin of these tractates? Who wrote/compiled them? ...
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Why were the baraitot excluded from the mishnayot?

The Gemara (or Talmud) is full of Tannaitic teachings known as baraitot (or baraita in the singular). Nevertheless, these teachings were not codified in the Shishah Sidre'i Mishnah (Six Orders of The ...
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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 the oral traditions in Megillas Esther?

I'm trying to understand where the Rabbis in tractate Megillah get their information. I thought that the way they interpret the five books of Moses was because they already knew all the laws and ...
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Are there any pranks in the talmud?

Are there any examples of someone pulling a prank or other practical joke on another person in the talmud?
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Can a magician cast a spell in water?

The power of magicians and magic, the Talmud speaks plenty about. One such example is that of Ze'iri and the donkey, in Sanhedrin 67: זעירי איקלע לאלכסנדריא של מצרים זבן חמרא כי מטא לאשקוייה מיא ...
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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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List of things that make one 'as if one rejects the core'

I was recently looking up something about lashon harah, and on Erchin 15A, Rav Yosi ben Zimra says that anyone that that says lashon harah it is as if they reject everything, and I know I have seen ...
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Why were the Ma'amad afraid of the Notzrim?

There is an interesting brief discussion at Taanis 27b which says that the Ma'amad would fast four days a week -- but never on Sunday. According to Rabbi Yochanan it is because they were afraid of ...
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Siyum Mishnayos on Erev Pesach

Today I learned of the minhag to make a siyum bechorim only on gemara. I understand the logic, but is there a source for it? This came up because I'm scheduled to make a siyum on the Mishna (first ...
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48 views

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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Difference between El and Eloah

El(אל) and Eloah(אלוה) are both singular forms (nouns), but its אל thats being used to form the plural Elim (אלים), and אלוה thats being used to form the plural Elohim (אלוה׳ם). Both singular forms ...
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How can you regain a love for learning talmud?

I have had many conversations with people who express a falling out of love with learning talmud as they got older. Perhaps it is due to being in the working world or having so many other ...
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Sefardim starting to study the Talmud with Rashi and Tosfot

When did the sefardim start to study the Talmud with Rashi and Tosfot? And which books did they use before knowing about Rashi and Tosfot?
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Source for an Aggadah about Moshe feeding a bird

I was reading a book called "Shylock" by Hermann Sinsheimer and he made reference to a story from "the Jewish Talmud." I don't know to what he is referring. I looked online quickly and found someone ...
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Wordplay concerning the Ayin and the Aleph in Gemara

I remember hearing about some interesting statements made about those that fail to distinguish pronunciation between the ayin and the aleph. An example was given in gemara about why such a distinction ...
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Difference between the RamBam and Talmud Kiddushin 82a in list of jobs that posul a King/High Priest?

Anyone have any insight as to why there is a difference between the two, or why the RamBam seems to omit several of the jobs (i.e. cleaner, peddler, etc.)? Thanks
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Source text of Ketuvim's one-volume Bavli

There is a Shas Bavli printed in one volume by Ketvuvim Publishers in Jerusalem. Does anyone have any information about which version of the text they used(standard vilna, or did they change based on ...
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Psak halacha from a havah amina in the Gemara

The Gemara will often begin a sugya with an initial understanding (havah aminah) of a mishnah or halacha and as the Gemara continues will change until it reaches the maskanah. Often, the maskana will ...
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Halachically, is one person ever bound by the intent of another?

In masechet shevuot, 41b, the gemara discusses a case of a loan as follows (h/t dafyomi.co.il) Levi lent Yehudah, and told him 'repay me in front of two witnesses who learn Halachah. Yehudah ...
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How do we evaluate a b'raisa that quotes Rebbe against an anonymous Mishna?

At Rosh Hashanah 19b, the Gemara raises a b'raisa quoting Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi (aka "Rebbe") -- the editor of the Mishna -- to counter the opinion of the anonymous Tanna quoted in the previous Mishna ...
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God issuing prophecy in the name of idols

I once read somewhere in the Gemara that a Rabbi asked how come idolaters claim that, as they walked by an idol, the god made a prediction (or gave advice) that came true. The answer was that God ...
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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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Why are different Agadot in different masechtot

I once heard that the agadot of each masechta are in that particular masechta fora reason. does anyone know the source of such a claim
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Where in the Talmud is it said that the Berber tribes' conversions were not done according to the Halakha?

H. Zafrani, a French specialist on the Berber Jewish tribes, says that the Talmud explains that these tribes' conversions were not made according to the Halakha. I wonder where in the Talmud such a ...
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Where can I find the Rif's Arabic explanation on the Talmud in English or French?

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the Rif's Arabic explanation on the Talmud was originally gave as an appendix to Massehet Ketubot. The Rif refers to this explanation in his Halakhot (Ketubot ...
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Websites that explain the Talmud

I am looking for a website that explains the Talmud (more specifically Sanhedrin Perek 3) in a video form. Is there such a site?
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55 views

Rambam and 10 Malachim

In Yesodei HaTorah 2:7, The Rambam lists 10 malachim (angels) in order of power. Many people have told me that this halacha proves that the Rambam knew Kabalah, since this knowledge is nowhere found ...
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Does kam dino only apply to karka?

In talmud there is a rule known as kam dino meaning that if judgement A has been rendered we do not take into consideration the logic behind judgement A when adjudicating judgement B. I would like to ...
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What is the source that you can not have benefit from miracles?

There is a famous concept that a person is not allowed to have benefit from a miracle. What is its talmudic source and what does it apply to?
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Examining the Zav

Does anyone know of any rabbinic sources (Talmudic/midrashic) that indicate that a Zav would go to a halakhic authority to be examined regarding his Zivah?