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In terms of why they argue, the Arizal wrote that Beis Shammai embodied the characteristic of middas hadin, strict justice, whereas Beis Hillel embodied the attribute of middas harachamim, mercy. They had world-views which led to their manifold disputes, with B"S consistently falling on the side of stringency and B"H on the side of leniency. (It was once ...


3

The Iggeres HaRav Sherira HaGaon, a fabulous history of the Oral Torah and how it came to be written down in the Mishna and subsequently in the Gemara, speaks to this point. Rav Sherira (ca 900-1000 CE), who was one of the last heads of the Pumbedisa yeshiva, states that following the destruction of the Second Temple, the various rabbis and their students ...


3

The Mishnah says that the sister Rachel is forbidden to do yibum with Shimon because of the rule "since she was forbidden at one time, she is forbidden forever". But the Rambam when he wrote his commentary on the Mishnah was in doubt whether this rule was D’Oraissa (from the Torah) or D’Rabbanan (Rabbinic). This question affects the law of the non-sister ...


2

Even though as Mishnah 5 says the second of the first is better quality than the first of the third, nevertheless, the reason why only the first of each batch is suitable for the menorah is because only oil which seeps out by itself from crushed olives is suitable (as it says at the end of Mishnah 5) - this is the first of each batch, and not that which runs ...


2

This answer is from my personal experience. I made a siyum hashas on mishna for my bar mitzvah before ever opening a gemara. We (my father and i) learned with Perush Kehati. When there was something ambiguous in the mishna that was explained by the gemara, Kehati would bring it. We didn't have to look it up in the gemara, which was good, because i had not ...


2

Your premise is wrong, they do not argue in most places, in fact compared to the amount of things they agree on it is almost as if they do not argue about anything. For example in the example you brought they disagree about whether a person's objects are required to rest on Shabbos. They only disagree about this after they agree that: Melacha is Assur on ...


1

You asked: Why is it that the Academies of Shammai and Hillel have contradictory opinions in most of the verses? Tosafos on Chagiga 16a "Yossi ben Yo'ezer" answers this by quoting a Yerushalmi that says that [for some unspecified reason, maybe related to upheaval and the proximity of the destruction of the Temple] the students of Shammai and Hillel ...


1

Disclaimer: the answer is based on my personal experience. Learning Mishna before learning the Gemara is very helpful to get the basic knowledge. However, learning all the mishnayot is very time consuming. Also, in many cases, learning mishnayot may be less pleasurable then gemara (warning: this is a subjective statement). And getting pleasure from the ...


1

You've asked an interesting and useful question. I don't have a definitive answer, as I think both views are valid. To start, Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers) Chapter 5, Mishnah 21 cites Yehudah ben Tamai who said that when one turns 10, he should learn Mishnah, and at 15, he should learn Gemarah. Perhaps, this is the source of separating the two. I ...



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