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6

The Soncino has an introduction to a) The Talmud, b) Each Order, c) Each Tractate. You can see most of them here: http://halakhah.com/


6

Look at the introduction of the מאירי to each masechta, where he breaks down the topics of the masechta in general as well as perek by perek. (He also does that in a more perek-specific manner at the beginning of each perek.) While not usually online (and not either in English, which was not specified in the original version of the question), the ...


2

Deuteronomy 17:1 על-פי התורה אשר יורוך, ועל-המשפט אשר-יאמרו לך--תעשה: לא תסור, מן-הדבר אשר-יגידו לך--ימין ושמאל This verse is understood to grant legislative power to the Sanhedrin for all time. There were Sanhedrins in session up to several centuries after the time of Esther and that is where all fully-binding rabbinic Law as we know it comes from. ...


1

Its none other than Eliyahu Hanavi as you can see from Berachos 6b : ההוא גברא דקא מצלי אחורי בי כנישתא ולא מהדר אפיה לבי כנישתא חלף אליהו חזייה אידמי ליה כטייעא ,that Eliyahu appeared as an Arab merchant. There are more sources which indicate him as such. The gemara in Bava Basra 73b brings this story: ואמר רבה בר בר חנה זימנא חדא הוה קא אזלינן במדברא ...


1

In the olden days - as stated in Pirkei Avoth בן חמש למקרא - one would only learn Shas (Talmud Bavli) after becoming proficient in Chumash and Mishna. One would then concentrate on Shas as it's the basis for Halacho. Besides, it's really difficult to properly understand Rambam, Tur and Shulchan Aruch (the 3 "off the page" pillars of Halacha) without ...



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