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The Rashb"o in Chindushai HaHagodos (Mosad Horav Kook) to Brochos 54b states that after a long halachik discussion the Ameroim switched to Agadato to awaken the students.


The Maharal says that these were Arab merchants he does not understand the word טייעא‏ to mean traveler. מצינו פעמים הרבה בישמעאלים שהם סוחרים, שבכל מקום שאמר בתלמוד ההוא טייעא רוצה לומר סוחר ישמעאלי [גבורות ה' פרק יא] "We find many times that Arabs are merchants, for in every place in the Talmud where it says "there was a merchant" the meaning is an Arab ...


I was searching through this site and I saw this question what is the longest masechta? So this link answers all my questions http://www.tallitstore.com/v/vspfiles/util/word_counts_mesechta.htm


I can answer only 1 of your questions, as I have memorized the names of all the 63 tractates ... unless you want to include the "small tractates" that appear after Avodah zarah (such as Avot D'Rav Nattan) - I think that would add another 5 or 6 to that number. Many tractates only have mishnah - not Gemarrah. Wikipedia article on Talmud should provide you ...


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 ...

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