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17

If an animal was mostly slaughtered by a Jew (the majority but not all of the trachea & esophagus were cut) and the animal is not dying, a non-Jew can kill it however he wants and the animal will be kosher. If a Jew shechted the rest of the way, it would be a shihiyah b'miut batra (a pause in the final portion) and the animal is neveila (not kosher). ...


17

The problem with how we read Aggada today is that our approach, instead of being idiomatic, is idiotic. -- Rabbi Moshe Hauer. From the Rambam's commentary to the last chapter of Sanhedrin: There are three categories of people with regards to interpreting Aggada. The first category take everything literally and teach it as such, going to ...


16

Negating an avoda zara. If a non-Jew takes an idol and says "I reject this!" and damages it, the idol is no longer prohibited from benefit. A Jew can't do that.


16

The oldest written Torah Sheb'al Peh (though not exactly a manuscript) would seem to be the recently-discovered mosaic of the ancient shul in Beit Shaan. The Hebrew Wikipedia article about that shul (which was destroyed 1300 years ago, and existed a few hundred before that) can be found at this link. Here is their image of the mosaic (I hope I'm allowed to ...


16

There is a little known Chassidic text published in 1834 entitled Pri Yitzchak that details all 613 Mitzvot and the corresponding limbs for positive mitzvot and 365 Gidim for negative commandments. It has not been translated from the Hebrew. It is a very sophisticated work. He uses the list of halachic limbs listed in the Mishna, and uses the Rambam's list ...


15

What most likely got this rumor started is that Brachos does have and lots of pages with minimal commentary. Brachos does in fact (according to my calculations) take the record for most Talmudic text per page. words/daf letters/daf words letters daf mesechta ברכות 63 273260 70254 4337.46 1115.14 ...


15

It certainly is difficult. Good question. I think the Mishnah is demonstrating a technicality; that if this were done (with intent and witnesses), various laws of marriage would be binding (and then he would have to take care of her for life); not at all that this was a recommended practice! A few points that can help a bit here: The Torah said that ...


15

Sit with Jastrow's Aramaic dictionary and Frank's Practical Talmud Dictionary and look up every word and phrase until you start recognising you've looked this up before. This is the way I did it, but unlike every other person I know I enjoy finding words in the dictionary. If you have the opportunity then full-time learning in a Yeshivah would obviously be ...


15

The Artscroll siddur has a short example on each one. Here are the examples given: Kal Vachomer - If a lenient case has a stringency, a stringent case should have a stringency. An example would be if on Yom-Tov one cannot pick an apple (even though one can generally do melachos that involve food-preparations) all the more so on Shabbos. Gzeira Shava - A ...


15

Try Pesachim 109a-b where the Gemara (and more elaborately in Rashi and Tosfot) tries to work out the volume of a Reviit in Etzba^3 based on its knowledge of the volume of a Mikva in Amah^3 (ie lots of basic algebra and unit conversion).


15

Danno got it right. But I'll go through the quotes anyhow. A. Non-Jews aren't humans. Keritot 6b. There are a handful of specific technical laws in the Bible that pertain to "an adam" which the Talmud interprets as "Jews only"; for a non-Jew we are more lenient. The idea simply is that most of the Torah's laws were intended for a Jewish audience, so ...


13

Hai Gaon, Sherira Gaon, Shmuel Hanagid, Rambam and others all tell us we cannot rely on aggados or take them literally. Where empirically disproven it is certainly unnecessary or even criminal to do so, e.g., Talmudic physiology and medicine. It is also logically impossible, considering that aggados are often mutually contradictory, and there are often ...


13

One of my rabbeim, who was a student of R' Elya Svei explained this to me as follows: The yeshiva curriculum includes masechtos from nashim and nezikin, such as Yevamos, Kesuvos, Gittin, Kiddushin, Bava Kama, Bava Metzia, Bava Basra etc. for two main reasons: There are classic commentaries on Talmud Bavli, and these masechtos include more of the ...


13

Sanhedrin 68a These were some of the final words of R' Eliezer, as he lay on his deathbed. 'Moreover, I have studied three hundred, (or, as others state, three thousand laws) about the planting of cucumbers [by magic] and no man, excepting Akiba b. Joseph, ever questioned me thereon. For it once happened that he and I were walking together on a road, ...


13

See here that the letter (chart on the right) that the letter tzaddi - צ - has one of the lowest frequencies in the Hebrew alphabet. Only tet is lower. That is from anywhere in the word. A better frequency chart would be for the start of words. In terms of vav, while it is frequent even in the beginning of words, this is only as a connective letter, meaning ...


13

These attacks are usually amalgamations of the following: Pure invention -- some of the books listed don't exist or the quotes are fabrications Mistranslations or selective quoting Out of context quotes (statements made in the course of a protracted legal argument presented as definitive statements of belief or statements made to make a legal point being ...


12

"I davka haven't seen that movie." I purposely haven't seen that movie. or I specifically have NOT seen that movie. "He doesn't eat peanut butter, b'shita" He doesn't eat peanut butter, on principle. (or "as a matter of principle"). "Mamash" in proper Hebrew usage should translate as "tangible"; that works sometimes. "He's mamash the ...


12

Artscroll is currently making travel-sized paperback English Gemaras. Each only has about 1 or 2 chapters. Size: 7" x 10" There's also a "personal-sized" paperback Oz Vehadar. Size: 6.5 X 9.5 Blum Edition paperback travel Gemara. Size: 5.25" X 8.25" Historically, after WWII the Vaad Hatzalah printed pocket sized Gemaras for survivors in the refugee ...


11

If you can't find a partner with which to study, or prefer to go it alone, I recommend the ArtScroll Talmud. Its translation and explanatory notes are excellent. In terms of which tractate to start with, traditionally, children are initiated into Talmud study with the 2nd chapter of Bava Metzia, which deals with the laws of returning lost objects. Starting ...


11

There is a Chabad way of learning Gemara, as described by the Rebbe Rashab, the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe and founder of Yeshivat Tomchei Temimim. In his Kuntres Eitz Chayim, he explains why it is necessary to learn Chassidus in addition to learning Gemara properly. The entire text is available online in English. From the introduction to the english ...


11

Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chaim 285:2) suggests that it is in commemoration of the three times that the generalities and the specifics (כללות ופרטות) of the Torah were repeated (Sotah 37b): once at Sinai, once by Hashem speaking to Moshe from the Tent of Meeting, and a third time by Moshe in the plains of Moav. The reason for doing the Targum one time, he ...


11

The standard pagination and layout of the Gemara follows that of Daniel Bomberg's edition of 1520-22, which was the first time that Shas was printed as a complete set. (Earlier Jewish printers, including the famous Soncino family, had produced only individual volumes.) A notable difference is that Berachos has 66 pages as compared to today's 64; that change ...


11

I think the most complete indexing book of that kind is תורה הכתובה והמסורה by אהרן הימן. It's published by דביר in three volumes. It goes through the whole Bible verse by verse, giving for each verse a list of locations in Talmud and Midrash where the verse is mentioned in some way. It's available on HebrewBooks: vol 1 (torah) vol 2 (nevi'im) vol 3 ...


11

As this phrase does appear in our Gemaras, almost all of the Rishonim assume it to be true. The acronym stands for: (this explanation appears in Rashi to Bava Metzia 22b ( בבא מציעה פרק ב דף כב,ב ) and Kidushin 52a ( קידושין פרק ב דף נב,א ), where Tosfos argues there) The actual phrase is: תיובתא דרבא תיובתא והלכתא כוותיה דאביי ביע"ל קג"ם [This ...


10

I am hardly an expert, but was once in a situation similar to yours. I agree with the other respondents that finding someone knowledgeable to work with one-on-one, or in a small group, is ideal. Larger groups don't tend to work as well. No matter who you study with, though, it might be valuable to get your feet wet with Mishna first. Mishnayot are generally ...


10

Here is an exhaustive (but not necessarily complete) list of earlier lexiconic sources for Talmud: Sefer HaAruch, Rabbeinu Nasan Ben Yehiel, Sefer HaTishbi from R' Eliyahu Bachur, or this link Sefas HaYam, or this link K'lalei HaTalmud of Rav Yosef Karo, K'lalei HaTalmud of Rav Betzalel Ashkenazi, In the back of any Vilna Edition of Maseches B'rachos, ...


10

No, it is not assur. "As to your question with regard to a curriculum in a coeducational school, I expressed my opinion to you long ago that it would be a very regrettable oversight on our part if we were to arrange separate Hebrew courses for girls. Not only is the teaching of Torah she-be-al peh to girls permissible but it is nowadays an absolute ...


10

You're not mistaken: in fact the Tur and Shulkhan Arukh (335:2) say that only a בן גילו has the ability to take some of the sickness with him. This difficulty was recognised by the Drisha on Ramba"m and he stresses Ramba"m's wording: כאילו נטל חלק מחולייו - it is as if he takes part of the illness. However, there's a note in my Ramba"m that directed me to ...


10

Not all the "Bar Papa"s mentioned in the list are the sons of the Rav Papa from the Bavli. The Sefer HaEshkol, written by Rav Avraham Av Beit Din (father-in-law of the Raavad) brings a statement of Rav Hai Gaon (and a proof) that the ten Bar Papas are not all sons of the Rav Papa the student of Rava: HaEshkol Hilchot Sefer Torah 14. They did not all live ...


10

This is not meant to be a conclusive answer of all books written, but it so happens that a large majority of them are centered around the structure of 4 very important works, either as commentaries or summaries. Recognizing references to these three works can help you locate and gain some understanding of what a quoted work is. Tanach Tanach contains the ...



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