Sometimes in the Talmud when there's a difficult question, the Talmud concludes with "תיקו".

Usually "Teiku" is translated to mean "let it stand" but another suggestion is that "תיקו" is actually an acronym for:

"תשבי יתרץ קושיות ובעיות".

"Tishbi [Elijah]- will answer- questions- and inquiries "

(see this MY answer which suggests its earliest source)

My question is on the acronym:

Why is Eliyahu HaNavi going to be the one who answers our questions?
Wouldn't Moshe Rabbeinu make more sense since he's the one who gave us the Torah?

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    But an answer but an idea. Eliahu was here every time and was aware of all machloktot. He is the man of all generations. Moshe wasn't here when chachamim discussed. When he heard the shyur of Rabbi Akiva Gemara says that he didn't understand – kouty Mar 28 '19 at 10:11
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    Probably because the word teiku came first, and then they tried to find an acronym to fit it. If the acronym came first, you could also ask why it says ‘tishbi’ and not ‘Eliyahu’, for example. – Lo ani Mar 28 '19 at 10:48
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    related – msh210 Mar 28 '19 at 14:29
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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/2025 – DonielF Mar 28 '19 at 16:50
  • Because calling upon the dead is forbidden, whereas Elijah is still alive. – Lucian Apr 23 '19 at 6:27

This is my own speculation:

In order to have a valid Sanhedrin, there need to be Chachomim who are semuchin, and have received semicha from an unbroken chain of semuchin. Since we do not have such an unbroken chain, there is speculation as to how that institution will be reinstated. One approach (found in Radvaz commentary to Rambam Hil. Sanhedrin 4:11) is that Eliyahu HaNavi, who was a Nasi of Sanhedrin and therefore a musmach, will arrive before the Messianic times, and he will re-initiate the institution of semicha.

Semicha is necessary to have a Beis Din HaGadol, and a Beis Din HaGadol has the jurisdiction to resolve any and all outstanding disputes. Therefore, Eliyahu HaNavi will be the catalyst, if not the leading individual, who resolves unresolved disputes.

  • Nice pshat, Yez! – רבות מחשבות Mar 28 '19 at 15:58
  • Was Moshe not a musmach and a Nasi? I’d argue לא בשמים היא, but I think that applies to Eliyahu just as much. – DonielF Mar 28 '19 at 16:48
  • @DonielF He sure was, but he isn't coming before Eliyahu. – Y     e     z Mar 28 '19 at 18:13

Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl suggests that it will be Eliyahu rather than other prophets who will answer our Torah questions, since Eliyahu was a student of Moshe Rabbeinu's (Sotah 13a).

For the obvious follow-up question of "Why not Moshe himself, then?", he answered that it is possible that Moshe will also answer these questions, but that Eliyahu will arrive first, and begin before Moshe, therefore, we associate it with Eliyahu.


  • Thanks! Link doesn't appear to be working :/. Possible to fix with a working link? – alicht Apr 3 '19 at 0:24
  • @alicht all three links work for me... – רבות מחשבות Apr 3 '19 at 2:20

Eliyahu is known as the herald of the Messiah. Teiku doesn't mean Eliyahu will personally resolve talmudic deadlicks, rather that they will be resolved in Messianic time.

  • good Idea. Can you explain more, if possible with sources. – kouty Mar 28 '19 at 12:49
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    Eliyahu will bring you sources. – Clint Eastwood Mar 28 '19 at 13:04
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    HA HA!!!!!!!!!!! – kouty Mar 28 '19 at 13:05
  • What are deadlicks? – רבות מחשבות Mar 28 '19 at 16:25
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    its what you get from a toothless zombie – Clint Eastwood Mar 28 '19 at 18:24

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