From one count I have seen there are more than 300 times in the Talmud Bavli where a discussion ends with “תיקו” (let it stand, ie the question remains) yet, to my knowledge there is not a single time where this term appears as the conclusion of a discussion in the Jerusalem Talmud.

I would like to know if there is a reason that is offered to explain this phenomenon.

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    There are lots of words that are in one Talmud and not the other. Are you asking about the absence of the Yerushalmi leaving questions unresolved? Is that really the case or does the Yerushalmi just mark it differently?
    – Double AA
    Jun 23, 2020 at 0:08
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    books.google.com/… Jun 23, 2020 at 0:14
  • @DoubleAA the bavli itself has multiple terms for leaving a question unresolved, I am asking if there is any particular reason why the Yerushalmi does not employ this specific common term at all as a way of indicating a question is left unanswered. Jun 23, 2020 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


Rashi in Bava Metzia 85a explains why Rabbi Zeira fasted for 100 days in order to forget the Babylonian method of learning so that he could be a receptacle for the Talmud Yerushalmi with a clear mind:

דלא ניטרדיה - כשעלה לארץ ישראל ללמוד מפי ר' יוחנן ואמוראין שבארץ ישראל לא היו בני מחלוקת ונוחין זה לזה כשמן כדאמרי' בסנהדרין (דף כד.) ומיישבין את הטעמים בלא קושיות ופירוקין

When Rabbi Zeira went to Israel to learn from Rabbi Yochanan, the Amoraim in Israel weren't arguing with each other, and would work hard to come to terms with each others opinion and would answer up all reasoning without questions and answers.

We see that their method in Eretz Yisroel of learning did not involve asking questions as much, rather getting straight down to what they knew from Mesora and explaining it, without analyzing unknown cases they hadn't heard about through questioning, so there was not as many answers needed hence no Teikus.

  • The Yerushalmi itself shows that this is false. There are plenty of unresolved questions.
    – magicker72
    Jun 23, 2020 at 16:03
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    @magicker72 simply saying Rashi (and the whole premise of the question) is wrong cold turky without sources and then down voting is not called critical thinking.
    – user15464
    Jun 23, 2020 at 16:13
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    I didn't say Rashi is wrong. I said that what you extrapolated from Rashi to answer this question is wrong. Whatever the learning style of the Israeli amora'im was, the Yerushalmi Talmud as we have it has many questions (and unanswered ones, at that).
    – magicker72
    Jun 23, 2020 at 16:44

In the Bavli, you have many times a question that was brought up in one generation, and then answered (with a source from a baraisa, for example) only generations later, such as in the times of Ravina and Rav Ashi. (There's even a rare example, in Sanhedrin 43a according to the girsa of Rabbeinu Chananel, where a question is answered by Rav Ravai of Rov, one of the Rabbanan Savorai.) Only if it wasn't resolved by then will it be labeled תיקו.

In other words, this term is part of the editorial apparatus of the Bavli. Well, the Yerushalmi didn't go through that kind of editing, so a question left open was left that way - a future generation of Amoraim, had there been one in Eretz Yisrael, could have found an answer, but there were none.

  • are you saying the Yerushalmi wasn't edited? Jun 24, 2020 at 2:46
  • @rikitikitembo, pretty much. See the two answers that I linked. The Yerushalmi is basically more like the raw footage of what was discussed in the batei midrash in Eretz Yisrael, while the Bavli is more like a documentary, with a lot of background information and so forth spliced in.
    – Meir
    Jun 24, 2020 at 15:28
  • It may not have gone through the same editorial process as the Bavli but it was edited. There is plenty of scholarship on the topic starting with Halivni and including Yaacov Sussman and Neil Danzig. The linked material contains assertions with no support. Jun 24, 2020 at 17:20
  • @rikitikitembo Feel free to quote some of what they say, and their proofs, then. Even if the Yerushalmi did go through some editing, though, it definitely wasn't to the same degree as the Bavli, and closing arguments (whether with "vehilchesa" or "teiku" or whatever) is part of that layer of editing. (As for Halivni, considering that he claims that huge amounts of the Bavli were created in Geonic times (by the "stammaim"), I'd take his scholarship with some very large grains of salt.)
    – Meir
    Jun 24, 2020 at 17:33

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