I have heard that certain, erudite Gedolim had photographic memories and passed the pin test. A volume of Talmud would be opened; a pin was thrust through its pages. The Gadol would look at the word/letter that the pin first entered into and then recite the other letters/words it hit on other pages too. Is there any source for this?

The most conservative approach to this test is that it was performed for a single daf/double sided page of Talmud. The Gadol would see which word was pierced on the revealed Amud Aleph - A side - and then reveal which word was hit on the hidden Amud Beit - B side. Any sources?

  • 4
    I have heard of so many people who supposedly did it. All I will point out that until recently the print was usually not consistently centered on the page, which would make this all the more difficult with a personal gemara, and at least to me , seemingly not plausible with a random gemara that the individual was not accustomed to.
    – אילפא
    Commented Jan 1 at 18:58
  • 3
    Seems crazy anyone would be poking a Seffer like that, major bizayon vibes. But especially since these stories are about gedolim two hundred years ago when sefarim were allot more expensive.
    – user6591
    Commented Jan 1 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


It’s quoted as having happened here in a peer-reviewed journal.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .