A Rebbi of mine in elementary school told me that me that the Talmud was written with Ru'ach Ha'kodesh, an idea that is accepted by many in the Orthodox world. What does it mean?

  • I was taught that the Mishnah was divinely inspired,and therefore halacha could be derived not only from what is said but how it is phrased and what is omitted. The gemara, in contrast, is a great analytical work and is the source of many laws, but there are discussions there which need not be taken as authoritative. For instance, I don't think one is violating anything if one doesn't belive some of the Agadah, like the story of spirits giving a Rabbi financial advice on Yom Kippur eve, related early in Berachos. Jan 15, 2017 at 7:37
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    It's hard for anyone here to know what your rebbe meant. I suggest you ask him.
    – msh210
    Jan 15, 2017 at 10:39
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    @msh210. He's been in the next world a long time already. He was saying over an idea that is accepted by many in the Orthodox world so I'm sure somebody besides him can help me out. But thanks for the eitzah anyhow.
    – Mark A.
    Jan 15, 2017 at 16:17
  • Saying something was written with Ru'ach HaKodesh generally means that it was written with Divine Inspiration. Namely, it was G-d's Will that someone write down something a certain way.
    – ezra
    Jan 15, 2017 at 20:48
  • I've always understood it to mean that they specific words they used were divinely inspired. Which is why we can learn things out of their words that they perhaps did not intend themselves when they wrote it.
    – Menachem
    Jan 17, 2017 at 2:01

4 Answers 4


In HaYom Yom, entry for 6 Sh'vat:

My father wrote that he heard in the name of the Alter Rebbe that all rabbinic authors until and including the Taz and Shach, composed their works with ruach hakodesh, the Divine Spirit. An individual's ruach hakodesh, as explained by Korban Ha'eida in Tractate Sh'kalim (Talmud Yerushalmi), end of ch. 3, means that the mysteries of Torah are revealed to him. This comes from the aspect of chochma in its pre-revelation state.

I vaguely remember an explanation of this entry also to mean that they were able to find their sources through ruach hakodesh.

This doesn't really change my answer, but I decided to add the cited sources.

Yerushalmi Shekalim end of Chapter 3 teaches:

רבי פינחס בן יאיר אומר זריזות מביאה לידי נקיות נקיות מביאה לידי טהרה טהרה מביאה לידי קדושה קדושה מביאה לידי ענוה ענוה מביאה לידי יראת חטא יראת חטא מביאה לידי חסידות חסידות מביאה לידי רוח הקודש רוח הקודש מביאה לידי תחיית המתים תה"מ מביאה לידי אליהו זכור לטוב

The Korban Ha'eida explains:

לידי רוח הקודש. שכיון שהוא עושה לפנים משורת הדין עושין עמו מן השמים דברים שהן חוץ מהטבע ומודיעין לו רזי התורה

  • Using a sefer of Chabad Chassidic customs as a source about Taz's and Shach's Ruach HaKodesh is hard to apply to the Gemara and use as a credible source, don't you think?
    – DoreshEmet
    Dec 17, 2020 at 21:08
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    A Sefer of Chabad customs and aphorism may be a small thing, but it’s no reason to deride an answer. In any case I added the cited sources which I think you would find a little familiar. Dec 21, 2020 at 3:02
  • Not knocking on Chabad. Lot's of wisdom. Just saying if we were talking about Gemara and then Taz and Shach are discussed, we can say it's a kal vachomer for Gemara but still the new sources are much stronger and it's hashgacha pratit that you brought the almost identical sugya in Yerushalmi that I quoted from Bavli. Yashar Koach for refining :)
    – DoreshEmet
    Dec 21, 2020 at 14:17

Ruach Hakodesh, as defined by Rashi in Meseches Avoda Zarah Daf 20b is as follows (I will copy the whole teaching from Rabi Pinchas ben Yair so you can also see the process that leads to Ruach Hakodesh, as well.) I suggest you check the Gemorah there as there is a small machlokes regarding Chasidut, but it isn't so relevant to Ruach Hakodesh as far as I remember.

ת"ר (דברים כג, י) ונשמרת מכל דבר רע שלא יהרהר אדם ביום ויבוא לידי טומאה בלילה מכאן א"ר פנחס בן יאיר תורה מביאה לידי זהירות זהירות מביאה לידי זריזות זריזות מביאה לידי נקיות נקיות מביאה לידי פרישות פרישות מביאה לידי טהרה טהרה מביאה לידי (חסידות חסידות) מביאה לידי ענוה ענוה מביאה לידי יראת חטא יראת חטא מביאה לידי (קדושה קדושה) מביאה לידי רוח הקודש רוח הקודש מביאה לידי תחיית המתים וחסידות גדולה מכולן שנאמר (תהלים פט, כ) אז דברת בחזון לחסידיך ופליגא דרבי יהושע בן לוי דא"ר יהושע בן לוי ענוה גדולה מכולן שנאמר (ישעיהו סא, א) רוח ה' אלהים עלי יען משח ה' אותי לבשר ענוים חסידים לא נאמר אלא ענוים הא למדת שענוה גדולה מכולן

פירוש רש"י

תורה - על ידי שעוסק בה ועוד שרואה ומבין אזהרות שבה ונשמר

זריזות - [זריז] ונשמר קודם לכן שלא תבא עבירה לידו כי הכא דאינו מהרהר לבא לידי טומאה

זהירות - כשהעבירה בא לידו זהיר להשמר שלא יכשל והכי אמרינן בכל הבשר בשחיטת חולין (חולין דף קז:) מאי לאו דזהיר ולא נגע לא דזריז קדים ומשי ידיה מעיקרא

נקיות - נקי באין חטא

פרישות - אף מדבר המותר פורש להחמיר על עצמו

טהור - צח מלובן ועדיף מנקי

לידי רוח הקודש - להשרות עליו שכינה

Based on Rashi's definition, when someone does or writes something with Ruach Hakodesh, it means they attained a certain level of Kedusha (as delineated by Rabi Pinchas ben Yair). It is such an extent of Kedusha where the Shechina was resting upon the writer and must have influenced the composition.

  • Is this the definition of Ruach Hakodesh used in the question?
    – Double AA
    Dec 17, 2020 at 21:39
  • What do you mean, Double AA? Ruach Hakodesh--as defined by Rashi, on a sugya in Shas that delineates how Ruach Hakodesh is attained is as related of reference to Ruach Hakodesh as it gets since the source is from the major perush on Shas itself (as you might know, perush Rashi is the arguably the main one on Shas, which is the text in question about being compiled with Ruach Hakodesh). Do you suggest a better source than the Gemara itself? Seemingly, your question is unnecessarily critical in a way that does not assist in advancing the sought-out answer.
    – DoreshEmet
    Dec 18, 2020 at 17:03
  • What I mean is the term Ruach Hakodesh can mean different things in different contexts. This source is indeed an excellent source for a particular definition. Is that the definition used by the Rebbe of the OP?
    – Double AA
    Dec 18, 2020 at 17:06
  • I understand, Double AA. I don't know the OP's Rebbe or his hashkafah, so it's hard to say where the Rebbe got that reference and calls for a neutral answer from the text in the question itself. I can continue to search for people who quoted that the Shas was compiled with RH"K, but that does not promise that the Rebbe referred to that source. For example, in one answer, Hayom-Yom was quoted. If the Rebbe was more Yeshivish, the definition of RH"K might be far different, as Lubavitchers say their Admorim gave Mamarim in RH"K whilst many hold there is no RH"K since Chorban Beis Hamikdash #2.
    – DoreshEmet
    Dec 18, 2020 at 17:16

See https://www.sefaria.org/Messilat_Yesharim.26?lang=he

ומשם יעלה אל מעלה גבוהה יותר, והוא הרוח הקדש שכבר תגיע השכלתו להיות למעלה מחק האנושי.

And from there he will rise to an even higher level, which is ruach ha'kodesh, wherein his level of intelligence will be greater than is attainable by mortal man.

I could understand if that is the definition of ruach ha'kodesh which your rebbe was referring to.


It means they had a certain prophetic spirit within them as the Shomer Emunim writes:

Included in Emunah is to believe all the words of our sages, of blessed memory, even though there appears something in their words which appears far and outside nature. We must attribute the lacking on our own understanding rather than theirs. For all their words were said with a prophetic spirit (ruach nevuoh) within them.

Even in the Midrashim where they argued, one sage says this and another says that - both are the words of the living G-d, and there is not in their words anything superfluous. Rather, everything is truth, both lines of reasoning are correct.

from http://dafyomireview.com/456 see there for more

another source

"the primary principle which is obligatory on anyone who is called a Jew is to believe with complete faith that all that is found in the words of chazal in the halachot and agadot of the shas and midrashim are all words of the living God" (Leshem - Niglot Leshem parsha shoftim).

Thus he holds their words are imbued with some kind of prophetic spirit.

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    The first paragraph of the quote seems totally irrelevant to the OP's question.
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 3, 2017 at 7:40
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    The question is what it would mean that the Talmud was written with ruah hakodesh. This seems to do very little (or nothing) to actually answer that question. Instead, it simply finds a quote (or more accurately, a translation of it by an unknown translator) that contains the claim that the OP wanted a claim, with a minor variation in its wording. | The only defense is that the question was poor and didn't identify what it was looking for, so we can't know conclusively that this wasn't it.
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 3, 2017 at 7:42
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    @mevaqesh i knew you would hate it. but it refers to all the words of chazal. including the talmud,mishna, zohar,
    – ray
    Feb 3, 2017 at 8:01
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    It speaks of the Oral Law (implicitly affirming its legitimacy), without identifying the extent of this corpus. Significantly, it says nothing about a prophetic spirit associated with it, and is therefore irrelevant to the question at hand.
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 3, 2017 at 8:16
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    Thus he holds their words are imbued with some kind of prophetic spirit. No he doesn't! Nothing whatsoever was stated by the quoted text!
    – mevaqesh
    Feb 19, 2017 at 0:27

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