When I am learning a masechta, one thing that shocks me is the ability of those people involved in arguments to cite an authority and know his view on most any other case. So if Rabbi Yehoshua is involved in an argument, someone can say "but doesn't Rabbi Yehoshua hold X in this other case?" I can barely keep track of my own kids' names let alone the various positions held by the tana'im and amora'im across masechtot.

Is there a "score card" -- a cheat sheet, if you will, which has (online would be sortable) the names and positions each person holds in regards to the various topics of argument so that if I see that Rabbi Yehoshua holds X in this case, I can look him up and see if, before the gemara brings up a counter argument, his statement seems to be consistent with other positions he has stated?

I understand that sometimes, the "position" is really only an interpretation by one person, whereas another could understand it another way and this would make a simple score card difficult, but I'm still wondering if any resource (even covering just the most common arguments) like this exists.

  • 1
    Since their every opinion is recorded in the Mishna, the Tosefta, the tannaitic midrashim and the various baraitot found in both gemaras, it sounds to me like you're looking for less of a score "card" and more of a score tome. And no, it doesn't exist. (Also, remember that the gemara is a carefully edited work. Nobody necessarily had all of this information at the tips of their fingers. This was written over centuries.)
    – Shimon bM
    Apr 19, 2017 at 12:18
  • 1
    Suffice to say that some rabbis have better memories than others. This exists today in the same sense that it did at the time that the Talmud was written, though, probably with far less frequency, today, as there aren't as many rabbis, proportionately. I have no doubt that some rabbis, then, memorized all of most of sha"s, then, as we have a few now who can instantaneously cite the page of nearly any topical question anyone would pose. Others, have to hunt for them, and, others have the web to assist them, now.
    – DanF
    Apr 19, 2017 at 13:05
  • Also, back then, the only way to know Mishna was to main way to know Mishna was to memorize it. If you didn’t memorize, you wouldn’t know it
    – Lo ani
    Mar 10, 2019 at 10:39


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