Gemara Tamid notes (on daf 27b) that a certain Braisa appears in Yoma, in Perek Ba Lo Kohen Gadol. This citation is correct; Artscroll notes (Tamid 27b3 #27) that more specifically the Braisa appears in Yoma 69a.

Now I have often noticed the Gemara use our names of the tractates and Perakim in ways that are arguably intended as the names of topics or areas of inquiry, rather than the titles of books. It’s as if someone referred to studying metaphysics, and you were unsure whether he intended Metaphysics, the book by Aristotle, or to the general field of study. For example, at Berachos 28a, a Braisa refers to the day on which “Eduyos” was taught. Apparently the mainstream understanding is that this is the title of a book, although I’m not sure why it cannot equally be understood as the name of a topic. When the gemara uses the term Shmona Sheratzim (as at Sotah 47a) it could be taken this way, as the name of a topic of study.

Where the reference is more clearly to a particular book, the references can often be understood as references to the Mishnah. For example, at the beginning of Gemara Nazir, and at many other places, the rabbis discuss the order of the Mishna. At Avodah Zarah 14b, the Gemara mentions that there are 5 Perakim, which is of course true of both the Mishnah and the Gemara. If we take the reference to Eduyos (which I mentioned in the previous paragraph) as a book title, it refers apparently to the tractate of Mishnah. This might also be the case for references to the Bavas, which would be meaningless as the names of topics if not already familiar as the titles of tractates. (As another party with my own user name Chaim observes, two of the Bava's are referred to by name in Bava Kamma itself (Bava Kamma 102a) as well as a parallel sugya in Avodah Zara 7a.)

But the Tamid example seems unambiguously to refer to a place in another tractate of Gemara.


  1. How did the Tamid editor know where Yoma cites the Braisa? Is this citation a strong sign that Tamid was compiled after Yoma?

  2. Can you direct me to other places like this one, where one Gemara cites another? Can you direct me to other internal evidence of the order in which tractates were complied?

  • 7
    Another possibility is a later emendation, after both tractates were already compiled.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:01
  • 1
    @Isaac Moses Later emendation is possible; so is an earlier volume predicting a later one, as happens occasionally in the Ramban's Torah commentary. But the Tamid gemara doesn't really flow if you don't know the Braisa that it incorporates by this reference alone. How would the Tamid reader see the evidence in the Braisa -- viz. that priests may use the priestly vestments -- if he did not already know the Braisa (which occurs, incidentally, at an "earlier" place in the current arrangement of the tractates into Orders).
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:10
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    The "Bavas" aren't really names of tractates. They are references to the first, middle, and last thirds of tractates Nezikin and Keilim, which each have a whopping 30 chapters.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:24
  • I think there's an article with a good list of such references in one of the early volumes of הצופה מארץ הגר. Edit: check IV p 19-20
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:32
  • @Double AA So you're agreeing with me that (unlike the term Shemona Sheratzim at Sotah 47a) the term "Bava Metzia" is so un-suggestive of any subject matter that when used in Gemara it suggests that the term "Bava Metzia" was already regarded as a book title?
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 15:33

2 Answers 2

  1. I found once something interesting a bit similar to the point you are making at the beginning of Maseches Zevochim on Daf 7b where the Gemoro refers you to something it said earlier which is normally the Loshon of the Rishonim such as Rashi,Tosfos etc. and the Loshon there used in the Gemoro is "KEDERAISH PIRKOH" and judging on the Bach's comment in Ois Aleph he also seems to be a bit taken with it because he tells you that it refers to something in the beginning of the Perek on Daf 2 sof Omud Aleph.

  2. There is a famous Loshon of "Boy Bayom" that refers to two specific times a) the Gemoro in Berochos 28a when there was a change of Nesius and more people were allowed into the Beys Hamedrash and this is referred to a few times in Shas such as in Sotah 27b as well as the Mishnayos of Maseches Yodayim Perek 3 and 4 b) the second "Boy Bayom" occurs in the beginning of Maseches Shabbos in Daf 13b with the 18 Dovor in the attic of Chananyoh Ben Chizkiah where the Halocho was in favour of Beys Shanmmai over Beys Hillel and is referred to many times in the Masechtoh of Eduyois as mentioned above. The most interesting thing with these 2 "Bo Bayoms" is that occur very closely to each other in the first Perek of Pesochim the first time is in Daf 18a which is referring to the change of Nesius in Berochos Daf 28a the second one is on Daf 19b and that refers to the 18 Dovor in the attic of Channanyoh Ben Chzkiyoh

  • I see what you mean in Zevachim. But I don't understand the second example. Are you saying that the use of the phrase Boy Bayom to refer to that day amounts to a reference to the gemara that associates that phrase with that day? Why couldn't the use of that phrase for that day have been traditional already, before any tractate was compiled?
    – Chaim
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 16:43

Mahartz Chayus mentions in Gitin (7a) that depending on who is quoting whom, we can deduce which tractates were arranged first.

As regards this issue of direct reference in the Talmud to other Talmudic locations, in Chapter 31 (and ch. 33) of Mavo Hatalmud (p. 342f), he addresses this topic. He brings some poof as well as examples that many statements of the Talmud were edited in later by the Gaonim and so forth. For example, in the beginning of Kidushin until "bekesef minalan' is from the Rabanan Savorai. He brings other examples of additions made by the Rabanan Savorai such as in Gitin 7a, and as in Tosafos Kesubos 2b, Bava Metziah 2a, Yevamos 80b and Nidah 4b (see inside!). Or in Chulin 63a, usage of Vayikra is an addition, that terminology did not turn up until much later; back then it was Toras Cohanim.

As for this particular example in Tamid, as I recall, the Oz Vehador edition has a footnote discussing the fact that this was added in probably from the margins of a student. As soon as I have my Talmud in my hand I will add the exact information.

Thus this was not some special secret into the order of the compiling of the Talmud, rather from a later student who already had the whole Talmud in his hand. (It is worthwhile to know that certain tractates do employ different dialect of Aramaic, presumably due to their later redaction dates, perhaps related to this. Among them would be Tamid and Nedrim)

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