Questions tagged [agada-stories-legends]

Questions about the understanding and interpreting of the story-like content found in the Talmud and Midrash

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3
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0answers
178 views

Source for an Aggadah about Moshe feeding a bird

I was reading a book called "Shylock" by Hermann Sinsheimer and he made reference to a story from "the Jewish Talmud." (can be seen here) I don't know to what he is referring. I ...
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4answers
387 views

Animal R'aim of the midrash

I saw in the book, "The midrash says" by Rabbi Moshe Weissman that the Midrash Socher Tov 22 explains that a creature called R'aim that David mistook as a hill, lifted David up into the sky and only ...
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1answer
133 views

Berachot 3a - Verb choices regarding Temple destruction

Pesikta Rabasi (28 mid.) suggests that there are two aspects of the Temple. An upper [spiritual] one and a lower [physical] one. אחריבנו אמר רבי תחליפא בר קרויה באותה שעה נכנסו כל מלאכי השרת ועמדו ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Amount of Aggadeta in Talmud Bavli

Was wondering whether anyone has seen a write-up of/knows off-hand the amount of daf of aggadeta in the Talmud Bavli (for argument's sake, let's take the Daf Yomi count of 2711.) Thanks!
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73 views

Sources in the Talmud Aggaditah and/or Midrashim on Samal and Lilit?

I know that there are sources in the Gemara Aggaditah on Samal and Lilit (לילית & ס"מ) as well as in the Zohar. I have seen her mentioned in Shabbat, Eruvin, and Niddah. Still, not a clear ...
5
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1answer
202 views

Which of the Napoleonic wars had no casualties?

The Chasam Sofer (droshos 8th Tamuz) writes about a war in the year 1809 with no causalities on our side. Can anyone tell us which war this was, and where these details may be recorded?
3
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3answers
452 views

Why did the R' Akiva marry the wife of Tyrannus Rufus?

The gemara in Avodah zara 20a brings a Baraisa that says, ואף רבי עקיבא ראה אשת טורנוסרופוס הרשע רק שחק ובכה רק שהיתה באה מטיפה סרוחה שחק דעתידה דמגיירא ונסיב לה בכה דהאי שופרא בלי עפרא We know that ...
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1answer
149 views

Is one allowed to publicize stories about Rabbis without asking them first?

THe approach of learning Halochos or Middos or behaviors from observing Tzaddikim's behavior alone is very common in our literature and is even rooted in Gemmorah (Brochos 62): תניא אמר רבי עקיבא פעם ...
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55 views

What does sacrificing a soul mean?

The Talmud Bavli in Chagiga 12b mentions that there is a place where the angel Michael offers korbanos to Hashem. The Chiddushei Aggados commentary (can be seen on the above link on Sefaria) states a ...
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What did the Or Sameach do for Rabbi Yaakov Ruderman?

I have heard that Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman of Ner Israel quoted Rabbi Meir Simcha (the Or Sameach or Meshech Chochma) in almost every, or possibly even in every, Torah address to the school. I ...
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39 views

Why did the guy on Shabbat 127b change the order of events?

The following story appears in the Babylonian Talmud on Shabbat 127b: Our Rabbis taught: He who judges his neighbour in the scale of merit is himself judged favourably. Thus a story is told of a ...
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1answer
77 views

Why was Levi's davening wrong?

In Taanis 25a there is a story with Levi where rain didn't come so he fasted. He then 'shot' words towards heaven, and Rabbi Elazar then says A person should never shoot words onto the God up high, ...
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1answer
93 views

How could Abba Ḥilkiyya do that?

In the Gemara in Berochos daf 61 it says that one may not walk behind ones wife. So how is it that Abba Ḥilkiyya in Tananis daf 23 went after his wife into the house, even if he didn't want to check ...
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2answers
90 views

Yaakov Avinu didn't die and connection to not eating?

In Taanis 5b there is a story with two amoraim רב נחמן ור' יצחק הוו יתבי בסעודתא א"ל רב נחמן לר' יצחק לימא מר מילתא א"ל הכי א"ר יוחנן אין מסיחין בסעודה שמא יקדים קנה לושט ויבא לידי ...
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3answers
421 views

Divorce and Mizbeach

The gemara in Gittin 90b has a memoir that says if a man divorces one's wife the mizbeach, the altar, cries over this. Why and how is the mizbeach connected to marriage and the separation of man and ...
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51 views

In story of Rebbe Akiva's students, found in yevamos 62b, how is it possible that they didn't show honour to one another [duplicate]

Rabbi Akiva, the tanna who has the famous quote " this is the greatest rule, love your fellow like you love yourself". If that is what he stands for how could it be that his students disregarded that ...
4
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81 views

Sefer explaining why Aggada stories in the Talmud are located where they are

I saw a great reason given by R' Tzaddok HaKohen about why the story about the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash and its aftermath is specifically in Maseches Gittin 55b-58a: (adapted from a Jewish ...
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1answer
72 views

Were there really 5x as many makkos at yam suf?

Towards the end of the haggadah, there is a paragraph discussing how many makkos there were at yam suf: רבי יוסי הגלילי אומר- מנין אתה אומר שלקו המצרים במצרים עשר מכות ועל הים לקו חמישים מכות? ...
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45 views

Story about a shepherd who prays to God but not using traditional prayers?

I'm looking for the story about a shepherd who prayed to G-d using only his own prayers. When a rabbi heard him praying one day he decided to teach him to pray using only traditional Jewish prayers. ...
5
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3answers
269 views

A theological problem with the Miriam “Magdalene” story in Chagiga 4b

There is an interesting story at the bottom of Chagiga 4b, top of 5a. The Angel of Death is telling a Rabbi of an incident that happened. The AoD has an assistant. The AoD tells him to reap Miriam ...
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Where does Rabbeinu Tam discuss the “aspaklaria ha-meira”?

In Bernard-Henri Levy's book, "The Genius of Judaism", on p222-3, the author describes what appears to be the discussion in the gemara in Yevamot 49b about Moshe's level of prophecy. He says that ...
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1answer
83 views

Source for electricity in the times of the Talmud?

Many years ago I was told a story about an Amorah (Talmudic sage) who had an electric lamp, and when discovered said something along the lines of, the world isn't ready for this yet. I'm looking for ...
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275 views

Are there examples of backward time travel in the talmud and/or midrash?

The gemarah discusses a story where Moshe is taken to see the lecture hall of Rebbi Akiva and the midrash discusses God showing Adam ensuing generations and their scholars. I would like to know if ...
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2answers
113 views

Why did R' Yochanan ben Zakkai ask for multiple things?

In Gittin 56b there is a conversation between Vespasian and R' Yochanan ben Zakkai. Vespasian offers to grant a wish of R' Yochanan's אלא בעי מינאי מידי דאתן לך R' Yochanan proceeds to ask for 3 ...
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45 views

Is weeping at death a bad omen (סימן רע) or not?

The Talmud (Kesubos 103a; see Avos Rebbi Nason 25:2) says: מת מתוך השחוק סימן יפה לו מתוך הבכי סימן רע לו If one dies from laughter it is a good omen for him, but it is a bad omen to die from weeping....
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2k views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
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44 views

Why do many masechtot conclude with a portion of Aggadata?

From what I've seen, many Masechtot in Shas seem to conclude with an aggadata portion that can be found towards the end of that particular Masechta. Is there a documented or stated reason as to why ...
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1answer
154 views

Deceased individuals appearing after death

Inspired by this answer: Are there any documented stories of deceased people appearing after death to live people? [I am not looking for stories where someone dead appeared in a dream] The Gemara in ...
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1answer
74 views

Why did Moses have a ten-cubit-long axe?

The Talmud in Berachot 54b relates the following tale: אבן שבקש עוג מלך הבשן לזרוק על ישראל גמרא גמירי לה אמר מחנה ישראל כמה הוי תלתא פרסי איזיל ואיעקר טורא בר תלתא פרסי ואישדי עלייהו ואיקטלינהו אזל ...
5
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1answer
587 views

Source for story about Chazon Ish and mischief

I once heard a story along the lines of the following: A man brought his 7 or 8 year old son to meet the Chazon Ish. He wanted to show him what a masmid his son was. The Chazon Ish, after asking ...
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32 views

What message is the “witness” on Rosh Hashanah 22b trying to convey?

The gemara in Rosh Hashanah 22b quotes a beraisa which tells the story of the בייתוסים trying to trick the chachamim into establishing the new month on the wrong date: בראשונה היו מקבלין עדות החדש ...
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1answer
237 views

Source that Gr“a finished the ”whole" Torah?

I heard from a friend that he read that the Vilna Gaon did a Sium on the Torah. Not just the חמישה חומשי תורה, but that he basically claimed that he finished all there is to learn in Jewish studies. ...
3
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1answer
104 views

Help finding a chazal, could be עין יעקב

I was asked to find a maamar Chazal that contrasts the Gaava (haughtiness) a woman can have with that of a male talmid chochom. I am unclear which way they differentiate, i was told there's something ...
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2answers
134 views

Examples of the sages in the Talmud going above and beyond in kindness

What are some examples in the Talmud where it tells a story of one of the sages from the time of the Mishna or Gemara showing exceptional kindness that could be a good example to other people? For ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Where can I find R. Hirsch's Hebrew essay on Agaddos?

There is a essay on Aggados written by R. Samson Raphael Hirsch, sometimes it appears in loose translation in English here and there. But I feel that doesn't convey its meaning properly (I suppose). ...
3
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1answer
76 views

Seeking teachings or stories involving the rabbis mentioned in the hagadda, to add a little more spice to the seders

To help me prepare for conducting seders again this year, can anyone point me to a compilation of teachings or stories involving any or all of the rabbis in the hagadda? Autobiographical tidbits? ...
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1answer
27 views

Making a siyum on Avos D'reb Nosson [duplicate]

Does one make a siyum on finishing Avos D'reb Nosson?
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35 views

How to understand Chullin 127a: “All found on land is found also in the sea?” [duplicate]

(saw a similar question suggested) How are we to understand the gemara from Chullin 127a which states: "כל שיש ביבשה יש בים" all that exists on land there is an equivalent animal in the sea ...
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1answer
102 views

Story that Hashem kept the ability open to destroy the Bais Hamikdash to avoid destroying the Jews

I am looking for a source for this. Someone told me that there is a story that Hashem asked Dovid hamelech not to build (continue building) the Bais Hamikdash to be able to destroy it instead of ...
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1answer
150 views

Story of Megaddalela, rabbi tells man to marry woman of ill-repute

I once read a story in the Talmud about a woman of ill-repute named Megaddalela, whom a rabbi told a man to marry. I used it for a research project and can no longer find the original source. And I do ...
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1answer
297 views

Did Moses (pbuh) raise the dead [closed]

This story is in the Quran, is it also in Jewish scripture? And when Moses said unto his people: Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow, they said: Dost thou make game of us? He answered: ...
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2answers
65 views

Did the Maharatz Chiyus write any chiddushim on Agadeta?

I'm looking for any chiddushim the Maharatz Chiyus wrote on the Agadeta. He wrote a "Mavo HaAgados" in which he lays down principles for learning Agadeta and I'd like to see how he puts them into ...
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2answers
315 views

Shabbos sent a letter to Ibn Ezra

I heard in a shiur that Shabbos sent a letter to Ibn Ezra. Can anyone find the text of the letter or if it exists, and/or summarize it and find out who the source for this legend is?
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1answer
3k views

What was the pillar of stone of Seth's children mentioned by Josephus?

According to Josephus (Book 1, Chapter 2, 68-71), the family of Seth, the third son of Adam, was noted for constructing a particularly long-lasting edifice or monument. ...Now this Seth...did ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Rabbi Dovid Oppenheim's introduction to the Ein Yaakov- Where is it?

In the commentary Eitz Yosef to Gemara Berachos daf 3a, on the words "ve'ha kamashma lan..." he references an introduction to the Ein Yaakov by Rabbi Dovid Oppenheim. I looked around and could not ...
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1answer
114 views

Did the descendants of Esav literally taste soil?

The pasuk in Bereshit says (36:20) אֵ֤לֶּה בְנֵֽי־שֵׂעִיר֙ הַחֹרִ֔י יֹשְׁבֵ֖י הָאָ֑רֶץ לוֹטָ֥ן וְשׁוֹבָ֖ל וְצִבְע֥וֹן וַעֲנָֽה׃ Chazal explain that they are called the dwellers of the earth because ...
4
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1answer
89 views

Do we know of any animals that behave this way? (Bava Basra 16a)

The Gemara in Bava Basra 16a explains certain pesukim in Sefer Iyov to be referring to a conversation between Hashem and Iyov in which Hashem rebukes Iyov for denying or complaining about Hashem's ...
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2answers
150 views

Know who the Tanna/Amora is before trying to understand what he said?

The Maharats Chiyus (or Chayos) writes in his Mavo HaAgados that not all of Chazal were born equal, so to speak. More specifically, that among Chazal, there are different levels of intelligence, ...
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2answers
102 views

Were Midrashim and Aggadeta transmitted to Moshe on Sinai like the Halachic Torah She'be'al Peh?

The halachic part of the Torah She'be'al Peh was transmitted to Moshe on Sinai along with the written Torah (or in the Ohel Moed afterward). Sifra: How is Shemitta relevant to Mount Sinai? Were ...
8
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2answers
86 views

Why is the first mishna of Brachos included in the Ein Yaakov?

Rav Yaakov ibn Habib collected aggadeta from the shas bavli and yerushalmi. He called this collection Ein Yaakov. He also wrote a commentary on a bunch of it which is called HaKoseiv. The very first ...