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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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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 ...
bhlquestion's user avatar
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The Gemara (Sukkah 25b) mentions "taking your mind off your worries." Do any commentators elaborate on exactly how to do that?

The Gemara (Sukkah 25b) mentions that an avel (mourner) is obligated in the mitzvah of Sukkah. One might have thought that since someone who is mitzta'er (in pain) is exempt from the mitzvah, that an ...
Elyah's user avatar
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How does this verse show that Vespasian will be emperor?

In the famous story about the meeting between Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakai and Vespasian, RYb"Z brings an asmachta from a verse to show that Vespasian will become emperor. The verse is: "And ...
Harel13's user avatar
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What is the "Sefer Ruach Chen" mentioned by Rabbi Mashash?

Highly related. After a lot of searching, it turns out that the story about Rabbi Akiva's parents is sourced to Rabbi Yosef Mashash's book נחלת אבות חלק ג', pp. 167-171. Rabbi Mashash himself sourced ...
Harel13's user avatar
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4 votes
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The origins of Rabbi Akiva

In this lecture, historian Gershon Bar-Kochva recounts the story of how Rabbi Akiva's parents met. In short, his mother, Sarah, was an orphan living in Lod. Her neighbor was a non-Jew who was ...
Harel13's user avatar
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4 votes
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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 ...
alicht's user avatar
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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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
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4 votes
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Is the Luz the Sacrum?

The Luz bone has been identified as the bone Techias Hameisim will be performed from, see for instance in Bereishis Rabba 28 3 the discussion between Rabi Yehoshua ben Chananya and Hadrian. It is ...
user6591's user avatar
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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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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Why couldn’t Rabbi Yochanan revive Reish Lakish?

We are told in Bava Kama 117b a story of how Rabbi Yochanan looked at Rav Kahana and killed him, and proceeded to then revive him. We also know the story of how Rabbi Yochanan looked at Reish Lakish ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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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 ...
alicht's user avatar
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Does Halakhah require one to believe in Gilu'i Eliyahu, Gilu'i Maggid, and the like?

I have heard many stories from many independent sources about Rabbis receiving teachings via individual revelation in the form of Gilu'i Eliyahu (i.e. "the appearance of Eliyahu") or Gil'ui Maggid (e....
Lee's user avatar
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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 ...
rosends's user avatar
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Let's play Name that Gadol - women wearing Tallis story

There is a story that I have heard with multiple names being used as the Rabbi in the story. It goes like this: A woman came to [insert name of Torah Sage here] and said that it would enhance her ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
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A Mashal of HaShem as a crazy king and Moshe as His weak-kneed friend?

The Gemara (Ber. 32a) quotes R' El'azar that when HaShem wanted to destroy Bnei Yisrael and Moshe intervened, it is comparable to a king who beat his son terribly, and the king's friend was at his ...
Seth J's user avatar
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Was Bar Kochva disemboweled?

The gemarah in Gittin, 57a, details a story of "bar d'roma" who performs miraculous feats in defending the Jews before meeting his demise by being disemboweled by a snake (similar to the end of Bar ...
none's user avatar
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The Satan's rebellion in Rabbinic literature?

My understanding is that in most of Rabbinic literature, the Satan is viewed as simply the angel with the job of accusing mankind like in Iyov, and that the Christian notion of him as having rebelled ...
Ben G's user avatar
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Do the Crimean Jews have stories about the Khazars?

It seems reasonable to say that the (Jewish) Khazars fleeing the destruction of their state by the Rus' could have joined the Crimean Jews. Do the Crimean Jews themselves have any info on the Khazars? ...
Leonardo's user avatar
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Sefer guidebook to Understanding Aggadata Perspectives

I'm on the lookout for a sefer (ideally that is on Otzer Hachochmo or Hebrewbooks) that delves into the diverse ways of interpreting Aggadata Gemaras, if such a resource exists. What I'm after is a ...
fulltimekollelguy's user avatar
2 votes
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Where can I find the indexes to Ein Yaakov online?

Ein Yaakov, a collection of aggadah from Shas, was originally published with a thematic index and an index according to the parshah, haftarah and megillos. They are described in this article and this ...
Meir Luria's user avatar
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Source for Story about Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi Collecting Teachings from All the Tanaim

Someone recently mentioned to me a story that in the days of the Tannaim most people learned from a single teacher and learned a single derekh or set of halakhot. Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi was unusual in ...
Avraham's user avatar
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2 votes
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Why does the Torah sometimes use riddles, metaphor and misleading words instead of direct explanation?

If the Torah's lessons are critical for all to know, and written by Hashem, why is it sometimes so obtuse? Let's focus this question on 2 places: the 3 sefarim of King Shlomo Shir HaShirim, Kohellet ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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Is Buber's Legend of the Baal Shem Tov credible?

Did Buber base his stories on authentic Chassidic lore or was it his own making?
Kenny Xiong's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
90 views

What is the occupation of the soul, Jewish and non-Jewish, in the months prior to birth?

After reading an interesting scientific article concerning how mammals apparently dream prior to birth, it reminded me of Rabbi Simlai in Niddah 30b discussing how each Jewish soul learns the entire ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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2 votes
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178 views

Stories of Eliyahu HaNavi in Gemara

Throughout the Gemara there are many stories in which Eliyahu HaNavi appears in one form or another and is in conversation with Chazal. Have any commentators or scholars provided a systematic approach ...
El Shteiger's user avatar
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2 votes
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How do Rishonim ignore R Yehuda's opinion on not making aliyah in Ketubot 111a?

As an amateur in the workings of Gemara, and as a Jew who has just made Aliyah, this is a problem that is really biting at me. R Yehuda's statement is obviously Aggadeta, and is seemingly refuted by R ...
user22192's user avatar
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Source for a story about mistakenly thinking Mashiach was here

What is the story in the Gemara or Ein Ya'akov about the guy who ran into the streets when he thought the Mashiach was here, but really it was a wedding ceremony? I can't find it anywhere. The Rosh ...
Kfir's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
568 views

Why did Metatron receive 60 lashes?

In the story of the 4 who entered Pardes (Chagigah starting on 14b) it says that Elisha ben Abuyah saw Metatron the angel sitting and therefore became a heretic. In order to show Elisha that Metatron ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
57 views

What is the source of this story about suffering and having a dream about it..?

I remember a story about a person that suffered very much and went to see a certain rebbe to help him. While waiting he feel asleep and had a dream where he saw his mitzvos and aveiros and the ...
Yehosef's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
76 views

Why are different Agadot in different masechtot

I once heard that the agadot of each masechta are in that particular masechta fora reason. does anyone know the source of such a claim
rabbi's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Interpreting and accepting contemporary reports of fantastic events

Are there any contemporary sources that discuss how to approach reports or stories in circulation among the Jewish public that stretch credulity? Is it incumbent upon us to find meaning in them? I am ...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
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1 vote
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"Everything that you did, you did for your own needs." (Avodah Zara 2b) - Why do we need to know this now?

The gemara in Avodah Zara discusses the conversation between Hashem and the world, after Moshiach arrives. He invites everyone to come and get their reward for Torah. The various nations queue up and ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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1 vote
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19 views

What does “the fetuses sang Az Yashir” midrash teach us

The Gemara in Sotah brings an opinion by Rabbi Meir that even unborn fetuses in the womb sang Az Yashir. What is the deeper explanation of this midrash? Artscroll in a note lists a bunch of ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
40 views

Source for Bloody Fruits Story

Recall reading a story when I was younger, pretty sure in a kid's book of Midrash/Aggadah, like Our Sages Showed The Way. Trying to find the original source, could be have some details wrong. Someone ...
user907a's user avatar
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Deeper meaning of Bat Shlomo midrash

Do any commentaries elucidate any deeper meaning into the story of Bat Shlomo in the tower (found here: The Medrash About Shlomo HaMelech's Daughter ) Obviously the Pashut message is that Gd runs ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
57 views

Meaning of this Og midrash

So what’s the meaning of this midrash exactly? Do any commentaries talk about what it could represent, what 60 represents, etc…
Curious Yid's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
80 views

Is there a source for this story of the seven brothers?

This is part of the story: "There were once seven brothers, the sons of one woman, in the city of Tzippori. They were wealthy, but one day they went to a certain city in the land of India. They ...
haroune zeraib's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
266 views

Who was Adina? (Lavan's wife)

In Sefer Hayashar it says: ויזרע יצחק בארץ ההיא, וימצא בשנה ההיא מאה שערים ויברכו ה׳. ויגדל האיש ויהי לו ובשנת חמישים ושש שנים לחיי יעקב, באו אנשים מחרן ויגידו לרבקה על אודות לבן בן בתואל אחיה. כי ...
Shababnik's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
72 views

Why is Kamtza blamed?

The famous Gemara in Gittin says אקמצא ובר קמצא חרב ירושלים, that Jerusalem was destroyed because of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza. I understand why Bar Kamtza s getting some of the blame, but why is Kamtza ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
94 views

Medrashim which seem to go against logic

I am giving a speech this week. I would like to include examples of Medrashim which seem implausible that it ever happened or could have ever happened. Can any of you provide examples of medrashim ...
fulltimekollelguy's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
30 views

Is there a connection between "מקום מים רעים" and "מקום מים יפים"?

In Avot D'Rabbi Nathan 14:6 it says: "כשיצאו מלפניו הוא אמר אלך לדמסית למקום יפה ומים יפים ונאים והם אמרו נלך ליבנה למקום שתלמידי חכמים מרובים אוהבים את התורה הוא שהלך לדמסית למקום יפה ומים יפים ...
Harel13's user avatar
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1 vote
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216 views

Remote Viewing and Judaism

I’m fascinated to know if there are any kabbalistic ideas and/or aggadic references in chazalic literature that refer to or discusses the idea of “remote viewing” ( the practice of seeking impressions ...
Jmill388's user avatar
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1 vote
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205 views

Source for Lubavitch Siddur Legend

If you take a look in the old print of the Siddur Tehilas Hashem on page 13, you will notice a strange looking vav in the word "yetzur" (as in "yetzur nivra" from the tefillah of Adon Olam). I have ...
ezra's user avatar
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1 vote
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109 views

Did the entire generation of the wilderness lose their Olam Haba

What does the Gemara mean when it says (Sanhedrin 108), The generation of the wilderness have no share in the future world and will not stand at the [last] judgement, as it is written in this ...
user15985's user avatar
  • 159
1 vote
1 answer
293 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 ...
Jennifer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
191 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 ...
chortkov2's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Two crowns, one corresponding to na'aseh, one to nishmah?

B"H It says in the Gemara (Shabbat 88a) that when the people of Yisroel said "we will do" (na'aseh) before "we will listen" (nishmah), 600,000 angels came and tied two crowns ...
Awtsmoos--עצמות's user avatar
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Yonah and Leviathan midrash

Anyone know the source for some midrash about when Yonah is in the mouth of the fish and then they go to the Leviathan and Yonah shows him his bris and he runs away?
Curious Yid's user avatar
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0 answers
158 views

Is it true Baal Shem Tov knew his zivug?

Is it true the Baal Shem Tov knew his zivug before he got married to her? If yes how did he know? That is, in this story, we read: Rav Efraim Kitover, the Av Beit din of Brody, was once involved in a ...
David 's user avatar
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Difference between aggadah in gemara and midrash

Much of the non-halachic aggadah quoted in the gemara overlaps with aggadah from the midrash such as midrash tanchuma or midrash rabbah and others. Yet there are some aggadah that are only found in ...
Yosef's user avatar
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