Questions tagged [talmud-gemara]

The Talmud is a central text of Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, metaphorical stories customs, and history.

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Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
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22 votes
11 answers
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How does "eilu v'eilu" work out with an absolute truth?

I'm under the impression that religious Judaism believes in absolute truths. That being the case, how does the concept of "eilu v'eilu divrei elokim chaim" (Eruvin 13b) work out? When two scholars ...
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19 votes
8 answers
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Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
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23 votes
2 answers
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What is the longest masechta?

I heard that Bava Basra is the longest masechta in blatt but Brochos is the longest mesechta in words. Did anyone else hear anything about that?
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3 votes
1 answer
409 views

Making a Bracha on pleasurable things

A couple lines up from the bottom of the first daf of Keitzad Mevarchin, the Gemarah gives its reason for making Brachas. Its answer (my translation) is "It is forbidden for a person to get pleasure ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Why no Talmud Bavli on Zeraim or Taharot?

The common reason given as to why there is no Talmud Bavli on most of Seder Zeraim or Seder Taharot (only the tractates of Berachot and Niddah are represented) is that the Amoraim were based in Bavel (...
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15 votes
5 answers
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Who is the voice of Tosafoth?

Tosafoth were the sons-in-law, grandchildren, and students of Rashi (and their students), and "they" wrote a commentary on the Talmud that is often at odds with Rashi's earlier commentary. Sometimes ...
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22 votes
5 answers
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Is there a list of Mitzvot and their corresponding body parts?

The Talmud (Makkot 23B)and the Zohar (1:170B - unverified English translation here) say that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 limbs of the human body. (The Mishna (Ohalot 1:8) lists ...
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19 votes
2 answers
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Apologetics for marriage at 3 years old

Are there contemporary apologetics for the Mishnah (Niddah 44b) that a girl of the age of 3 can be married by sexual relations? (It seems difficult to accept that such a thing is even allowed in ...
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14 votes
8 answers
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Is there a resource that shows all uses of a Tanach verse in the Talmud?

Is there a website or book that can tell me all the places in Shas where a certain pasuk is mentioned or referenced? (Preferably website, and preferably can show places in Midrash, too.)
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16 votes
4 answers
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Where can I find examples of R. Yishmael's 13 talmudic rules?

We read Rabbi Yishmael's 13 principles of interpreting torah in the shacharit service and many of the explanations seem fairly straightforward, but I am not a very advanced student and I find I don't ...
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7 votes
5 answers
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Significance of the gemara statment תיקו Teku?

Why do we say תיקו Teiku when there is no answer in the Gemara?
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23 votes
8 answers
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Halachot learned from gematria

The Gemara in Nazir 5a learns that an unspecified nezirut is 30 days long from the pasuk "kadosh yihyeh"(Bamidbar 6,5) with יהיה- yihyeh having a gematria (Numerical value) of 30. Can anyone think of ...
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11 votes
7 answers
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Hard Yeshivish phrases to translate [closed]

Does anyone ever have trouble finding good English translations of certain yeshivish phrases, especially when in conversation with someone who would not understand the original? Post your favorite ...
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9 votes
5 answers
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Why is Talmud Bavli studied more than Yerushalmi?

I'm far from an expert on either Bavli or Yerushalmi. But, I'm curious as to why yeshivot (and, to an extent, even individual adults learning by themselves, chevruta or via shiurim) study Bavli far ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Why learn Gemara?

Why do we learn Gemara? We can't learn any Halacha from Gemara, as brought in Yalkut Yosef Halachot Talmud Torah. So why do we learn Gemara at all-it's more useful to learn Halacha!
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11 votes
3 answers
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Talmudic Censorship

Unfortunately, the Talmud and other writings have been subject to censorship since their completion. These alterations seem still to be present in many modern editions of the Talmud. Why aren't these ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Rabbinic speculations on history

Sometimes in the Rabbinic literature traditions are related about what happened in history, with multiple different opinions. For example, there was a historical development in the script used by ...
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22 votes
12 answers
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Talmud Study, Where to start [closed]

I would like to start to study Talmud, BUT do not know how, where to start. My Jewish training is basically non-existent. I learned how to read the Hebrew words in the Siddur, Machzor, and Chumash - - ...
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9 votes
9 answers
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What are some good resources for deciphering a Tosfos comment that I can't figure out?

What are some good resources for deciphering a Tosfos comment that I can't figure out? Here is what I am looking for in a resource: When Tosfos brings another gemoro this resource should provide an ...
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8 votes
5 answers
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Why do Yeshivos learn Talmud Bavli so extensively?

Most Yeshivos (from 5th Grade-End of High school) Learn Talmud Bavli. My question is: Why? What is the point of learning Talmud Bavli so extensively? I know that it is Hashem's Word, but there are ...
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18 votes
3 answers
820 views

Insults in the gemarah

Why do tanaim and amoraim use disparaging terms (bavlai tipshai, for instance) or insults when talking with one another. If there is something positive to be learned from this behavior why is it no ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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What is the provenance of Maseches Sofrim

Who wrote Maseches Sofrim and when did he live. Is it accepted by everyone? The Rashba in Brachos 34a writes that is one of the minor masechtes that were authored by the early sages. He reiterates in ...
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18 votes
3 answers
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Is this really in the Talmud?

I've seen this before on anti-semetic sites - is it really in the Talmud? Extracts from the Jewish text the Talmud "Just the Jews are humans, the non-Jews are no humans, but cattle" ...
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16 votes
6 answers
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"Chabad" Gemara learning?

Is there a specifically "Chabad" way of learning Gemara? Is there a Chabad commentary on the Gemara?
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15 votes
3 answers
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How is it that the Talmud can make historical mistakes?

A Rav told me that when it comes to science and nature, the Talmud can say incorrect things (i.e. about animals, cosmology) because they were going by the Greeks and Romans. (Where he gets permission ...
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6 votes
3 answers
518 views

Why Choose Talmud Bavli For The Daily Study

As we know it is a big custom to learn a daf of Talmud Bavli a day (Dafyomi). My question is why did they choose to pick Talmud Bavli. There are so many other Subjects that could actually affect ...
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6 votes
5 answers
469 views

Connecting Shas and Halacha

What resources are available to trace the connections from the Gemara to the Halachic codifications and the reverse? For example, how can someone learning Daf Yomi find the related Halachic rulings ...
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21 votes
2 answers
885 views

What was wrong with the word Talmud?

The Wikipedia article on The Talmud says: and Pope Pius IV commanded, in 1565, that the Talmud be deprived of its very name. The convention of referring to the work as "Shas" (shishah sidre Mishnah)...
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13 votes
4 answers
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What are the authoritative Jewish documents?

When I'm reading through answers on this site I often see users make references like - Baba Batra 75A Or Chagiga 12A I don't understand what these mean. What are the documents that Judaism ...
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6 votes
2 answers
959 views

Where are there discussions about Torah commands that nobody is known to have broken?

Where are there discussions about Torah commands that nobody is known to have broken? These discussions can come anywhere, from the Talmud to the Midrashim. One example I heard is from Devarim 21:18-...
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6 votes
3 answers
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The concept of קם ליה בדרבה מיניה

I'm trying to understand this concept. I've Googled around and could't find any straightforward answers. I don't need too many details, just the explanation that's given in the Gemara (I understand ...
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10 votes
11 answers
591 views

Talmud Yerushalmi Halachot

The halacha we have today is mostly sourced in Talmud Bavli(the Babylonian Talmud),Medrash and Zohar. I would like to know what Halachot which we have today which are sourced strictly in the ...
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8 votes
3 answers
437 views

Hyperbole in the Gemara?

There are many times where the Gemara says that someone who does something is equivalent to one who is "kofer b'kol" or killing someone (for example regarding lashon harah in Erchin 15b I have always ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Source of "Legitimate pleasures" quote

A quote that sometimes appears on the internet is the following: "Everyone will be called to account for all the legitimate pleasures which he or she has failed to enjoy." It is usually attributed ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What does the talmud/rabbinic writing have to say about Yeshu ha-Notzri (Jesus)?

I understand that the name Jesus was not uncommon 2000 years ago, and Jewish writings about the person of historical interest to the Christian Church call him "Yeshu ha-Notzri" = "Jesus the Nazarene". ...
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6 votes
2 answers
704 views

Why would people assume that "Afriki" is Africa?

Follow up on this question. Other than the name being similar to the English one, why would one assume that אפריקי in the Gemara has anything to do with Africa? The names are similar, but is there ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How did the Ten Martyrs actually die?

On Yom Kippur and Tisha B'av we read about the Ten Martyrs who were gathered and killed by Emperor Hadrian to atone for the Sale of Yosef HaTzadik. In addition to the idea that the Ten Martyrs didn't ...
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5 votes
4 answers
476 views

Source of the word "teva" for nature

I was told by someone who I consider to be very reliable that the word טבע, which means nature, does not have a source in Biblical or Talmudic literature, and it is a word that first emerges in ...
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4 votes
2 answers
308 views

Must we consider the gemara's conclusions literally true?

I have in mind gemaras such as Yoma 54b, which says, according to the interpretation of one of my rabbis, that the Even haShetiya -- the stone found under what is now the Dome of the Rock -- was the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Did Rabbi Akiva Go To Africa?

The Gemara in Rosh Hashana 26a says: ואמר רבי עקיבא כשהלכתי לאפריקי... Rabbi Akiva said: when I went to Afriki Is this referring to the continent of Africa? Was Africa in this time period ...
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21 votes
13 answers
10k views

How to learn gemara independently

Is there an organized path that a Ba'al Teshuva can follow to learn Gemara and prepare the Daf by himself? I mean after he is able to learn with Artscroll.
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24 votes
8 answers
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High School Math in the Talmud

I'm currently tutoring someone in math that has an atitude of "what's the point of all this... why would I ever need this..." (which is typical of many high-schoolers). To try to pique his interest, I ...
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6 votes
2 answers
768 views

Talmudic personages and their occupations

One question I have been researching is on the Jewish attitude towards secular occupations to complement Torah learning. There is even a statement in the Talmud about how it is preferable to flay ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Citation format for G'mara

If one is citing a g'mara in a scholarly article, what is the proper publication information to use, including title, etc.? I can't seem to find reliable examples in either English or Hebrew. This ...
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12 votes
5 answers
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Why were some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz banned?

Apparently some of the works of Rabbi Steinsaltz were banned. What are the specific examples that prompted the ban? Is there a list of all of his works that have been banned, as I am interested in ...
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11 votes
2 answers
248 views

In the Talmud is there a way to distinguish when a verse is brought as מקור or אסמכתא?

The Talmud is full of the standard procedure of the Sages interpreting Tanakh verses to learn various laws and behaviors. Is there a way to tell when a Rabbi cites a Pasuk as a traditionally known ...
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19 votes
2 answers
765 views

Academic review of Steinsaltz Gemara

One of the nice aspects of the Steinsaltz Gemaras is that he provides little historical background pieces to figures and objects referenced in the text, as well as linguistic analysis of certain non-...
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13 votes
1 answer
338 views

Doesn't prat u'klal mean that there are unnecessary words in torah?

This answer about R.Yishmael's 13 talmudic principles quotes the Artscroll siddur thus: Prat U'Klal - When specific cases are followed by a generalization, the rule applies by any case in the ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Yerushalmi Versus Bavli

What are the differences between the two Talmuds? or are there differences? Why did the two Talmuds develop separately or did they? Why do we Poskin like the Bavli or do we? Is it true that the ...
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