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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I'm not sure what to do when I reach this phrase in the Gemara?

When learning Gemara I sometimes run into a phrase that says: "On this answer they asked all the questions that were asked earlier on the page and they were answered the same way they were answered ...
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Why is “marriage effective contingent upon the approval of the Sages”?

In Gittin 33a, Kesuvos 3a we learn that Rabbanan have the power to uproot a kiddushin because: כל דמקדש אדעתא דרבנן מקדש ואפקעינהו רבנן לקידושין מיניה When a man betroths a woman, he does so ...
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Establishing the relative order of Rashi's commentaries

In learning Masekhet Ketubot, I encountered Rashi's definition of בי שמשי on daf 103a. There, since the passage is clearly referring to twilight on erev shabbat in particular, Rashi explains why so ...
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Davening to change nature

In Mashcehes Brachos (Bavli) 60 the Gemara states that one should not pray that his unborn baby be a boy if it's after the time the baby has formed already in the womb. However, in Masheches Brachos ...
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Generally speaking, how should one interpret Mishnayos that go off-tangent?

To pose a few examples of the types of Mishnayos I'm speaking about: Pesachim 4:1-5 discusses various activities which depend on the local custom, most of which have nothing to do with Pesach Gittin ...
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4answers
253 views

חזקה מעיקרא vs ספק

I am in the middle of מחלוקת with someone as to, if I originally had a חזקה and now there's a ספק to whether that status is still true, whether I maintain that original status or my status changes to ...
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140 views

Why is the principle of Svarah a source for some Halachik concepts but not others?

There are instances in the Talmud (usually fleshed out by the Rishonim) where we learn a concept that is **so logical** that we don't need a pasuk or drasha to teach it to us, THAT'S how logical it is....
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The methodology of Mesores haShas

In Mesores haShas (printed in the margins of the Vilna Shas), is there any order to the sequence of quoted masekhtas? For example, on Sanhedrin 105b, a story is related that concerns the length of ...
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Why is Satan described as dancing?

In the Gemara, Satan is frequently described as "dancing". (Examples being Berachot 33a, Megillah 11b, and Pesachim 112b.) Why is this so?
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Two additional tests of Joseph in Talmud?

This discussion mentions that besides the test with Zuleica/Zuleicha (Potiphar's wife, according to the reference 166 Book of Yasher cited on p.371 in this Midrash book), there were two even more ...
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Source for a Talmudic story of three caskets

In the Merchant of Venice, suitors attempting to win Portia's hand must choose from 3 caskets (of gold, silver and lead). Those who chose wrong must leave immediately and never marry anyone. One who ...
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Why were masechtot of mishna without gemara included (or not) in Talmud Bavli and daf yomi?

I would like to better understand why certain tractates of mishna which don't have gemara were selected or not for inclusion in Talmud Bavli and/or daf yomi? Here is what I understand most tractates ...
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R' Chanina B"T's strange behavior at his execution (Kalah 5, 4)

We all know the heroic story of R' Chanina Ben Tardion in its version in Avodah Zarah 18b as he was wrapped in Sefer Torah and burned alive. Interestingly, Masechet Kalah 5, 4 (sorry couldn't find a ...
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Why is the format for referencing books sometimes backwards?

The Rambam is usually reference in the following way: פרק א׳ מהלכות ק״ש הלכה ט׳ - chapter 1 from from hilchos kerias shma, halacha 9. Why is it referenced this way? Why not the way many ...
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63 views

Why learning from examples vs learning from Halakhah?

Our Talmud uses different methods to teach Halachot, one of them is telling stories about Rabbis and concluding the Halachot from their behavior. One of the famous is R' Akiva in Brochos 62 (check ...
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Has completing the entire Talmud ever been a tenet of Rabbinical Ordination?

Has there ever been a requirement in any Rabbinical program to finish the entire Talmud, not just select mesechtas + related halachos?
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Persia will completely annihilate Edom which will cause moshiach to come

I heard that in a passage in the Talmud it says Persia will completely annihilate Edom and the rest of the world which will then spur about moshiach' arrival, the Yalkut Shimoni (Yeshaya 60:499), ...
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296 views

Order of Masechtos in Seder Moed

According to the standard Shas print (Vilna Bavli), the order of Masechtas is Pesachim-Shekalim-Rosh Hashana-Yoma-Sukka-Beitza. This makes (some) sense as this is the order of holidays. However, the ...
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169 views

How can using the bathroom be equated to the pleasure of the afterlife?

There are three things which are a taste of the World to Come: Shabbat, the sun, and “usage.” What does “usage” mean? Usage of the bed [i.e. marital relations]? But that weakens the body. Rather it ...
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168 views

Why are Masekhtot referred to by content while Humashim by their first word(s)?

Hamishah Humshe'i Torah (i.e. The Five Books of Moses) are most commonly referred to by the first word(s) in each (e.g. "Bereshit bara", "We'eleh HaDevarim"), though I'm aware of commentators (e.g. ...
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How does frequency of a Sanhedrin killing make sense in light of the concept of “Kippah”?

The mishnah on Makkos 7a states: סנהדרין ההורגת אחד בשבוע נקראת חובלנית רבי אליעזר בן עזריה אומר אחד לשבעים שנה רבי טרפון ורבי עקיבא אומרים אילו היינו בסנהדרין לא נהרג אדם מעולם רשב"ג אומר אף הן ...
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Maps that can aid the locations of the cities referenced in Masechet Gittin?

I’m currently learning Masechet Gittin and would like to know where I can find maps of the cities referenced in the first daf or so that can assist me. Cities like heger, rekem, kfar lud, etc is what ...
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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 ...
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Are there accepted rules for the exposition of a set of juxtaposed verses (סמוכים)?

This question came about from learning Gemoro Brochos 21b but the question is not limited to this daf. The Gemoro Brochos 21b quotes Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi as expounding verses Devorim 4 (9 & ...
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Source for galuta d'galuta גלותא דגלותא?

I so clearly remember from my days of Talmud study the phrase גלותא דגלותא, meaning a place that was REALLY far away, seriously in exile, "deep diaspora", totally removed from eretz yisrael. Maybe it ...
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Explain dispute about damaged rows on Bava Kamma 6b?

I was learning Bava Kamma 6b and am having trouble understanding the machlokes between R' Yismael and R' Akiva. One problem I'm having is at the part of the sugya with Rav Idi bar Avin, he said that ...
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Yoma 45b Ner Tamid - How to light it?

I'm trying to figure out what the text of Yoma 45b is teaching it's reader. There is this part (verse 6) about the 'perpetual fire' of the outer court of the mikdash as in Vayikra 6:6. And from this ...
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Middah keneged middah vs Moddedin

I've seen two expressions used by Chazal: Hashem judges a person מידה כנגד מידה, measure for measure, for example Nedarim 32a במידה שאדם מודד בה מודדין לו, by the measure a person uses They use to ...
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List of Torah commands that were only meant “for that generation and not to be repeated from generation to generation”?

In a recent Torah reading, it talked about the daughters of Zelophehad choosing to marry within their tribe, in order to keep their father's inheritance within his tribe. The guest rabbi, whom I ...
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Can one be allowed to use a house for free because he is able to use that house for free?

As per Bava Kama 20a, a squatter who does not benefit from a property, where the owner does not lose anything from the squatting, need not pay rent. Rashi explains there that the squatter is not ...
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Is there a Talmudic “score card”?

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 ...
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Why do we follow the “basra'a” - later one?

We know in Shas that in various situations, when there is a machlokes as to how to pasken, we follow the opinion of he that was chronologically later. (Ex. see Tosafos to B'rachos 13b s.v. Amar Rava.) ...
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Looking for material on how to 'use' Rashi in the gemara

Where can I find material like 'klalei Rashi'? I'm looking for things such as what Rashi means when he uses certain words and things like that.
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Source for the oral traditions in Megillas Esther?

I'm trying to understand where the Rabbis in tractate Megillah get their information. I thought that the way they interpret the five books of Moses was because they already knew all the laws and ...
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Can a magician cast a spell in water?

The power of magicians and magic, the Talmud speaks plenty about. One such example is that of Ze'iri and the donkey, in Sanhedrin 67: זעירי איקלע לאלכסנדריא של מצרים זבן חמרא כי מטא לאשקוייה מיא ...
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List of things that make one 'as if one rejects the core'

I was recently looking up something about lashon harah, and on Erchin 15A, Rav Yosi ben Zimra says that anyone that says lashon harah it is as if they reject everything, and I know I have seen similar ...
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Why is there seemingly such a disconnect between the Geonim and the Rishonim?

It seems that there was a disconnect or upheaval of some kind between the times of the Geonim and the times of the Rishonim and the hakhamim that these two eras contained. Shittoth regarding tefila, ...
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Connection of Toch Kedei Dibbur to Walking 4 Amot

According to this, the gemara compares Toch Kedei Dibbur (the length of time neccasary to greet someone; see Shalom alecha rebbi (u'mori) ) to the time it takes to walk 4 amot (cubits). Thus, with ...
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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 ...
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When answering a greeting one should top it

On a daf yomi shiur I heard that when someone is being greeted/blessed he should reply with a greater blessing. When I heard that I thought that this was the reason why people reply shabbat shalom ...
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45 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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Does the Talmud discuss “Solomon's Pools”

I recall visiting Solomon's Pools, located a bit south of Bethlehem, years ago, before it became "Area A". Wikipedia says: The water system based on Solomon's Pools has provided water to ...
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Circular reasoning in deriving the time that kohanim can eat terumah and the time that the evening Shema can be recited

The very first Mishnah (Berachot 1:1) states that the earliest time for the recitation of the evening Shema is the time that kohanim can eat terumah: מאימתי קורין את שמע בערבין משעה שהכהנים נכנסים ...
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Did Amoraim in Bavel study or know of the Talmud Yerushalmi?

The Talmud Yerushalmi was completed while the Amoraim in Bavel were still debating and discussing halachos that would be recorded later on the Talmud Bavli. I'd like to know if we can know or assume ...
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60 views

Why are non-Jews referred to as עובדי כוכבים in the גמרא?

When the גמרא refers to עובדי כוכבים, it is usually (eg. Artscroll) translated as "non-Jews". Is this supposed to exclude monotheistic non-idolatrous non-Jews or is it inaccurate translation? If ...
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252 views

Aryeh Kaplan and Talmud memorization

Aryeh Kaplan’s Jewish Meditation, page 27: I recall that when I was in yeshivah, a few friends and I decided to have a contest to see who could memorize the most pages of Talmud. For me, it was an ...
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Coin System from the Talmud — the Selah, Darkon and Dinar

in Rambam Hilchos Shekalim Perek 1 Halachos 2-4, the basic coinage system is like this: 1 Isar = 8 Perutahs. = 4 barley kernels 1 Pundyon = 2 Isarin. 1 Me'ah/Gayrah = 2 Pundyonin. = 16 barley kernels ...
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Why do we not repair the Mishna according to the emendations of the Talmud?

Often times in analyzing a Mishna the Talmud will say that the Mishna is missing certain information and should read as follows - חסורי מחסרא והכי קתני. The Talmud will then posit the missing ...
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What is the source for “asi aseh v'dachi lo sa'aseh”?

Throughout Shas we have a concept of "asi aseh v'dachi lo sa'aseh," that a positive commandment overrides a negative commandment (ex. Beitzah 8a, Yevamos 84a, etc.). What is the source for this ...
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Maseches Beitzah 7a and science

In Maseches Beitzah 7a the gemara says that any animal that mates by day will give birth at day-this is talking about a chicken ,and any animal that mates by night gives birth at night, this is ...