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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8answers
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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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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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2answers
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What is the oldest manuscript of Torah Shebaal Peh?

We don't have (and more's the pity!) R' Yehudah Hanassi's autograph copy of the Mishnah (well, okay, it's a controversial issue whether he actually wrote it or only arranged it orally), or Ravina and ...
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2answers
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Germanic populations in Talmudic and other rabbinic texts?

In the 11th century, Hai Gaon and Rashi refer to the country and language of “Ashkenaz” (referring to the area around the Rhineland, northern France and Germany). By the 12th and 13th centuries, ...
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8answers
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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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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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11answers
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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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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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2answers
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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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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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Is there a short Daf Yomi shiur online in English?

There is a short, 10-minute daf yomi shiur in Hebrew here : and I was wondering if there is anything comparable in English. I'm looking for a Daf Yomi shiur online that is significantly shorter than ...
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2answers
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What Happens to People Who Don't Have a Portion in Olam Haba?

The last perek of Sanhedrin lists some people who have no share in Olam Haba. Other people who forfeit their share are discussed in the answers to this question: No Olam Habah for these? My question ...
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2answers
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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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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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Formal Logic and Gemara

I've recently tried to fuse my background in programming with my Gemara learning, resulting in what I now call computational gemara. You can read more about the idea here. An older article I wrote ...
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4answers
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How do we understand the idea of something missing from the mishnah חסורי מיחסרא והכי קתני?

The gemoro often reconciles the argument of a mishnah with other evidence by saying חסורי מיחסרא והכי קתני - there is something missing from the mishnah and this is how you must learn it. See for ...
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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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Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
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3answers
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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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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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1answer
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Why are these tractates, “Yeshivish Mesechtos”?

There is a cycle of tractates in the Talmud that are learned in Yeshiva each year. This is an exclusive list, where only a small number of volumes are covered in the curriculum. There must be some ...
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What does “the Talmud” mean in the Talmud?

The G'mara Bavli says in Shabas 63: אמר רב כהנא, "כד הוינא בר תמני סרי שנין, והוה גמירנא ליה לכוליה תלמודא, ולא הוה ידענא דאין מקרא יוצא מידי פשוטו..." Rav Kahana said, "When I was 18 ...
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Is Rabbeinu Tam correct about unique phraseology for specific amoraim?

In Kesubos 2b there is a discussion in which an answer is introduced with the phrase פשיט רב אחאי – R. Achai answered. There is a discussion in Tosafos as to the identity of R. Achai. Rashbam claims ...
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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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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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6answers
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Hashem studies Torah?

The Gemara in Avodah Zarah 3b lays out the 12-hour schedule of Hashem's day. I realize that any kind of description of Hashem in human terms is allegorical as Hashem is not a human bounded by time and ...
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Why are the descendants of Rav Pappah mentioned in the text of the Siyum for a tractate of Talmud?

Who are the descendants of Rav Pappah mentioned in the text of the Siyum for a tractate of Talmud, and why are they so important that we mention them all by name? Why don't we mention any other great ...
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Why does the Gemara use gamma to compare shapes and not reish or chaf sofit?

When talking about shapes, the Gemara often uses Greek gamma (e.g., Peshachim 8b). Why doesn't it use reish, dalet or chaf sofit instead?
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Can one have a favorite pasuk/parsha/masechta?

This closed question asks for a 'favorite pasuk', presupposing that such a thing is allowed. When it comes to sugyos or sections/topics of Torah, Chazal say on the one hand, (Eiruvin 64a) that a ...
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1answer
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Why are the names of some Masechtot in Aramaic while others are in Hebrew?

I noticed that the names of some Masechtot have an Aramaic plural ending - nun - such as "Gittin", while others have a Hebrew ending - mem - such as "Bikurim". Was there some pattern or logic in ...
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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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2answers
833 views

Where are the magic cucumbers discussed in the Talmud?

Where are the magic cucumbers discussed in the Gemara by a Rabbi proud of his knowledge? Are magic cucumbers discussed elsewhere? Thanks.
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Rabba bar bar Chana

There is a rabbi in the Talmud referred to as רבה בר בר חנה. Why is he called that way? It says that Rabba was the grandson of Chana. Who was Chana? Was it(?) a woman? Why wasn't he called after his ...
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1answer
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Best way to translate “קא”

In the Aramaic of the Babylonian Talmud, there is a widely used word "קא", like in the sentence והא קא קרי (in Berahot 13:1). What is the best way to translate it to Hebrew or English? Or maybe just ...
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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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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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How can it be that David hamelech died on shavuos and Shabbos

The Gemara (Mesechet Shabbat) says that Shavuot can never fall on Shabbat. But it is known that David Hamelech was niftar on Shavuot and Shabbat?
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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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What does it mean that Hashem plays with the Leviatan?

The Talmud in Avodah Zara 3b says that the last quarter of the day Hashem plays with the Leviathan. Is there any explanation of what that means? If so, where? הקב"ה יושב ועוסק בתורה....רביעיות יושב ...
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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How Should I Understand Gemaras Where People Quote Pesukim that Were not yet Written at the Time the Story Takes Place?

In various places in Talmud Bavli, there are stories told that take place during the times of Torah or Neviim where people in the story quote verses from prophetic books that did not yet exist at the ...
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Differences between Bat Kol and prophecy

A bat kol, lit. a 'daughter of a voice', is understood by Marcus Jastrow as a divine voice, a substitute for prophecy. The instance of a bat kol occurs many times in the Talmud1. There are sources ...
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Is there a source in the gemara for “Blei Gissen” (pouring lead)?

A recent article in the 5 Towns Jewish Times claims Blei gissen, the technique of pouring lead to nullify ayin ha’ra, the poisonous evil eye, has its source in the Gemara ... In his critique of ...
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Is the Gemara (Shabbos 116b) quoting the New Testament?

The Gemara in Shabbos (116b) seems to have two quotes from the New Testament, but I'm not sure. ברא וברתא כחדא ירתון - sons and daughters should inherit together and אנא לא למיפחת מן אורייתא ...
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How did Rambam eliminate “ben gilo” from the halacha?

The gemara in Elu Metzios (Bava Metzia 30b) says: אמר מר (אשר) ילכו - זה ביקור חולים. היינו גמילות חסדים! לא נצרכה אלא לבן גילו ,דאמר מר בן גילו נוטל אחד מששים בחליו ,ואפי' הכי מבעי ליה ...
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What's in the new bit of Jerusalem Talmud?

I just read a news story about a newly discovered sentence-long fragment of the Jerusalem Talmud that apparently resolves a previously unintelligible section of Tractate Bikkurim. Does anyone know ...
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Looking for information on the Savoraim

I am looking for more information on the Savoraim such as a list of who they were, what they wrote outside of comments/amendments in the talmud, meaning do they have responsa, ethical or halachik ...
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Is the Talmud 100% Oral Torah?

I've been taught that the Oral Torah was passed from generation to generation from Moshe Rabbeinu. And I've also heard that the Talmud is basically a recollection of Oral Torah. This would suggest ...
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Self-defense in a street fight?

I was in a situation where someone basically approached me indicating he was going to fight me, squared up with me, stared me down etc. pushed me twice, and then I thought to myself, "If he raises a ...

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