The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
23
votes
7answers
2k views

does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?

Does one have to take a Midrash/Aggadah literally?
22
votes
8answers
2k views

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 ...
22
votes
12answers
10k views

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 - - ...
22
votes
11answers
2k views

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 ...
21
votes
8answers
767 views

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 ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
20
votes
13answers
8k 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.
20
votes
4answers
5k views

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 ...
20
votes
2answers
768 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)...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

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?
18
votes
9answers
8k views

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 ...
18
votes
3answers
606 views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
5k views

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 ...
17
votes
3answers
380 views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
595 views

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 ...
17
votes
3answers
694 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
767 views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
528 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-...
17
votes
2answers
188 views

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 ...
17
votes
1answer
447 views

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, ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
16
votes
3answers
15k views

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" ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

“Chabad” Gemara learning?

Is there a specifically "Chabad" way of learning Gemara? Is there a Chabad commentary on the Gemara?
16
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
16
votes
6answers
821 views

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 ...
16
votes
4answers
563 views

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 years ...
16
votes
1answer
414 views

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 ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
14
votes
5answers
508 views

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 ...
14
votes
4answers
372 views

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 ...
14
votes
4answers
339 views

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 ...
14
votes
3answers
879 views

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 ...
13
votes
7answers
890 views

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.)
13
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
603 views

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 ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
13
votes
1answer
338 views

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 ...
13
votes
1answer
252 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
335 views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
674 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.
12
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
348 views

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 ...
12
votes
3answers
488 views

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 ...
12
votes
4answers
366 views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
117 views

If there's no Goel Hadam (ex: victim was a convert), does the accidental killer still need to go to an Ir Miklat?

Suppose Reuvein was accidentally killed by Shimon. It turns out that Reuvein is a ger who has no halachik relatives. Since Reuvein has no next-of-kin and thus no one who can kill Shimon- does Shimon ...
12
votes
2answers
173 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
6k views

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 ...
11
votes
7answers
496 views

References for learning Aggada

I often run into aggadic passages in the Talmud, and would like to get a list of references beyond the standard 4 (Ein Yaakov, Maharsha, Benayahu/Ben Yehoyada and the Chiddushei Aggados of the Maharal)...
11
votes
2answers
246 views

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?