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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?
RCW's user avatar
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26 votes
10 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 ...
yydl's user avatar
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25 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 ...
Menachem's user avatar
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25 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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25 votes
2 answers
2k 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, ...
Meir Illumination's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
9k 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?
cookie monster's user avatar
23 votes
9 answers
1k 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 ...
Double AA's user avatar
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23 votes
11 answers
10k 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 ...
Moshe's user avatar
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22 votes
8 answers
7k views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
22 votes
12 answers
13k 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 - - ...
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21 votes
3 answers
36k 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" ...
Malka S's user avatar
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21 votes
13 answers
12k 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.
rony's user avatar
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21 votes
2 answers
993 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)...
Menachem's user avatar
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20 votes
12 answers
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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 ...
S-B's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
15k 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 ...
Curiouser's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
SarahBrodsky's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
896 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 ...
theideasmith's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
853 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 ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
895 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-...
Yaakov Kuperman's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
3k views

"Chabad" Gemara learning?

Is there a specifically "Chabad" way of learning Gemara? Is there a Chabad commentary on the Gemara?
Desert Star's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
929 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 ...
none's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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17 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
yydl's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
720 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 ...
WAF's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
383 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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16 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
1k 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.
Larry K's user avatar
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16 votes
5 answers
832 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 ...
Rabbi Yaakov's user avatar
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16 votes
6 answers
1k 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 ...
Premundane's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Aaliyah's user avatar
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15 votes
5 answers
821 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 ...
Seth J's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
759 views

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?
sds's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
419 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 ...
הנער הזה's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
497 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 ...
DanF's user avatar
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14 votes
8 answers
2k 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.)
Shmuel's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
818 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?
yosef lavi's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
2k 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 ...
Monika Michael's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

1/60: why was the figure 60 chosen?

Many instances in the Talmud involve the number 60 as for instances: battel beshishim dreaming is 1/60th of prophecy sleeping is 1/60th of death Why was the number 60 chosen by the Sages and not 100 ...
Eli83's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
El Shteiger's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
683 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 ...
jutky's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
241 views

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 ...
conceptualinertia's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
983 views

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 ...
clum's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
2 answers
400 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 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
638 views

Sherlock Holmes-ian deduction in the Talmud

I remember learning a story in the Talmud (I think) and am trying to find the source. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but this is what I remember. There was a Talmudic Rabbi who was sold into ...
Menachem's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
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 ...
WAF's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
652 views

How were men allowed to watch an execution?

It says in Maseches Sota (8a) that that if a woman would be punished by stoning, she would be stoned virtually unclothed, and men would be allowed to attend. The Gemara says that there is no concern ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
193 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 ...
alicht's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
warz3's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
426 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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar

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