Questions tagged [talmudic-methodology]

Questions on understanding the structure and terminology of the Gemara

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Meaning of voting on Halacha in a random gathering

I previously associated "Halachic voting" with an authoritative and representative assembly of rabbis, until I stumbled over the following passage: "דְּתַנְיָא: מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרַבִּי ...
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What was the mechanism of publicizing the ruled Halochos in the Talmudic era?

The Talmud teaches us that on numerous occasions various rabbis gathered at a shul or someone's place (usually a penthouse) and ruled/decided certain Halochos (see "נמנו וגמרו"). Was there a ...
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Talmudic Methodology - Books

Are there any books that compare and contrast the various methods of Talmud study?
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Can the word "Torah" refer to the Tanakh in general?

Can the word Torah include other books in the Tanakh? If so, are there examples of this in Jewish literature (ancient rabbinical literature, medieval, etc)
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Why is Rebbi Meir frequently quoted as "he used to say" in the Talmud?

If one has taken a 'swim' in the Talmud, it would become apparent that Rebbi Meir is often cited as "he used to say". I cannot express with certainty that it is a completely unusual ...
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Why is there no tayku in the Jerusalem Talmud?

From one count I have seen there are more than 300 times in the Talmud Bavli where a discussion ends with “תיקו” (let it stand, ie the question remains) yet, to my knowledge there is not a single time ...
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English language guide to how Talmudic discussions have been treated by Rishonim and Acheronim

I have a general interest in the Talmud and how it is studied in yeshivot. However, my Aramaic and Hebrew are basic and I cannot read Rashi script. I recently enjoyed a book called The Talmud: A ...
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Sefarim on iyun mehalachim?

Are there any sefarim that methodically elaborate a particular Iyun mehalech (method)? For instance, the Brisker Derech by Moshe Wachtfogel provides insight into the brisker mehalech albeit to a terse ...
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Differences in Halachic wording - "This isn't X" or "This is not Kosher X"

In Succah 8b I noticed two different wordings regarding a Succah: א"ר לוי משום ר"מ שתי סוכות של יוצרים זו לפנים מזו - הפנימית אינה סוכה R' Levi said in the name of R' Meir: two craftsmen’s ...
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Source for tradition of discussing Halachic dead ends

Many times while discussing a possible interpretation of a Mishnah, the Gemmorah tries to offer "dead-end solutions" - possible ways of explanations that are knowingly false. NOTE: I don't ask WHY ...
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Is there Biblical reference to the existence of Halachah Lemoshe Misinai?

The definition of the Law(s) of Moses Misnai in WIKI from the Talmudic Encyclopedia (see also here): A Law given to Moses at Sinai refers to a halakhic law for which there is no biblical reference ...
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Did anyone make an attempt to rearrange the Talmud by topics?

Given that many Sugiot in the Gemmorah are out of Masechet of their rational placements, and the fact that the Gemmora isn't "sacred" in its structure. Did anyone make an attempt to rearrange the ...
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Why didn't Rebbi compile everything that was known in the Mishnah?

Following "what-was-rabbi-yehuda-hanassis-role-in-compiling-the-mishnah": Fearing the loss of the Oral tradition, it sounds reasonable for Rebbi to attempt to compile all known Mishnayos (incl. ...
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Does existence of a Machlokes prove the lack of established Halachah?

I'm trying to understand the methodology and the dynamics of the Halachah and when the Gemmorah presents a Machlokes that is resolved generations later I arrive at the conclusions that there was no ...
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Sources for juxtaposing two opposing approaches to Jewish Halachah

Throughout different realms of Halochos I spot two opposing approaches to ruling the practical Halochos - let's call them Absolute and Personal: The Absolute approach rules/proposes Halochos that ...
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How to differentiate between a "revealed" Halacha and Paskened one?

This question mimics a similar question about mathematics - is it discovered or created. Our Rabbis ruled a lot of Halochos. Some of them are considered "the revelation of the original Halochos G-...
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Source that Amorayim are not required to know Beraitot/Toseftot

I was told that some Rishonim on Sha"s comment that Amorayim were not required to know Beraitot or Toseftot, they only were required to know the Mishna. Where's that source?
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Why does a contradiction need to be resolved?

Human psychological nature allows for intrinsic contradictions between one's beliefs. For example, "I love Daddy the most" vs "I love Mammy the most", or "Shabbos is G-d's greatest gift to the Jews", "...
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Inventing Halachot or revealing (restoring) them?

תנא אלף ושבע מאות קלין וחמורין וגזירות שוות ודקדוקי סופרים נשתכחו בימי אבלו של משה: אמר רבי אבהו אעפ"כ החזירן עתניאל בן קנז מתוך פלפולו One thousand and seven hundred inferences, and verbal ...
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Rejected hermeneutics doubtfully true

The gemarra often employs the different types of derashos/hermeneutics such as kal vachomer/a fortiori arguments and hekesh/juxtaposition of phrases or terms. Also often, is these derashos are ...
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What were the main principles of Hillel and Shammai's schools approach?

Is there a "unified" theory of both schools' approaches that account for the differences in their rulings in all disputes? Like a set of different principles all their rulings stem from, or their ...
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Can external criteria be considered when setting the Halacha?

וכי מאחר שאלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים מפני מה זכו בית הלל לקבוע הלכה כמותן? מפני שנוחין ועלובין היו ושונין דבריהן ודברי בית שמאי ולא עוד אלא שמקדימין דברי בית שמאי לדבריהן The Gemara asks: Since both ...
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How life stories turned into Halachot - Mishnaic examples?

The first Mishna in Brochos states: מעשה ובאו בניו מבית המשתה אמרו לו לא קרינו את שמע אמר להם אם לא עלה עמוד השחר חייבין אתם לקרות There was an incident where Rabban Gamliel’s sons returned very late ...
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What does "knowing the whole Torah" mean?

Many Rabbis from our forefathers to Moses to Tannayim are said to "know the Whole Torah" (כל התורה כולה). This is very unusual, as in other realms we usually don't say that about other people "he ...
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