I heard once in a recording from R. Y.S. Schorr that Shamai represented a middas hadin, an exacting attitude of strict justice (as is evidenced by those very stories). His measuring stick was a display of just that point - everything had to be measured and exactly according to what was deserved.
The Chassam Sofer seen here s.v. על רגל אחד says that Shammai besides being a Talmid Chacham was also a builder by trade, כי הוא היה תלמיד חכם וגם בנאי באמת הבנין.
The apikores thought that a person must choose between being a good person who interacts with other people kindly, or one can dedicate their life to Hashem as a religious recluse. Shammai wanted ...
Shemos Rabbah (29:4) says:
דבר אחר "אָנֹכִי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ" רבי אחא ברבי חנינא פתח בו (תהלים נ, ז)
שמעה עמי ואדברה (כמ"ש בעשרת הדברות (פסיקתא רבתי, יב) עד) א"ר שמעון בן
יוחאי אמר להם הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל אלוה אני על כל באי עולם אבל לא
יחדתי שמי אלא עליכם איני נקרא אלהי עובדי כוכבים ומזלות אלא אלהי ישראל
א"ר לוי שני דברים שאלו ישראל מלפני הקדוש ברוך ...
Megillah 28b (English)
ההוא דהוי תני הלכתא סיפרא וסיפרי ותוספתא ושכיב אתו ואמרו ליה לרב נחמן ליספדיה מר אמר היכי נספדיה הי צנא דמלי סיפרי דחסר
there was a certain man who used to
repeat halachoth, Sifra and Sifre and Tosefta, and when he died they came and said to R. Nahman,
Sir, will you deliver a funeral oration for him, and he said, How are we to deliver ...
The Babylonian Talmud (M'gila, page 3 column 1) relates in the name of Ravina:
One who is afraid [for no apparent reason] — although he doesn't see [anything], his mazal sees [something].
The commentary of Rashi explains that "mazal" here refers to the person's angel. And the commentary Ben Y'hoyada explains that what his mazal sees (and he's afraid of) ...
Despite this being an old question, it recently came up in conversation, so I'll take a stab at it. Three of these sources (the exception being the Chizkuni, which I found myself) come from a footnote to Eliezer Brodt's article on ברכות הראייה printed in Yeshurun vol. 26
There are indeed a few commentaries that mention werewolves:
Rashi, in his commentary ...
The medrash tanchuma on parshas Shmini #7 takes the opinion that at that great feast of Beheimos and Leviason, the mitzvos which until now were only to purify/smelt the people with will no longer apply. The proof is that the Beheimos will not have a proper slaughtering, but will rather be killed by the Liviason. The medrash goes on to prove that Liviason is ...
This is found in Brachot 8a:
אמרו ליה לרבי יוחנן איכא סבי בבבל
תמה ואמר למען ירבו ימיכם וימי בניכם על האדמה כתיב אבל בחוצה לארץ לא
כיון דאמרי ליה מקדמי ומחשכי לבי כנישתא אמר היינו דאהני להו כדאמר רבי
יהושע בן לוי לבניה קדימו וחשיכו ועיילו לבי כנישתא כי היכי דתורכו חיי
The Gemara relates that when the Sages told Rabbi Yoḥanan that there
The story is found in מדרש שוחר טוב to Tehillim (39:2). (Menachem's comment [now deleted])
This is probably the earliest source.
It is also quoted in the אורחות צדיקים (in שער כ"ה, שער לשון הרע) [on that page, toward the bottom in blue text]
(from Menachem, in another deleted comment)
According to he.Wikipedia, this story is also quoted in אגדות המלך שלמה ...
It was R' Masya ben Charash. The Tanchuma (Chukas) relates the story you mention, except it says that he burned his eyes (he didn't stab them). The story is related in the Hebrew Wikipedia article (fn. 14).
The Gemara in Maseches Berachos (11b) clearly tells us what types of learning require a blessing.
א"ר יהודה אמר שמואל השכים לשנות עד שלא קרא ק"ש צריך לברך משקרא ק"ש א"צ לברך שכבר נפטר באהבה רבה אמר רב הונא למקרא צריך לברך ולמדרש א"צ לברך ור' אלעזר אמר למקרא ולמדרש
צריך לברך למשנה א"צ לברך ור' יוחנן אמר אף למשנה נמי צריך לברך [אבל
לתלמוד א"צ לברך] ורבא ...
Many of the answers already given are excellent. So I will simply add some additional resources that you might find useful. First of all, there are the following two seforim on aggados that were not mentioned yet:
R' Yakov of Lissa (author of the Nesivos HaMishpat) wrote a commentary on Aggados titled Emes L'Yakov.
R' Yosef Shaul Nathansohn (author of the ...
This folktale is quite popular throughout European and Asian cultures, and predates Jewish oral accounts.
In Folktales of the Jews, Volume 1: Tales from the Sephardic Dispersion, folklorist Dov Noy links this Jewish folktale to its European precursors. In the 19th century, the French folklorist Emmanuel Georges Cosquin conducted a wide survey on the story'...
At the simplest level, he was acting in a manner akin to the zaken mamre or "rebellious elder" (Deuteronomy 17:12). As the Gemara in Sanhedrin explains, a member of the Sanhedrin is allowed, and encouraged, to express a dissenting opinion. However, once the Sanhedrin votes and his opinion is determined to be the minority, he may still:
I'm not sure if "anyone has ever conducted a study" of what some scholars consider to be aggada and others do not. However, we should be wary of such black and white distinctions, and of assuming that just because a passage is quoted in the Ein Yaakov, R. Yaakov Chaviva thought it should fit squarely into the "aggada" box. There are passages that the ...
One source for the story you mentioned:
In short, the author relates how a young woman received a wonderful shidduch. However, the chatan became ill and the local beit din advised that the couple not go forward. the kallah wrote to R' Wosner, who said that although he had ...
Shaalos Uteshuvos Radbaz 3:444 says that perhaps the Riva felt that his time was up and knew that he would die either way and therefore did not eat.
"אפשר דריב"א ז"ל הרגיש בעצמו דאפילו שיאכל ימות ד'לב יודע מרת נפשו',
והיינו דקאמר: ברי ושמא ברי עדיף. כלומר: הברי שלי [שאמות] עדיף משמא
שלכם [שאולי תצילו אותי], ולפיכך לא רצה לאכול".
The "ברי" was ...
This is from an old Jewish Polish folk tale.
A man's house is too crowded, so the rabbi tells him to bring in all his animals, one species at a time. When there are no more to being in, he tells him to take them all out. All of a sudden, the house feels so much roomier, despite staying exactly the same.
It is brought in the introduction to the Sefer Peat HaSulchan. It says there that he learned and understood clearly all that there is to learn (until the Achronim on the Shulchan Aruch) including the Kisvei Arizal, and understood everything besides 2 Sugeot in the Zohar.
Also to the contrary, see Talmud Kiddushin 29b, where the story is told of a demon that attacked people who entered the study hall.
הוה ההוא מזיק בי רבנן דאביי דכי הוו עיילי בתרין אפי' ביממא הוו מיתזקי אמר להו לא ליתיב ליה אינש אושפיזא אפשר דמתרחיש ניסא על בת בההוא בי רבנן אידמי ליה כתנינא דשבעה רישוותיה כל כריעה דכרע נתר חד רישיה אמר להו למחר אי לא איתרחיש ...
While I don't think that the premise for the question is very strong, as Titus may or many not have known about the technical severity of different relationships, and may or may not have cared, as there is no reason to assume that degrading the Temple depended on technical severity of prohibition, nevertheless, Maharal obviates the question. He writes in ...
פרקי דרבי אליעזר לז
See here: http://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A7%D7%99_%D7%93%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%99_%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%A2%D7%96%D7%A8_%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A7_%D7%9C%D7%97
And a slightly different version cited by R' Kasher: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=51482&st=&pgnum=168
The context is as follows:
ג' אין רואין פני גיהנם אלו הן דקדוקי עניות וחולי מעיין והרשות ויש אומרים אף מי שיש לו אשה רעה ואידך אשה רעה מצוה לגרשה ואידך זימנין דכתובתה מרובה אי נמי אית ליה בנים מינה ולא מצי מגרש לה למאי נפקא מינה לקבולי מאהבה
Three kinds of person do not see the face of Gehenna, viz., [one who suffers from] oppressive poverty, one who is ...
Somewhat to the contrary, there was a superstition among Easter European Jews that the dead held services in synagogues at night, a “minyan macabre” if you will. My grandfather z"l told me how in his youth he was afraid to walk near the town shul at night, lest he hear his name called up to the Torah at these spectral minyanim.
So I found that MhrSh"A and Eyun Jacob each offer answers.
MhrS"A says that David saw her thigh from 3 parasangs away. So she did not do it in front of him, rather it was a more incidental occurence. Abigail probably thought that she was sufficiently secluded.
E"J says that Abigail, sensing the tension between her husband Nabel and David, uncovered herself ...
The Talmud is replete with miracles. The first 5 pages of the 5th chapter of Tractate Bava Basra (beginning here and ending here) are almost entirely dedicated to miraculous stories that happened to Rabba Bar Bar Channa.
Many of the miracles of the Talmud are subject to discussion if they are meant to be taken literally. However, some are generally ...