How to Navigate
a Page of Talmud
- What does the word Mishnah mean? What is its
shoresh? What word is used to describe the Bible? Why? The word הנשמ
means that which is memorized (with the shoresh .ה.נ.ש). The word used to describe
the bible is הרקמ because it means that which is read.
- What are the rabbis quoted in the Mishnah called?
Why? The Rabbis quoted in the הנשמ are called םיאנת, derived from the
Aramaic root related to the Hebrew .ה.נ.ש. Therefore, the era in which the
הנשמ was codified was called the Tannaic era.
- When was the major body of the Mishnah written?
What major Jewish historical events happened during this time? The
major body of the הנשמ was written in the land of Israel during the
destruction of the 2nd temple and the revolt against Rome.
- Who compiled the Mishnah? What was his title?
Where did he live? How does the Talmud refer to him? Rabbi Judah ben
Simeon compiled the הנשמ. His title was The Nasi, and he lived in Judea
then in Bet Sharayim and finally in Sepphoris. The Talmud refers to him as
Rabbi or Rabbenu Hakadosh.
- What are the 6 sedarim of the Mishnah? What types
of Halakhot do they each deal with? Explain.
םיערז רדס- crops
and food set aside for priests and poor
דעומ רדס- Shabbat and the cycle of annual festivals
םישנ רדס- marriage and divorce
ןיקיזנ רדס- civil and criminal law
םישדוק רדס- the
temple and sacrificial worship
תורהט רדס- rules
- What does the word Talmud mean? What other name is
the Talmud given? Why? What abbreviation starts the beginning of a passage
of Talmud? The word Talmud means study of learning. Another name for it is the Gemarah, and
passages start with the abbreviation מג
- What are the rabbis of the Talmud called? Why? The
Rabbis of the Talmud are called Amoraim from the Aramaic word that was
originally designated for the official in the academy whose job was to
recite the teachings of the scholars before the public.
- Name 2 rabbis of the First generation of the
Talmud and 2 rabbis of the Fourth generations. Give some background
information about each of these rabbis. During what years was the Talmud
written? The two Rabbis of the first generation are Rav and Samuel,
and the two of the fourth generation are Abaye and Rava. Rava was the
founder of the great school at Sura and Samuel founded the rabbinic school
at Nehardea. Abaye headed the academy at Pumbedita. Rava founded an
academy at Mahoza.
- Who compiled the Talmud? When did he live? Rav
Ashi & Ravina compiled the Talmud, and they lived in the 6th
- Where was the Talmud written? Who ruled the Jews? The
Talmud was written in Babylonia under the rule of the Persians.
- What is the distinctive character of the Talmud?
Explain. It derives mostly from its intricate use of argument.
- What is a Baraita and when does the Talmud quote
it? The Braita is the teachings that were not included in the הנשמ
when it was published, and the Talmud quotes its םיאנת.
- Who was Rashi? When and where did he live? Rashi
was the Rabbi Solomon ben Issac and he lived from 1040-1150
- Why is the commentary of Rashi on the Talmud so
important? The commentary of Rashi is so important because it explains
difficult words and phrases.
- What does Tosafot mean? Where does it appear on
the page in reference to Rashi? Tosafot means additions or supplements.
It appears on the outer margin of the page.
- When did the Tosafot live? Where did they live?
How was Tosafot compiled? Tosafot lived from the 12th-13th
century in France and Germany. The Tosafot was compiled by being printed
in the standard Talmud editions and are merely an accidental selection
from a vast literature that circulated in manuscript.
- Give brief biographies of the Rabbenu Tam, the
Rashbam, and the RI. Rabbenu Tam lived from 1100-1171 and he is the grandson
He lived in a French town and was one of the most original and
unconventional interpreters of the Talmud. RaSHBaM lived from 1080-1156.
He was the grandson of Rashi and the brother of Rabbenu Tam. He composed a
famous commentary of the torah that is distinguished by its scholarly
objectivity in restricting itself to the plain contextual meaning of the
text, without imposing the traditional rabbinic interpretations. RI (Rabbi
Issac of Dampierre) lived in France during the 12th century and
was one of the most prolific of the tosafists.
- What is the style of Tosafot? What Hebrew phrase
usually introduces a difficulty in Tosafot and what phrase introduces a
solution? The style of the Tosafot is discussions about talmudic
passages and Rashi. Veim Tomar is the Hebrew phrase that usually
introduces a diffculty in Tosafot and the words Vyesh Lomar introduces
- Who wrote Rabbenu Hananel? When and where did he
live? Why is he important? Rabbi Hananel ben Hushiel wrote Rabbenu
Hananel. He lived from 990-1050 in Kairowan Tunisia. He is important
because he did not explain the words like Rashi that was a summary of a
- Who wrote Rabbenu Gershom? When and where did he
live? Why is he important? Students of Rabbi Gershom ben Judah wrote
Rabbeny Gershom. He died in 1028. These are apparently student notes
compiled during the first half of the 11th century. He lived in
- What is the Ein Mishpat? What is the Ner Mitzvah?
Where does it appear on a Talmud page? What do you use it for? Ein
Mishpat is the well spring of justice and Ner Mitzvah is the lamp of commandment.
It appears on the left of the Talmud page. We use it to find out what laws
are in the page of Talmud.
- What is the Mesoret Hashas? Where does it appear
on a page of Talmud? Why is it important? The Mesoret Hashas are the
six orders of the Talmud. it appears on the margin on the right side. It
is important because it is used for a navigational tool.
- What is the Hagahot Ha-Bah? Where does it appear
on a page of Talmud? Why is it important? Hagahot He-bah are Rabbi
Joel Sirkes glosses to the Talmud. It is important because its textual
corrections to the Talmud and commentary usually improves the syntax and
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