• January 30, 2023
  • 8 5783, Shevat
  • פרשת בא

Learn Gemara Keywords

Learn Gemara Keywords

In today’s world it is easy to find a translation of the Talmud. However, unlocking the door to understanding how to learn Gemara is still a skill that needs to be learned. Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman as he explores the world of Gemara keywords and how learning these essential terms allow the student, beginner or advanced, to anticipate where a Talmudic discussion is headed. 

Next Class

January 30, 2023
0
Days
14
Hours
59
Mins

Timezone

Time of Class

Monday 5:00 pm
January 2, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Learn Gemara Keywords: Keywords in the Gemara
Class description

Hello Everyone,

I am writing to welcome you to this series of classes on “Keywords in the Gemarah.”

Along with the Tanakh, the Gemarah forms the essence of Judaism. Every Jew ought to have at least a passing familiarity with the Gemarah. But the Gemarah is a challenging text. It is written in Aramaic and the text has no punctuation marks.

In my lifetime (which began in 1958) there have been two monumental projects whose purpose was to make the Gemarah more approachable. The first project was that of the late Rav Adin Even Yisrael-Steinsaltz zt”l. Rav Steinsaltz took it upon himself to publish a punctuated edition of the entire Babylonian Talmud accompanied by a translation of the text into spoken Hebrew. The second project was undertaken by the ArtScroll publishing company. Their project was to both translate  the text of the Talmud into English and to print an anthology of the major commentaries adjacent to each page of text. It follows that the translation of a single page of the Talmud may end up being six pages long in the ArtScroll edition. It is worth pointing out that Rav Steinsaltz’s Hebrew commentary has been translated into English and is published by the Koren publishing company. Similarly, the ArtScroll edition of the Talmud has been translated into Hebrew.

The Aramaic text of the Gemarah is remarkably terse. In any translation, be it the translation found in the Koren or ArtScroll edition of the Talmud,  a single line of Aramaic text may be three lines long in English. I truly believe that there is a beauty in the Aramaic text of the Talmud which does not appear in even the best translations. There is a musical rhythm in the Aramaic text.

The text of the Gemarah does lack punctuation marks. The text is very abrupt and the syntax is not at all like that of spoken English ( or Hebrew, or Spanish or any other language that I know of). But the Gemarah is remarkable in that it presents legal theories with such brevity.

My hope for this course is that by knowing how the Gemarah uses certain key words and phrases as punctuation marks. Some phrases indicate  that a question is being asked. Some phrases are prefaces to answers. These key words and phrases are the keys that unlock the discussions that take place on each page of the Talmud.

So please write to me whenever you have ideas or suggestions for these sessions. Since I do not know you personally, I do not know what level of skills each member of the class possesses.

My email address is sfischman@webyeshiva.org

I look forward to meeting with you tomorrow.

Stuart Fischman

 

 

January 9, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Learn Gemara Keywords: Keywords in the Gemara
Class description

Hello Everyone,

Today we will continue with our study of page 31a in the tractate Bava Kama. If you are new to these sessions you can find the pages that we will be studying posted on this web-page.

I look forward to meeting with you.

Stuart Fischman

 

January 16, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Learn Gemara Keywords: Keywords in the Gemara
Class description

Hello Everyone,

In our first two meetings we studied a  passage of the Talmud in which a legal theory is analyzed. Specifically it is the theory of liability regarding pedestrians who trip and fall in a public thoroughfare. The text relates competing theories of liability and how the proponents of the the two two theories explain several Mishnayot.

Today (and possibly next week as well) we will study a different sort of text. We will see how the sages of the Talmud derive halachot from the words of the Torah. In this page of the Gemarah we see two opinions as to how many walls must a sukkah have-either three or four. The vocabulary of this text, the language of the give-and-take , is different from the language of the “legalistic” text which have discussed over the previous two weeks.

January 23, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Learn Gemara Keywords: Keywords in the Gemara
Class description

Hello Everyone,

Today we will study a new passage from the Gemarah. In this passage/suggyah we will see how the Gemarah goes back and forth in its analysis of a Mishnah.

January 30, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Learn Gemara Keywords: Keywords in the Gemara
Class description
February 6, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Learn Gemara Keywords: Keywords in the Gemara
Class description
February 13, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Learn Gemara Keywords: Keywords in the Gemara
Class description
February 20, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Learn Gemara Keywords: Keywords in the Gemara
Class description

Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. In 1989 he began studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar and now studies and teaches at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.