Category Archives: History & Development of the Talmud

History and Development of the Talmud 10

Aish – Das

Rabbi Triebitz examines the Netziv’s views on the development of the Talmud (taken from his commentary Haamek Sheila on the Sheiltos). He looks at the difference between mesorah and pilpul – described by the Netziv as Aish and Das.

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History and Development of the Talmud 09

(apologies for the slightly less good quality of the video/audio. The camera is being fixed and future shiurim will be back to normal quality).

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History and Development of the Talmud 9
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History and Development of the Talmud part 8

Historical Truth versus Textural Truth

In this radical and exciting shiur Rabbi Triebitz discusses and develops an idea of Rabbi Professor Shaul Lieberman – the distinction between “historical truth” to “textural truth”. With this idea Rabbi Triebitz explains the incomensurability between the approach of the academics and the Rabbis.

“Historical truth” involves conjecture using textual analysis and other techniques to ascertain the text in its historical context. “Textural truth” attempts to understand how the text and later authorities understood the text. Analysis of the “Jewish tradition” – how later commentaries viewed the text.

According to Lieberman only the second form is valid. According to Rabbi Triebitz only the second is Orthodox.

Rabbi Triebitz then looks at the Baal HaMaor and Milchemes on Bava Metziah (p. 28 on the pages of the Rif) and then looks at a very interesting opinion of Rabbeinu Tam in Bava Kamma 70a.

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History and Development of the Talmud 8
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History and Development of the Talmud part 7

History & Development of Talmud shiur 7
Showing Continuity to the Stam

Rabbi Triebitz refutes Halivni’s claim that the stamaim lived a long time after Rav Ashi and that they didn’t understand what the Amoraim were talking about. He does this by analyzing the Gemara in Avoda Zara 71a and shows, using Ramban and other Rishonim, that Ravina begins the ‘stam’ of the gemara by asking a question directly to Rav Ashi.

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History and Development of the Talmud 7
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History and Development of the Talmud part 6

History & Development of Talmud shiur 6
Esrog shel Orlah part 2

Rabbi Triebitz goes through the Gemara Succah 35a line by line and shows how his understanding of the development of the Talmud leads to a new reading of the gemara.

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History and Development of the Talmud 6
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History & Development of Talmud 5

History & Development of Talmud shiur 5
Esrog shel Orlah

Rabbi Triebitz goes through the Gemara Succah 35a line by line and shows how his understanding of the development of the Talmud leads to a new reading of the gemara.

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History and Development of the Talmud 5
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History & Development of Talmud 4

History & Development of Talmud shiur 4
Rav Sherira Gaon

Rabbi Triebitz analyzes the letter of Rav Sherira Gaon and explains who he understands the role and function of mesorah and the creation of the Talmud.

You can download a pdf version of this famous letter from Daat


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History and Development of the Talmud 4
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History & Development of Talmud 3

History & Development of Talmud shiur 3
Creating Mesorah

Rabbi Triebitz cites the opinion of the Doros Harishonim as to when the ‘stam’ of the gemara was written. Doros Harishonim holds that there was a proto talmud already from the time of Abaye and Rava (and possibly even from the time of Rav and Shmuel). One of his ‘proofs’ for this is the Talmud in Shabbat 9b.

Rabbi Triebitz goes through this page of Talmud and shows that many Rishonim learn exactly the opposite of the Doros Harishonim, and that the whole basis for what he says has shaky foundations.


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History and Development of the Talmud 3
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History & Development of Talmud 2

History & Development of Talmud shiur 2

In this second shiur Rabbi Triebitz studies the Talmud and commentaries for evidence as to when it was compiled. He finds a fundamental argument between the Rashbam and Ramban on one hand, and Rabbeinu Tam (and everyone else) on the other, as to whether the Talmud is a historical record of chronological responses to questions, or whether the statements in the Talmud were compiled later by an anonymous author who made it appear that they were responding to each other. This difference of opinion also leads to an argument about whether Gaonim or Savoraim speak in the Talmud.


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History & Development of Talmud 1

History & Development of Talmud shiur 1

This is the first shiur in the series of the History and Development of the Talmud. Rabbi Triebitz discusses the ‘chasimas hashas’ – the final compilation of the Talmud. The Talmud says that Ravina and Rav Ashi were the ‘end of instruction’ which is understood by many to mean that they compiled the Talmud. Yet there are statements in the Talmud of later generations. And according to Rav Sherira Gaon the Talmud was not written until many generations later.


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History and Development of the Talmud 1
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