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Chagigah 12: The Taboo Topic of Creation

Delving into “Ma’aseh Bereishit” – including the order of creation, heavens or earth first? It’s debatable, by Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel: top down or bottom up? The later sages arrive at a resolution. And yet, the discussion of the Rakiya (firmament) is still rather beyond what we can make sense of. Also, a dispute between R. Yishmael [Who’s Who] and R. Akiva, who have significantly different approaches in interpretation of the Torah. In this case, R. Akiva is presented as the student of Nachum Ish Gamzu, and the function of “et” to teach additional halakhah, or in this case, the discussion of the way of creation.

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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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