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Moed Katan 4: Schools of Interpretation and the Babylonian Rain

The Beit Din of Rabban Gamliel, and the parameters of shemitah, and how they are derived. What can be done before Rosh Hashanah, including when it comes to saplings, and how might that differ from mature trees? What does it mean that Rabban Gamliel’s court nullified these prohibitions? What mechanism of halakhic reasoning even allows for that?! Clearly, not everyone agrees. R. Yishmael and R. Akiva simply have different methods of interpretation, which practical applications. Plus, why we don’t irrigate a field with rain water, because, really, what’s the great exertion in that? If the water comes from a running stream that is constantly fed from a pool – that seems to be good enough for irrigating in Chol HaMoed. But of course, there’s machloket over this irrigation question as well… Where the difference in rainfall in Babylonia and Israel may make a very practical difference.

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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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