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Pesachim 3: The Mic Is Live

Pesachim 3: The Gemara finally asks – why didn’t the mishnah just say “night”?? Using the positive version of negative words (tahor (pure) and eino tahor (not pure), instead of tameh (impure – admittedly, this distinction is less strong in English). The agenda, though, is clearly to speak always in a refined manner. So what then IS refined speech, especially given how the bar moves in society… But then the Gemara also prioritizes brevity. So refined language can trip you up, and the Gemara is aware of that. Rav lived up to the refined language concern, however, when he refused to speak to students whose speech was rough. But maybe Rav was in a different class…. Plus: The concern that we don’t look into the lineage of the priests to check if they are legitimate is countered by a powerful story where checking into the background of a particular schemer would have been better (don’t worry, R. Yehudah ben Beteirah saved the day). But note that the lineage concerns of kohanim goes back a long time… (See Editor too).


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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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