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Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat

Chapter Two: Which Candles to Light for Shabbat?

Learn the Talmud line-by-line and word-by-word. In this intermediate level class you will learn to understand the unique give-and-take style of Talmudic debate and discussion. Text for this class is Chapter Two of Tractate Shabbat (folio 20b).

1:00:19
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 1
In this Talmud class we discuss what materials can be used to make wicks to light candles or lamps for Shabbat (since even before Shabbat arrives, not all materials are permitted for use.)
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47:35
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 2
In this Talmud class we discuss the materials we may use as oil and fuel for candles or lamps for Shabbat (since even before Shabbat arrives, not all materials are permitted for use.)
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52:16
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 3
In this Talmud class we examine some of the materials prohibited to use as oil to kindle a lamp for Shabbat, and the rational for this rabbinic injunction.
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46:32
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 4
In this Talmud class we discuss to what extent the Sages prohibited inferior materials for kindling a lamp for Shabbat use, and in which cases the rabbinic ‘fence’ does not apply.
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50:02
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 5
In this Talmud class we compare the substance used for lamps in the Beit Hamikdash with the lamps for Shabbat, and launch into a discussion about the different Menorahs in the Holy Temple.
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44:43
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 6
In this Talmud class we ask if the substances disqualified for Shabbbat lamps are also invalid for the Chanukah lights, which leads us to analyze the very status of the Chanukah flames.
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53:38
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 7
The gemara analyzes the principle that if the flames of the Chanukah menorah extinguish before the allotted time, they need not be rekindled. This leads us into a discussion on when the lights are kindled and for how long they should burn.
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1:02:00
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 8
The Talmud discusses the basic requirement for kindling the Chanukah menorah, and then proceeds to present the more optimal and ideal fashion (known as ‘mehadrin’). Discover the nuanced distinctions in the reasoning offered by the sages.
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53:17
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 9
In this class the Talmud addresses the ideal place to light the Chanukah menorah to broadcast the miracle, as well as other ways to fulfill the basic requirement.
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57:46
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 10
Learn the Talmud’s narrative of the Chanukah miracle, which the Talkmud recounts to answer the famous (yet peculiar) question of why we celebrate the Festival of Lights.
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55:52
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 11
The Talmud’s discussion about the Chanukah menorah digresses for a moment into the topic of liability for damages related to a camel laden with flax that catches on fire as it passes by a storefront.
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59:40
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 12
In this class we delve into the Talmud’s comparison between a menorah, sukkah and ‘mavoy’ regarding their maximum height. Then, the discussion flows into a seemingly unrelated teaching about snakes and scorpions. Finally, we learn where to place the menorah at the doorway.
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1:03:17
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 13
Now the Talmud discusses whether it’s permitted to benefit from the light of the Chanukah menorah. This leads us to analyze the notion of respect for mitzvahs, derived from the mitzvah of covering the blood after shechitah (kosher slaughter).
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1:02:11
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 14
In discussing lighting Chanukah candles one from another considering the principle of respect for a mitzvah, the Talmud quotes three disputes between Rav and Shmuel, in-which the halachic ruling follows Shmuel instead of Rav.
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57:01
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 15
The Talmud looks to compare the issue of disrespect when kindling Chanukah lights one from another to a different case-law related to weighing sacred money from holy food tithes.
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1:02:28
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 16
The Talmud brings a teaching regarding the process for kindling the Temple menorah to shed light on the issue of disrespect or diminishing a mitzvah in kindling the Chanukah lights from one another.
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45:43
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 17
The Talmud looks to resolve and reach a conclusive ruling on the question of lighting one Chanukah candle from another. This leads us into a discussion to first determine whether the kindling or placement of the menorah is the primary mitzvah.
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50:05
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 18
The Talmud answers the question whether the kindling or placement of the menorah is the primary mitzvah. Then we proceed to discuss women’s obligation for lighting the menorah.
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45:45
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 19
The Talmud addresses the issue of guests away from home and their obligation to kindle the menorah. Then the discussion turns to the choice of oil to use on Chanukah.
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44:01
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 20
The Tamud’s discussion briefly digresses to the topic of oil and ink. Then, the returns to the subject of Chanukah, addressing the special blessings recited for kindling or seeing a lit menorah.
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1:01:37
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 21
The Talmud challenges the notion of reciting a blessing on the Chanukah menorah, which is a rabbinic mitzvah, based on different teachings related to agriculture law and tithing.
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1:04:51
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 22
This fascinating discussion and analysis about the how and why an additional menorah should be kindled on account of a neighbor’s suspicion leans heavily on the yearly harvest and ethos of social welfare.
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1:01:46
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 23
In this class we first discuss the scenario of two individuals sharing the same oil-filled vessel, wherein each lights their own wick. Then the discussion turns to the question of what takes precedence when faced with the limited option of having only enough oil for either the Chanukah lamp or the Shabbat lamp.
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1:00:09
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 24
The Talmud states the reward for one who is careful in the mitzvah of lighting candles and the reward for other mitzvahs that are also in a manner of measure for measure. The Talmud proceeds to related stories that illustrate this reality.
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51:12
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 25
The final Talmudic discussion about lamps being kindled focuses on “sacred oil” that has to be burnt and destroyed, rather than utilized in normative fashion. This class illuminates shadowy details of both Shabbat and Yom-Tov observance, yet still basks in the glow of the Chanukah menorah.
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49:23
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 26
The Talmud queries regarding the need to praise and thank G-d for the Chanukah miracles when reciting the Grace-After-Meal. Learn the underlying logic and details for where and when we mention the Al Hanissim prayer.
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48:10
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 27
The Talmud questions whether it’s fitting to mention Chanukah in the extra Mussaf prayer recited on Shabbat and/or Rosh Chodesh during Chanukah. Different supporting arguments and proofs are suggested in attempt to resolve this issue.
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55:12
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 28
A new Mishnah is introduced with a broad background about sacred soil and holy harvests. Defilement of such hallowed edibles, mandates mitzvah incineration. Differing opinions about varied fuels and flammable agents and their compatibility with Shabbat serenity are enumerated. The Gemara opens with an investigation for the source for the timely holiday ban on the burning of contaminated sacraments.
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53:32
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 29
The Talmud continues its analysis of the Mishna by seeking additional sources for the ban on kindling contraband during festive biblical days – despite the permitted use of fire for cooking purposes. The fascinating give and take about sacred fiery disposal touches upon a range of Torah subjects, including actual temple services and the real meaning of kosher.
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56:09
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 30
Glowingly presented arguments on the holiday ban on burning. Bridging seemingly disparate Torah topics, the Talmud elegantly threads its jurisprudence about circumcision, sacred contraband, and then the positive dimension of Yom Tov observance, to conclusively prove its point in proscribing non-edible incineration on the holidays.
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1:02:19
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 31
We’ve previously traced the sources for the ruling that although defiled Terumah must be destroyed, benefit may nonetheless be derived during that process. Our Sages now continue their scholarly quest for additional sources of this legal principle. Drawing distinct levels of demarcation between the facts of different holy matter, a dizzying array of ritual laws, conventions and differing sacred statuses are exhaustively analysed with the Talmud's unique deductive logic – until conclusions are reached.
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51:00
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 32
Returning to the Mishnah, to elucidate the next prohibited kindling substance, “Itran”; seeking the rhyme and reason for this ban on burning. The ensuing narrative goes beyond the technical answer; shedding profound light on the deeper meaning and purpose of the sacred kindling of Shabbat candles. Far more than functional, these lights create the atmosphere of sacred serenity providing not only substance but also style. Sourcing these ideas meanders into bathing and dressing for Shabbat as well as. (Tractate Shabbat 25B)
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37:48
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 33
A continuation of the previous class, our discussion opens with the focus on the Sage who wrapped himself in tasseled linens to welcome Shabbat in style, surrounded by students who didn't have strings attached. Nuanced details about the prevailing Tzitzit string theories are introduced to help clarify the positions of teacher and pupils alike. We then return to teachings about the virtues of Shabbat candles and the unparalleled serenity it provides; finally discussing other life pleasures. (Tractate Shabbat 28B)
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53:33
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 34
On the heels of the rich and plentiful atmosphere springing from the glow of the Shabbat candles, the Talmud introduces a fascinating analysis about the virtues of affluence; discussing the privilege and pitfalls of material wealth. As is common in Talmudic lexicon, multiple layers of nuanced meaning and innuendo are contained within the literal and allegorical definitions introduced. This class endeavors to open and elucidate the words of the Sages in an attempt to understand their deeper messaging. (Tractate Shabbat 28B)
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1:01:26
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 35
A statement about prohibited Shabbat lamp fuel - for ritual reasons - evolves into a discussion about the possible dangers of impaired fuel as an alternate reason for its proscription. Then, ostensibly to demonstrate the nature of its specific volatile flammability, the Talmud shares an awful mother-in-law story! We conclude with a fascinating interpretation of Scriptural descriptions about the period of the Babylonian Exile, which sheds light on relevant particulars of ancient Israel's unique gross national products. (Tractate Shabbat 25B-26A)
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54:23
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 36
Seeking to better clarify the rhyme and reason of particular fuels banned by Jewish law, we encounter strange overlap of ritual proscription and the prevention of injury. Cracking the code to understand this Talmudic juxtaposition, a telling and compelling narrative emerges. Shabbat candles can now be seen in a new light as their underlying essence is better illuminated. (Tractate Shabbat 26A)
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46:50
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 37
Furthering the previous discussion about substances that can or can't be used to keep Shabbat serenity burning, we segue into the nature of vegetative sources of the required fuel. In the biblical image of illumination, the olive looms large; the question at hand is whether Shabbat candlesticks should best replicate the Menorah or instead focus on pragmatic considerations. (Tractate Shabbat 26A)
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54:27
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 38
Evolving from the previous discussion about organic vegetative sources of fuel best used for Shabbat candles, we now wander into a seemingly tangential subject of analysis, focused on the Halachik definition of cloth and clothing – vis-à-vis the various organic raw materials of which textiles might be created. The modicum “Shmatte” size; rendering it useful or useless, a primary theme is juxtaposed with explicit biblical verses that remain at times vague, and at times are extremely precise and specific. The cryptic syntax of a Mishna lends itself to various scholarly interpretations and disparate rulings. (Tractate Shabbat 26A-B)
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46:08
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 39
Seeking to source the origin of a well-know notion in Jewish ritual law that necessitates a minimum size for pieces of cloth to be deemed fabric of value, we precision-analyse Torah verses that address the paranormal possibility of an “appearances-only” phenomenon called Tzara’at that can also affect unique garments. The original theory of relativity as it was understood in antiquity still maintains remarkable relevance in present-day ritual, as does this general Talmudic discussion, despite the seemingly archaic subject material. (Talmud Shabbat 26b)
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55:53
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 40
Earlier, we successfully sourced ritual law regarding the minimum size for fabric to be susceptible to ritual impurity from Torah verses about Tzara’at – but all according to one opinion in the dispute we were focused on. Now, the Talmud attempts to do same for the second opinion. Artifacts defined by form, rather than matter and perceived uses of specific items serve to animate the legal theories employed as a lively give and take unfolds along the lines of these disparate schools of thought and exacting analysis of additional biblical verses about ritual impurity. (Talmud, Shabbat 26b-27a)
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41:00
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 41
The discussion regarding ritual law and the modicum of materiel comprising a formal piece of fabric to which differing forms of ritual impurity can attach itself. The required dimensions to be considered an artifact susceptible to one form of Tumah, aren’t necessarily applicable across the landscape of defilement; and this serves to further complicate the already highly nuanced position being taken by the competing schools of thought. More precise analysis of additional biblical verses and the accompanying theories of Torah jurisprudence about ritual impurity. (Talmud, Shabbat 27a)
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