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Analyzing a Sugya

An Introduction to the Components of a Talmudic Sugya

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The basic premise of classical Judaism is that G-d revealed the Torah in two forms- the Written Torah and the Oral Torah.

The Oral Torah at its most basic level is the Mishnah. The Gemara explains the Mishnah. Together the Mishnah and the Gemara form the Talmud.

The analysis of the Amoraim, i.e., the sages of the Talmud circa, 200 to 500 CE,is usually focused on illuminating the views of the Tannaim, the first generation of rabbinic scholars. These discussions and exchanges form the building-blocks of the Gemara.

The name for such a passage of Gemara is a sugya סוגיא .

All Sugyot of the Talmud can be divided into nine components. The following are the explanations of these terms.

1)פֵּרוּש-The explanation of the Mishnah.
2) שֽׁאֵלָה וּתְשׁוּבָה – The halakhic question and answer.
3) קֻשְׁיָא וּפֵרוּק [Difficulty presented] Question raised to refute a Talmudic statement.
4)סִיּוּעַ-Assistance/Support and proof of a Talmudic statement.
5)רְמִיָּה-Pointing out apparent contradictions between the Tannaitic or Biblical statements.
6)הַצְרָכָה -Explaining the need for two similar statements by noting the unique aspects of each.
7)הִלְכְתָא -The halakhic ruling.
8)מַעֲשֶׂה A specific example of a decision given in an actual case.
9)הַגָּדָה A homiletic teaching.

This course will analyze one sugya and provide the student with a basic understanding of the different components. it will also discuss the differences between the Mishnah, the Tosefta, and Bairatot, with a special emphasis on the Mishnah.


Your Instructor


Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez
Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez

Rabbi Dr. Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas where he earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. He studied at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland and received a Master of Arts Degree in Judaic Studies. He completed his doctoral studies at the Spertus Institute in Chicago in 2015. He studied at the American Seminary for Contemporary Judaism and received rabbinic ordination in 2011 from Yeshiva Mesilat Yesharim.

Rabbi Dr. Bejarano Gutierrez was a board member of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies from 2011-2013. He has published various articles in HaLapid, The Journal for Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Crypto-Jews, and Apuntes-Theological Reflections from a Hispanic-Latino Context, y es el autor de What is Kosher?and What is Jewish Prayer?, Who is a Jew?, Secret Jews: The Complex Identity of Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Judaism, Against the Greeks, He is currently the director of the B’nai Anusim Center for Education at CryptoJewishEducation.com.


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