בבא בתרא – Bava Basra

Bava Basra 3b ~ How to Mellify a Corpse

The sexual proclivities of King Herod, and honey as a medical preservative.

Bava Basra 12b ~ Prophecy and Mental Illness

Did our religious leaders have mental illnesses? Plus the dream content of the ultra-orthodox.

Bava Basra 14b ~ On the Circumference of a Torah Scroll

How did the first Torah scroll fit into the Ark of Moses? And Pi in the Bible and Talmud.

Bava Basra 16b ~ Here Comes the Sun

Abayye was correct. Sunlight makes everything better.

Bava Basra 20a ~ A Baby Born After Eight Months

Seven or eight months gestation? It made all the difference in the Talmud.

Bava Basra 24a ~ Anatomy That Isn't There

The rabbis invented a bit of anatomy, but the Hatam Sofer wasn’t worried. Facts matter.

Bava Basra 25b ~ The Sun's Orbit Around the Earth

The rabbis of the Talmud vs. Copernicus.

Bava Basra 27b ~ The Roots of a Palm Tree

How the United Nations supported Abayye’s botanical opinions.

Bava Basra 74a ~ Where Heaven and Earth Touch

Talmudic cosmology, the Flammarion etching, and a bottle of kosher wine.

Bava Basra 84a ~ What Color is the Sun?

A surprisingly contentious question, that hinged on the Garden of Eden.

Bava Basra 97b ~ Wine and Snake Venom

Why you can drink snake venom, and how snakes suck.

Bava Basra 110a ~ Uncles and Nephews

Who is your closest genetic relative?

Bava Basra 126b ~ The Healing Power of Saliva

Saliva, wound healing, and the magic of a firstborn’s spit.

Bava Basra 142 ~ Maternal Deaths

Can a fetus survive the death of its mother?

Bava Basra 155b ~ Delayed Puberty in Boys

How Rebbi Hiyya was the first to report a health effect of obesity.

Bava Basra 167a ~ Torture & coerced testimony

The three rabbis who coerced confessions, and how false memories become real.