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April 26, 2010


Barry Behrstock Md

In his delightful/insightful UCLA talk Wouk asked if anyone knew the yiddish word for a talmudic argument that cannot be resolved

He also added that it is the last word in the Talmud

Someone shouted an answer out and his discussion was cut short does anyone know what the answer was. I am having trouble finding the answer and one source told me the last word is "halachot" which is roughly
translated as laws or legal requirement (which doesn't make sense, at least to me. Can anyone elaborate or elucidate

Thank you bbehrstock@cox.net

Rick Richman

Dr. Behrstock --

In the book, Wouk refers to a dispute between Richard Feynman and his Nobel laureate colleague and rival at Cal Tech, Murray Gell-Mann, as "what is called in Talmudic discourse, which I know pretty well, a sort of 'Plugta d'tanoi,' that is, a standoff of the sages."

Barry Behrstock MD

After reading this charming little book I now think he may have been referring to the word "Teiku" (spelled a variety of ways depending on who you ask) and used as a section title toward the end of his book. He is referring to the discussion between himself and Feynman on religion. This being the Aramaic work meaning "the question stands!" Also alternative interpretive trasnslation as "a legal dispute without a solution," and "a question to be answered in the time of the Mashiach." These translations are all beyond my jewish knowledge base but I enjoyed the "learning."

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