YMMV / The Talmud

  • Badass Decay: Before becoming a Talmudic sage, Reish Lakish was the leader of a bandit gang who could jump over rivers In a Single Bound. A few years after his Heel–Face Turn, he tried it again and failed. This isn't necessarily seen as a bad thing, though.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Among others, Shabbat 89a (loosely translated):
    When Moses ascended on high, he found the Holy One, blessed be He, tying crowns on the letters (of the Torah). God said to him, "Moses, they don't say hello where you come from?"note 
    • There was an incident in which a dead body snorted at two men...
    • And the bit in Megillah when, one Purim, a rabbi got too drunk and accidentally killed his friend. He prayed for the man to be revived, and miraculously he was. Then he invited his friend over next year, at which he was told, "You can't count on a miracle every time!"
    • Also, the second page quote on Jews Love to Argue is also pretty hilarious.
    • A famous quote involves a student asking a rabbi how to adorn sacred headwear for a man with two heads. The rabbi in response asked him if he preferred excommunication over shunning.
  • Ho Yay: Rabbi Yohanan and Resh Lakish in Bava Metzia 84a. Resh Lakish sees Rabbi Yohanan bathing in the Jordan, thinks he's a woman, and pole vaults the river on his lance. When he discovers his gender mistake, he says to Rabbi Yohanan, "Your beauty for women!". They become at the very least Heterosexual Life-Partners, and brothers-in-law to boot, as Resh Lakish marries Rabbi Yohanan's sister.
  • Squick: The Order of Kodshim, which covers sacrifices, discusses lots of blood and gore. Tractate Chullin in particular is not for the faint of heart; there is an illustrated guide released around 2002 which gives you intimate knowledge of every little tube and organ in a cow's body.
  • Values Dissonance: Oh boy. Let’s just say there’s a lot of xenophobia and misogyny going on, to the point that experts think that translating the Talmud to Arabic is anti-Semitic. Seriously.
    • Modern Jewish Israelis are often shocked by some of the book’s contents as well, or at least they claim it’s grossly misinterpreted or try and focus on the positive parts of it.
    • ...I'll just say there's a reason you aren't supposed to learn it without a teacher, or at least commentators.
    • A lot of the stuff in the Talmud takes on a whole different meaning when taken without the context of pages before and after it. Often the values dissonance is greatly diminished when the reader properly appreciates the context.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Though most of the Talmud is rated G, some areas are incredibly explicit, such as Kesubos, which has sections dealing with minute details of sex acts.