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Talmudic database ver. 008 "Chemah" is online!

The Hebrew word chemah means literally “heat” or “anger”. This is also a name of a very rare angel featured in a biblical retelling in Nedarim 32a. Accordingly, Moses neglects the circumcision of his son and so two angels – af and chemah – are dispatched to execute the punishment and to teach the patriarch a lesson about the importance of the mitzvah. Chemah is also mentioned in passing among other angels of destruction in Shabbat 55a and as a prince (Heb. sar) governing over high temperatures. Interestingly, there is also a related Aramaic word chamat used once in Sanhedrin 101a as the name of what appears to be some demonic entity responsible for skin diseases. Both these figures are extremely rare, so I would like to take this opportunity and remind about their existence by codenaming the present version of the Talmudic database.

The most significant changes include the following.

  • This version has 801 units versus 800 units of the previous version. Very little has been added, and most of the changes stem from the differences in the division of the text.
  • As always, I checked and consolidated both the thematic and formal annotations. Much emphasis was put on the revision of the anonymous units recognized as #unattributed. Many of them turned out to be attributed to specific sages, but to find it out, I had to take a few steps back in the text and recover the appropriate passages. Moreover, some of the anonymous passages contained petrified technical phrases such as yesh omrim (Heb. “there are those who say”, an indication of minority opinion) or ta shma (Aram. “come and hear”, an indication of the illustration of the problem). Several such expressions have been recognized and I included them in the new row in the database labeled as “other indicators”. The list of those indicators is included along with the list of the humans appearing in the BT.
  • I modified some tag labels to adjust the Talmudic database to the current tag ontology. Hence, for instance, I introduced #affirmation instead of #juridical in the cases when a SE acknowledges positive features.
  • I used several new tags which were introduced in the last version of the biblical database, such as #enmity and #friendship that acknowledge the basic interactions between the SEs.


The Chemah version of the database has been prepared as a part of my ongoing research project The Supernatural Entities and Their Relationships with Humans according to the Babylonian Talmud from the Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives (SONATA 14; Registration number: 2018/31/D/HS1/00513) financed by the National Science Center, Poland.