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From palpel, literally, to search or judge; possibly from pilpel, literally, pepper, indicating the sharpness of discussion. Pilpul is an analytic method used in Talmudic study, which explores all possible sides of an argument. It was first used in yeshivot in Germany and was introduced to Poland in the 16th century by the famous Talmudic scholar, Rabbi Jacob Pollack. The term pilpul is often associated with hair-splitting and unproductive argumentation.

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