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For example, lets say a group of people are learning Baba Basra. If they have a question on Tosafos, would it be appropriate to ask here? I assume its not a general enough question to be worth posting to such a broad audience. Maybe there should be branches of this site for more specialized areas?

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Yes, you should ask the questions here!

StackExchange sites are supposed to cater to "long tail" questions - questions that are too narrow to have been written up on any other online reference site.

There are branches of this site for specialized areas. They're called tags. Tag your question to set it in the right context, and people who are interested in that context will notice it, and some will hopefully be able to answer it. For your example, I'd recommend the , (not existant yet), and tags, to begin with.

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  • shouldnt that be [lamdanut]....? – AviD May 24 '11 at 6:43
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    @AviD No need to get all prescriptivist. Ask a question in that genre and tag it lamdanut, and we can make a synonym. – Isaac Moses May 24 '11 at 6:53
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To add to (not disagree with) @IsaacMoses's question, one of the criteria I use for determining a question's appropriateness for the site is passing the following test: If I were to ask this question to 1) the people I encounter on a daily basis or 2) Google would I get a satisfactory answer? If the answer to both parts is 'no' the question passes!

According to this criterion, a question like "why does Tosafos in Baba Basra say 'yibum vachalitza' if it really only means 'chalitza'?" would work, but one more like "which page in Baba Basra contains Tosafos 'hechi dami'?" would not.

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  • Just out of curiosity, which would you turn to for "which page has 'Hechi dami'?": Google or someone you meet daily? – msh210 May 25 '11 at 3:00
  • @msh210 - I had google in mind when I wrote that, but I guess in the right context. . . – WAF May 25 '11 at 20:13

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