I heard a lot of perplexing things during two years of Daf Yomi but none more perplexing than the case of the man who fell off a roof and into sex with a woman.
What an acrobat, I thought.
Then there’s the holy and horny rabbi who comes into town and seeks a wife for the night.
I could understand the desire but it didn’t fit my view of acceptable rabbinic behavior.
For those who don’t know, Duenner’s approach anticipated that of Halivni in some respects, primarily in the assumption that the answers given by the amoraim, while binding for halakhic purposes, are not necessarily the best explanation of the Mishnah. Duenner also pointed to a couple of passages in the Talmud — both of which are in the current daf yomi tractate — which he believed are interpolations from the heretics, intended to mock the rabbis. He claimed that the rabbis would never have discussed the case of one who falls off a roof and while landing on a woman has sex with her (a highly improbable scenario, to put it mildly), or that a holy sage would come into a new town and announce that he was looking for a wife for the night (Yevamot 37b, 54a). According to Duenner, these texts are the product of those intending to mock the rabbis, and were unfortunately taken by later scholars as authentic.