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3
votes
0answers
32 views

Shmos 2:15 – Moshe fled from Paroh and dwelt in Midian. Why Midian?

Shmos 2:15 – Moshe fled from Paroh and dwelt in Midian. Why did he choose Midian? The only slightly helpful references I saw said a) (attributed to a Medrash but I do not see it) that he was ...
9
votes
3answers
96 views

Where is Adam created?

The Torah tells us G-d brought Adam into Gan Eden after his creation from earth (Bereishis 2:15). If this is the case where was Adam created?
4
votes
2answers
93 views

Why be happy Shushan Purim?

Rama (695:2) quotes from the Maharil (though I don't see it there): וחייב במשתה ושמחה קצת בב׳ ימים י״ד וט״ו and one must have a drinking party and joy, a little, on two days: the fourteenth and ...
4
votes
1answer
25 views

Where was the “beis Ha'Sereifah”?

On daf 68 of Yoma, we learn that the par chotas (chatos bull) and seir Hashem (goat for God) were intertwined and taken by cohanim to the "beis Ha'sereifah", outside the camp, to be burned. We also ...
8
votes
2answers
119 views

How did the Sages know that Jerusalem had a wall in the times of Joshua?

The criterion for whether a city celebrates Purim on 14 Adar or Shushan Purim on 15 Adar is whether it was walled in the times of Joshua (about 3300 years ago). (Well, Shushan itself is an exception, ...
7
votes
4answers
428 views

How to reconcile Biblical Flood story vs science and history?

Genesis spends a good deal of time -- Chapters 6 through 11 -- discussing the "mabul mayim", a flood that killed all humanity outside the ark. Here is what the Torah's text says about the universality ...
6
votes
1answer
281 views

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood?

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood? Did some species of animals survive the flood? Or are we to understand that the flood only affected the ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

Rivers in Genesis

I will be upfront about it - I am skeptical of our tradition about the Torah being given on Mount Sinai, and suspect that Judaism is a man-made religion. It's not that I don't want Judaism to be true, ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Why does Scripture in parashat bereishit need to mention the four rivers?

In Bereishit 2:10, scripture mentions the following: 10: And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads. 11: The name of one is Pishon; ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Why does Pniel have two spellings? [duplicate]

In Parshat Vayishlach, the place where Yaakov is named Israel is named פְּנִיאֵל (Pniel) by Yaakov, and then one verse later it is called פְּנוּאֵל(Pnuel). Why are these two alternate spellings so ...
5
votes
0answers
38 views

Tourist guides for Kohanim

I recently saw a tourist guide for Kohanim, published online by the Chicago Rabbinical Council, listing certain Chicago tourist sites that are, and are not, problematic for Kohanim. Are there any ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

Why does the eruv tavshilin only apply to Jews in this city?

When we make an eruv tavshilin, we often close with "for us and for all the Jews in this city." so that others who forgot or aren't observant can rely on your eruv for their own shabbas preparations. ...
4
votes
3answers
82 views

Did God know the holy place right away during the exodus?

Around the time of the exodus, the Torah says (Deut. 12:11, in Rabbi Kaplan's translation): there will be a site that God will choose as the place dedicated to His name. It is there that you ...
5
votes
1answer
55 views

reprinting of tanyas in many locations, why?

Why do Lubavitcher חסידים print “ספר של בינונים" in many different places — something about outward expansion of wellsprings?
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Is Gan Eden a physical place?

Is Gan Eden mentioned in Genesis a physical place? Does it exist physically somewhere on the planet or is it some kind of spiritual place or even some kind of analogy?
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Why is it common for the people in the chumash to name every place they pass?

It seems pretty arbitrary, but in many cases in the Chumash, we find our patriarchs, Moses, etc, name places they pass based on some action that took place there. Is there any additional meaning to ...
2
votes
0answers
141 views

Did Achashverosh rule over the entire Old World?

Megilla 11a says "Three ruled over the world - Achav, Achashverosh and Nebuchadnetzar." It suggests a few other names that weren't on the list and rejects them because they didn't rule over one ...
9
votes
2answers
240 views

The size/shape of biblical Israel

Based on this Tosafot in Bava Metzia 28a (D"H Chamisha Asar Yom), Eretz Israel is a square (400 sq. Parsah), and the distance between Jerusalem and the Jordan river is 1/39th the distance between ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Why is Edom considered to be “Western culture” and not southern Jordan?

I have a vague notion of hearing in various places that America or Western culture in general is Edom and that this final exile is called Galus Edom. Also as in reference to the blessings in Genesis ...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

What is meant by the term “midina”/“provinces” as in the 127 ruled by Ahasuerus?

Esther 1:1 says: Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus -- he was the Ahasuerus who reigned from Hodu to Cush, one hundred twenty-seven provinces. For historical context, the period of the ...
10
votes
3answers
319 views

Pre-1948, what flags were found in American synagogues?

Certainly throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it was not at all uncommon to see an American synagogue where the Aron Kodesh was flanked by American and Israeli flags. Pre-1948, was there just an American ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

Why is elevation not factored into zmanim in places like New York?

As you might already know, zmanim (for Shabbos, etc.) are determined by a number of factors, one being the elevation of the particular locale. But for some reason, if you check the charts and ...
11
votes
2answers
384 views

May one walk under the Arch of Titus?

I have heard that it is prohibited (or at least that the custom is not) to walk under the Arch of Titus in Rome. Is this accurate? If so, what is the source? Would it make a difference if a large ...
11
votes
4answers
482 views

Why wasn't the Torah given in Israel?

One might naturally expect that the Jewish people would enter the land and then receive the Torah there. It seems logical to me that the Torah should come from a holy place characterized by the ...
7
votes
3answers
142 views

Why was the torah given on a mountain?

I have seen many divrei torah about the fact that Har Sinai was not the tallest mountain (based on Sota 5a) and the importance of humility in acquiring torah. But, why was the torah given on a ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Why don't islands read the m'gila two days?

Bavli, M'gila 5 amud 2, cites a doubt as to when the m'gila is read in T'verya: on the fourteenth of Adar, as in most places, or on the fifteenth, as in a city walled since the time of Y'hoshua. The ...
6
votes
1answer
928 views

Is the term Cushite used to refer to people of African descent?

While reading the book of Numbers (I am a Christian, I don't know if it is referred to something else in Judaism), I came across the passage (Numbers 12:1-15) where Miriam and Aaron were speaking ...
2
votes
0answers
126 views

Where did the Jews send the goat “for Azazel” while in the desert?

Rashi (Vayikra 16:8) says: Azazel: This is a strong and hard mountain, [with] a high cliff, as the Scripture says [in describing Azazel] (verse 22 below),“a precipitous land (אֶרֶץ גְּזֵרָה),” ...
4
votes
1answer
30 views

Southern Birkas Ha'ilanos

I've seen Saying Mashiv HaRuach in the Southern Hemisphere. Similarly, is Birkas Ha'ilanos (ברכת האילנות) said in Tishrei in the southern hemisphere? That's when the trees bloom.
-2
votes
1answer
135 views

What are the oldest interpretations of Deuteronomy 33:2?

This verse in Torah sounds highly cryptic and it seems that a message is conveyed in it: And he said: The LORD came from Sinai, and rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, and ...
4
votes
2answers
308 views

What's the “ORegon 7-1222” on R' Moshe Feinstein's letterhead? [closed]

The English part of of R' Moshe Feinstein's letterhead reads as follows: RABBI MOSES FEINSTEIN 455 F.D.R. DRIVE New York, N.Y. 10002 __ ORegon 7-1222 See for instance this letter, this ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Geographic size of an Eruv

Inspired by Is Juneau, Alaska -- surrounded by natural barriers -- a natural eruv Is there a maximum square mile or square kilometer area that may be enclosed by an Eruv? (sources)
5
votes
0answers
63 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however -- 3,225 square miles -- but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

What route did Bnei Yisrael take through the Midbar? Seeking sources

The question of which route the Israelites took from Egypt to the Holy Land has been asked for centuries and discussed by pseudo-historians and pop-sci documentarians in the History Channel age, and ...
11
votes
2answers
130 views

Did Shuls in Europe display their countries' flags prior to the holocaust?

Prior to the holocaust, did Shuls in Europe display their countries' respective flags? Do Shuls currently display their countries' flags? When did it start and why?
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Why did the Baba Sali leave Yavneh?

I remember hearing that the Baba Sali very suddenly decided to move away from Yavneh. Does anyone know the story of what exactly occurred?
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Is visiting Antarctica permitted for a Jew?

Antarctica can have very short days or very short nights. As discussed elsewhere on this site, finding the right time to pray can be difficult. Is it permissible to visit places like this?
2
votes
0answers
25 views

What if anything was the correspondence between mishmarim of kohanim and cities?

There were twenty-four watches (mishmarim) of kohanim. Each worked for a week, from Shabas to Shabas, and then the cycle repeated itself. (Rambam, K'le Hamikdash 4.) There were forty-eight cities in ...
6
votes
2answers
259 views

What's the history of Hekhalot/Heichalot/Heikhalot literature?

There is a field of study, which focuses on the Hekhalot literature. However, the internet gives conflicting information about them. For example, some state that they were written by the early ...
4
votes
3answers
201 views

Techelet from the Kineret

Is the Murex trunculus (used by Ptil Tekhelet) found exclusively at the Kineret? Or is at found at the Kineret as well as other locations? The reason I am asking this question is because the Arizal ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

“פְּנִיאֵל” and “פְּנוּאֵל”

Is the פְּנִיאֵל of BeReishis 32:31 the same as the פְּנוּאֵל of 32:32? If so, why the change in term used to refer to it? If not, is there a story behind the two places with such similar names?
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Where is the city of Ninveh?

Ninveh is mentioned in the book of Yona that is read on Yom Kippur. Where is Ninveh?
3
votes
0answers
25 views

Shemonei Esrei regarding the seasons in Divine Might

Every time I pray the Amidah, I get very hesitant regarding what season is appropriate for me to pray. I live in the southern hemisphere in a tropical climate. Therefore, we have one season dry and ...
9
votes
1answer
108 views

Noach Burial Place

Where was Noach buried? (or, do we know?)
5
votes
0answers
77 views

42 camps and 42 non-refuge Levite cities (Masei)

What is the significance of the numerical correspondence between the 42 camps or waypoints mentioned in the recounting of the forty years of wandering (Bamidbar 33) and the fact that 42 of the 48 ...
4
votes
0answers
70 views

Sheidim after the Baal Shem Tov

According to the Minchas Elazar, the Baal Shem Tov evicted the Sheidim from where humans live. Does that mean that they are still located in the wilderness areas and one must be "choshesh" for them ...
5
votes
2answers
173 views

Were the Cities of Refuge ever built?

Are there any sources saying that the ערי מקלט were really built? I heard once that it was too hard to built the all the roads to them so they were never actually constructed. I know in Yehoshua ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

Location of Sheba

Where is the Biblical Sheba (famous for its queen) located today?
11
votes
1answer
206 views

Is all-night Shavu'ot learning as prevelant in the Southern Hemisphere?

In the Northern Hemisphere, Shavu'ot falls in the late Spring or early Summer. As a result, sunrise is relatively early, so learning "all night" and then praying the morning service at the earliest ...
5
votes
0answers
106 views

Late sunset times and Jewish observance

This question is distinct from other questions which ask how and when to begin Shabbat, etc. when there is no sunset. I am asking about places in which sunset occurs very late during certain times of ...