Questions about places with Jewish connections.

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4
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of Eretz Yisrael? [duplicate]

Related to What are the Halachic boundaries of Eretz Yisroel? but that doesn't address my specific concern. Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of halachic Eretz Yisrael? Believe it or not, there ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Why blessings on Mt. Gerizim and curses on Mt. Ebal?

Devarim 11:29 says: וְהָיָה, כִּי יְבִיאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ--וְנָתַתָּה אֶת-הַבְּרָכָה עַל-הַר גְּרִזִים, וְאֶת-הַקְּלָלָה עַל-הַר עֵיבָל. ...
3
votes
0answers
29 views

Why does the Torah specify only that Lea'h's children were born in Padan Aram?

Breishit 46:15 states that "These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore unto Jacob in Paddan-aram..." What is the significance of the Torah telling us where the children were born, and why does it ...
7
votes
1answer
333 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
209 views

Where is the Yabbok crossing?

Where is the Yabbok crossing (mentioned in Genesis 32:23)?
6
votes
1answer
561 views

Is it mutar to walk over the George Washington Bridge on shabbos?

Is it mutar to walk over the George Washington Bridge on shabbos? In terms of techumin
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Where's Rebbi Yehudah HaChassid Buried? [closed]

Where, precisely, is Rebbi Yehudah HaChassid - the author of Sefer Chassidim - buried?
-2
votes
0answers
32 views

Views on eden in the second temple period

What are the views on Eden preserved in writing from the second temple period? Did people believe Eden was a literal place? Did people believe that there had been no human sin before Eve ate the ...
3
votes
0answers
29 views

Sukkot--Object or place name?

Does anyone translate "סֻכּוֹת" in Vayikra 23:43 as a place name rather than an object (see Shmot 12:37 and 13:20, where it's a place name)? Might the Toarah mean "celebrate Sukkot because that's the ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

Noach's deluge: local, but referred to as everywhere

Some try to reconcile Noach's story with the fact that the Chinese (and other cultures like the Native Americans) existed beforehand and afterwords (with documented history) and didn't die by saying ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Recommend introductory resources on Jewish traditions in the Balkans

A couple of years ago I found out that I have some Jewish ancestry when investigating my family's history. I know that my great grandfather perished in the holocaust, but I was led to believe that it ...
10
votes
1answer
70 views

Does Shmita apply in Jordan?

Since the East bank of the Jordan River was given to shevet Reuven as an inheritance, was Shmita observed there as well? If so, does shmita still apply there?
4
votes
3answers
53 views

לָשַׁע the place

The lands of the Cannanites are described in parashat Noach 10:19: And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon as you come to Gerar, until Gaza, as you come to Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah ...
7
votes
1answer
44 views

Why didn't Terach go to the Land of Canaan?

In Genesis 11:31, Terach takes Avraham (then Avram), Sarah (then Sarai), and Lot to the Land of Canaan, i.e. Israel. However, they stopped in Charan, and Terach spent the rest of his life there. Why ...
8
votes
2answers
97 views

Why does the cave of machpelah have special significance?

Avraham spends considerable money and effort to acquire the cave of machpelah. I think the medrash mentions that Adam and Chava were buried there. My question is, is the cave of machpelah special ...
11
votes
5answers
681 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Source for Africans being Caananites?

In Alex's answer to Did any Achronim comment on the American Revolutionary or Civil Wars? he says that a certain Rav was opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation, because it goes against Noach's ...
7
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
53 views

What options are there for chanukiah lighting in southern latitudes?

What options are there for lighting chanukiyot in southern latitudes where younger children will be going to bed well before sunset? Adults may stay up for lighting chanukiyot but what options are ...
5
votes
2answers
74 views

What are the major regions relevant to Ashkenazi minhagim?

Motivating this question are the instructions in the ArtScroll Siddur for the two versions of kel erekh apayim, said on weekdays before taking out the sefer torah: one is identified as “נוסח אשכנז, ...
6
votes
3answers
224 views

What defines a “Jewish State” according to Rav Kook?

This question is only according to the opinion of R' Kook, who says that modern day Israel "would be considered the quasi-Kingdom of Israel". What component of the modern-day state would give it ...
4
votes
0answers
93 views

Holidays south of the equator

When Jews first started establishing communities south of the equator, they must have noticed that the holidays fell completely at the wrong times of the year. (For example, Pesach, referred to as hag ...
6
votes
1answer
89 views

Over what parts of current Israel do the laws of Shemittah apply?

Over what parts of current Israel do the laws of Shemittah apply? Do the laws apply to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria)?
2
votes
1answer
307 views

Eiruv in Manhattan?

There are two ways one could build an Eiruv on an island: One build walls, Tzuras Hapesachs, etc. One relies on the "natural" walls. This hetter applies only if The ocean does not bring up ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Is there something shocking about the location of Mount Gerizim and Eval?

In Devarim 11:30, after describing the blessings and curses to be delivered on Har Gerizim and Eval, Moshe says the following: הלא המה בעבר הירדן אחרי דרך מבוא השמש בארץ הכנעני הישב בערבה מול ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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
1answer
69 views

Rashi to Devarim 11 (11). In what way is mountain land superior to the land of the plain?

Rashi on Devarim 11 (11) "But the land, to which you pass to possess, is a land of mountains and valleys and absorbs water from the rains of heaven” says The mountain land is superior to the land ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

Where is “Nachal Mitzrayim”?

According to Numbers 34:5 the south-western most point of (Biblical) Israel is "Nachal Mitzrayim". My first question is what river is this referring to? The first time I remember reading this I ...
9
votes
3answers
115 views

Does learning Torah or doing Mitzvos protect others from enemies?

I know from the gemarah Bava Basra 7b-8a that learning (being a talmid chacham) or doing many mitzvos can protect oneself from enemies (such that when a city is taxed for a wall that was built to ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

Who or what was Gilaad?

In parshas pinchas ch 26 vs 29 we find Menasheh had a son Machir who had a son Gilaad (גלעד). In fact this family group was called "Gilaadi" (גלעדי). At the end of parshas Matos ch 32 vs 39 - 40 we ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Where did the well come from?

Numbers 21:16, on the topic of the "Wars of God", after describing the flow of the streams of Arnon toward the borders of Moab says: וּמִשָּׁם בְּאֵרָה הִוא הַבְּאֵר אֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהוָה לְמֹשֶׁה ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What nationality was Bilam?

In Numbers 22:5, the Torah is unclear as to where Pethor is. If it wants to tell us where Pethor is, then tell us, but one can only figure out where Pethor is if one knows of which people was Bilam. ...
5
votes
1answer
73 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?
3
votes
3answers
146 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
324 views

Sources for the world being round in the Gemara

Can anyone bring me proofs from the Gemara that proves the world was round-and that this was known 2000+ years ago? I have looked around and I can't seem to find any sources which prove this.
4
votes
3answers
71 views

Why did God say יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם, it should happen by itself naturally

In Bereishis 1:9 it says וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל מָקוֹם אֶחָד וְתֵרָאֶה הַיַּבָּשָׁה , And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one ...
6
votes
6answers
172 views

Al Hamichyah - Wide land?

In the Brocho after eating grains which are not bread we say: על ארץ חמדה טובה ורחבה Translated very loosely as: On the Land (ISRAEL) that is desirable good and WIDE. Now, anyone with a ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Does anyone hold that בֵּית לָחֶם is also a person's name?

In Divrei Hayamim I 4:4 Hur is listed as the father of בֵּית לָחֶם. אֵלֶּה בְנֵי-חוּר בְּכוֹר אֶפְרָתָה, אֲבִי בֵּית לָחֶם The commentaries I have seen read this as he fathered people who lived ...
3
votes
2answers
70 views

Where is הגר? The country, not the person

In the מטה אשר (commentary to שמלה חדשה), it is recorded that it was the custom of Jews in "מדינות מלכות רוסיא וגאלציא וגם במדינת הגר בקהילת היראים" to use the sefer שמלה חדשה to learn the halachos of ...
5
votes
1answer
60 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
120 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
98 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
28 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
125 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
140 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
96 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
26 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
46 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
48 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. ...