Questions about places with Jewish connections.

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9
votes
2answers
310 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
111 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
372 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
79 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
463 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
506 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
179 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
119 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
138 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
34 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
171 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
321 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
78 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)
6
votes
0answers
93 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
119 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
142 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
144 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
175 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
27 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
304 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
208 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
80 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
75 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
27 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
120 views
5
votes
2answers
191 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
70 views

Location of Sheba

Where is the Biblical Sheba (famous for its queen) located today?
11
votes
1answer
218 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
132 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
329 views

Commencing Shabbos: Shkiya behind a mountain

It is common practice nowadays for Shuls to publish the zmanim (times) to begin Shabbos (the Sabbath) and other activities. These times, it would seem, are based upon standard calculations of sunrise ...
11
votes
1answer
112 views

Facing Yerushalaim during Kaddish

Must one face Yerushlaim (or the Hechal) when reciting Kaddish,the way one should for Amida? This seems to be generally practiced; does it have a source in the Shulchan Aruch or achronim or is it a ...
6
votes
0answers
50 views

Shkiya/Netz behind a mountain [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Commencing Shabbos If one is located behind a mountain, what time is Shkiya or Tzeis? Is it when the sun sets below the "calculated" horizon (when the sun should set ...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Halachic sources on business ethics in a globalized industry?

The usual rule in halachah, as far as business dealings, is הכל כמנהג המדינה - everything follows the local custom. This applies to things like expected product quality (Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat ...
6
votes
2answers
175 views

Walled cities for Purim other than Jerusalem

The holiday of Purim is unique in that some locations celebrate it on different days. The rule is: if the city was walled at the time of Joshua's conquest of the Land of Israel then they celebrate on ...
6
votes
1answer
100 views

Walled from the times of Joshua: Why Joshua?

The Halacha is that those who live in a city that was walled in the times of Yehoshuah reads on a different day. The question is why from Yehoshuah (Joshua) when the commentaries explain it they speak ...
8
votes
1answer
344 views

Are there any Synagogues or Rabbis available in Pakistan?

There was once a very thriving Jewish community available in Pakistan. There was a Synagogue in the port city of Karachi as well till 1985. What is the current situation now? What if someone would ...
4
votes
1answer
517 views

Hebrew Havarah?

Similar to this question Different parts of Eastern Europe had different dialects. For example, Ukrainian, Polish and Hungarian Jews pronounce a "Shuruk" as a EE, or a Komatz as an oo (so Boruch ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Archeological finds related to King Hezekiah's closing a wellspring under Jerusalem?

The Gemara says that King Hezekiah (Chizkiyahu) closed one of the springs of water in (under?) Jerusalem, so the Assyrian army wouldn't be able to use it. Do we have any guesses what exactly that ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

From where do the maps of Kriyas Yam Suf come?

I have seen many maps showing where the Jews crossed "Yam Suf" (Usually translated as the Red Sea). Then they show where the Jews traveled, where is Mt. Sinai, where did the Jews encamp, etc. Where ...
4
votes
0answers
116 views

On a boat in the Arctic Circle [closed]

I and my wife will be spending Shabbat Hagadol (this year the 31st of March) on a ship. The evening before the ship will be leaving one of the more northern ports of Norway, and navigating through ...
9
votes
1answer
93 views

Bes El or Bes Kel?

There is at least one city mentioned in Tanach named Bes El, written as two words; that name currently belongs to a city in Israel and a number of synagogues and Reform temples. Does that "El" have ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Spain and curse

Was there a Curse placed on Jews returning to Spain after the Spanish Inquisition if so who stated it and general background information would be appreciated?
16
votes
2answers
165 views

Hagalah in Denver?

In high-altitude cities, water boils at a lower temperature than the standard 212 degrees Farenheit. For example, in Denver the boiling point is about 203 degrees. Can one kasher utensils with hagalah ...
9
votes
1answer
775 views

Four Holy Cities

I have often seen reference to the Four Holy Cities: Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias. What is the earliest source to reference this? Why these four cities? Has there ever been a different count? ...
77
votes
3answers
3k views

Implications of Samoa skipping a Friday

This week, the island of Samoa is switching time zones, causing it to skip from Thursday directly to Saturday. Out of simple curiosity, what implications might this have on any Jews on the island? ...
3
votes
3answers
76 views

Why did Hashem tell Moshe to look behind him when looking into Eretz Yisroel?

The Posuk says: וְשָׂא עֵינֶיךָ יָמָּה וְצָפֹנָה וְתֵימָנָה וּמִזְרָחָה וּרְאֵה בְעֵינֶיךָ The question is Moshe is standing in Chutz Laretz why look back thats not Eretz Yisroel that is also Chutz ...
10
votes
2answers
181 views

ribis and foreign currency conversion

I am afraid that I have only recently started to study this kind of thing and I completely unlearned compared to most of the contributors here, so I apologize if my question is somewhat ...
11
votes
2answers
220 views

Were the people of Chelm really unintelligent?

There are many stories that are told over about the people who lived in Chelm. They all have the theme of: the people in Chelm were fairly unintelligent. Where did this come from? Is it true? It ...
5
votes
2answers
80 views

Are there any eruvs that include both sides of a US Interstate Highway?

Are there any eruvs that include both sides of a US Interstate Highway? I assumed this was halachically and/or logistically impossible. Is that correct? Can anyone prove this wrong by (groan) ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?