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5
votes
2answers
189 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
0answers
131 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
135 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),” ...
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
84 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
167 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
2answers
296 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
97 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
331 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
2answers
97 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
505 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
298 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
74 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
109 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
113 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
92 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
215 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
743 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? ...
74
votes
3answers
2k 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? ...
4
votes
3answers
205 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
78 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
125 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?
6
votes
6answers
167 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Michvar goats' sneezing from Jerusalem incense?

Tamid chapter 3 says (in my own free translation): One could smell from Y'richo the scent of the blend[1] of the k'tores. Rabbi Eliezer b. Diglay said, "Father's house had goats on Mt. Michvar ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Where are the borders of Eretz Israel nowadays? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the Halachic boundaries of Eretz Yisroel? How far into Jordan/Lebanon/Syria/Egypt is still considered "Halachic" Eretz Israel?
7
votes
2answers
77 views

Why is it that there appear to be so many different nuschaos of Selichos?

Why is it that there appear to be more different nuschaos of Selichos than other tefillos? I have heard of Askenaz, Sfard, Lita, Polin and Ungvar.
7
votes
2answers
4k 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
285 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
141 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?
10
votes
3answers
361 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
179 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

Location of the Beit HaDeshen

In "aizeho mekomon" (the 5th chapter of Maseches Z'vachim)we learn that the the porim hanisrofim were burned in the Beit HaDeshen. What please was the location of the Beit HaDeshen? I seem to remember ...
5
votes
1answer
260 views

Shabbat in the arctic

If I were to travel to Barrow, Alaska in the summer, when there is no sunset, when should I light the Shabbat candles? (This is not a hypothetical question; I work remotely for an Alaskan corporation ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Redistribution of refuge cities after expansion

When the Torah commands the establishment of cities of refuge in Eretz Yisra'el to protect accidental murderers from vengeful relatives it states that the three cities must be evenly placed ...
10
votes
1answer
295 views

When does a day start/end in the far North/South?

As I understand it, a day in the Jewish calendar is from sunset to sunset. How is this handled if you are living so far north or south that you have long periods of daylight or darkness?
16
votes
2answers
162 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?
3
votes
2answers
108 views

cities that start with ה־

There are a good number of cities referred to in Y'hoshua, of course, and a sizable percentage (I'm guesstimating about 5%) of them start with ה־‏‎ (most famously הָעַי‎, I think).What ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

The list of Binyamin's cities

When Y'hoshua 15:21–62 lists the cities of Y'huda, it does so by area/topography. M'tzudas David to 15:37 says that "everywhere it counts some separately and others separately", it does so by area or ...
5
votes
3answers
476 views

Where is the Sambatyon?

Where is the Sambatyon? Is there really a river somewhere that throws stones all week and rests on Shabbos?
8
votes
2answers
124 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
3answers
281 views

'Goshen' was where?

Tonight I thought occurred to me regarding Yosef going to meet Yaakov for the first time in Egypt. It depended on where Goshen was, which I thought was south of the main then center of Egypt. I could ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How precisely oriented towards Jerusalem should we face for praying?

I know we're supposed to face towards Jerusalem when praying/davening. For most of us in the Europe or the Western Hemisphere, we're used to facing "Mizrach", east. How precise should we be? If ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

Location of Sheba

Where is the Biblical Sheba (famous for its queen) located today?
4
votes
1answer
101 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?
9
votes
1answer
116 views

Noach Burial Place

Where was Noach buried? (or, do we know?)
9
votes
2answers
239 views

Is there a difference between “p” and “f” when transliterating from English to Hebrew?

When transliterating an English name to Hebrew (e.g. for a Ketubah or Get), is there a way to distinguish between a "p" and "f" sound? E.g. Fine, NY vs Pine, CO. Would both just be spelled (assuming ...
3
votes
3answers
75 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 ...