Questions about places with Jewish connections.

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8
votes
1answer
227 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?
9
votes
2answers
476 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
472 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
87 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
748 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
273 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
154 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
47 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
295 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
350 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
137 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
167 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
179 views

Why did the Baba Sali leave Yavneh? [closed]

I remember hearing that the Baba Sali very suddenly decided to move away from Yavneh. Does anyone know the story of what exactly occurred?
4
votes
1answer
228 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
40 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
411 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
254 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
102 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?
-1
votes
1answer
106 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
29 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
141 views

Noach Burial Place

Where was Noach buried? (or, do we know?)
5
votes
2answers
233 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
76 views

Location of Sheba

Where is the Biblical Sheba (famous for its queen) located today?
11
votes
1answer
253 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
163 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
485 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
131 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
51 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 had ...
5
votes
1answer
110 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
381 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
900 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
139 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
120 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
188 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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? ...
3
votes
3answers
82 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
243 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
198 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?
4
votes
1answer
111 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
78 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?
3
votes
2answers
120 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
92 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.
6
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
357 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views
6
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
368 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?
2
votes
1answer
76 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 (...
4
votes
1answer
231 views