Questions about places with Jewish connections.

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90
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? ...
5
votes
3answers
225 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
86 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) ...
7
votes
1answer
148 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?
6
votes
6answers
179 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
101 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
75 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
80 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
3answers
7k 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
368 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
155 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
413 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
198 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
140 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
319 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
75 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
324 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
174 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
200 views

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?

Where are Bilhah and Zilpa buried?
3
votes
2answers
114 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
72 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
567 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
143 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
327 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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
72 views

Location of Sheba

Where is the Biblical Sheba (famous for its queen) located today?
4
votes
1answer
113 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
131 views

Noach Burial Place

Where was Noach buried? (or, do we know?)
9
votes
2answers
290 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
80 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Yarden's River Name

Why is it called ירדן?
4
votes
2answers
333 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
93 views

Yiddish city name from the 19th c

There is a locale referenced in a few places in stories or other materials relating to R' Y'chi'el Tz'vi Margaliyos called טאקאלא, on which extremely little information seems to be available online. ...
13
votes
4answers
388 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
237 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 ...