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3
votes
1answer
63 views

Is the book of Enoch part of judaism?

The book (or books) of Enoch is a collection of works purportedly made by Enoch, the great grandfather of Noach, before the flood. I read that they are not part of the Tanach, even though it contains ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

When the רא״ש refers to “הגאון”, who is he referring to?

A friend posted on Facebook the following question, and I couldn't solve it based on any context, so I thought I'd bring it here. When the רא״ש refers to "הגאון", who is he referring to? Is there ...
4
votes
1answer
44 views

Identity of “the Greek rabbi” in the Raavad's gloss (Tum'at Met 17:3)

In the Raavad's gloss on Hilkhot Tum'at Met 17:3, he mentions a scholar who (like the Rambam) also erred in his definition of בטח - as found in the Mishna, Ohalot 12:3. Where the Rambam thinks that a ...
4
votes
1answer
28 views

Who is the Arba'ah Turei Even?

In the back of the Frankel printing of the Rambam, they have a section of collected commentaries. One of them is a work titled "Arba'ah Turei Even." The Frankel bio page identifies the author as אלעזר ...
4
votes
2answers
50 views

Who is “הנגד” that the Ramban is referring to?

The Ramban in Sefer Bereishis, Perek 17, Passuk 1, ד״ה א-ל שקי quotes Rebbi Avraham (the Ibn Ezra) who says something in the name of ״הנגד״ . The words of the Ramban are: ״ורבי אברהם יפרשו בשם הנגד ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

Who saw angels?

Which historical figures in Tanach had visions of malachim (angels)? Which of these were themselves prophets (e.g. Abraham, Jacob, Balaam)? Which were figures very close to prophets but not themselves ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

Numbers of Tannaim and Amoraim

How many names of Tannaim do we know? How many names of Ammoraim do we know? (I am asking about the names and not simply asking "how many were there" because I don't know if there were people that ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

Who Exactly Threatened to Excommunicate Ramchal?

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, known as Ramchal, was a controversial and prolific Italian philosopher and Mekubal. According to the linked Wikipedia article, after disseminating Kabbalah in Italy, ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Any more 'daughters of God'?

As far as I have been able to ascertain, there were only two individuals explicitly referred to as a "daughter of God" or had God refer to them as "My daughter": Batya/Bithiah the daughter of ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Was Cyrus really Queen Esther's son?

Are there any Talmudic sources that back up the claim that Cyrus was really the son of Queen Esther?
3
votes
1answer
168 views

How would first century Jews in Judea have reacted to the Jesus Movement's messianic claims?

My understanding is that first century Jews in Judea, Jerusalem, etc, would have known that Jesus could not possibly be the messiah, because the messiah was expected to be triumphant in life, and no ...
2
votes
2answers
61 views

What was Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi's role in compiling the Mishnah?

I have always heard that Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi "compiled" the mishna. What were his roles in compiling it in the form that we currently have it? Specifically, did he perform any of these roles: ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Looking for biographical info on R' Yehuda HaLevi Lifschitz

There is a sefer which I encountered called Derech Emunah written by a R' Yehuda HaLevi Lifschitz. Everything that I know about him is the information found on this title page of his sefer, and that ...
6
votes
3answers
136 views

Was Caleb a foreigner (Non-Isralite)?

Was Caleb a foreigner, even though he represented the tribe of Judah (Numbers 13:6) and was one of the first judges of Israel (Judges 1)? In Numbers 32:12 and Joshua 14:14 we read that Caleb is the ...
3
votes
0answers
107 views

Who came up with this story?

It says in Mekor Baruch (of Rabbi Baruch Epstein) The Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, the Netziv, was once sitting down surrounded by several high-caliber students – avrechim versed in Torah, wise, and ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Letter of Rav Yechezkel Landau

There was a letter written by Rav Yechezkel Landau to the followers of Reb Yonason Eibeshitz after the whole debacle between their leader and Reb Yaakov Emden. I have seen a few English versions of ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Was the Aruch Hashulchan Sephardic?

No, wait. Before you shake your head in disgust and think, "What are you thinking? Of course he's Ashkenaz!"consider what he writes in סימן מז סעיף יב: ברכה ראשונה היא: "אשר קדשנו במצותיו, וצונו ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

The Longest Pesach

There is a famous tape by Rabbi Shmuel Kunda entitled "The longest pesach" about a time when the Noda Beyehuda added on an extra day to Pesach in order to uncover a plot to poison the Jews of Prague. ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Rambam's relationship with the Rif: a question on the Bartenura

In the Mishna to Chullin 4:6 (s.v. וכן שניטל צומת הגידין), the Bartenura refers to the Rif as having been the Rambam's teacher: "ושיטה זו תפסו רבותי... אבל רמבם ורב אלפס רבו תפסו עיקר הפירוש אחר". In ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Name of Pharaoh that we were enslaved to in Mitzrayim

Do we know what the name of Pharaoh (i.e. king or president) whom we were enslaved to when we were in Mitzrayim was?
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Historical documentation that the Rambam was supported by his brother

I have heard quoted many times that the Rambam wrote his Mishneh Torah while he was being supported entirely by his brother. It was only after his brother died at sea that the Rambam, needing to ...
3
votes
0answers
44 views

Seeking teachings or stories involving the rabbis mentioned in the hagadda, to add a little more spice to the seders

To help me prepare for conducting seders again this year, can anyone point me to a compilation of teachings or stories involving any or all of the rabbis in the hagadda? Autobiographical tidbits? ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Discrepancy -shoftim 7:18 and 7:20

Before Gideon goes out to war: יח וְתָקַעְתִּי בַּשּׁוֹפָר אָנֹכִי וְכָל אֲשֶׁר אִתִּי וּתְקַעְתֶּם בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת גַּם אַתֶּם סְבִיבוֹת כָּל הַמַּחֲנֶה וַאֲמַרְתֶּם לַיהֹוָה וּלְגִדְעוֹן: He says ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

Can you attend Purim dressed like Hitler?

My question concerns an halakic issue about dressing up during Purim. Would someone allowed to dress up like Hitler during Purim, provided that this infamous man was the modern version of Haman? I ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Was Vashti Evil?

Is there any basis within the text of the Megillah itself to lend credence to the common Midrashic theme that Vasti was evil?
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Paintings and Sculptures of Rabbis Throughout the Ages [closed]

There are many paintings or sculptures of Rabbis from throughout history, like the Vilna Gaon (paintings), Maharal (statue), and Rambam (statue). Are they accurate (or at least somewhat accurate) ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Ger Tzedek: Avraham Ben Avraham

The famous story of the ger tzedek Avraham Ben Avraham has been claimed to be a legend. Are there any defenses of its authenticity such as references to it before the 19th century?
1
vote
1answer
217 views

Child from the relations Yael had with Sisra

According to Shoftim 5:27, per the explanation found in Yevamos 103a (in the name of רבי יוחנן), Yael had relations with Sisra. אמר רבי יוחנן שבע בעילות בעל אותו רשע באותו היום שנאמר בין רגליה ...
8
votes
2answers
567 views

Why did the Lubavitcher Rebbe give out dollars?

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late Rebbe of Lubavitch used to give out dollars to people who came to meet him. Why did he do this?
0
votes
2answers
68 views

What is the source for R' Meir and R'Elazar Beth Shammai membership?

What is the source for R' Meir and R' Elazar being members of Beth Shammai? Also, what is the source for the Beth Hillel membership of R' Yehuda? I heard from several persons (including one Rabbi) ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

When ended Beth Shammai?

I am looking for a way to recognize members of the Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel when I learn the gemara and mishna. I need to know when the Beth Shammai ended (as well as the Beth Hillel) to find out ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

Were Shmouel and Rav members of the Beth Hillel or the Beth Shammai?

Do we know which Academy Rav and Shmuel belonged to? Maybe they weren't members of any House.
8
votes
1answer
273 views

Rabi Yochanan Ben Zakai, or Josephus?

Josephus in Wars 3. 8. 9. records a story of how he meets Vespasian, tells him that he will become ruler, and Titus will take over his position. Vespasian, although sceptical at first eventually ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Who was Haman's mother?

Is there any mention of Haman's mother in rabbinic literature (Gemara, Midrash, etc.)? If she was discussed in the Gemara or other sources, what was her name?
5
votes
2answers
90 views

Why is the name of Eliezer often missing?

Very often in the torah Eliezer's proper name is omitted when he is discussed. Examples include the story of finding a wife for Yitzhak where he is referred to as Eved or Ish, his accompanying Avraham ...
7
votes
1answer
274 views

Who was the mother of Avraham's daughter?

According to one opinion in the Gemarah (Bava Basra 16b, also 141a), when it says Avraham was blessed with everything (Bereishit 24:1) it means that he had a daughter. Who was her mother?
4
votes
2answers
109 views

Is there an orthodox publication of the book(s) of the Maccabees?

I would like to know if any orthodox publisher has put out a version of the book(s) of the Maccabees.
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

Maskilim and Jüdischkeit

I often hear that the maskilim of the 18th and 19th centuries were, without exception, secularists and religious reformers. Is this true or were some/most of them actually religious individuals who ...
12
votes
1answer
505 views

Did any of the early Rabbis encounter Mohammed?

Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, lived in Saudia Arabia, mainly in Mecca and (later) Medina. He lived from 570-632CE. According to this wikipedia article there were Jews in Saudia Arabia at that time: ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Mesorah of Rabbeinu Gershom

Rabbeinu Gershom, whose takkanot are considered binding by many Ashkenazim, is often the earliest name which I hear being cited in relation to the Ashkenazi mesorah. From whom was his mesorah, if ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Was Cham influenced by the people destroyed in the mabul?

In Parshat-Noach, was Cham influenced by the bad people G-d destroyed before the mabul (by his actions with his father)?
7
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
947 views

When did people living for 900 years start to look old?

In the early days of the world, the standard age of living was well into the hundreds, with many people living until they were 800 or 900. Being that people lived so long, when did they start to "look ...
7
votes
2answers
104 views

Did Cain and Hevel have דעת?

Kayin and Hevel were born before Adam and Chava sinned and ate from the Tree of Knowledge. (See Rashi to 4:1.) Did Kayin and Hevel ever receive the understanding that their parents got from the ...
6
votes
1answer
534 views

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name? Our shul received a paper with questions on Simhat Torah, with this question being one of the harder ones. Is there a midrash on her name?
2
votes
1answer
230 views

What does the talmud/rabbinic writing have to say about Yeishu hanotzri (Jesus)?

I Understand that the name Jesus was not uncommon 2000 years ago, and Jewish writings about person of historical interest to the christian church call him "Yeishu hanotzri" = "Jesus the Nazarene". I ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Sigmund Freud's Jewish Name [closed]

What was the eminent Psychologist, and father of Psychoanalysis' Jewish Name (as when they called him up to the Torah)?
-3
votes
1answer
141 views

Who don't believe the Lubavitcher Rebbe is Messiah become apostate?

Major rabbis have signed a document declaring Rabbi Schneerson as Messiah, so do other Jews who do not hold this position become apostates according to these rabbis? Also do the signatories still ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

What are the respective philosophical perspectives of Saul Lieberman and Jacob Neusner? [closed]

What are the respective philosophical and methodological perspectives of Saul Lieberman and Jacob Neusner which underly their very different Talmudic interpretation and opus?
2
votes
2answers
605 views

Did Moshe have a son with Ethiopian Queen prior to Exodus

According to Josephus, Moshe was a great military leader who lead in battle for Egypt when Egypt and Ethiopia was at war and Moshe married the Ethiopian Queen and had a child with her who became the ...