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5
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2answers
274 views

When in history did Purim happen?

When in history did Purim happen? I understand that there are several opinions that this is based on (who אחשורוש was, whether this was before or after the end of the exile), but I've been unable to ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

Is Pinchas of Balak/Pinchas same Pinchas as Shoftim?

Is the Pinchas from the generation that left Egypt the same as the Pinchas mentioned in Shoftim 20? Pinchas's zealotry earns him an eternal priesthood because of going above the letter of the law ...
5
votes
3answers
471 views

Understanding Shabsai Tzvi

Who was Shabsai Tzvi and why was he considered evil?
5
votes
1answer
159 views

Ben Drosai - what was his Zechus?

Gemara Shabbos 20a and in other locations mentions כמאכל בן דרוסאי Rashi explains that Ben Drosai was a thief who ate his food when it was only cooked 1/3. Did Ben Drosai have some sort of Zechus ...
5
votes
0answers
141 views

What is the lineage of Yona ben Amitai?

The gemarah (Yerushalmi succa 5:1) and midrash (yalkut shimoni Yona, remez 550) indicate that the prophet Yona ben Amitai descended from Zevulun (father) and Asher (mother). However other sources ...
4
votes
6answers
252 views

Which Biblical and Talmudic personalities visited Heaven and returned to earth?

In the Haftorah to Parashas Yisro, Isaiah 6:1 - 7:6, we read of Isaiah's prophetic vision where he visited Heaven. What Biblical and Talmudic personalities are said to have visited heaven and ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

What was Rav's relationship to R' Hiyyah?

In Mo'ed Katan (Bab. 20a) the Gemara relates a story about how Rav learned of the death of his parents from a conversation with R' Hiyyah. The Gemara tells us their relationship, and it's pretty ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

Was Marcus Jastrow an apikores?

During Yeshiva I remember some bochrim made a point of not putting the Jastrow dictionary on top of sefarim, and would often talk about how it does not have kedusha because it was written by an ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Who was the King of Cheshbon (in the Torah)?

Who was the king of Cheshbon, mentioned in Bamidbar?
4
votes
1answer
206 views

Was Pharoh's daughter named Basya or Bisya?

Was Pharoh's daughter named Basya or Bisya? Sources please!
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Who was ר"מ in Sefer Kol Bo?

Nobody knows for certain who authored Sefer Kol Bo (ספר כל-בו), and various theories exist as to who, and when, it might have been. (For a brief example of such theories, see here). Likely it was in ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Why is the Rambam so famous?

If someone were to take a survey asking people to list Jewish 'Sages' I would venture to guess that the Rambam (Maimonides) would top that list. Even within the Jewish (religious) world there seems to ...
4
votes
3answers
123 views

Pronunciation of חשמונאי

A friend today told me that the word חשמונאי traditionally pronounced "Chashmonai" should really be pronounced "Chashmunai" with the vav being read as a shuruk vowel instead of a cholom. Is this ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Who was Rabi Tanchuma?

Was there an actual person Rabi Tanchuma attributed to writing the medrash that goes by this name? Do know anything about him?
4
votes
1answer
103 views

How common was polygamy in Biblical times?

How prevalent was polygamy among Jews in Biblical times? I can only think of five Jews in Tanach who had multiple wives: Avraham, Yaakov, Elkanah, David, and Shlomo (although I probably missed a ...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

Why is the Or Hachayim's yahrzeit in Luach Colel Chabad?

The Luach Colel Chabad is a calendar published annually by Colel Chabad. It includes instructions for special prayers and Torah readings according to the Chabad custom. It also mentions red-letter ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

What became of Moshe's sons and their descendants?

After Yisro brings Tzipora and Moshe's sons back to him at Exodus 18:2-5, they are not mentioned by name again in the Torah. Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles I 23:14 et seq.) lists their male descendants ...
4
votes
2answers
59 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Who were members of Beth Shammai?

I know Rav Eliezer was one, but do we know other members of Beth Shammai?
3
votes
4answers
193 views

Is Absalom considered a “ben sorrer umoreh”?

Is Absalom considered a ben sorrer umoreh (devarim 21:18, bal haturim) for his rebellion? I thought there where never any cases of ben sorrer umoreh.
3
votes
1answer
123 views

Menashe & Ephraim: Twins?

Were Menashe and Ephraim, sons of Yosef Hatzadik, twins?
3
votes
2answers
86 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.
3
votes
2answers
122 views

How could Yochanan Kohen Gadol abolish the wakers?

The mishnah (Maaser Sheni end of 5:15 and Sotah 48a) lists 5 edicts of Yochanan Kohen Gadol including the abolishing of the "wakers" - the singing by the Levi'im in the Beit HaMikdash of Psalm 44:24 - ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

Are there any ma'amrei chazal on תּוֹלָע בֶּן-פּוּאָה?

תּוֹלָע בֶּן-פּוּאָה was the shofet from Yissachar (Shoftim 10:1-2). I have not been able to find any information on him anywhere. Do chazal or any later commentators mention anything about him?
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Great People Not Mentioned in the Torah

It has been said that the Torah is not a history book and her words are succinct. In addition to the "obvious" people and stories/events discussed in scripture, there are many others mentioned if only ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Source for Haman's hat

As a little kid, I was always told that a Hamantasch is representative of Haman's three cornered hat. Is there an actual source that says Haman wore a three cornered hat or is it just Folklore?
3
votes
0answers
56 views

King Zecharia; A Court of His Own?

The Talmud in Gittin 88a says that Israel was only destroyed once it had seven courts that worshipped idols: Jeroboam son of Nebat's, Baasa son of Ahija's, Ahab son of Omri's, Jehu son of Nimshi's, ...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

Tribes of the Northern Kings

Jeroboam is said to hail from Ephraim (Kings I 11:26), and Baasa from Issachar (15:27). I understand mention of Jeroboam's Tribe, given Ahijah the Shilonite's prophecy about his potential enduring ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

Anywhere in Tanach where brothers-in-law have the same name?

Is there anywhere in Tanach where brothers-in-law have the same name? Either two sisters married men with the same name, or a woman married someone with the same name as her brother. There is a ...
3
votes
0answers
122 views

Origin of Yisha'yahu (Isaiah/יְשַׁעְיָהוּ)'s name

Does Jewish tradition teach us anything that might explain the origin of the name Yisha'yahu/Isaiah/יְשַׁעְיָהוּ? I am referring to the prophet who bore the name. If his name means, as it seems to, ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Where did Rav Menashe Me'Iliah argue on Rashi?

On the Wikipedia page of מנשה מאיליה it says: לפעמים סבל מקנאים שלא ירדו לסוף דעתו. היו שהסתייגו ממנו בגלוי כגון הרב יעקב'קע לנדא (בנו של הרב יחזקאל לנדא, בעל הנודע ביהודה), שעורר קפידא בגלל שהשיג ...
2
votes
2answers
460 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Is IshBoshet, Saul's son, his real original name?

Boshet means shameful or abomination. Did his parents name him that? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ish-bosheth In short, the question is whether that's his original name.
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Who was R' Avin Nagara

The Gemara (Bab. Shab. 23b) relates a story about one R' Avin Nagara ("The Carpenter"). Was he a Rabbi? Or was this merely an honorary title given to him because of his great children (as related in ...
2
votes
2answers
270 views

Who was the wife of Levi (according to Sefer HaYashar)?

What was the name of Levi's wife? I am specifically looking for the answer which is given in Sefer HaYashar, but I can't seem to find it. Does anyone know who Sefer HaYashar says the wife of Levi is? ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

Ben Petura - The Nazarene?

The Gemara in Bava Metzia 62a talks about two people in the desert and who gets the water first. I heard that the character Ben Petura is the Nazarene; can anyone confirm or deny this with a source? ...
2
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

What Set Oholiab and Bezalel apart?

In Exodus 31, Gd designates Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur the Judite, Oholiab son of Ahisamach the Danite, and 'all the wise-hearted' to construct the tabernacle. Why are Bezalel and Oholiab ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Achashverosh — was he or wasn't he?

I'm looking to gather some more background, context, sources and opinions, regarding Achashverosh's Jewishness, or lack thereof. This was inspired by a recent similar question, and, in fact, much of ...
2
votes
2answers
66 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Did the Pnei Menachem of Ger have a sharp sense of humor?

A Satmar Chossid relayed this story to me: The previous Gerer Rebbe had a policy that he did not want a newly married chatan to attend his Shabbat tisch during his 1st year of marriage. One ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Sabbateanism and Rav Yonasan Eibshitz

Is there any real substantial evidence that Rav Yonasan Eibshitz was a Sabbatean? On what basis did Rav Yaakov Emden hound him?
2
votes
1answer
289 views

Did Rashbi Write the Zohar?

In my experience, many religious Jews think that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai wrote the book we have today called the Zohar. The Zohar is a Jewish work of mysticism that was published in the 13th century. ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

What is known about the Sage מונבז?

מונבז is mentioned in Shabbos 68b. I know there were two Kings of this name. What is known about the Sage of this name?
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Which Ra'avad is on the Rif?

I am aware that there is more than one author known as the Ra'avad (ראב"ד). Is the Ra'avad with glosses to the Rif and the Ma'or the same Ra'avad as the one with glosses to the Rambam? If they are ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

Names of Tanaim and Amoraim

A friend mentioned to me that there are no Tanaim or Amoraim named Avraham, Moshe or Dovid and that there was "some torah" on this fact, but he couldn't remember what it was. Is there any source for ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Order of Idolatrous Kings' Courts

The Talmud in Gittin 88a says that Israel was only destroyed once it had seven courts that worshipped idols: Jeroboam son of Nebat's... Pekah son of Remalia's, Menahem son of Gadi's, and Hosea son of ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

What happened to Balak?

What ever happened to Balak after the Bil'am affair? Bil'am is referred to often as Bil'am HaRasha' (the wicked), and he is blamed for the entire encounter as well as the Ba'al Pe'or incident. But ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Identity of the Reish Gelutha

There seems to be an accepted list of who served as Reish Gelutha. Is it possible to deduce who was Reish Gelutha in any or all references in stories involving the office holder in the Gemara?