Questions related to how something was in the past, and how it's developed since then.

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Discrepancy in section headings between Tur and Shulchan Aruch

Over here I asked about the source of the section headings in the Tur. In a comment it was indicated that the Tur himself assigned these headings. In most Shulchan Aruchs that I have checked, the Tur ...
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0answers
40 views

Was Gematria taken from other cultures?

The wikipedia entry of gematria starts by stating the following: Gematria [...] is an Assyro-Babylonian-Greek system of code and numerology later adopted into Jewish culture that assigns numerical ...
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0answers
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Seemingly, my Dad was adopted out of a Jewish family into a protestant family just before World War 2. Why would this happen? [closed]

My Dad was born in 1937. We have his original birth certificate and other bits of information that clearly indicate his birth mother was Jewish and living in London. 18 months later, for whatever ...
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1answer
54 views
+100

Which books of the Ramchal did he publish himself?

I read that the Ramchal published the Mesilas Yesharim but not too many other books. That got me wondering, how many and which books that we have of his did he himself publish and which ones did ...
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55 views

Post mortem Tahara

I'm looking for sources discussing the religious aspect of the Tahara done on deceased Jews. I recall someone mentioning that the religious aspect of it was a practice we picked up from the Muslims ...
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0answers
18 views

Is there any outer scripture evidence for the exile of the Jews from Egypt? [duplicate]

Are there fe inscriptions found in Egypt where they were slaves and were purchased by the egyptians?
3
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1answer
64 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
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3answers
1k views

Cleaning blood from the temple

According to the Mosaic Law, blood was to be sprinkled on the alters, before the curtains and other places in the temple. This would result in many places, especially the curtains, being blood ...
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2answers
76 views

Who wrote the Aramaic translation for Psalms and when?

The Talmud in Migila specifies that no translation (Targum) for the Ktuvim was written since although Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uziel wanted to, he was told not to do so: עוד ביקש לגלות תרגום של כתובים ...
4
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1answer
59 views

Figuring out where Torah scrolls come from

Lets say a synagogue has inherited a lot of Torah scrolls, but doesn't know where many of them come from. How would they go about determining from which countries these scrolls hail from? Are there ...
5
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1answer
87 views

Belief in the Exodus

Recently, someone who presents himself as a religious member of Jewish society told me that he feels it doesn't matter if the story of the Exodus actually happened, and can be viewed as a nice ...
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0answers
45 views

Shavuah Tov or A Gutte Vuch on Motzai Shabbos

What is the earliest reference or source for wishing Shavuah Tov or A Gutte Vuch on Motzai Shabbos?
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59 views

Did G-d Ask The Persians If They Wanted The Torah [duplicate]

Is there anywhere mentioned in The Torah or Talmud or Mishna or Midrash, that G-d asked the Persians if they wanted The Torah before G-d finally gave the Children Of Israel The Torah?
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23 views

Do Jews Worship Ezra As The Son Of G-d [duplicate]

Is There Mentioned Anywhere In The Torah Or Misnah Or Talmud That Jews Worship Ezra As The Son Of G-d
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1answer
43 views

Ancient Jewish Essene texts and history

Recently when I visited Israel my family had a wonderful experience seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls and learning about Jewish life in the desert. When I grew up I had so little knowledge of this. I have 2 ...
3
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0answers
56 views

The Mekor Baruch's intructions of making gold from copper

Rav Epstein in his Mekor Baruch 3:19:6 brings a story about him and a maggid. The maggid was looking for a certain sefer which instructs one how to make gold from copper. The Mekor Baruch(who had the ...
6
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2answers
64 views

When was the Yad first used to read the Torah?

When was the tradition of using the yad started? How long has this practice been in use, please?
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0answers
48 views

What is the origin of using tombstone symbols?

I was at a cemetary today and noticed a few interesting "icons" placed on certain tombstones. Someone explained to me the following: spread-out fingers used for a Cohen, representing the position of ...
4
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1answer
95 views

Where is the exact location of the Temples in Jerusalem?

I have heard different theories where the 2 Temples were located. Some say it was on or near the Dome of the Rock. Others say it was farther south, even possibly on Mt. Ophel between the al-Aqsa ...
5
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1answer
50 views

Why do some of the Ten Commandments include Noahide Laws?

Of the Seven Noahide Laws, at least three are identical to one of the Ten Commandments. To be specific I am referring to Do not murder Do not steal Do not deny God Do not blaspheme I understand ...
5
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0answers
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How did R' Yaakov Risher arrive at the exact number of responsa that he published?

Volume 1 and 3 of Shvus Yaakov have 182 responsa in each, corresponding to the numerical value of the author's name, Yaakov. Volume 2 has 188 responsa. After responsum 182 of volume 2, the author ...
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2answers
84 views

Did Rabbeinu Yonah write Shaarei Teshuva in response to the burning of the Gemara?

It is widely believed that Rabbeinu Yonah played a part in having the Rambam's works burned around 1232, and that after the 1242 burning of twenty-four wagonloads of Gemaras he felt that it was a ...
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1answer
69 views

Does the book of Daniel accurately date the war with Babylon?

According to Wikipedia: The introductory verses tell how, in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim (606 BCE), Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were among the young Jewish ...
6
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2answers
72 views

Why Italia of Yavan?

The gemara in Megila 6b refers to איטליא של יון זה כרך גדול של רומי, which translates literally as: Italy of Greece, this is the great city of Rome. This seems odd insofar as I know, Italy never ...
6
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1answer
61 views

Musical Instruments of the Levi'im

Does there appear anywhere in Torah Sheb'al Peh a sufficiently detailed description of the musical instruments played by the Levi'im in the Beit Hamikdash that they could theoretically be ...
3
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0answers
60 views

Hand gesture origin for “David Melech Yisrael” song

What is the origin of the gestures for the song whose text is "David melech yisrael, chai chai v'kayam"? (An example would be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWItJ0TF2fw.)
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History of Talmudic Censorship

I'm looking for literature on the history of talmudic censorship. I would prefer the material be in English, but Hebrew is also OK. Related post: Talmudic Censorship
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0answers
31 views

Who were the original users of Ktav Ashuri?

It is generally stated that ktav ashuri started to be used during the exile, adopted from Babylonian sources. Who exactly was using this alphabet? Do we have archeological examples of these letters ...
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0answers
72 views

Did Rambam have Rashi's works?

While the Rambam lived a century after Rashi, I cannot recall ever seeing or hearing the Rambam cite or mention Rashi or any of his works. Is there any evidence that Rambam had access to Rashi's ...
2
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0answers
25 views

Al pi halacha, are descendents from Marranos considered Jewish? [duplicate]

What level of proof would be needed for a person whose ancestors lived in Mexico and who claims to be a descendant of the Marranos to be considered Jewish for the sake of marriage? Or are all such ...
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3answers
84 views

Where was Herod's temple built?

The Scripture says that the Second Temple was built on the foundation of Solomon's Temple, but was Herod's Temple built in the same place or was it built next to it? (Do we have any records that say ...
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Were the 8th and 9th of Teves once fasts?

In slichos this morning I noticed a mention of the 8th and 9th of Teves also being fasts. Were these three days ever fasts all at once or were these fasts independently observed and replaced each time ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Differences in Jewish and Non Jewish Verse Delineations in the Torah

Common knowledge is that the Chapter and Verse numbers we currently use is from non-Jewish sources. There are comments that I have seen whereby the non-Jewish chapter numbering does not match with ...
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0answers
33 views

Mesada/masada, are there any torah sources confirming or denying Josephus' version

This documentary seems to give good points to doubt the masada story. Are there any talmudic or later sources regarding this if yes what are they Related. Masada - heroic martyrdom or immoral ...
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1answer
30 views

Evolution of Simchas Torah Night reading

I was in a situation this year, where I was the Torah Reader for the Simchas Torah Day, but wasn't sure if they wanted me for the evening. It's a long walk for me. Anyway I was looking at what is read ...
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0answers
18 views

How do we know that word of the torah has been kept the same over generations? [duplicate]

Can we guarantee this text has not been significantly altered in any way? What is the evidence which supports its preservation?
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1answer
48 views

Why do we light Chanukah candles in the shul?

Talmud Shabbat (I think it's around p. 21a) says that the mitzvah of lighting candles is in one's home. I did not see any mention, there, of a requirement to light in the shul. So, a few questions: ...
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1answer
90 views

Origins of “Shalom Rav”

Someone asked me recently if I knew where the origins of the Bracha of Shalom Rav (instead of Sim Shalom at Mincha and Ma'ariv) are from. As far as I knew the Nusach is not found in the Gemara nor the ...
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0answers
34 views

Why was Judah/Yehuda the tribe that endured?

My basic question is: Are there any reasons or hints in the Torah that explain or hint (bedieved) that Judah/Yehudah would be the tribe that was not lost? Yes, I know that parts of Benjamin survived ...
6
votes
1answer
87 views

How far must one be able to trace one's Jewish lineage?

I have heard some talk to the effect that as long as an American Jew can trace his/her maternal lineage back to prewar Europe, he/she can be assumed to be Jewish. Is this true? I assume there must ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

When and how were trop melodies first written down?

We know that the trop (cantillation) marks were added to our written Tanakh text by the ba'alei hamesorim (Masorites) around the 8-10th century CE. They were recording an oral tradition that, I ...
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0answers
35 views

what were taxes like during Solomon's time? (According to Judaism)

I know there was terumah (10%) which went to kohanim and maaser ani (9% every other year to poor) + maaser sheni, which isn't exactly a tax but you had to spend it in Jerusalem. Where did non-Temple ...
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0answers
13 views

Is nechoshet copper, brass or bronze [duplicate]

In the bible the word נחושת means what? I saw a few translations: copper, brass, bronze. What is the definition of the word
7
votes
1answer
152 views

How is it that the Talmud can make historical mistakes?

A Rav told me that when it comes to science and nature, the Talmud can say incorrect things (i.e. about animals, cosmology) because they were going by the Greeks and Romans. (Where he gets permission ...
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1answer
73 views

Do you have to have a dead relative named Alexander to name your child Alexander?

Piggybacking on this question... I am wondering if there are any names (such as Alexander, or other names for which Jews have a special tradition to name children) that supersede the Ashkenazic ...
4
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1answer
59 views

Why are Mordechai and Esther buried in Hamedan, considering it is distant from Shushan?

According to Google Maps, Hamedan is about 470 KM from Shush, the Biblical town of Shushan. If Mordechai and Esther lived in Shushan (where Esther served as Queen), why were they buried so far away ...
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0answers
61 views

What is the significance of 7-month births?

I have noticed that there are a number of significant figures in Jewish history who were born at 7 months. To name a few: Yitzchok Avinu (Rosh Hashana 11a) Reuvein, Shimon, and Levi (Rabbeinu ...
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1answer
96 views

The Three Jewish Tribes That Lived In Medina At The Time Of Mohammad

Is there any mention at all in the Talmud that backs the claim in the Quran that there were three Jewish tribes that lived in Medina at the time of Mohammad?
3
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1answer
32 views

Writing down Torah she'beal peh for personal use before the Tannaic period

Before the ruling was given that allowed the oral component of the Torah to be written down, what exactly was permitted and what was not permitted? More specifically, I would like to know if an ...
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0answers
15 views

When did it become common to engrave tombstones?

I'm going to "link" this question to something in this week's parsha (Torah reading): Genesis 35:20: וַיַּצֵּ֧ב יַעֲקֹ֛ב מַצֵּבָ֖ה עַל־קְבֻרָתָ֑הּ הִ֛וא מַצֶּ֥בֶת קְבֻֽרַת־רָחֵ֖ל עַד־הַיּֽוֹם׃ ...