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

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Onkelos Commentary

Rashi on the talmud (kidushin 49a) says the aramaic translation/commentary on the torah was given at sinai, forgotten and brought back by Onkelos. Where did Onkelos obtain the correct text?
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23 views

Which rabbis (among hazal) read texts of Torah she Ba'al Peh?

Which rabbis (among hazal) do we hear about reading aggadata/targum/any other form of 'torah she ba'al peh'? What's the earliest example? When is reading (as opposed to hearing) aggadata first ...
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0answers
41 views

When did the Jewish people knead the dough that they took out of Egypt?

The Jewish people took dough out of Egypt with them. See Shemos 12 (39) which says “They baked the dough that they had taken out of Egypt as unleavened cakes, for it had not leavened, for they ...
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0answers
24 views

What subjects did talmud censoring involve and how far back does it go?

I'm aware of censoring of the name Yeshu, in the soncino printing of the talmud where they replaced it with "sinners of israel" in Gittin 57a. I'm interested what other subjects or names were ...
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25 views

The life of Jochebed

What, if anything, does the rabbinical literature say happened to Jochebed, the mother of Moses, after she put Moses in the basket on the river?
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64 views

What kind of seder did a non-oleh l'regel have during the time of the Bais Hamikdash (and for that matter, the entire 40 years in the desert)?

Our haggadah did not always exist - it appears to be primarily from the time of the Mishna. Before then, there was a Korban Pesach and specific procedures for organizing family and/or friends to eat ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Rav Moshe's Psak on Fertility Treatments

I recently read an interview with Rav Dovid Feinstein and he referenced a two year period of Rav Moshe's life that were troubling due to backlash he received following a controversial psak regarding ...
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0answers
24 views

What happened to the Mugmar?

In Brochos Perek 6, Mishna 6 the Mugmar is mentioned in the context of who makes the Brocha for it. Commentaries explain that it is some sort of incense that was smelled after a meal. It would ...
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0answers
48 views

Timeline of the 10 plagues in exodus?

Do we have a chronological timeline (with years) of the 10 plagues? I'm trying to recreate a full timeline of the הגדה של פסח for the upcoming holiday, going from the arrival of Jacob and his family ...
3
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1answer
70 views

German and Ethiopian Jews in the time of the Mishna?

According to Negaim 3:1, the laws of negaim only apply to Jews (הכל מטּמאין בנגעים חוץ מגוים), but according to Negaim 2:1 they apply to people from Germany (גרמני) and Ethiopia (or Numibia, etc; ...
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5answers
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Can Chazal be wrong?

I understand that a later ruling can't contradict an earlier one, but does that mean that Chazal are infallible, the way Catholics believe the Pope is infallible? And if so, where's the line? Who was ...
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0answers
31 views

Why do we refer to Chazal as a monolithic group?

In discussions of Torah, halacha, etc., people often say, "According to Chazal..." as though all the thousands of rabbis of an 800-year period spoke with one voice. But you almost never hear people ...
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32 views

Literature about The Temple in Jerusalem

Is there any literature one can recommend about what was going on in the Temple in Jerusalem? Parts of the Talmud, writings from the sages, classical Jewish books. That talk about what was going on, ...
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1answer
62 views

Why was the ramchal banned, and how did he become so widely accepted later?

When ramchal was in Italy he was put in cherem for his writing and eventually left to live in Israel. Why did this happen and what changed about the perception of him?
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2answers
116 views

How to Reconcile if/when the Jewish Day Was to Begin at Sunset?

Question: Are there any historical documents that detail the differences in opinions on when the "Jewish Day" began? (Perhaps between Sadducee and Pharisee/Rabbinic definitions, etc). What the ...
2
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1answer
67 views

erroneous decisions by beit din for which korbanot must be brought by beit din and the people

In masechet horayot we learn that korbanot must be brought if the beit din makes an erroneous decision that is followed by the people. Do we know of such a mistake that was made by a beit din? If so, ...
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0answers
34 views

Answering questions posed by Egyptians: a query on the Mishna

When the Seleucid king, Demetrius, appointed Alcimus the high priest in Jerusalem around 162 BCE, the rightful heir to the position (Onias IV) fled to Egypt. There, he was granted permission by the ...
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2answers
83 views

Is the number 6 considered evil in Judaism?

I have heard from some sources that the number six is/can be construed as an evil number in Judaism, and as such, it should be avoided. Is there truth to this? If so, what is the reasoning behind ...
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1answer
40 views

How was the world created through the even shesiya?

In Yoma 54, it says the world was created with the Even Shesiya (primordial rock). Is this to be taken literally and if yes, do we have details into this process?
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21 views

Pairs of the Ramchal's works

Machon Ofek has published the Ramchal's Mesillas Yesharim (MY) as well as what they call The Mesillas Yesharim- Seder Vikuach which is essentially the same as the commonly known MY but in dialogue ...
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1answer
47 views

Dialogue Between Jews And Persians In Jewish Tradition

I always wonder what people refer to when they quote things spoken between the Jews and the Persians. Does ancient Jewish doctrine include instances of dialogue between the Jews and the Persians?
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0answers
23 views

How was Rosh Chodesh “observed” in Temple times?

Before there was a standardized calendar, and after the date of Rosh Chodesh could no longer be communicated by fires, when the sanctification of the new moon had to be transmitted over distances, was ...
7
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1answer
102 views

When and how was the Shulchan Aruch accepted

After the Shulchan Aruch was put together by the Beis Yosef and then following that with the glosses of the Rema, when did this sefer became "accepted" as the basis for deciding halachic matters in ...
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0answers
32 views

What powers and responsibilities do wives of Jewish kings have in relation to the public?

It is known that a Jewish king has to be male, as quoted by an answer to this question. What halachik powers did the queen (i.e. wife of the king) have within the kingdom? Also, what historical ...
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1answer
73 views

How to understand the texts that litterally speak of other gods and compares to G_d [duplicate]

Psalm 97:9 9 For You, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; You are very much exalted above all gods. There are many similar indications, that the Jews (at least in the time of the king ...
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2answers
88 views

When did Jews adopt the custom of saying “Baruch Hashem”?

When did Jews adopt the custom of saying "Baruch Hashem"? The only people who said B"H in the Chumash were non-Jews: Noah, Malkitzedek, Avimelech, Eliezer, Lavan, and Yitro!
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3answers
184 views

Prior to the Men of the Great Assembly (and after Moses, our teacher), could halacha be decided by prophecy?

I think that I remember hearing that during the times of the Men of the Great Assembly, it was decided that prophecy would no longer be used to determine halachic rulings, i.e that before then it was ...
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1answer
36 views

How early is Torah Or in Gemara?

When was Torah Or compiled/available, and if different, when was it originally copied and/or printed with the Gemara text? To clarify, this is not the chabad sefer Torah Or, but the references to ...
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0answers
54 views

Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague

Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague? (Allowing it, protesting it (they should have been killed and not do it)) From ...
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3answers
123 views

Why was there no ark in the second temple?

Since the exact dimensions of the ark - Aron - are mentioned in the Torah (Shmos 25:10 and on), why didn't they make one to replace the missing one in the 2nd Temple?
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0answers
40 views

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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75 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
48 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
62 views

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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0answers
64 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?
4
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1answer
88 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 ...
7
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3answers
2k 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
86 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 ...
7
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1answer
76 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
100 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
50 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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1answer
55 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 ...
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0answers
61 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 ...
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2answers
76 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
51 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
100 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 ...
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1answer
54 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 ...
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0answers
34 views

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
91 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 ...