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

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2
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0answers
163 views

What is the date ending the 700 years mentioned in these midrashim?

Based on this answer I was able to have some extra fun reading over Shabbat. First, I would like to say, that I was amazed as to how much of the material I was allready familiar with, mostly from ...
1
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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 ...
10
votes
2answers
757 views

Why was Chassidus controversial?

When Chassidus came about, it was very controversial. The Vilna Gaon even put Chassidim in cherem. What were the reasons for the controversy? And why is there peace and mutual respect today between ...
5
votes
3answers
181 views

History of Birkas haMinim

What is the history behind the bracha of v'lamalshim? Was there a specific ideology or group that the baracha was targeting? Why would someone davening to Hashem and saying the rest of the barachos ...
0
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1answer
43 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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0answers
22 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
218 views

Sitting or Standing for Kaddish - historical divergence between Conservative and Orthodox minhag

At most (maybe even all?) Conservative synagogues, the congregation remains seated during every kaddish (except mourner's kaddish, and then only mourners rise). At Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogues, the ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
610 views

Origin of Reform/Conservative “scarf” talleisim

I've noticed that Reform and Conservative often use small "scarf" talleisim (here's an image). Where did this practice originate? (Is there any connection to the scarves that some Christian priests ...
5
votes
3answers
185 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 ...
42
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3answers
814 views

Were slave-related commandments observed in America?

Since there was slavery in the Americas between their discovery and 1865, do we know of any Jewish slave-owners there who observed slavery-related laws of Judaism?
-2
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1answer
50 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?
6
votes
2answers
398 views

What is meant by the term “midina”/“provinces” as in the 127 ruled by Ahasuerus?

Esther 1:1 says: Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus -- he was the Ahasuerus who reigned from Hodu to Cush, one hundred twenty-seven provinces. For historical context, the period of the ...
1
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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
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
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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 ...
7
votes
4answers
121 views

Are there books and / or online sources that discuss how the Talmud was compiled?

There are a few aspects of the Talmud that I'm curious about: Someone compiled it. My history knowledge is poor. I understand that Rabbi Yehuda compiled the Mishna. I'm not sure who compiled the ...
1
vote
2answers
132 views

Book/s about apostasy throughout Jewish history

I am looking for book/s on the subject of apostasy throughout Jewish history. I haven't been able to find anything that focuses on this subject. I would appreciate any pointers What I have in mind ...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

Why do Sephardic Jews dress in black and white?

Many observant sephardim in Israel, especially those in yeshivot, dress in black and white. Does anyone know how this happened? There is no tradition of Jews in North Africa or in the Middle East ...
3
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Vilna Gaon on Sefer Devarim

Where does the Gra mention the idea that Sefer Devarim is split up into parshiot representing the centuries going into the 6000 millennium? There is another idea that Ki Tavo fits into the years of ...
7
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
125 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?
13
votes
2answers
356 views

How are the two tales of dancing in vinyards on the 15th of Av related?

The Mishna tells us (Taanis 26b) that on the 15th of Av, unmarried girls would borrow clothes, dance in the vineyard, and invite the unmarried men to choose them for marriage. The Talmud (Taanis 30b) ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

If the lulav and etrog are biblically mandated, how were people in cold climates able to obtain them before modern times?

The use of the 4 species in the lulav and etrog is biblically mandated. Therefore, when Jews left Israel and moved to cold climates such as northern and eastern Europe, they would have needed to ...
4
votes
2answers
90 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
76 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Was chicken originally considered pareve? If so, when and why was this changed?

I heard that chicken was originally considered pareve in the Bible, because it is a type of fowl (i.e. like fish it is pareve, as it is not 'meat'), and that only later was it changed to be meat ...
1
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0answers
55 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Source for the Usage of “Kabbalah”

What are the earliest sources that refer to Jewish mysticism in particular as "kabblah". (Preferably the answer should include an indication that the word was associated with this in particular, ...
3
votes
4answers
128 views

Book on Biblical Archeology

I'm looking to increase my knowledge of biblical archeology. As an orthodox jew, I'd prefer a book which takes a more traditional view with regards to the historicity of tanach. Any suggestions?
5
votes
2answers
607 views

Has the Ban of Rabbenu Gershom expired?

I have heard that the ban or cherem of Rabbenu Gershom has expired. Is this the case? If so, what are the ramifications vis–à–vis his enactments?
5
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
145 views

Were/are there any gedolim that do not wear a hat of some kind?

It seems like almost major rebbeim/poskim do/did ear some sort of additional head covering (black hat, streimel, cap, etc) for davening. If the practice is that universal among gedolim, that might ...
1
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0answers
49 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 ...
5
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0answers
155 views

Are Samaritans viewed as adherents of Judaism?

Shalom, In Judaism, particularly from an Orthodox perspective, are Samaritans seen as fellow Jews? Sometimes I see their religion referred to as 'Samaritanism', sometimes as Judaism. Also, is ...
9
votes
3answers
660 views

Did Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda wear tefilin that were Ktav Ari or Ktav Beit Yosef? What about his son?

The biographical sketch of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein that appears in the beginning of Igrot Moshe volume 8 states that his father, Rabbi Dovid Feinstein of Uzda, was born and raised Hassidic, but took on ...
13
votes
4answers
282 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
556 views

Winged sun symbol on Hezekiah coins/seals

The winged sun is an ancient symbol that originated in Egypt and Assyria. Why is it then that coins (or seals?) from Hezekiah have this symbol from gentile nations? Also Malachi 3:20 shows the ...
7
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0answers
66 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
0
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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?
17
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9answers
1k views

Avot keeping Mitzvot

How are we to understand the tradition that the patriarchs kept all of the mitzvot in the Torah (see for example the last mishna in Kidushin, Rashi Bereshit 32:5, etc.) in light of the many obvious ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

Why don't Jews think Jesus is the messiah?

Christians say that Jesus is the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament; Jews disagree. Why couldn't Jesus be the Messiah spoken of? Or could he possibly have been?
7
votes
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 ...
11
votes
8answers
4k views

How are Spartans the son of Abraham?

I was reading the Book of Maccabees (I and II) over Shabbat and in it there is a letter written to Sparta to ask for peace, goodwill and friendship. In the reply letter back from Sparta, they affirm ...
7
votes
1answer
145 views

From where do the maps of Kriyas Yam Suf come?

I have seen many maps showing where the Jews crossed "Yam Suf" (Usually translated as the Red Sea). Then they show where the Jews traveled, where is Mt. Sinai, where did the Jews encamp, etc. Where ...