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

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0
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1answer
44 views

Source for not putting everyone in a kollel

I heard from a friend a while ago that there are scholars who believe that putting people into kollel, or everyone studying torah all day on general, is something new in Judaism, that it stemmed from ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Proverbs 8:22-31. Woman Wisdom personified or actual being?

In Proverbs 8:22-31, a figure known as "Woman Wisdom" is described as being present when G-d was creating the world. Obviously, "Woman Wisdom" serves as a great personification to teach about the ...
3
votes
1answer
102 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; ״כוש״...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Cherubim & Ark of Cov. description paralleled to (or inspired by) Egyptians?

I'm wondering why the cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant, as referenced in Exodus 25:20, 1 Kings 8:6, 2 Chronicles 5:7, etc., are explicitly described with outstretched wings? I believe that ...
0
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2answers
421 views

Any famous Jews named Muhammad, Mahmud, Mehmet, etc.?

There is a halacha that one may not name a child after an evildoer, a principle known as shem reshaim yirkav taken from Yoma 38b ("ועל בן קמצר וחביריו נאמר ושם רשעים ירקב", cf. Mishlei 10:7). Later ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Were there non-Jewish prophets? If yes, who were they and what were their purpose?

Do Jewish scriptures mention any non-Jewish prophet? If yes, what kind of message did those Prophet's preach(was it identical with Judaism for example?) and what were their purpose in general?
2
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0answers
12 views

Throwing dust on head = common mourning ritual?

In Job 2:12, when Job's friends first see Job at a distance, they "did not recognize him, and they raised their voices, and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads....
5
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1answer
200 views

Shofar from ibex horn?

I have the 2015 calendar from the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, and today I noticed that the September page has a picture of a shofar made from an ibex horn. The calendar dates it to 1850-...
2
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1answer
82 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, ...
7
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4answers
264 views

Why were there no Jewish philosophy tracts until the Rasag?

Jews had their first bump into philosophy when Alexander the Great conquered Israel (in the early Tanaic period). Since then, we lived under the Greeks and Romans for a few hundred years. Both of ...
4
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2answers
249 views

Me'or Einayim-The Maharal

What was the reason that the Me'or Einayim by Azariah deRossi's was considered problematic and what is its Historical development and signifigance of this book Basicly what was all the fuss about?
22
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10answers
2k views

Archeological proof of Exodus?

Is there empirical proof that the exodus from Egypt and related happenings (like Har Sinai etc) did in fact occur (i.e: Archeological proof)? I believe in the Torah, but how would you prove to someone ...
10
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1answer
2k views
1
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1answer
82 views

?חד גדיא ,הגדה--מי יודע

My question is about the history of the Passover song Chad Gadya. I have long suspected this song was originally conceived as a pastiche of Echad Mi Yodeya--the thematic, musical, and phonetic ...
0
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2answers
178 views

greek philosophy and Judaism

Why is it that the Rishonim and many Achronim used to be fluent in philosophy (mainly Greek) and these days it's unheard of, is it due to our weakness but is really allowed?
2
votes
2answers
50 views

Did God create all animals in pairs?

I can't find any proof about how many animals of every kind were created in the creation of the world. Is that information mentioned anywhere? Before this question, I mistakenly thought that the ...
-1
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0answers
24 views

Were the Rabbi's required to be married men with a family? [duplicate]

Were the Rabbi's during the 1st Century AD, and after, required to be men of families, and thus obviously married, having therefore insight into counseling others with inter-family issues to be ...
6
votes
2answers
150 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

In which historical periods was it allowed to pronounce the tetragrammaton?

We know that Boaz introduced the possibility of greeting people using the tetragrammaton. The Mishnah in Berochos 54a says והתקינו שיהא אדם שואל את שלום חברו בשם שנאמר והנה בעז בא מבית לחם ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

How did Chazal attain its continued acceptance?

My question is: How did Chazal attain its authority? More specifically, how did the Pharisees who evolved into Chazal beat out the Sadducees who would later become practically extinct (some say that ...
19
votes
10answers
3k views

How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?

How does human history fit in with the Torah's timeline? (This is not about why the universe and Earth look so old.) There is extensive evidence of a human population and human civilizations from ...
-5
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1answer
145 views

Which nation in this prophecy of Haggai will shake nations and will be given peace(שָׁלוֹם) [closed]

The following verse in the Torah prophesizes about a nation which will be given "peace" and coming of a praised being: and I will shake all nations, and the choicest(חֶמְדַּת ) things of all ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

When in history were sermons generally given only twice a year (Shabbat HaGadol and Shabbat Shuva)?

I have often heard the statement that, historically, rabbis gave sermons only twice a year, on Shabbat HaGadol and Shabbat Shuva. My Jewish Learning and Judaism 101 are among the places where I have ...
6
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2answers
205 views

Why is the Aruch Hashulchan on Even Haezer incomplete?

The Aruch Hashulchan is written on the whole Shulchan Aruch, and even has sections on Halacha that is not currently applicable (Aruch Hashulchan Ha'asid). Yet he never finished Even Haezer. Why?
9
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3answers
1k views

Why did God do nothing against the Romans that desecrated the Temple?

When good guy made a mistake, like Uzzah trying to fix the ark, God killed him (see II Samuel 6:6). However, Uzzah does not seem that evil. I mean, the ark stumbled and he just tried to help. Then, ...
-1
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0answers
16 views

Pre- vs. Post-1960s Catholicism's views on Judaism [migrated]

Why did the Catholic Church change its views regarding Judaism at the 1960s (spec. at the Second Vatican Council with its document Nostræ Ætate)?
4
votes
1answer
195 views

How did the Oral Torah survive the years after Joshua died?

In the Book of Judges 2:10 it says that after the death of Joshua and his generation, "there arose another generation after them, who knew not Hashem nor the deed which He had done for Israel." ...
7
votes
4answers
786 views

Illegitimacy in 18th-19th century Europe

I have been capturing genealogical information (Birth, Marriage, Death, Tombstones) in the Spis Region of Slovakia, which includes Jews who migrated from Galicia, parts of Hungary, or were living in ...
17
votes
2answers
566 views

What was wrong with the word Talmud?

The Wikipedia article on The Talmud says: and Pope Pius IV commanded, in 1565, that the Talmud be deprived of its very name. The convention of referring to the work as "Shas" (shishah sidre ...
3
votes
3answers
228 views

When and why did the custom that a Nidda hides from the public that she is a Nidda start

I understand that in the past it was not hidden from the public that a Nidda was a Nidda, as they wore special clothing. As we see the רע"ב's explanation in the Mishna in Kethubot 7:6 ...
7
votes
1answer
273 views

A cryptic Seder HaDoros regarding to the year of Jesus' birth

Regarding the year of Jesus' birth, it says in Seder HaDoros (Year 3724) that the year 3724 and the year (3)532 are really the same. What in the world does he mean? Its in the first column first ...
11
votes
5answers
389 views

Just how overpriced was Efron's burial cave anyway?

In B'reishit 23 Avraham pays 400 shekels to Efron for the cave of Machpelah. This seems to be an enormous amount of money and Rashi suggests it's even worse than it appears (referring to larger ...
46
votes
5answers
952 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
votes
1answer
65 views

Did the 12 sons of Jacob marry outside the jewish race to start off their families?

Did the 12 sons of Jacob marry outside the Jewish race to start off their families?
1
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1answer
50 views

What are Hebrew manuscripts important to us for, today?

What's the importance of Jewish manuscripts for us, today? Apparently many of these are dispersed in libraries, monasteries, and of course the Vatican, and one wonders whether there's value in ...
18
votes
12answers
2k views

What are the oldest Jewish songs (tune plus words) that are still popular today?

When I say "song", I mean the combination of tune and words; and yes I'm probably thinking Ashkenazically here. It seems like any European old-timer I've met knows the "good old fashioned" tune for ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

What form was the Torah before Sinai

Chazal say the Torah was studied before Sinai. (ex. by Adam and Eve as explained here. Likewise chazal say the Patriarchs studied Torah from Shem ben Noach.) In what form was this pre-Torah? It ...
5
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2answers
113 views

Is there an online database of early manuscripts of the Tanakh?

As a student of textual and historical criticism of the Christian scriptures, I am interested in seeing the earliest extant copies of the texts. There are a number of sites devoted to providing ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

What scribal variations (decorations etc) have changed from the earliest sifrei torah until now?

This article reports on the identification of what is possibly the oldest complete sefer torah we have, dated c.1155-1225, at the University of Bologna. (The scroll was previously thought to date to ...
-1
votes
2answers
205 views

Did Jews kill any of their prophet?

Qur'an accuses Jews of killing their prophets: And [recall] when you said, "O Moses, we can never endure one [kind of] food. So call upon your Lord to bring forth for us from the earth its green ...
28
votes
6answers
1k views

Where does the concept of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism come from?

What is the source of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism? Are there people who disagree with its existence? Who was the first to mention it? What I am asking essentially is what is the historical ...
4
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
1
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0answers
38 views

When was the Beith Hamiqdash hasheni fully completed?

What year was the second Beith Hamiqdash fully completed? Can any one of you answer back with both Hebrew and Secular dates?
9
votes
2answers
326 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 ...
17
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2answers
455 views

Are there any halachic authorities which relate to the non-mechitza, pre-1967 prayers which were held at the Kotel?

There are various pictures pre-dating the 1967 Six Day War, available on the Internet and in various scholarly sources, clearly showing free mixing among the genders at the Kotel (Western Wall) in the ...
4
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0answers
138 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Was it a non-Jew who first discovered the principles governing the ta'ame ha-miqra?

I wrote to a very well respected and knowledgeable Rav regarding grammatical functions of the te'amim and the discrepancies that exist between the Sephardic and Ashkenazic systems. His response ...
6
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0answers
98 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the earliest source/discussion on green beans being “kitniyot” (prohibited legumes) on Passover?

My understanding is that most Ashkenazic communities today don't eat green beans on Passover, treating them as kitniyot (a bunch of legumes for which the custom arose to avoid on Passover). What's the ...
9
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0answers
86 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 ...