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

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4
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1answer
35 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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votes
2answers
133 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
vote
0answers
44 views

Seemingly, my Dad was adopted out of a Jewish family into a protestant family just before World War 2. Why would this happen? [on hold]

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
votes
0answers
126 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
619 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
270 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
504 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 ...
6
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0answers
52 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
63 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?
16
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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 ...
17
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?
6
votes
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 ...
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
140 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
669 views

Sources for Hassidic views on marital celibacy/asceticism?

My understanding is the traditional view of Ger Hassidism was that marital celibacy was a good idea, once all procreative needs had been met. My impression is that Chabad-Lubavitch never advocated an ...
5
votes
0answers
248 views

List of oppressors of the Jewish people

We say in the V'hi She'amda passage of the Pesach Hagaddah that in each and every generation there have been those who rose up against us to destroy us, but Hashem saves us from their designs. Is this ...
4
votes
2answers
75 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
371 views

Did Rabbis Moshe Feinstein and Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ever meet in person? How many times? [closed]

Rav Moshe was in America, Rav Shlomo Zalman in Israel. Did they ever meet? Where and when? Do we have a photo of both of them together? (I know Rav Shlomo Zalman was asked to speak at Rav Moshe's ...
13
votes
2answers
325 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) ...
3
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0answers
44 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?
5
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
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votes
0answers
58 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?
5
votes
2answers
500 views

Do the Jews know the location of the omer of manna?

Do the Jews know the location of the omer of manna? Is there a story? Is it lost? It sure would be helpful in proving God to Atheists. Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the LORD has ...
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votes
6answers
6k views

Are there any Jewish people alive today who can identify themselves as coming from a particular tribe?

The Christian "New Testament" claims Paul (Saul) was of the tribe of Benjamin. Since Roman times have there been any people who can validly claim they were from a particular tribe? At least at that ...
7
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
45
votes
5answers
3k views

How do we know that the civil Saturday is the correct Shabbat?

Disclaimer: I am not a religious Jew, this question is only out of curiosity. I understand that observant Jews observe Shabbat from Friday night to Saturday. And from this question and this it seems ...
26
votes
8answers
5k views

Why is the Jewish Population so small?

Judaism is one of the oldest religions, but there aren't many Jews compared to Muslims and Christians. What are main reasons behind that?
0
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1answer
42 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

Has the Torah been changed over the ages?

It is quite a famous argument from Muslims for authenticity of the Quran that the previous Holy Books (Bible and Torah) sent by God have been corrupted or changed by their followers and that Quran is ...
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0answers
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
6
votes
2answers
253 views

Tu B'shvat Seder

Where did the idea of doing a Seder on Tu b'Shvat come from? Why a Seder, not just the eating of fruit? Why do we call it a Seder if there is no formalized way of doing it?
3
votes
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
votes
2answers
62 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?
5
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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 ...
12
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6answers
572 views

Can a convert be a prophet?

I don't think there were any gerim amongst the nevi'im, but would it have been possible?
3
votes
1answer
123 views

What was the name of Sarah's mother?

Seder Hadoros mentions Avraham's mother, how old Nachor was when Sarah was born, and even a Peshat that Lot was her brother, though no mention of Sarah's mother's name. Any other sources that mention ...
11
votes
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
329 views

Do we have any proof (Biblical or other Judaic) that current-day Arabs have lineage from Yishma'el?

I am relating my question to Hashem and Arabs. Offhand, I thought that Islam claims ties to Yisma'el. If true, I don't know how or why it makes that claim. If it's all Arabs, even non-Muslims, how do ...
5
votes
3answers
214 views

Esav & Yishma'el today

Historically, how did Esav come to be associated with Rome/Christianity? How did Yishma'el come to be associated with Arabs/Islam?
4
votes
1answer
94 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
votes
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
31 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Source of various versions of Haamek Davar [closed]

There are commonly used versions of Chumash Haamek Davar in which the respective Haamek Davar commentaries differ widely from one another. I mean that the differences are not a word here and a letter ...
6
votes
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 ...