The different traditions passed down through the generations.

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Why are all pronunciations of each letter voiced or voiceless?

There are differing m'soros (religiously significant traditions) about the right way to pronounce various letters of the alphabet when praying or reading the Torah. (There are even more ways that the ...
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1answer
41 views

Kri / K'tiv - Why were they created to start? [duplicate]

There are numerous places in the Torah (as well as the rest of Tanac"h) that have ktiv / kri conflicts. The word is written one way but pronounced differently. For example, Numbers 1:16: אֵ֚לֶּה ...
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110 views

What were Alter Halpern's main issues with Marcus Jastrow's Dictionary?

I have heard that Alter Halpern, a Rabbi in England, published an article or kuntres presenting issues with Marcus Jastrow's Dictionary (for the Talmud, midrash, targum), i.e Sefer HaMilim. What ...
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56 views

Could any of the lamed-vovniks be a non-Jew?

I am referring to the concept of Tzadikim Nistarim (lamed-vovniks)—the 36 hidden saints in the world because of whose righteousness the world continues to exist—addressed in this passage: As a ...
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1answer
54 views

Rabbi Akiva and Ketarim

In Menachos the Gemara relates the Moshe asked Hashem about the meaning of the "crowns" on many Hebrew letters as written in the Torah. Hashem then gives the following response: אמר לו, אדם אחד יש ...
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1answer
63 views

Tracing the Tradition of HaRaM"A (Moshe Isserles)

In tracing the tradition of HaRav Shimshon Rafa'el Hirsch, I arrived at the famed RaM"A (Rav Moshe Isserles) with help from the beloved MY community. As Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen mentions having done in ...
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1answer
50 views

Tracing the Tradition of HaRav Shimshon Rafa'el Hirsch

I'm not sure if this is the proper forum for such an investigation; but, I'll pose the question and find out. I'm trying to trace the tradition received by HaRav Shimshon Rafa'el Hirsch through the ...
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52 views

Vegan tekheileth

Does the oral tradition that identifies the hilazon as the source of tekheles necessarily indicate that one could not create the indigo-colored wool by other means? The gemara certainly indicates that ...
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77 views

Which Knot to Use on Tefillin Shel Rosh

When I was a child, I saw that all people had the same knot on their Tefillin Shel Rosh - a Double Daled (Ashkenazi community). Recently I saw a comment that even those who grew up with a Double ...
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52 views

Why no number of p'sukim for P'kude?

Many copies of Chumash list, after each parasha (weekly reading), the number of verses in that parasha. By and large, they omit it for parashas P'kude; why? (And if the answer is that they copy the ...
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67 views

Parents teaching children or children teaching parents?

Regarding והגדת לבנך, and you shall tell to your children (Shemos 13:8), on Pesach night: 1) What is the mitzvah of והגדת לבנך and how does one fulfill it according to halacha? 2a) Why do yeshivos ...
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116 views

What is the source that forbids indecent dress by women?

I have been hardpressed finding a source for something that would seem to be such a well known Halacha. I (and most other too probably) have been brought up with the belief that it is forbidden for a ...
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59 views

Source for the oral traditions in Megillas Esther?

I'm trying to understand where the Rabbis in tractate Megillah get their information. I thought that the way they interpret the five books of Moses was because they already knew all the laws and ...
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3answers
171 views

Have any of you ever heard anyone pronouncing ayin as “ng”?

I have read historically the letter ayin was pronounced by some Dutch, Portuguese, and Italian Jews as a velar nasal consonant (ng as in sing). Reference to this can be found here, here, and here. I ...
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63 views

Nusach Ashkenaz in Israel and Abroad

Over the years, I've noticed a number of differences between Ashkenaz siddurim published in Israel and those published outside of Israel. These differences include (but are not limited to): Order of ...
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235 views

Is one allowed to become a Talmid HaRambam?

There is a movement of people (including several MiYodeya users I've seen) who believe in following the teachings of the Rambam exclusively, basing their practical halachot off the Mishneh Torah, ...
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64 views

Is there still a mesora on how to write the Torah in Greek?

Do we still have a mesora for the translation of the Torah into Greek, and if so, is this the LXX/Septuagint commonly used by Gentiles? Do we still have a mesorah for any other seforim into Greek?
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98 views

Tanach without Christian chapter divisions

Is there a Tanach available that is not divided into Prakim, rather into Pesuchos or Sedorim etc. ? The nonJewish origin of the chapters is shown at Who Divided the Torah Into Weekly Readings, ...
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316 views

Zohar Origins - Why is it accepted as emes?

I've read arguments and counter arguments for the origins of the Zohar and I'm perplexed. I accept the truths in kabbalah and chassidut, but I didn't realize how it sort of just appeared one day in ...
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416 views

Is it possible for mesorah to be discovered?

Suppose there was a previously unknown collection of midrash or sayings or halachah or commentary that was discovered in an archaeological excavation and is hundreds or thousands of years old. ...
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2answers
76 views

Mesorah of Rabbeinu Gershom

Rabbeinu Gershom, whose takkanot are considered binding by many Ashkenazim, is often the earliest name which I hear being cited in relation to the Ashkenazi mesorah. From whom was his mesorah, if ...
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1answer
173 views

Is this chart of the mesorah of Torah available in English?

Does anyone know if this chart of the mesora of Torah is available in English? or if there is anything like it in English?
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2answers
155 views

Are there any letters that do not have a distinct pronunciation?

Are there any two letters which do not have a distinction between their pronunciation in any tradition of pronunciation? To ask the inverse, is there at least one tradition of pronunciation for each ...
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3answers
135 views

How do we know that The Hebrew Bible of today is substantially the same as the original writings?

The Bible was written over a period of 1600 years, Torah was written 3500 years ago. There are few claims that it could change over the period of time. So how do we know that The Hebrew Bible of ...
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CYLOR and Mesorah

Assume that someone has a she'elah, however their local rabbi does not follow their mesorah. How would one approach the issue of a psak? For example, let's say my LOR is a Chabad shaliach and I need ...
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How can there be machlokes in gezairah shavos?

The Gemara says (Nidah 19b, among other places), אין אדם דן גזירה שווה מעצמו - a person can't make up gezaira shavos, they have to have been learned from one's teacher. If so, how can there ever be a ...
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101 views

How did the mesorah for techeles get lost?

It seems odd that something like the tradition for techeles could have been lost. It seems unlikely that Jews just stopped using techeles at some point and then immediately forgot. Are there no ...
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100 views

Who were the Nistarim?

It has been documented that there is a group of righteous people called "The Nistarim". I am not referring to the lammed vav tzaddikim of the Gemara (Sanhedrin 97b, Sukkah 45b). Rather, a mystical ...
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Naming children after opposite gender [duplicate]

Are there any issues with naming a boy after a woman, or a girl after a man? We do see many examples of people making male names more feminine e.g. Daniella, Gavriella. I once heard that the latter ...
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4answers
229 views

Mesorah of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

I'm looking for a chain of mesorah for the Lubavitcher Rebbe. That is, he learned from someone, who learned from someone, who learned from someone, etc. until Moshe who received the Torah at Har ...
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125 views

Authenticity of Halacha l'Moshe MiSinai

How do we know that a Halacha which is claimed to have been given to Moshe at Sinai actually was? Especially in cases where it seems to contradict the Written Torah given at Sinai? A Halacha ...
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How are there arguments over how God works?

How can there be arguments over basic, major points in Jewish machshavah? How do we not all agree (and by "all", I mean all major primary sources) over how God works? How did this not come through in ...
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I thought Gezeirah Shavah requires Mesorah

In Masecheth Rosh Hashanah (9b), the Gemara uses a Gezeirah Shavah from Tishrei, with the word שנה, to support the Mishnah's ruling that 'Orlah is counted from Tishrei. In response, however, the ...
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1answer
67 views

Page numbers in sefarim

Is there a reason for pages in sefarim being numbered using Arabic numerals (e.g. 1, 2, 3…) in comparison with the Hebrew numeration using letters? What is the earliest source for Arabic numerals ...
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164 views

Adopting minhagim not from your mesorah

Is it appropriate to adopt minhagim that have historically not been observed by your community? Examples Ashkenazim pointing to the sefer Torah, usually with the pinky, during hagbah (after Krias ...
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151 views

what is the source for the artscroll sidur?

what is the mesorah for the artscoll ashkenaz siddur? Is this the same nusach ashkenaz that was used in previous generations?
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1answer
96 views

If we lost smicha, isn't our mesora broken?

We assume, and indeed our religion is predicated largely, on the fact that we have an unbroken chain of transmission from Moshe at Har Sinai. Originally, and until the times of the Gemara (as most ...
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123 views

Hammurabi in Jewish sources

The Hammurabi code is one of the oldest preserved codes of law dating back to 1772 BCE. This is roughly the time after the flood (-2105BCE), the tower of Bavel (1765BCE) and the Patriarchs. Although ...
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67 views

A word seems to be written in an unusual way in Psalm 60,2

Why is there a medial mem rather than a final mem at the end of the word "aram" in Psalm 60:2? (Please see screenshot below.)
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2answers
274 views

What is the Anshei Knesset HaGedolah?

I've heard many things about this "Great Assembly," mostly about how they established davening (prayers). However, there appears to be a lack of specific information about this institution. So: ...
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Is it a problem of al titosh Torah imecha if you use a different nusach hagadah than your family's minhag?

Is it a problem of "al titosh Torah imecha" if you use a different nusach hagadah than your family's minhag?
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2answers
129 views

Laining Tehillim

I would just like to know - is there a mesorah for Tehillim trop for Ashkenazim? I know that there is a Sefaradi one (I have heard them) but I would like to know if there is any Askenazi one. Thank ...
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61 views

List of Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai

Is there a comprehensive list of things in the Talmud that are "halachot limosheh misinai"- laws that were passed down from Moshe through the generations? An example of such is tefilin needing to be ...
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3answers
2k 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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207 views

Soft Matzah for Ashkenazim

The Rama in 460:4 writes that one should make thin matzos and the Mishna Brurah 16 writes it should be thin. Rav Nebontzol (in his notes on the Mishna Brurah) points out the Be'er Heitiv 8 which ...
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1answer
57 views

What is the correct vocalization for Megillas Ester 3:6

What is the correct pronunciation for the third word of Megillas Ester 3:6, "‎ויבז בעיניו לשלח יד במרדכי לבדו…‏‎"? Is it with a Patach under the ח or without it? I have seen many ...
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0answers
102 views

When was the modern manuscript for the Torah agreed upon?

(This question is also asked here on history.SE for a different perspective.) Considering that variations have occurred in the Torah's text over time (I think the Gemara may mention events where a ...
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1answer
97 views

Authenticity of Nach

Is it the general belief that Nach is unchanged since it was written? That the transmission of Nach is as reliable as that of Torah? What types of methods are in place to ensure its accuracy and ...
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2answers
101 views

Isaiah 8:11: “kaf” or “bet”?

It seems that two versions of Isaiah 8:11 exist. One has "כחזקת היד" -- this is the version in the Aleppo (shown above) and Leningrad codices: ...
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4answers
331 views

Rishonim/Achronim time period differentiation

When was the end of the Rishonim time period and the start of the achronim time period? Who, what, why, and how did this come about? What caused this abrupt change in deemed mental and halachot ...