The different traditions passed down through the generations.

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Rav Moshe Margolis

I'm currently making a Mesorah chart (I know there are some out there, I just wanted to do it myself). I've gotten all the way back to the Vilna Gaon's Rav, Rav Moshe Margolis, but I can't find any ...
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30 views

Why does the Torah write the 3rd person fem. pronoun as הוא? [duplicate]

Other than it being Massoretic, is there a reason as to why, in most cases, (See Avot Derabbi Natan 42:5 for list of exceptions) the Torah chooses to write the word for the fem. 3rd person as הוא ...
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Why do third-person singular female qal verbs lack a gaʿya?

The word הָיְתָ֣ה appears in the model Masoretic codices without a gaʿya on the initial ה in several places (e.g. Isaiah 1:21 in L [facsimile] & A). Likewise, זָכְרָ֥ה lacks a gaʿya (e.g. Nehamiah ...
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Does Rabbinic Literature misunderstand the infinitive absolute?

The infinitive absolute is a conjugation classified generally by a qametz under the first consonant, and a holem or holem - vav by the second. According to the Cambridge Introduction to Biblical ...
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Why is “(his) song” in Psalms 42:9 written in the feminine form?

In Psalms 42:9, (his) song is written with a ה yet apparently recited with a ו. Is there a significance to it being written in the feminine form?
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Why Pesucha between Lo Sisa and Zachor Es HaShabbos?

In the Aseres HaDibros in Yisro, why is there Pesucha at the end of Lo Sisa and before Zachor Es HaShabbos, while the rest are separated by stumos? Edit: Besides being out of place in Yisro, In V'...
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76 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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1answer
59 views

Are songbirds Kosher?

In Leviticus and Deuteronomy, there are sections that give a seemingly comprehensive list of non-Kosher birds. They are mainly birds of prey, not songbirds or birds like that. I know that there is no ...
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2answers
137 views

What is the basis that allows Rabbis to create laws?

I understand that the Torah gives instructions to obey Judges for legal cases and questions, but what is the basis that Rabbis have for creating new laws, such as for celebrating Chanukah with a ...
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Division of Parshiyot in Tanach – Same or Seperate Nevuah?

I had a question about the Masoretic divisions in the Tanach, specifically the "פ" and "ס" notations. I know that the division into chapters was a Christian development that has been accepted for ...
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Why can't we distribute mitzvah obligations around the community?

How do we know from the Torah that it would not be sufficient just to have some people doing davening, others doing negel vasser, others doing tzitzit, others doing chachnosas kallah, others doing ...
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Are the chaseiros and yiseiros (optional vowelizing letters) in our Torahs identical to the original? [duplicate]

In the introduction to the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, it says that it is an important belief that every letter of the Torah is the original as dictated by God to Moshe, and it says that every ...
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187 views

What is the total amount and count of pesukim in the Torah?

After much research, both on Israeli websites (here) and other locations, I have yet to figure out what the total amount of pesukim there are in the Torah. I've even physically counted the pesukim in ...
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157 views

Mesorah (Tradition) of Yemenite Jews

Yemenite Jews have a famous, longstanding affinity for Rambam. Before the time of Rambam, which rabbis were the most influential in Yemen? E.g. Rav Saadya Gaon, local rabbis, etc. Please provide ...
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Is there a historical, cultural, traditional, or scriptural explanation for the prevalence of Jews in the comedy business? [duplicate]

If you took the general demographic data for the U.S. and compared it to the demographics of professional comics and comedians in the U.S., I think you'd find that Jews are disproportionately ...
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68 views

Correct pronunciation on Jerusalem in Tehillim?

When Jersualem is חסר (no additional 'yud' at the end), in a Tehillim I have (Shai l'Moreh), it has a footnote that it should be pronounced the full way (Ye-RU-Sha-LaY-YIM) on Chapter 79 (and I think ...
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2answers
53 views

Does HaShem still do miracles in exile?

Are there any sources that HaShem still performs 'open miracles' even during the exile?
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List of petuchot and/or setumot in Eicha

This seems to be a stupid question to me but here goes. Does anyone have a list of the petuchot and setumot for Megillat Eicha? I am on a train for the next several hours and my beautiful Koren ...
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53 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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160 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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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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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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82 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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61 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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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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241 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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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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78 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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457 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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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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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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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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338 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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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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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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640 views

The Origins of the Zohar - Why is it accepted as being true?

I've read arguments and counter arguments for the origins of the Zohar and I'm perplexed. I personally accept the truths in kabbalah and chassidut, but I didn't realize how the Zohar sort of just "...
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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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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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295 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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181 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
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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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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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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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278 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 Sinai....
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192 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 l’...
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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 ...