The different traditions passed down through the generations.

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Mesorah exchange between communities

Based on this thread What exactly prevents Ashkenazim from accepting Mesorah from other communities on things that we have not done in our own community? Taking an extreme reverse example, can ...
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155 views

How do I know if a midrash is accepted?

I have found many different types of midrashic works. Some are, as far as I can tell, accepted as being authoritative. Meaning they were written (compiled?) by the sages in roughly the talmudic era. ...
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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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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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152 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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Siddur for Skolyer Chasidim

Is there a specific siddur for the minhag of the Skolyer Chasidim (Chasidim of Ukrainian town of Skole)?
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93 views

Dagesh for adornment

On Sh'mos 2:3 and 15:17, Minchas Shay notes that הַצְּפִינוֹ and מִקְּדָשׁ have a dagesh in their respective second letters "for adornment (tif'eres)". Is this aural or visual adornment? How/Why is ...
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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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Shin on Tefilin - changed in Belz?

I recently heard that in Belz they changed the Shin on the Tefilin Shel Rosh due to an old pair that was found that the Rebbi believed to be the true Mesorah. Is this true? How does the new Shin ...
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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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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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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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107 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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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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How did the knowledge of the pronunciation of the Divine Name get lost?

I have heard that there are, in theory, 22 different ways to pronounce the Divine four-letter Name (Yud Key Vav Key) of Hashem and that the one correct way to say the Name has been lost. How did that ...
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Who were the pre-Lekh Likha righteous men?

BS"D In Hilkhoth Avodhah Zarah RaMBaM lists the central figures in the transmission of ethical monotheism, and I was wondering if there were any other figures in our mesora not mentioned. Since the ...
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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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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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75 views

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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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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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 ...