Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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10
votes
5answers
7k views

Is a rabbi required to be married?

I have heard (I honestly cannot remember where...) that to be a rabbi a man must be married. Is there any truth to this? I am more interested in knowing if this was true in the first century C.E. ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Rabbis and Politics

Why do some of the Israeli Left (politically) argue that they believe in the teachings of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai over the teachings of Rabbi Akiva?
4
votes
3answers
400 views

How do I find answers to sensitive questions I can't ask my rabbi?

I have a halachic question of a sexual nature that I feel I can't ask my rabbi. Where can I get such questions answered? Are there rabbis knowledgeable in this area who are willing to answer ...
-4
votes
1answer
80 views

Which Rabbi claimed he was metaphorically born at the top of a mountain?

I once heard that a rebbe claimed that his great levels were compared to a child born at the top of a mountain. Does anyone know where this is recorded?
12
votes
5answers
5k views

Why did nobody succeed the Lubavitcher Rebbe?

The late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt"l had no successor as the rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. Why is this? Was it simply because he had no children? If so, why was nobody else ...
1
vote
5answers
211 views

Has a gadol be'Torah ever drastically changed his type of avodas Hashem? [closed]

I know that my question is a bit broad and maybe abstract but I'm not sure how to phrase it better. I'm looking for any change in avodah. It can be a change in which group of Jews he associated with ...
10
votes
1answer
432 views

Are there any Synagogues or Rabbis available in Pakistan?

There was once a very thriving Jewish community available in Pakistan. There was a Synagogue in the port city of Karachi as well till 1985. What is the current situation now? What if someone would ...
3
votes
3answers
287 views

What are the main source texts for the chavruta and teacher-student models in Jewish learning?

I'm working on an outline for a short presentation on how new online tools, especially this site, interact with the traditional Jewish learning models of chavruta and teacher-student. What are the ...
9
votes
8answers
298 views

Beginner on Rav Soloveitchik

I am looking to delve into the teachings of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993). Any recommendations on a good starting point?
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Is this the Chofetz Chaim? [closed]

What is the story behind this picture being known as the image of the great Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan(Chafetz Chaim)? Is it him in fact? Where does it come from? The only true picture (that I am ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

History of waiting for the Rav / Rabbi to finish Shemona Esrei

Rama - Orach Chaim 124:3 says that the one leading the prayers should not wait for the respected people to finish their Tefila. Mishna Berura 13 - says the reason is because of Tircha D'tzibura. ...
6
votes
2answers
314 views

How can all the great rabbis' practices be accepted by Hashem? [duplicate]

This may seem like a child's question, but it's one I never thought to ask as a child, so I never learned the answer. Rabbinic traditions — even within continuous geographical lineages amongst ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Can the Rav enforce his own made-up rule as a “penalty”?

Several years ago, while making a trip to the Catskill area, I stopped near the large shul in Woodbridge, NY (I forgot its name). The rabbi has a reserved parking spot across the street from the shul. ...
-3
votes
1answer
39 views

Adding “rav” to ploni's father's name

When he was studying in Israel, my father purchased monogrammed tallit bags in Me'ah She'arim for himself and for his father, ז”ל. On both bags, the form used is "Ploni b"r (ben harav) Ploni". neither ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

gedolim on “The Jazz Singer”

The film The Jazz Singer is about a Jewish boy who goes off the derech and portrays him positively. What was the contemporary (1927) rabbinic response to the film and did cantor Yosselle Rosenblatt ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Can one cite divrei torah in the name of a rabbi who has gone astray?

In the most recent issue of Jewish Action, there is a brief interview with R. Herschel Schachter about HALACHAH AND THE FALLEN RABBI. The final question is JA: Can we/should we continue to cite ...
8
votes
1answer
227 views

Rav vs. Rabbi in Talmudic Times

I was reading about the life of Rabbi Zera, and it said he was originally a Rav. The Rabbis of Eretz Yisrael offered to confer on him the title of Rabbi and at first he refused, until they told of ...
11
votes
2answers
450 views

What rabbinic/Judaic scholar has the lowest Erdős number? [closed]

From Wikipedia: The Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers. ... Due to the very high ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Could you translate this Hebrew poetry to English? [closed]

Shalom aleichem, Could you translate this Hebrew poetry to English? I listened to this poetry (but in form of a song) in Idan Raichel's first album. It is of R. Shlomo Shabezi. Im Tepetzchah (If ...
6
votes
3answers
899 views

Reb Moshe Feinstein in the New York Times

Reb Moshe Feinstein was once interviewed by the New York Times where he answered questions like how does Klal Yisroel know who is a Gadol? Does anyone know when it was, and does anyone know where I ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

Does the name Rami (רמי‎) have a meaning based in Judaism? If so, what is it?

Does the name Rami (רמי‎), as used by figures in the Talmud such as Rami bar Papa and Rami bar Chama, have a meaning based in Judaism? If so, what is it? If רמ means high or exalted, does רמי mean my ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Od (Ovadyia) Yosef Chai - what is the idea behind the movement

I saw in Tzfat a car adorned with signs saying עוד יוסף חי - with a big picture of Rav Ovadia Yosef. I was informed by someone going to Yeshiva there that this is some kind of nascent Jewish (not ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Letter of Rav Yechezkel Landau

There was a letter written by Rav Yechezkel Landau to the followers of Reb Yonason Eibeshitz after the whole debacle between their leader and Reb Yaakov Emden. I have seen a few English versions of ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Why is the term שליט“א more commonly used for a rav than the term נ”י?

As a follow up to this answer to a M.Y. question, why is שליט"א more commonly used after a notable Rav's name than the term נירו יאיר (or נ"י, as an abbreviation)? A wise person, such as a rav is ...
7
votes
3answers
585 views

Do Rabbis have to be Jewish by ethnicity?

I am under the impression that a person can be received into Judaism from a gentile nation. My question is whether or not that person could conceivably then become a Rabbi? Please indicate whether ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Was the Aruch Hashulchan Sephardic?

No, wait. Before you shake your head in disgust and think, "What are you thinking? Of course he's Ashkenaz!"consider what he writes in סימן מז סעיף יב: ברכה ראשונה היא: "אשר קדשנו במצותיו, וצונו ...
0
votes
0answers
162 views

Mekubal in New York

I am looking for an authenticated mekubal in New York who is also a Torah scholar and can assist me with a pressing personal issue.
2
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

What sort of options are available for pursuing a career in Torah? [closed]

For someone that has a degree in a common field like accounting or law and has decided to look for work in a different field, are there any options available in the Torah field? By this I don't mean ...
4
votes
3answers
100 views

Is there a guideline to knowing when to consult a rabbi and when to use your own judgement?

Sometimes when I get a life dilemma I wonder if it's something I should be asking my rabbi or decide on my own. When it's a matter of Torah and Judaism then it's fairly clear that the rabbi should be ...
17
votes
5answers
550 views

Can we argue with gedolim when we are sure that we are right?

I recently saw a teshuva by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Ohrach Chaim Volume 1 Teshuva 109, that quotes a letter from Rabbi Menashe Klein asking a question on Rabbi Moshe's psak but saying that he does not ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Disagreeing with one's rebbe

We all have Rabbeim that we ask questions to. Is one allowed to disagree with his rebbe if he feels that his rebbe's viewpoint is incorrect?
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a Jewish grandmother (mother's side) really get one accepted as a Jew?

My grandmother (mother's side) is 100% Jewish and even living in Israel. As far as I know, that makes, me a Jew, too. But it feels a little bit strange to say that I am Jewish just because my ...
13
votes
1answer
643 views

The history of the Sephardic Chief Rabbi's outfit

The role of Rishon LeZion, otherwise known as the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, seems to include wearing a traditional robe and turban. Related to this question, this outfit is distinct from the ...
0
votes
2answers
56 views

Earliest ban issued by a sage in the torah

What is the earliest source in the Torah where a leader/sage made a ban against something and people ignored what he said?
2
votes
0answers
57 views

Picking and choosing Hashkafa

Can one decide to follow for example the Rambam's more rational Hashkafic approach and then the Ramban for other Hashkafic ideas even though they clearly disagree? I've heard that by practical ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Causing Rabbis Bitul Torah

Why is it not considered causing Bitul Torah if I invite Roshei Yeshivos to my wedding- let alone that not all will receive a recital of Berochos?
5
votes
2answers
357 views

When was the Meiri discovered?

According to Wikipedia, the Meiri was rediscovered in modern times. I assume that means in the 20th century or so. However, Hebrewbooks has a copy of the Meiri from 1795. I don't know if that was the ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Was Rabbi Yossei a member of Beth Shammai?

Was Rabbi Yossei a member of Beth Shammai? I am talking about the Rabbi Yossei of Berakhot Perek 2 Mishna 3. He is opposed in this Mishna to Rabbi Yehuda, a member of Beth Hillel.
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Baba Sali and his Torah chiddushim

I can not find any Torah writings from the Baba Sali. Does anybody know where I can find his Torah?
9
votes
3answers
221 views

Under whom did these Rabbis study?

In an effort to trace back Rabbi-to-student transmission of tradition, I've run into some dead ends, and I'm hoping the community can offer some leads. Under whom did the following Rabbis study? ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Notable Rabbanim and Thanksgiving

I know (from a friend who attends) that the Maimonides, the school founded by R' Soloveitchik, observes Thanksgiving. Did the Rav, or any other notable American Rabbanim, observe Thanksgiving?
6
votes
2answers
54 views

Why do different halachic authorities arrive at conflicting rulings?

Rabbi A says strawberries are ha'adama; Rabbi B says that strawberries are Ha'etz. The halachic texts are replete with such differences in "opinion". What's the underlying reason that different ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

Source for Dubno Maggid's rebuke of the Vilna Gaon?

In a shiur I heard that the Vilna Gaon begged the Dubno Maggid to give him mussar (rebuke) after repeatedly declining the Maggid responded that It is not so difficult to be a Gaon, cloistered in ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Is showing excessive honor to Gedolim idolatry?

At what point is the kavod shown toward the Gedolim considered idolatry? Terms like 'Gadolatry' are sometimes used as if to indicate that too much respect is being shown for certain rabbis to the ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

Why do some Rabbis wear a black frock coat?

How did the black frock coat come to be garb of some roshei yeshivos and other senior rabbis? Related Did "Litvish" frock coats button left-on-right? and Haredi clothing
0
votes
2answers
141 views

Do you know of a Rabbi who rejects modern technology?

A little bit like the Amish... I just want to know if such an ideology exists in Judaism. I know that the Hatam Sofer and Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein opposed modern philosophy, maybe one Rabbi opposed ...
4
votes
2answers
257 views

Gedole HaDor: who and how

1)Who do we know to refer to as a "Gadol?" 2)How do we determine who is a "Gadol?" For example, how did we determine that Rav Elyashiv is a Gadol? A Gadol HaDor is known as one of the most ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

the nature of an argument between the Wurtzberger rov and Rav Shamshon Refoel Hirsch

Does anyone know the nature of a famous argument between the Wurtzberger rov and Rav Shamshon Refoel Hirsch? I think it was to do with the extent a kehilah must follow thier rov or vice versa.