Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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5
votes
1answer
78 views

Consulting a local orthodox rabbi if there isn't one?

For questions where I'm supposed to consult my local orthodox rabbi, if there isn't one, what am I supposed to do? There is a LOR in the city where I live (a Chabad shliach) but he frequently declares ...
4
votes
1answer
52 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: ...
2
votes
0answers
17 views

What is Kabbalos Pnei Rabo?

There is an obligation to visit ones Rebbe on holidays (see here for details) However the mitzvah or obligation that we know of, what does this mean exactly? Is it enough if I "see" my Rebbe even if ...
12
votes
1answer
418 views

Shul Ravs: What is job outlook like and how much do they make

How much do Shul Rabbis get paid? Are there job opportunities in smaller communities out of New York, for people looking to go into the Rabbinate?
2
votes
0answers
53 views

The difference between Chazal and Razal

I have heard it said before that Chazal (חז"ל = חכמינו זכרונם לברכה; "our sages of blessed memory") refers to sages of the Mishna and Gemara, while Razal (רז"ל = רבנים/נו זכרונם לברכה; "our/the ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

Story of Rabbi Who Burned Out His Eyes

I once heard a story about a rabbi who was given a test by God, in which the Satan was sent in the form of a beautiful woman to entice him. He would not look at the Satan, and when pressed, he had one ...
6
votes
3answers
142 views

Custom of Rov speaking before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos

I've been in a number of shuls where the Rov of the shul will get up before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos and say some sort of "drasha". Sometimes it was connected to the parsha or inyunei d'yoma (i.e. ...
3
votes
1answer
96 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
258 views

Do “most leading Orthodox rabbis” really hold that brain-stem death is death?

According to a recent NYTimes piece on the new organ donation law in Israel, Most leading Orthodox rabbis -- as well as Israeli law -- agree that a person dies when his brain-stem stops ...
5
votes
2answers
269 views

Why does the Rabbi face the congregation during prayer?

In nearly every shul I've been in the Rav of the shul sits up near the aron kodesh and faces towards the congregation instead of facing east. I assume this is in keeping with halacha (as mentioned in ...
24
votes
8answers
1k views

Why is it necessary to ask a Rabbi?

In various places on this site, including the FAQ, we have the following disclaimer: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly ...
14
votes
13answers
761 views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Today, what is our replacement for prophets?

Today, who can be a good replacement for prophets? Whom should we go to in order to find truth? Is a rabbi a good replacement for prophets? Today, what are the requirements for a rabbi so he can be ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Written Semicha Tests

Which Rabbonim give a semicha based on a written test (as opposed to requiring one to complete a program under them)? Are they only on Basar Bechalav and Ta'aruvos, only on Shabbos, only on Niddah or ...
5
votes
3answers
84 views

Are there any examples of Chazal pointing out a flaw in one of their contemporaries?

The Tanach is replete with examples of some of our greatest leaders and heroes' personal flaws and mistakes (however minuscule they might be when put into proper perspective). These flaws and mistakes ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Is it a good thing to sing “ יָמִים עַל יְמֵי מֶלֶךְ תּוֹסִיף שְׁנוֹתָיו כְּמוֹ דֹר וָדֹר” in honour of the senior Rabbinic speaker?

It has become customary to sing יָמִים עַל יְמֵי מֶלֶךְ תּוֹסִיף שְׁנוֹתָיו כְּמוֹ דֹר וָדֹר in honour of the senior Rabbinic speaker at a function. An explanation is given here. The Pashut ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

“The local rabbi is in charge” — what's the pithy Hebrew? [closed]

I am failing to recall a pithy phrase involving the word דין to indicate that one should respect the decisions of one's local Rabbi. Something like, 'the decisor of the place is the decisor.' Is there ...
7
votes
3answers
144 views

Is the presence of a rabbi required for an orthodox wedding?

Is it possible for two Orthodox Jews to be married by anyone other than a rabbi?
9
votes
1answer
184 views

What were the marriage rights of the temporary wives of Rav and Rav Nachman?

According to the gemaras at Yoma 18b and Yevamos 37b, Rav and Rav Nachman (and presumably other chachamin) would send representatives to cities a week before the rebbe intended to visit to find the ...
6
votes
2answers
194 views

Were can I find responses to biblical criticism?

Where can I find well documented source material by strictly orthodox Rabbis or scholars which directly address most (or all) of the major themes of academic biblical criticism such as, but not ...
10
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
205 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 ...
12
votes
12answers
753 views

Reliable Ask-a-Rabbi Websites

There are some times on this site where questioners will be directed to "ask their Rabbi." While it's always optimal to have such people discuss the question with their own Rabbi (and such action ...
6
votes
2answers
145 views

Examples of Rabbis who had strong disagreements and were amicable

I'm looking for examples of Rabbis who had a serious disagreement and were nevertheless very kind and thoughtful towards each other. The main reason I'm asking for examples is to illustrate what a ...
11
votes
3answers
246 views

Who was the first Chasidishe Rabbi to settle in the USA?

Who was the first Chasidishe Rabbi to settle in the USA? Where did he settle?
-2
votes
1answer
62 views

Do you know a Rav who did not remarry after the death of his wife?

I know a lot of rabbanim remarry after the death of their wife, but are there any famous rabbanim who did not?
-5
votes
1answer
54 views

Was R. Gamliel really a great rabbi in Jewish estimation?

In Christianity it is often said that Gamliel was the greatest rabbi of all time. But it seems that he is just being hyped because according to Acts he trained Paul. Do Jews really view him as a ...
6
votes
3answers
93 views

How to choose 'your' rebbi?

When a person is choosing who they will learn from as their rebbi, are there any guidelines or rules that govern the decision making process? First a definition of what a rebbi is (for the purposes ...
3
votes
0answers
155 views

What was Rabbi Judah ben Samuel's method for predicting the Beginning of Messianic Times?

John Hagee said this on a recent program and in his book The 4 Blood Moons (chapter 16): Rabbi Judah heHasid – “In the ninth jubilee Jerusalem will once again come back into the possession of ...
5
votes
2answers
823 views

List of Techelet Wearers

I was looking online for a list of people famous for deciding or influencing halacha, who currently wear Ptil Techelet Techelet. However I could not find one. Does such a list exist? If not, could ...
7
votes
3answers
893 views

Which Hasidic rabbi has no beard, and what is the story?

There is a famous Hasidic rabbi who has no facial hair, and I seem to recall that there is a famous story as to why. But I can remember neither which rabbi (or of which sect), nor the story. I do not ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Where can I find the Rav's hesped for R Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky?

I am looking for the text (in Hebrew) of R' JB Soloveitchik's hesped for R' Chaim Ozer Grozhinsky, unofficially titled "HaTzitz vehaChoshen" which was written before RJBS broke away from Agudah.
3
votes
1answer
68 views

What to present to the rabbi

My friend is going to meet rabbi, to talk about house management, and she wants to bring some present to him. What you would present to the rabbi, and what you should not to? Please explain why.
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Who was R' Yosef Angeloni?

The sefer חצי מנשה (R' Menashe Grossberg, 1860-1927, brief bio excerpted from Encyclopedia Judaica here) refers to a R' Yosef Angeloni (אנגילוני) who authored a sefer entitled קופת הרוכלים that is ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Sefer Nachal Eshkol - Tzidkat HaTzaddik - Rabbi Binyomin Hersh Aurbach

Per Wikipedia there seems to be a conterversy as to whether the Sefer Nachal Eshkol is a forgery. Four Rabanim from Germany wrote Tzidkas HaTzadik to defend Rabbi Auerbach. Four prominent German ...
8
votes
1answer
138 views

Baal haTanya's donning shel yad seated

I have heard that the baal haTanya put on his t'fila shel yad while seated (as S'faradim do). Does anyone have a source for this (or for the opposite: that he put on his shel yad standing)? If he ...
0
votes
1answer
126 views

If your rabbi accidentally tells you that something is allowed, and you follow him, are you punished?

Imagine that you're 119 years old. You ask your rabbi whether or not something is allowed. He answers. But, unbenownst to you, his answer is 100% mistaken. The Talmud and all others agree unanimously ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

Was Marcus Jastrow an apikores?

During Yeshiva I remember some bochrim made a point of not putting the Jastrow dictionary on top of sefarim, and would often talk about how it does not have kedusha because it was written by an ...
13
votes
8answers
649 views

What to call the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe

Often times a few different rebbes are mentioned (either previous Chabad rebbes or rebbes of other Chasudusim) in the same talk and then the word "The Rebbe" comes in and it's ambiguous. I have heard ...
5
votes
0answers
172 views

Can a convert (ger) become a chabad shliach?

"A convert may not hold a position of Jewish communal authority." (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 1:4) The Tzitz Eliezer ruled that a convert may not serve in a lone communal position but he may ...
4
votes
2answers
376 views

Rav Nissan Kaplan - biography

Rav Nissan Kaplan is one of the Rashei Yeshiva at the Mir in Jerusalem, teaches English-speaking students in Walmark (וולמארק), which is one of the two batei midrash in the Bet Yeshaya building, ...
4
votes
2answers
474 views

Rav Yaakov Moshe Hillel and wearing tzitzios out

Does someone know anything about Rav Yaakov Moshe Hillel shlita hamekubal stating that tzitzios should be worn outside the clothes? I read it once but without any sources on a web forum. It would be ...
6
votes
2answers
145 views

Looking for biographical information about R. Avraham Halevi Fattal

I'm writing something for which I need a capsule biography of him. So far, about all I know is: He is the father-in-law of (יבלח"ט) R. Ovadiah Yosef. He was an important figure in the Syrian Jewish ...
13
votes
5answers
258 views

Rabba bar bar Chana

There is a rabbi in the Talmud referred to as רבה בר בר חנה. Why is he called that way? It says that Rabba was the grandson of Chana. Who was Chana? Was it(?) a woman? Why wasn't he called after his ...
5
votes
3answers
472 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
185 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
697 views

Have recently-published allegations that Shlomo Carlebach was a sexual predator led to any bans of his music or conversions?

Even before his death, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was, at best, controversial. Many people loved his music and some congregatins organized "Carlebach minyans" that emphasized spirituality through music, ...
8
votes
1answer
158 views

Does a Rabbi have to sink with his ship?

There is a famous story (mentioned in his wikipedia article) that R' Elchonon Wasserman visited the United States before the war. He had the option to stay, but he refused since (as I heard) "A leader ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

Why is Rabbi Yitzchak Luria referred to as Godly?

In shul a friend explained to me the moniker Ari actualy stands for Eloki Rav Yitzchak, meaning the Godly Rabbi Yitzchak (Luria). The appellation Godly struck me as odd. How is such a thing ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Students who received Smicha from Rabbi Akiva Eger

I'm seeking a list of Rabbis who received Smicha from R. Akiva Eger, both in Markisch Friedland and later in Posen.