Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is this the Chofetz Chaim?

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
291 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Is it haughty to wear a frock when one is underserving?

Many Rabbis wear a long Black Coat called a frock as rabbinic garb. Since it is a rabbinical garb is it permitted for someone who is not a rabbi to wear it? is it haughty to do so? Rabbis wear black ...
2
votes
0answers
54 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
36 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
994 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
120 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
148 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
437 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
38 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 ...
29
votes
24answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
818 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?

I was thinking of writing a magazine article on a rabbi I knew well before his death some years back. I wrote to his son to see if he could help me with stories, history, photographs, etc. He ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim z"l of Flatbush [closed]

Why is Hacham Baruch ben Haim considered to be a Syrian Rav if he was actually born in Iraq?
-3
votes
1answer
87 views

Who was Nicodemus(Nakdimon)? [closed]

There was jewish man in the frst century called in english Nikodimus , he was probably rabbi and very rich he spoke with great rabbi Yeshua , is there any information in rabbinical writings? how is ...
2
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
-6
votes
1answer
145 views

Who was Johanan the Immerser? [closed]

There was jewish man in the frst century called in english John the Baptist , he called jewish people to the repentance , is there any information in rabbinical writings? how is he considered in ...
4
votes
0answers
54 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
57 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
55 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
544 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
77 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
5k 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 time of Jesus, than if ...
0
votes
0answers
118 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.
8
votes
8answers
276 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?
2
votes
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Explain why certain titles are given when naming sages

In the Mishnah, Talmud and beyond, there appears to be a trend related to how great sages are called. Examples: Just their first name such as Hillel and Shamai Name and father's name such as Shimon ...
4
votes
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
68 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
88 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
507 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
128 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
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Audio or video lectures of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt"l

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt"l, wrote many interesting articles and books in his life. However, does anyone know if there are an audio of video lectures of him?
13
votes
1answer
305 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
0answers
18 views

Is one liable for making a ruling around his teacher if the ruling is wrong?

There's a Halacha that one's not allowed to make a ruling around his teacher, and if one does he is liable to the death penalty at the hands of heaven. The two examples that I can think up from the ...
0
votes
2answers
53 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
42 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
41 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?
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Smicha from R' Zalman Nechemia Goldberg?

One often sees that individuals' have smicha from R' Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. The smicha exams are typically considered more theoretical than that of the Israeli rabbinate, which requires more ...
-4
votes
2answers
101 views

Were/are there any gedolim that do not wear a hat of some kind?

It seems like almost major rebbeim/poskim do/did ear some sort of additional head covering (black hat, streimel, cap, etc) for davening. If the practice is that universal among gedolim, that might ...
5
votes
2answers
217 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
49 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.
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Which rabbis permit food being kosher just based on the ingredients?

Kosherstarbucks.com give options of what to order based on different halakhic standards. They include the "No Utensils List" (CRC-recommended), the Regular list, and the Kosher by Ingredients list ...
2
votes
1answer
49 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
214 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

What should a conversion candidate expect in a Reform three-judge rabbinic court (Bet Din)?

What should a conversion candidate expect in a Reform three-judge rabbinic court (Bet Din)? I was told it was to determine the Jewish knowledge of the conversion candidate, but do you have any ...
4
votes
2answers
68 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
45 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 ...