Torah scholars from 1000-1500, roughly.

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13
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1answer
169 views

Did any classic rabbinic sources discuss static electricity?

Not much more to add here, I've just always wondered if static electricity was discussed in any Chazzal or Rishonim. Someone from those times must've gotten a good zap and I'm wondering what they had ...
12
votes
3answers
223 views

How was the Shaalos Utshuvos Min Hashamayim allowed to do what he did?

The Shut Min Hashamayim was written by a Rishon in the time of Tosfos. He used to ask questions from Shamayim (Heaven) in a Sheilas Chalom (Dream Question) and write the answers down. Many of those ...
11
votes
1answer
371 views

Eldad HaDani's Lasting Influence - Is there any?

Eldad HaDani is (apparently) considered today to have been a fraud. According to this Wikipedia article, he was a traveler who told stories of his place of origin, which he claimed was a sovereign ...
10
votes
2answers
204 views

Did the Rosh (Rabbeinu Asher) describe the culture clash moving from medieval Germany to Spain?

Rabbi Asher (the "Rosh") moved from medieval Germany to Spain. I know he describes some different halachic practices that were done in Spain (e.g. linen tzitzis); but does he describe the difference ...
9
votes
2answers
120 views

Who was the קדוש מרדוש?

Today, in a shiur, I heard someone quote an opinion of the "קדוש מרדוש" (pronounced "Kadosh Meradoosh", I think). The Bet Yosef in E"HE 35 seems to quote the מרדכי who quotes him, so apparently he's a ...
9
votes
2answers
339 views

The size/shape of biblical Israel

Based on this Tosafot in Bava Metzia 28a (D"H Chamisha Asar Yom), Eretz Israel is a square (400 sq. Parsah), and the distance between Jerusalem and the Jordan river is 1/39th the distance between ...
8
votes
5answers
314 views

Do any Rishonim discuss how to approach Rashi's commentary on gemara?

I heard a quote once how carefully a person needs to analyze every drop of ink in Rashi, but I don't remember who said it. Does any Rishon (medieval scholar) ever discuss their approach to Rashi's ...
8
votes
2answers
143 views

Why is 'Rabbenu Tam' called Rabbenu Tam?

Rabbenu Tam's name was יעקב בן מאיר. Why then is he known as Rabbenu Tam?
8
votes
1answer
93 views

What was the ריב"א thinking?

In ריקאנטי number 166 (brought down here, #4), he brings a story about the ריב"א: ושמעתי כי ריב"א חלה חוליו שמת בו וחל יוה"כ באותם הימים וא"ל הרופאים אם לא תאכלו ודאי תמות ואם תאכל שמא לא תחיה ...
7
votes
3answers
340 views

What was the value of the Rishonim's philosophical inquiries about God and the world?

Many Rishonim used the philosophy of their time or previous times to 'prove' God's existence and/or learn about the nature of the world. 1- Why did they do this? (Is there a mitzvah to use ...
6
votes
4answers
263 views

How do Rishonim argue on Drashos Chazal?

There is a known rule that Rishonim cannot argue on the Gemara when it comes to "Halachic" drashos. For example, a Rishon will never give a different answer to a question which the Gemara already ...
6
votes
2answers
297 views

Preparing to learn daf yomi Yerushalmi

I am planning to start learning daf yomi Yerushalmi. I have never learned Yerushalmi before Are there websites the provide the text and audio explanation of the daf akin to those that exist for ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

History of the two versions of the Ritva

I recall from my time in Yeshiva that the version of the Chiddushei HaRitva in use in the 19th century was clearly not the original (as proved from quotations in the Shita Mikubetzes), and that the ...
6
votes
1answer
256 views

Did the Sefer Torah written by the Maharam of Rottenberg survive the Holocaust?

There is a famous story of the Maharam copying a Sefer Torah written by Moshe Rabbeinu. Before passing, he threw it in the river by the castle in which he was arrested. This Sefer Torah reached ...
6
votes
1answer
76 views

Identification of Rishon

Tosafos Rebbeinu Peretz (in Pesachim 38a) refers to הר"ר דיילקרויישא מאורליינש. Does anyone know who this is, or at least how his name is pronounced? (It looks like it could be "R' Delacroix of ...
6
votes
2answers
115 views

Brevity of the Rishonim

I have heard about Rashi that he measured his words very meticulously and that consequently every word he chose to write in his commentary is important for understanding his view. There are even ...
6
votes
1answer
221 views

When will the period of Acharonim end?

What will mark the end of the period of Acharonim? What in general demarcates rabbinical eras? Are these halachic rules or conventions?
5
votes
1answer
178 views

Did the Terumas haDeshen write a challah recipe?

Reading this article about challah-making, I noticed the following: Using the starter, I tried the Rich Sourdough Barches recipe from Inside the Jewish Bakery, which the authors say is adapted ...
5
votes
2answers
148 views

Ibn Ezra/Rashbam Biography

Does any one know of any good biographies of Rashbam and/or Ibn Ezra?
5
votes
0answers
58 views

“Secular” studies in the Rhineland academies of the 11th-13th centuries

This is perhaps a fairly specific question, and I don't know if it belongs here or on the History stack exchange, but I would like to know more about the Rhineland academies that were headed by people ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Do any Geonim or Rishonim adopt/incorporate teachings from Philo?

Do any early commentators from the geonim or rishonim periods cite any teachings from Philo Judeas by name?
4
votes
1answer
212 views

Sources in Rishonim on the Authenticity of the Zohar

Are there any early contemporary discussions from the time of the revelation of the Zohar among recognized Rishonim about it's authenticity? I mention "among recognized Rishonim" because I am aware ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Rishonim who wrote on Kodshim

Seder Kodshim is composed of largely currently non-applicable laws, relating to sacrifices and the running of the Temple. The Rambam wrote on Kodshim. So did Rashi and the Ba'alei Tosefos. To the ...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

What does the Ritva hold about טלי קידושיך מעל גבי קרקע?

The case of "טלי גיטיך מעל גבי קרקע" (where the husband told his wife to pick up her גט [divorce document], rather than handing it to her directly) is an invalid divorce (רבא, Gittin 24a). The ...
4
votes
0answers
87 views

Why is there seemingly such a disconnect between the Geonim and the Rishonim?

It seems that there was a disconnect or upheaval of some kind between the times of the Geonim and the times of the Rishonim and the hakhamim that these two eras contained. Shittoth regarding tefila, ...
3
votes
1answer
283 views

Did R' Moshe de Leon write the Zohar

Although "traditionally" ascribed to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai zt"l, the Zohar has been beset with controversy about its authorship since it was discovered and published by R' Moshe de Leon. Notably ...
3
votes
5answers
256 views

Saying Rishonim or Achronim were “wrong”

People are very careful (and rightfully so) to say when they don't understand the words of the Achronim or Rishonim to not say they are/were "wrong". But rather to say "I don't understand what he ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Where can I find an online copy of ספר החכמה?

In Gittin 10b, many Rishonim (Mordechai [who appears to have been a student of his] and a few more) reference one רבינו יקיר (aka אפרים, as in "הבן יקיר לי אפרים"), in a work called ספר החכמה. I can't ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Is the Ramchal's sefer Derech Hashem based on any particular Rishon?

Many books written by (early) Achronim are based on a particular shittah usually sourced in one or more of the Rishonim. This can be true both with regards to actual halachos or lists of mitzvos and ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Kalam Cosmological Argument

Wikepedia writes: The Kalām cosmological argument is a variation of the cosmological argument that argues for the existence of a first cause for the universe, and the existence of a god. Its ...
3
votes
3answers
268 views

Rishonim/Achronim time period differentiation

When was the end of the Rishonim time period and the start of the achronim time period? Who, what, why, and how did this come about? What caused this abrupt change in deemed mental and halachot ...
2
votes
5answers
256 views

Sifrei Mussar/Machshava/Avodah from the Rishonim

I'm looking for a list of some of the Seforim written by Rishonim that are in the category of either Mussar, Machshava, or Avodah (or anything else that fit into these categories.) For this question ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

A quote of Shlomo ibn Gabirol

A co-worker posted this as her "Quote of the Day" in an e-mail message. It's attributed to Shlomo ibn Gabirol: The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Looking For HaMaspik

I am looking for the halachic portion of Hamaspik L'ovdey Hashem by R. Avraham Ben HaRambam published by Bar Ilan Univ. I have found links to it on HebrewBooks, but it isnt there (I guess it was taken ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Can a Rishon argue on a Gaon?

On one hand, I've seen a rule from the Acharonim (I've also seen it in a Shach on Choshen Mishpat also but I can't remember where) that whatever the Gaonim say is "Divrei Kabalah" from the time of the ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Rambam's Hilchos HaYerushalmi

I am looking for Rambam's Hilchos HaYerushalmi (ed. Lieberman) (or a some other edition if it exists). Is it available for free online?
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Online דרשות הר"ן in Hebrew block print

Does any know where I can find online a pdf of דרשות הר"ן that's in hebrew text and not in Rashi script/ text?
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Are there teachings of Rabbenu Moshe HaDarshan found outside of Rashi?

Are there any teachings of Rabbenu Moshe HaDarshan found either as a collected work, or cited by authorities other than Rashi?
2
votes
1answer
27 views

Ibn Ezra at the Yam Suf - Hashem saved them THAT day?

The Torah says in Sh'mos 14:30 . . .וַיּוֹשַׁע ה' בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם That day God saved Yisra'el from the hand of Mitzrayim. . . I wondered why in this context ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

The משלח is dead, long live the משלח!

Tosfos (Gittin 13a, s.v. לא יתנו) write that דאע"ג שמינה המגרש בחייו השליח לא חשיב להיות כמותו אחר מותו כאילו הוא עצמו קיים אלא חשיב גט לאחר מיתה Even though the husband appointed his ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Requirement to Divorce an Infertile Wife or Marry a Second Wife

In the Mishneh Torah הלכות אישות פרק טו, ב Rambam requires a man to who hasn't had a male and female child and whose wife has not given birth for ten years since their marriage to either take a second ...
2
votes
2answers
176 views

Are there any early mentions of the concept of “l'iluy nishmas”?

On his Rationalist Judaism blog, R' Natan Slifkin posed this question: I am very interested to know if there are any early mentions of the phrase "l'iluy nishmas" or the concept thereof. (I am not ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

Safek Deorayta and the Meiri

The Meiri Berachot 21 (Peri Hadash, Keneset HaGedola and others) writes that in a case of Safek Deorayta Lehumra where one isn't certain after performing the action that he has fulfulled his ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Mahloket Rishonim on Techelet and no Shulhan Aruch or Bet Yosef

Mahloket Rishonim how many strings should be used in the Techelet. One string (Raavad) Two strings (Rashi, Tosafot, Rosh and Tur) Half string (Rambam) In a case of an argument like this who would ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Who wrote the Ritva on Gittin?

I've heard many things about the author of "Ritva on Gittin." It might have been the Ritva, it might not have been. There's also the "חידושים מכתב יד," which some ascribe to the Ritva, while others ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Which Ra'avad is on the Rif?

I am aware that there is more than one author known as the Ra'avad (ראב"ד). Is the Ra'avad with glosses to the Rif and the Ma'or the same Ra'avad as the one with glosses to the Rambam? If they are ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Which Rishonim held of shkia/tzeis according to the zman of Rabbeinu Tam?

Which Rishonim held of shkia/tzeis according to the zman of Rabbeinu Tam? Ive heard the Shulchan Aruch (rishon/acharon) held of it, did he pasken like for starting shabbos?
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Text based Ritva / Rabeinu Kresscass?

My chavrusa is looking for a text-based copies of Ritva (חידושים מכתב יד) and Rabeinu Kresscass (ריטב"א) on Gittin, so that he could put them into his computer. Where can I find a copy of either of ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Who is this Gadol?

The Aruch Hashulchan Orach Chaim Siman 639 Saif 16 quotes a Rashba who brings a Halacha from בשם גדול הדור מצרפת. Do we know who this Gadol is?
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Text of Derashos HaRan online

I was looking online for the text of דרשות הר"ן but I have been unsuccessful. Does anyone where I might be able to find it online? (i.e like this)