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15
votes
7answers
708 views

How did the moon shrink?

The Bavli, Chulin 60:2, says (in my own loose translation): Rabbi Shim'on ben Pazi noted a contradiction: [B'reshis 1:16] says, "God made the two big luminaries" and "the big luminary… and ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

what is the longest masechta?

I heard that Bava Basra is the longest masechta in blatt but Brochos is the longest mesechta in words. Did anyone else hear anything about that?
8
votes
4answers
628 views

Origin of Reform/Conservative “scarf” talleisim

I've noticed that Reform and Conservative often use small "scarf" talleisim (here's an image). Where did this practice originate? (Is there any connection to the scarves that some Christian priests ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

Replacing a lost cover for a tefillin shel yad

My tefillin shel yad had a cover that could slip on and off but the cover is lost and needs replacement. Is there a way I can determine the size so I can ask for a replacement? Are there standard ...
6
votes
2answers
419 views

Peyot behind ears?

Someone told me that it is better to not have long peyot if you are going to place them behind your ears. Has anyone heard a respectable posek say that? I think he said it in the name of Rav Ben Tzion ...
6
votes
1answer
102 views

How high was migdal Bavel?

How high was migdal Bavel? From the Chumash we know that the tower was built in a valley which suggests that its purpose was more symbolic than pragmatic. To that effect I am wondering if anything ...
6
votes
0answers
86 views

Would halachic units be shrunk if a person was (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-style)?

In the classic move Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequels, people get shrunk down to 1/264th of their normal size. So, a person is around 1/4 of an inch tall. If such a thing were even possible, ...
5
votes
2answers
136 views

Is a Torah that does NOT have the (rabbati) large and small letters (keti'ah) still kosher?

I have a Torah in my shul that does not have any large or small letters where required (e.g. - the 1st letter in the Torah, "Breishit", is written larger than the rest.) Is this Torah still considered ...
5
votes
2answers
444 views

Pocket-size Talmud/Gemara

Is there is a pocket-size Gemara? Soft cover preferred. This would be a great invention if it doesn't already exist.
5
votes
3answers
455 views

How tall was Adam?

I once read a post on Answering-Islam about the Height of Adam, and it said that the Islamic view of Adam was simple Muhammad copying the Jewish stories/belief's about Adam. As I don't know what ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

How big can a mezuzah be?

I read in the news about an Israeli designer, Yaakov Merdinger, who created the world's largest mezuzah case. As you can see in the photo, the mezuzah case is bigger than the door. Is this kosher?
5
votes
0answers
21 views

Apartment buildings higher than the shul

Shabbat 11a states that a city in which houses (but not towers or castles/fortresses [unsure about the translation]) are built higher than the synagogue will eventually be destroyed. ואמר רבא בר ...
5
votes
0answers
46 views

How big can a chanukia get?

I recently saw this story about students at YU who lit up their dorm windows to turn the entire building into a giant chanukia (just the form, not a real one). That inspired a question: Exactly how ...
5
votes
0answers
158 views

Height of havdalah candle = height of spouse?

I have seen havdalah ceremonies where a unmarried person is charged with holding the havdalah candle and is told to hold it at the height that s/he would want their spouse to be. What is the source ...
4
votes
3answers
619 views

Are there standard sizes for tefilin batim (leather cases/housings) today?

I just looked down at the little plastic cover on my arm-tefilin and it had the number 4 on it. I assume that's a size ... while tefilin must be square, there are definitely a variety of sizes out ...
4
votes
2answers
790 views

Source for long payos

Where is there a source for having long payos ,and if there are sources what is the oldest source.? I am talking about the extra length besides for the halachic necessity. Like behind the ears or ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Chometz less than the size of a Kezayis

ב"ה I've heard when cleaning for Pesach that chometz that is less than the size of a kezayis isn't significant enough to be considered chometz. I am talking only concerning chometz which one isn't ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Why are mincha gedola and ketana named that?

What is big about the earlier mincha time and what is small about the later mincha time? Also, why does the term plag mincha make sense? It would seem to be a term that refers to the point midway ...
3
votes
1answer
398 views

What is the most difficult page of Talmud? [closed]

Which blat Gemara (Bavli, Vilna edition) has the largest quantity of Talmudic text or the most complex and difficult to understand concepts?
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Kippah (yarmulke) size

Warning: this question relies on anecdotal evidence. I have noticed that often Chareidi and heterodox Jews will wear much larger kippot than Modern Orthodox and Dati-Leumi (and heterodox rabbanim). ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Does a tiny white spot on tefillin batim need to be repainted?

If one's tefillin have tiny white spots on the corners or edges of the batim, do these need to be painted black? Or must the spots be a certain size before anything must be done about them?
3
votes
1answer
213 views

How long is this week's parasha as compared to others?

We read parashas Ekev today. My kid noted that it's listed as having 111 verses, and asked me whether that's a long parasha. I didn't know where it lies among the parashiyos, so I ask: Where do ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

Why is the beracha acharona for bread the longest?

On grains, wine and fruits we say a short paragraph, Al Hamichya. On Shechakol we say Borey Nefashot. But for bread we say a whole prayer, 5 minutes worth--even though meals lacking bread can be ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Is there a concept of giving a fatter sacrifice?

Is there a concept of giving a fatter sacrifice as opposed to a smaller one? I believe the Torah says there are different levels of sacrifices depending on your wealth (e.g. a cow vs. a bird vs. flour,...
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Tallit Katan Length Question [duplicate]

I have a size 22 and I want to order one that tucks better into my pants. Right now the tzizit are tucked in but the garment itself doesn't reach my pants. Do I buy a bigger sized tallit katan (like a ...
3
votes
0answers
88 views

Batel b'shisim on a large scale

Suppose someone is making a huge 50-gallon vat of cholent. Accidentally, an entire bag of milk breaks and spills into the cholent. There is more than 60x as much meat cholent as there is milk, so the ...
3
votes
0answers
102 views

A shorter person with a normal sized tallis katan

A theoretical question: If a young person (a boy for example that is 13 yrs old) that happens to be very short (not because of any physical disability) wears a normal size tallis katan it will be very ...
2
votes
2answers
373 views

Does a man with long-hair need to become a nazir

Is there any issue with a man having long hair if he isn't a nazir, or its necessitating him to become one? Long hair is here defined as shoulder-length or longer.
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Og's bed made of iron

Devarim 3:11 desribes Og's bed as being made from iron. What does the the Torah add by describing Og's bed as being made from iron? The Ramban comments that it demonstrates how tall he was, that wood ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Where does the contemporary measurement of a Kezayit come from?

According to the Nodeh B'Yehuda and the Chazon Ish, in order to calculate the size of a kezayis (which apparently is based on the size of an egg), we must double the size of our contemporary eggs. (...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Is there a book that explains the large and small letters in the Torah? [duplicate]

I am seeking a book, in English, that lists and explains the reasons for the large and small letters in the Torah. (A similar question on this topic did not specify English and did not elicit any ...
1
vote
0answers
185 views

Dimensions of the Copper/Outer/Olah Mizbeach in the Mishkan

There is a machlokes as to the dimensions of the Copper mizbeach of the Mishkan (Zevachim 59b). One of the disputes is the dimensions of the upper part of the mizbeach where the cohanim would be ...
0
votes
0answers
100 views

How tall was Moshe Rabbeinu?

The Gemara in the last Perek of Berochos (referenced by the last Rashi of Parshas Chukas)tells about the encounter of Moshe with the giant Og... Moshe was ten Amos tall - (between 15-20 feet, based ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Why did God make such a vast, expansive universe? [duplicate]

The title pretty much says it all — but it certainly seems unnecessary and plays very well into the theories of people such as Richard Dawkins. How are we best to respond to this challenge of theirs?
-7
votes
2answers
5k views

Why do the Philistines have many Giants?

II Samuel describes giants among the Philistines (below). Were giants common among the Israelites' neighbors? Were the Israelites generally smaller in stature than their neighbors? Were there ...