Hot answers tagged

15

Yashar koach on becoming more involved in Jewish life. We can't say what they will do (only they can answer that), but I'll address how you can approach it. You are Jewish because your mother is (and she is because her mother is, etc). Your parents (and grandparents) having had secular weddings doesn't affect that, though it could affect other matters of ...


5

The Palestinian Talmud (Taanis 21a) states that there is only verse in which the Jewish people are referred to as Zion. The verse is in Isaiah 51, 16: וָאָשִׂים דְּבָרַי בְּפִיךָ וּבְצֵל יָדִי כִּסִּיתִיךָ לִנְטֹעַ שָׁמַיִם וְלִיסֹד אָרֶץ וְלֵאמֹר לְצִיּוֹן עַמִּי אָתָּה Here is the quote from the Talmud: א"ר חיננא בר פפא חוזרני על כל המקרא ולא מצאנו ...


5

Shortly before the year 70, Jerusalem was surrounded by Roman troops. Raban Yochanan ben Zakai attempted to negotiate a surrender with the Romans. He recognized there was no realistic outcome in which Jewish self-rule remained over Jerusalem. He was opposed by Jewish religious terrorists known as the Sicarii (Latin for "dagger people") who wanted to force ...


5

The Torah, aka the 1st 5 books of "Old Testament" does not use the term "Jew" or in Hebrew, "Yehudi" anywhere. I think this term first appears in the book of Esther. Otherwise, the most common term in the Torah is "B'nei Yisra'el", meaning "Sons (or children) of Israel", with Israel being the name given to Jacob. At any rate, in the Torah, the term "Israel" ...


4

The definition of Judaism is the laws and practices that were given to the Bnai Yisrael at Sinai and the halachos as taught by the unbroken chain of leaders, teachers and Rabbis from Moses through the prophets, the mishnah, gemara, and the other decisors until the present day. The definition of a Jew is actually the first recursive definition. A Jew is ...


4

As many others have mentioned before, when creating laws, you HAVE to make certain distinctions. One of the biggest blindspots i've noticed with Christians trying to understand Judaism, is that they view everything from a theological perspective, and forget one very important point. Modern Christians are used to living in a society where the government is ...


3

As has been discussed in the comments on the question, I think your understanding of the word "l'havdil" is not quite accurate. "L'havdil" really just means a distinction between things that are comparable in a particular sense, but not in a general sense (because one of the items of comparison is "holier" for some definition of that word). For example, I ...


3

Dvarim 7:7 and Dvarim 4:27 would be my guess. The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people—for ye were the fewest of all peoples And the LORD shall scatter you among the peoples, and ye shall be left few in number among the nations, whither the LORD shall lead you away.


2

The Maharal from Prague wrote in גבורות ה' (chapter 61): כי אחר שהוציא הקב"ה את ישראל ממצרים ונתן אותם בני חורין, ולא עוד אלא אף מלכים שנאמר (שמות יט) "ואתם תהיו לי ממלכת כהנים וגוי קדוש" זה השם הוא לישראל בעצם, והמעלה והחשיבות שיש בזה לא נתבטל אף בגלותם שהוא במקרה, ולפיכך אומרים חכמי ישראל (שבת קיא ע"א) כל ישראל בני מלכים הם אף בגלותם... In other ...


2

The To'afos Re'em (Shu"t O.C. 22) cites a Teshuva of the Rema in which he says one must buy from the Jew even when it is more expensive. He argues, and limits the preference of buying from Jews to where there is no difference in cost. The Chikrei Lev (Shu"t Choshen Mishpat 139) vacillates between limiting it to small expenses or applying the rule to even a ...


1

UPDATE Technically everyone "became Jewish" at the revelation at Sinai which is regarded as everyone there having converted at that moment. This is the starting point of the recursive definition of "Who is a Jew". Technically, Judaism did not begin until the revelation at Sinai. Thus, Adam, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov were able to keep shabbat. However, ...


1

You write in your question: "isn't it better that the Jewish People are unified?" I think there is no contradiction between the division into the tribes and the unification of the Jewish People. Each tribe has their land allotment and their specific purpose specific for their tribe, however at the same time they share their unification on a higher level, ...


1

While it might sound counter-intuitive at first, being just one big people would have an adverse affect on unity. You are much more connected when there are limbs, branches and twigs that reach you, more than being just another sheep in the herd.


1

According to the Targum Sheni (2:10) Mordechai was concerned with Esther revealing this because the king would become upset with Esther at some point and direct his anger out on her people. Just as (later) Haman directed his hatred against Mordechai to the rest of the Jewish people, the king could do the same with Esther.


1

There are various opinions in the Midrashim regarding the heritage of Bilaam. The idea that is quoted by 'sabbahillel' in the name of Rabbi Sacks is a Gemara Sanhedrin 105a. The Gemara also says identifies Be'or as Lavan. Bilam would therefore be Lavan's son. http://bit.ly/1GX1a4p The Zohar identifies Be'or as a son of Lavan, making Bilam the grandson of ...


1

In the hakdama to Be'er HaGolah, the Maharal explains that the most intense kedusha (holiness) is always expressed in the smallest, or most condensed, manifestation in this world. Thus, the smaller the area of the mikdash (temple), the greater its level of kedusha. So too the Jewish people, as the holy nation, have the smallest manifestation in this world.



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible