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34

The civil date line doesn't affect the Halachic day with regards to Shabbos. Where is the location date line is subject to Halachic argument According to the Chazon Ish, the Halachic dateline hugs the coast of Australia, China and Russia. Anything to the east (Japan, etc) is considered to be on the same day as the United States. Therefore, it's Shabbos in ...


21

The question of where the Halachic International Dateline is is its own independent question. The decision in Samoa would only matter if we left date-line issues to governmental/secular authorities, which is not the case. The day to keep Shabbos in Samoa would be seven days from the last time it was to be kept, according to which ever opinion we should/do go ...


17

It seems The Star K picked up on the question: How to Keep This Shabbos in Samoa? STAR-K Tells Us How (Samoa & Tokelau To Cross International Date Line)


15

R' Yehosef Schwartz, in his Tevuos HaAretz (composed in the 1840s), writes (translation from here): Twenty-five miles southeast of Baal-bek is the village Sachala, where the inhabitants point out a monument, which they allege to mark the grave of Noah. That, however, but little faith can be placed in such like popular legends, will appear ...


15

Per the OU Daf HaKashrus Volume 15 No 6 dated March 2008 this question was answered by Rabbi Gersten as follows "In a near sea level environment water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. at higher elevations water boils at lower temperatures. In Denver for example the average boiling temperature is 202 degrees Fahrenheit. when Hagalah is performed in high ...


13

Rabbi Moshe Tendler says that the principle of "as it absorbs, so it exudes" (k'bol'o kach polto) means METHOD of absorption, not temperature. Fire kashering for things that became unkosher through dry heat (roasting, grilling) and boiling for liquids. His example was that a spoon that became unkosher on a camping trip to the Dead Sea through immersion in ...


13

Telephone exchanges in the US used to have two letters, sometimes referring to the neighborhood the exchange serves, and one number. So, Rav Moshe's phone number was 677-1222. ORegon/67 was an exchange in the Lower East Side. I don't know why they decided to name that exchange "Oregon." This database has multiple references to ORegon but no explanation.


13

Mechilta Drav Yishmael - Yisro - Parsha 5 says that it was not given in Eretz Yisroel in order that the non Jews would not to be able to say that they did not accept it since it was given in the Jewish land. Another reason was to avoid a dispute between the Shevatim. ומפני מה לא ניתנה תורה בארץ ישראל? שלא ליתן פתחון פה לאומות העולם, לומר: לפי שנתנה תורה ...


9

Parts of the city were indeed conquered already in Yehoshua's times or shortly thereafter. Josh. 15:63 states: וְאֶת-הַיְבוּסִי יוֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם, לֹא-יוכלו (יָכְלוּ) בְנֵי-יְהוּדָה לְהוֹרִישָׁם; וַיֵּשֶׁב הַיְבוּסִי אֶת-בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה, בִּירוּשָׁלִַם, עַד, הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה. "The children of Judah were unable to dislodge the Jebusites, ...


9

Ramban on the verse I mentioned (Ex. 3:8) offers two possibilities: It simply means that the land is "wide" enough to accommodate the entire Jewish people. (This is especially so in light of the Gemara's statement (Gittin 57a) that Eretz Yisrael "expands" when Jews are settled in it.) It is a land that contains "wide" plains and valleys and lowlands, ...


9

Bartenura (to Megillah 1:1) says that it is associated with Yehoshua because he was the first to wage war against Amalek. Indeed, G-d directs Moshe there to "write this as a memorial in the book and place it in the ears of Yehoshua" - the Gemara (Megillah 7a and 18a) explains that this phrase refers, among other things, to the Megillah.


7

Well, the encyclopedia entry on it says the earliest source is Pliny's Historia Naturalis, in which a river with similar miraculous properties is in fact reported in XXXI:18 (last line). The footnote there identifies it, citing a later source, as the river Eleutherus, which is currently in northern Lebanon.


7

Melachim I 10 seems to parallel the account of Josephus' Antiquities 6:5 making Sh'va the general area of Egypt and Ethiopia of that time. (Source pulled from wiki.)


7

According to this site: Magen Shalome, built by Shalome Solomon Umerdekar and his son Gershone Solomon, Karachi’s last synagogue, was demolished in the 1980s to make way for a shopping plaza. Most of the Karachi Jews now live in Ramle, Israel, and built a synagogue they named Magen Shalome. Some Jewish families do remain, but they prefer to pass ...


7

The main text, Hekhalot Rabbatai can be found translated online with notes as to where to find printed Hebrew editions (the most often cited sefer is batei midrashot by Wertheimer). There is not a firm consensus among scholars as to when it was written but there is general agreement to a range of 200-800 C.E. Souce. I have not found a source that discusses ...


7

I live in Sydney Australia and I can say definitively that yes the custom is to stay up all night and learn on Shavuot night. I have never heard the suggestion that staying up all night is related to the time of sunrise/sunset at that time of year. I have many friends in South Africa and can say that they have the same custom as well. My inclination is that ...


7

Additionally, it was given in the desert (no-man's land) so that no people would be able to claim that they have no share in the Torah. (See English comments in the Stone Chumash; I can't give a more specific reference because I don't have the book on my lap ATM, sorry). edit: Mekhilta De-Rabbi Ishmael (Exodus 19:2).


6

It looks like a lot of them are common nouns that became names of cities. For example, העי literally means "the ruins"; הגדרה, "the fence"; החרמה, "the destruction"; and so forth. Probably each of them was named for some prominent local feature or historical event. So perhaps indeed any such place became known with the prefixed ה (so as to distinguish, for ...


6

This affects when Shabbat and yom tov start and end and when you can perform time-bound mitzvot. There are various opinions (some collected here), so this is something you need to consult your rabbi on. Opinions cited there include: use the times for your home city (if you're visiting); use 6PM; use the point when the sun is at its lowest in the sky. I ...


6

http://www.ou.org/ou/print_this/64160 The issue is that foreign currency is not called "currency" in another country because it is not commonly used there. There are two opinions of what is the law if a loan took place in one country, and expecting to be payed back in another country. According to the Nsivos Sholom (162:1), one could pay in either ...


6

To expand on Dave's points a bit: R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi points out in his siddur that the practice of facing eastward goes back to when the major (Ashkenazic) center of Jewish settlement was in France, which is west of Jerusalem. "In our countries [Poland and Russia], which are much further north," he says that the angle should be SSE - a heading of ...


6

Practically speaking, there is no difference between "east" and "5 degrees south of east." You probably have a variation of 20 degrees just depending on where your siddur is on the table, or the way you "shukkel." One prominent posek said (half-jokingly) about this topic: לא ניתנה תורה למהנדסים - The Torah was not given to engineers. Therefore, you're ...


6

I've always speculated that it came from the fact that at one time Chelm had a very wise rabbi, named R' Shlomo (d. 1717). He is famous for his book Mirkeves Hamishneh, a commentary on the Rambam's Yad Hachazakah; appended to it is a work called Kuntreis Breichos Becheshbon, which analyzes difficult mathematical problems in the Torah. (Parts of the latter ...


6

Lehavdil (about churches), a note at the bottom of this page claims: In the United States the practice seems to have developed during the Taft administration when the world was heading toward WWI. Franklin Roosevelt issued a statement requesting churches to have the flag placed in churches as we entered WWII. My memory is that this was done reluctantly ...


6

In Prague they used to have Shlomo Molcho's flag. Most Eastern European countries were more feudal than central, and Jews had more to do with the local poritz than with the central government. Civilian flags were introduced in the 19th to 20th centuries, so it couldn't have been much before that.


6

Ramban (to Deut. 11:29) suggests that Mt. Gerizim is to the south and Mt. Eival to the north (which indeed is geographically true - presumably he had the chance to verify this firsthand when he moved to the Land of Israel at the end of his life), and in biblical geography the north is often identified with evil (as in Jer. 1:14). (Furthermore, throughout ...


6

One approach is mentioned in The Challenge of Creation, by R' Natan Slifkin, in footnote 2 on page 277: ... others explained that the deluge did not cover the entire earth, hence not every species of animal had to be taken on board; see Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hoffman, commentary to Genesis, pp. 140-141; Rabbi Azriel Leib Rakovsky (disciple of Rav Yaakov ...


6

According to this article in Hamodia he left abruptly because another rabbi said something disparaging about the Ba'al Shem Tov, and he felt he couldn't live in the same city as that rabbi. The Baba Sali settled at first in Yavneh, but after a certain Rav there made a disrespectful statement about the Baal Shem Tov, he packed his bags the very same day ...


6

The Ritva writes (RH 11a): ויומי ניסן לאו דוקא אלא כל מקום ומקום לפי מה שהוא דמלבלבי.‏ "The days of Nissan" is not precise, but rather every place according to when the trees blossom. Based on this, Rabbis Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss (Minchat Yitzchak 10:16) and Tzvi Pesach Frank (Har Tzvi OC 118) ruled that in the Southern Hemisphere the blessing ...


6

At the core of your question is the assumption that the flood and its fallout was natural, and was subject merely to the laws of nature as we see them today. I do not accept that premise, however I think that one can still reconcile the evidence we see nowadays with the flood in a cogent way that draws upon the natural sciences we accept. I will attempt to ...



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