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21

1) Didnt Moshe Rabbeinu get divorced from Zipporah? See Rashi Bamidar 12:1, על אודות האשה: על אדות גירושיה. Sounds like he divorced her. I dont think this shittah is universal though. Still looking for more sources. Tosafos in Yevomos 62:a dichsiv says that possibly he wrote her a Get. 2) Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (chapter 30) brings down the following story ...


18

Because "Alfasi" is really "al-Fasi". "Al-Fasi" is Arabic for "the Fezite" (Fez being the city in Morocco where he lived). So kind of like how the word "of" gets swallowed in "USA", the word "the" got swallowed in "Rif". Wouldn't have made much sense to make his acronym stand for "Rabbi Yitzchak The".


17

The references to Rashi, Raavad, and R' Avraham ben haRambam* are explicated in Otzar Yisrael (and from there in the Daat Encyclopedia): Rashi - to Prov. 5:19 cites an explanation of the word תשגה in the name of R' Moshe Hadarshan, who in turn bases it on an expression used by Eldad. In the area of halachah, Rashi (Pardes, Hilchos Treifos) accepts Eldad's ...


14

Megillas Antiochus lists five sons of Matisyahu: Yehudah, Shimon, Yochanan, Yonasan, and Elazar. I Maccabees has the same names, but in rearranged order: Yochanan, Shimon, Yehudah, Elazar, and Yonasan. (It also gives their respective nicknames or cognomens: respectively, Gaddi, Thassi, Maccabeus, Avaran and Apphus.) Rashi (to Deut. 33:11) mentions "twelve ...


14

Anyone can convert to Judaism. We find an example in Gittin 57:2 that Nevuzardan killed millions of jews and then converted.


13

Here are a couple: The very fact that the Megillah introduces him as איש, and takes the trouble to tell us his lineage and background, indicates that he was a person of importance. (It is true that איש can mean simply "a man," but quite often in Tanach, when a person is introduced with this term, it bears the connotation of "a prominent person" - one ...


13

The only divorce I can find in Tanach al pi peshat is Avraham's divorcing Hagar. The verse (Genesis 21:10) says: גָּרֵשׁ הָאָמָה הַזֹּאת, וְאֶת-בְּנָהּ Cast out this bondwoman and her son. The word used is גרש which is the word used for divorce generally in Tanach (eg. Leviticus 22:13) and it seems to be the peshat here because we never hear of Hagar ...


13

Bava Metzia 87a: Until Abraham there was no old age; whoever wished to speak to Abraham would speak to Isaac, and the reverse. Thereupon he prayed, and old age came into existence, as it is written, And Abraham was old and well-stricken in age. So during the age when people lived 200+ years, they showed no signs of age.


12

Only three of his children are named in Tanach: his successor Rechavam, and two daughters named Tafath and Basemath, who married two of Shlomo's officials (I Kings 4:11,15). R. Chaim Dov Rabinowitz (Daas Soferim) comments that it seems likely that Shlomo had 100 children or less (which would of course mean that most of his wives were childless), since in ...


12

R. Eitam Henkin (R. Y.H. Henkin's son) wrote an essay on the curious Rashi. He claims there that the text attributed to Rashi was a later interpolation by an errant student, since it is not referred to by any of the subsequent commentaries for centuries. His argument is not the usual "must have been an errant student" type, but rather is quite convincingly ...


12

I suggest Ishei Hatanach / Encyclopedia Of Biblical Personalities Anthologized from the Talmud, Midrash, and Rabbinic writings by Yishai Chasidah. It's an Artscroll product.


11

"Non" (whom the Metzudas David identifies as Nun) is mentioned in Divrei HaYamim 1 7:27 as the son of Elishama ben Amihud, the nasi of Efrayim (Bamidbar 1:10).


11

I found this website online: http://www.tanakhprofiles.org/showentries.php.


11

Shirei Musar Haskel - שירי מוסר השכל - page 39 mentions that in a few locations - (see for example) in the Peirush of Rabbi Moshe Butril to Sefer Yetzira he mentions Rav Hai Gaon as the author of Sefer Hakemitza which is on Kabala.


11

There is no record of the membership of Beis Shammai, or Beis Hillel for that matter. The Babylonian Talmud tells us a bit about Beis Hillel -- e.g. Sukkos 28a and Bava Basra 134a record the number of Hillel's disciples as 80 (see also Yeurshalmi Talmud, Nedarim 39b), and both sources mention two of them by name, Yonasan ben Uzziel and Yochanan ben Zakkai, ...


11

Three entries in the Otzar Ishei Tanach. Novach was born in mitzrayim and died after Moshe rabbeinu, sedder olam rabba 9. When knas was captured, Novach called it by his own name, in order to have a memorial, being that he didn't have sons, medrash agadda bamidbar 32 38. That name didn't last, Rus rabba 5 5. Also of interest rav Hirsch discusses the ...


10

I just want to point out that the Midrashic tradition of Mordechai being even originally a righteous individual is not completely unsupported by the text. Most (some would argue: all) midrashic material is inspired by textual subtleties and allusions, no matter how non-explicit. From Esther Rabba (6:3) ושמו מרדכי. הרשעים קודמין לשמן. "נבל שמו", " שבע בן ...


10

There has never been an official Chief Rabbi of the United States. Jonathon D. Sarna (in his American Judaism: A History. Yale University Press, 2004, page 105) explains this phenomenon thus: But since there was no parallel Christian religious authority—no chief Protestant minister, no archbishop, not even a Catholic cardinal with nationwide ...


10

The Talmud (Megillah 14a) writes: הרבה נביאים עמדו להם לישראל, כפלים כיוצאי מצרים, אלא, נבואה שהוצרכה לדורות - נכתבה, ושלא הוצרכה - לא נכתבה.‏ Many prophets arose for the Jews: more than twice the number of Jews in the Exodus [1200000, but this language is likely meant to be understood as a really, really big number]. However, those prophesies ...


10

As I mention on my post on this very topic, Rabbi Slifkin reported the following: I once asked Rav Gedaliah Nadel z”l, one of the foremost talmidim of the Chazon Ish, about the Chazon Ish’s medical knowledge. He told me that the Chazon Ish’s knowledge came from reading medical journals.


10

Yalkut Shimoni Shemos 168 does indeed record the story of Moshe being appointed the King of Kush (Kush = modern Ethiopia) and leading them in war, and that he married the Kushite princess. However, the Yalkut Shimoni says explicitly that Moshe did not cohabit with her because she was a descendant of Cham, and Moshe remembered the vow that Avraham had ...


10

Her name was אמתלאי בת כרנבו. ואמר רב חנן בר רבא אמר רב אמיה דאברהם אמתלאי בת כרנבו אמיה דהמן אמתלאי בת עורבתי וסימניך טמא טמא טהור טהור Bava Basra 91a (I knew it existed, but will admit to having resorted to Google to find it fast.)


9

There is an opinion (Rit Algazi, in his commentary to Ramban's Hilchos Bechoros 8:65) that the rule about the son of a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father being Jewish comes with a caveat: it depends on how he was raised. If (as was often the case in earlier times) a non-Jew impregnated a Jewish woman (whether consensually or not) and afterwards wasn't ...


9

Rambam (Hil. Sotah 3:3), based on the Gemara (Sotah 7b), states that a sotah is told the story of Reuven in its literal sense, to induce her to confess: "Many great and honorable people before you were overpowered by their inclinations and stumbled [and yet they confessed, so you should do the same]." Which would seem to imply that there is indeed room to ...


9

Seder Hadoros puts the births of both of them in the same year (2233), and also cites Nesiv Hayashar quoting Birkas Shmuel that they were indeed twins.


9

There is little to indicate that the Rabbis went against Jesus, or that Jesus in his lifetime, even claimed to be a prophet or the messiah. However, by the time Christianity started to make inroads in Israel, there were rules to keep Christians separate from Jews. The reasons for this were many, but the most clearly documented ones are that Christians ...


9

To quote S. from On The Main Line: Rashi was known by Christians as Rabbi Solomon Jarchi (Yarchi) because of a mistake, the mistake being that it was thought that 1) he was from Lunel and 2) that the yud stood for ירחי, which was Hebrew for "from Lunel" (Lunel as in luna as in moon). This mistake was so entrenched that the Chida (page 6 in linked ...


9

Toldos Tanaaim V'Amoroim Volume 2 Page 137 says that it is highly unlikely that Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava was the son of Bava ben Buta. Bava ben Buta lived in the times of Hordos (73/74 BCE - 4 BCE - source) and was a student of Shamai Hazakain (50 BCE–30 CE - source) while Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava was killed after Churban Beitar (135 CE - source).


9

The Chida notes that no Tannaim or Amoraim were named Avraham (however, see mention of אברם חוזאה in Gittin 50a). The quote from the Chida follows (Shem ha-Gedolim in his entry for Mar R. Avraham Gaon): וראה זה חדש שלא מצינו בתנאים שבמשנה והבריתא תנא ששמו אברהם וגם מאמוראים לא מצאתי כעת בס' יוחסין... גם שם יצחק בתנאים שבמשנה לא יש מי ששמו יצחק, אך בבריתא ...


9

Tosfos in Bava Basra 141a writes: בת היה לו ובכל שמה. וא"ת ולמה לא השיאה ליצחק למ"ד בפרק ארבע מיתות (סנהדרין דף נח:) דבן נח מותר באחותו וי"ל דשמא קטנה היתה ולא רצה עדיין להשיאה ליצחק אי נמי מהגר היתה לו ולא משרה ולכך לא רצה להשיאה ליצחק Tosfos asks, if Avraham Avinu had a daughter why didn't Yitzchak marry her, according to the opinion that a ben ...



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