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7

I believe that the earliest source is in the Book of Yossipon (top of this page): ויאמר הכהן אל המלך הזהב אשר נדבו שפתיך תנהו למחית כהני אלהינו לעניי הכהנים אשר יולדו בשנה הזאת בכל יהודה ובכל ארץ ירושלם יקראו כשמך אלכסנדר ויהי לך לזכרון כאשר יבאו לעבוד את עבודת אלהינו בבית הזה כי אין לנו לקבל בבית אלהיגו פסל וכל תמונה ויעש המלך כן ויתן את הזהב ...


4

In several places, I've seen people reference the pasuk, זְכֹר יְמוֹת עוֹלָם, בִּינוּ שְׁנוֹת דֹּר-וָדֹר (Devarim 32:7), as a general imperative to study history, but this isn't stated explicitly in Chazal or Rishonim, (and by only one posek, see below) as far as I'm aware. Instead, they do prohibit reading ספרים חיצונים (see Sanedrin 100b), which the Rambam ...


4

The following does not answer the historical aspect of the question directly, but it provides background suggesting that (1.) the circumstances during the diaspora seem to have frequently (if not usually) qualified as "times of oppression", not only during the most acute tragedies of Jewish history, and (2.) the fasts under those circumstances would not have ...


3

Bais Aharon - page 510 says that it is mentioned in Yossipon, end of first book - Chapter 5.


1

In the olden days - as stated in Pirkei Avoth בן חמש למקרא - one would only learn Shas (Talmud Bavli) after becoming proficient in Chumash and Mishna. One would then concentrate on Shas as it's the basis for Halacho. Besides, it's really difficult to properly understand Rambam, Tur and Shulchan Aruch (the 3 "off the page" pillars of Halacha) without ...


1

According to Jewish philosophy and mysticism, man is a dual creature, combining both a noble, divine, altruistic drive as well as a base, selfish, physical one. The Jewish people were chosen to be a "light onto the nations" to guide them toward the subservience of the base drives to to divine ones. As such, men who chose to guide themselves by their base, ...


1

Remembering Sinai The ramban counts the rememberance of the event of Sinai one of the 613 biblical commandments Based on the verse רַק הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ וּשְׁמֹר נַפְשְׁךָ מְאֹד פֶּן תִּשְׁכַּח אֶת הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר רָאוּ עֵינֶיךָ וּפֶן יָסוּרוּ מִלְּבָבְךָ כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ וְהוֹדַעְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ וְלִבְנֵי בָנֶיךָ: יוֹם אֲשֶׁר עָמַדְתָּ לִפְנֵי ...


1

Divrei hayamim shel medinos acheiros is called sifrei chiztoni by the bartenura in the begining of cheillek and in hilchos shabbos the shulchan aruch reffers to it in similar terms, so if anything, the burden of proof would be to say that its not an aveira to read.


1

Asimov's Guide to the Bible by Isaac Asimov takes an academic view but includes information about both miraculous and mundane archaeology. He does invoke rabbinical sources and I was surprised that certain things are actually supported. Og's bed, for example, is indeed visible to this day.


1

The Riddle of the Exodus by James Long adheres fairly well to Orthodox religious beliefs (it was recommended to me by an Orthodox Rabbi), and discusses much of the relevant archaeology. The book's focus is, like the title, on the Exodus: showing that the decline of the great empire of Egypt corresponds with the time of the Biblical story of its destruction ...


1

The moznayim, i.e. vagshal prints have all the censored peices put back, also of interest is Dikdukei Sofrim which has at least 4 ancient manuscripts predating the printingpress standardised shaas. The reason not to put them back is because the Jews in Spain Poland Germany and countless other countries tought us a valuable lesson with their lives that no ...



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