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Is there any evidence in the ancient Sources that the Talmudic rabbis were aware of the existence of America?

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    This article has the zohar and Rashi implying knowledge of 7 continents: hidabroot.com/article/67713/… – Josh K Sep 6 '19 at 19:36
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    @joshk it counted Asia and Europe separately? That's an absolute miracle! – Double AA Sep 8 '19 at 1:23
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    1) Is this on topic? 2) What leads you to think they were or were not aware of America? – Lee Sep 8 '19 at 20:00
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    Yes, if you include מסכת עמאריקא in the Talmud - rosetta.nli.org.il/delivery/… – Harel13 Feb 24 at 6:21
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    @Harel13. Great find! Thanks! – Maurice Mizrahi Feb 24 at 11:41
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although i dont know if the sages of the talmud knew about america, i assume they did, because adam harishon did know about it. ''every land upon which adam decreed settlement was settled; every land upon which adam did not decree about was not settled'' [berachos 31b] how would they know this if they didn't hear about america

  • Your answer is an assertion without evidence. On the contrary, there is no evidence that the Talmudic rabbis knew of the Americas. Why assume when there is no evidence? this reminds me of the Mormons who believe that Native Americans descended from the Jews. When asked to provide evidence for such assertions, they replied with faith. – Turk Hill Sep 9 '19 at 22:16
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    It's learned from a derasha so it seems that it's not really a proof of independent knowledge of America in particular – b a Sep 9 '19 at 22:17
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Most rabbis put their emphasis on Halacha. But they were honest to admit that most of their knowledge about astronomy came from the Greeks. I do not think the rabbis were aware that the earth was spherical or that the earth rotated around the sun, as Rabbi Slifkin demonstrated in his books, much less about the Americas.

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    "There are no sources which speak of the Americas." How do you know? That is what is the OP is looking for but I assume he wants more than your personal opinion. Are there sources that support your claim? If not none of the above answers the question – mbloch Sep 9 '19 at 3:36
  • @mbloch The rabbis were honest and would not lie. So we can believe them when they give reason to reject, for example, Jesus. Since they did not mention Jesus in the Talmud we should assume that they did not believe in him. Similarly, since they did not speak of the Americas, we should acknowledge that they were probably ignorant of that matter. But their focus was on Halacha. There was no practical reason to know about another continent. It also didn't matter (halachically) what exact rivers flowed through Britain, so too it doesn't matter how many continents they are. – Shmuel Sep 9 '19 at 16:16

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