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Questions tagged [geography]

Questions about places with Jewish connections.

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Was Africa destined for the Europeans - descendants of Yefet?

A little follow-up to my previous question: There are two interesting Targumim suggesting that Africa was oroginally destined for the descendants of Yefet (Gen 10,2): תרגום ירושלמי, בראשית י׳:ב׳: ...
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1answer
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Dividing the world for the sons of Noah

Rashi (Gen 12,6) mentions that Noah divided the world between his sons and that Israel was given to Shem and his descendants: והכנעני אז בארץ. הָיָה הוֹלֵךְ וְכוֹבֵשׁ אֶת אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל ...
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1answer
41 views

Sources for the location of the Red Sea

I am looking for Jewish sources that touch on the question of where (on a modern map) the crossing of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds) took place. In my research, I'm finding several possible locations, ...
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1answer
67 views

Was There a Specific Location that the Babylonian Talmud was Written

The exact (think GPS) location of many biblical sites are known. We know exectly where Abraham bound Issac and suspect that is the same spot where the Holy of Holies was. Some of the ancient sites (or ...
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How early were maps used to understand Tanach?

In many editions of Tanach I’ve seen there are often maps of the middle eastern area in attempt to explain the places where certain events occurred. (For example, the journeys of יעקב אבינו or stuff ...
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Where is נהר פקוד?

Is this a actually river named pikod? Are there records where it is? (Mentioned in Zevachim 8b among other places.)
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Halachot that are dependent on population statistics

There appear to be several halachot that are based on "a majority of Israel". For example: Mishnah Berachot 54a: הרואה מקום שנעשו בו נסים לישראל אומר ברוך שעשה נסים לאבותינו במקום הזה IF ONE ...
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2answers
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What was Yaakov's funeral procession doing in Transjordan?

We read in Bereishit 50:10-11 וַיָּבֹאוּ עַד-גֹּרֶן הָאָטָד, אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן, וַיִּסְפְּדוּ-שָׁם, מִסְפֵּד גָּדוֹל וְכָבֵד מְאֹד; וַיַּעַשׂ לְאָבִיו אֵבֶל, שִׁבְעַת יָמִים. וַיַּרְא ...
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Are Ra'meses and Ra'amses the same place

In Bereishit 47:11 (and Shemot 12:37 and Bamidbar 33:3 and 33:5) we find mention of an Egyptian place called רַעְמְסֵס - Ra'meses. In Shemot 1:11 we find mention of an Egyptian place called רַעַמְסֵס ...
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2answers
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Why did Jacob live “in his father's dwelling land”?

Parashas Vayeshev begins (Genesis 37:1, in my own translation): Jacob lived in the land of his father's dwelling: in the land of Canaan. I understand why it repeats the already-known fact (35:27, ...
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Distance from Chevron to Sedom

Rashi (Genesis 19:1, "BaErev") asks rhetorically, וכי כל כך שהו המלאכים מחברון לסדום , implying that it's close from Chevron to Sedom. But if we assume that Sedom was located where the current Dead ...
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1answer
168 views

Does the Third Temple have to be built on the Temple Mount?

Suppose it is allowed for Jews in the present to build a Third Temple, does that temple have to stand on the Temple Mount? Modern Israel is in many ways (actually most) not similar to the Israelite's ...
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286 views

Where was Abraham born?

Where was Abraham born? There are a couple of confusing, and perhaps even conflicting verses in the bible about Abraham's original homeland. The general consensus is that Abraham and his family were ...
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1answer
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Did Rabbi Akiva Go To Africa?

The Gemara in Rosh Hashana 26a says: ואמר רבי עקיבא כשהלכתי לאפריקי... Rabbi Akiva said: when I went to Afriki Is this referring to the continent of Africa? Was Africa in this time period ...
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2answers
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Places with no half-denomination coin

The custom is to give 1 or 3 half-denomination coins to tzedaka on Taanit Esther to remember the yearly mitzva of machatzit hashekel (Rama 694:1). How is this done in a country that has no half ...
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Tzarfat and France in Rabbinic Literature

Why does rabbinic literature identify France with Tzarfat? Tzarfat itself is mentioned only a few times, namely 'Ovadia 1:20, along with the only istance of Sepharad (which is identified with Spain) ...
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Why does Ya'aqov refer to Paddan-Aram simply as Paddan?

If I'm not mistaken, Paddan-Aram is only ever referred to by its full name (i.e. Paddan-Aram). Nevertheless, Ya'aqov Avinu at the end of his life, refers to it simply as Paddan (Bereshit 48:7): ...
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What time should Chanuka candles be lit in the Southern Hemisphere?

My prayer book says The Chanukah lights should be kindled as soon as possible after nightfall. I live in Melbourne, and due to the summer solstice and daylight saving, nightfall is very late (...
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The “Galil” in the times of Chazal

The Galil is a portion of Eretz Yisrael mentioned often in Chazal (Mishnayos, Tosefta, Bavli, Yerushalmi.) It's generally referring to the "northern" part of Eretz Yisrael. We even see in the ...
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Ritual locations during the times of the Mishkan

There are certain, rituals such as the sending away of the scapegoat on Yom Kippur or the drawing of water on Sukkot which are described in Mishna as relating geographically to the location of the ...
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Minhogim of Breslau, Poland

As a descendant of a long line of Jews from Breslau, Poland, I was wondering: Are there any specific minhogim of Breslau (modern day Wrocław) and if yes what are they? This might be different from ...
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1answer
251 views

Was the whole earth covered during The Flood?

Are there commentaries that suggest that the flood during the time of Noach was localised to one geographic area, as opposed to the whole Earth. In Bereishit 8:9 when the dove was sent out it says: ...
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1answer
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Which French/European city is “Kiryath Yearim”?

Sefer Hamanhig Hilchos Shabbos, 69 refers to the Rabbi from Kiryath Yearim. It is clear he is not referring to the town near Jerusalem, as he does not quote any source in the Talmud or Midrash, and he ...
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Shabbat in Alaska? [duplicate]

How does that work? My husband wants to go to Alaska for at least a few weeks. He even dreams of living there some day. How is Shabbat celebrated in Alaska? Do they have any synagogues there? If so ...
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2answers
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R' Yehoshua and the Athenian Elders: Where is the center of the world?

This is part of a series of questions on the Gemara in Bechoros 8b-9a. Below is a summary of the relevant parts of the Gemara. After being challenged by Caesar, R' Yehoshua went to Athens to defeat ...
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Where can maaser sheini be eaten? (Size of Jerusalem)

Maaser sheini must be eaten in Jerusalem. For this purpose, halachic Jerusalem is the same size as when it was set by the Sanhedrin ~2000 years ago. On today's map, what is included? (An image with a ...
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138 views

Maps of Biblical Israel according to different authorities

After learning through Sefer Yehoshua with a variety of commentaries, I noticed that there seems to be alot of differing opinions in how the land was divided up amongst the Shevatim and the shape of ...
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T'chum shabas maps?

There are many better or worse maintained maps of eruvei chatzeros available to the public, which are a boon to travellers to a new place interested in where they can move things outdoors during ...
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1answer
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Info on Levonah

Considering the current parshios mentioning of Levonah (Frankincense, Olibanum), I decided to look into it a bit. According to the wiki entry here there are therapeutic and medicinal properties ...
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1answer
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How can Australia celebrate Pesach at the same time of year as other countries?

The Torah commands that we celebrate Pesach in the spring time so how can Australia celebrate Pesach at the same time of year as other countries? While I suspect the answer is that they celebrate at ...
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2answers
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Where is the land of Sinim?

In Isaiah Perek 49 Pasuk 12 it says: הִנֵּה-אֵלֶּה, מֵרָחוֹק יָבֹאוּ; וְהִנֵּה-אֵלֶּה מִצָּפוֹן וּמִיָּם, וְאֵלֶּה מֵאֶרֶץ סִינִים Behold, these shall come from far; and, lo, these from the ...
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187 views

Reshus Horabim Today?

The most lenient shita for a reshus horabim i have ever heard of is that 600,000 people must pass on the road EVERY day. Do any roads with daily CAPACITY for 600,000 people exist today? Do any roads ...
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What are the Judean boundaries with regard to contemporary landmarks?

What are the halachic boundaries of Judea (the inheritance of the Israelite tribe of Judah) with regard to contemporary landmarks/cities?
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Online maps of the Biblical Middle East overlaying the modern ME

Are there any maps online that contain relatively reliable Biblical landmarks, cities, routes, and boundaries overlaying the modern Middle East? I'm particularly interested in the boundaries of the ...
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2answers
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Six month daytime duration

In the Beresheit account of Creation, a day begins at sundown and ends the next day at sundown. But we know closer to each of the Earth's poles, an actual day can last up to six months. The sun rises ...
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4answers
285 views

Comprehensive map/list of active Orthodox synagogues in the U.S

Does anyone know of a map or list of all the active Orthodox shuls in the U.S.? When I was looking for which residencies to apply to it was my limiting factor and sometimes it was hard to find out ...
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3answers
194 views

Why Italia of Yavan?

The gemara in Megila 6b refers to איטליא של יון זה כרך גדול של רומי, which translates literally as: Italy of Greece, this is the great city of Rome. This seems odd insofar as I know, Italy never ...
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2answers
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What happened with G-d's promise?

In Bereshit 15:18 G-d makes a covenant with Abraham in which He says that He has given certain land to Abraham's descendants. בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כָּרַת יְהֹוָה אֶת אַבְרָם בְּרִית לֵאמֹר לְזַרְעֲךָ ...
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Jewish communities west of London

My employer has asked me to move to as close as possible to their main office in Bramley, Hampshire (between Basingstoke and Reading). However, I do wish to live in a place with some orthodox Jewish ...
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1answer
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Questions about the story of Noah

There's a doubt I have about the story of Noah that I can't explain. If Noah's ark landed about 4000 years ago in what is now Turkey, how could some land animals get to places such as Australia or ...
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Best Jewish place to live - financially

I have seen studies done in the past as to the best places to retire or best cities for raising a family. I was wondering if anyone ever did a study comparing housing costs, kosher food costs, Jewish ...
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3answers
166 views

River flowing from the southern end of the Dead Sea?

A footnote on page 966 of the Artscroll chumash (this week's reading) has a map that includes the dead sea. The map shows a river flowing from the southern tip of the sea. According to a Duke U site: ...
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2answers
98 views

Significance of Dead Sea

Are there any sources from chazal explaining the significance of the Dead Sea in Israel. (what is it doing here and why) The Dead Sea is a very unusual phenomena worldwide. it also happens to be the ...
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1answer
218 views

Water left unopened

According to this article from the Kof-K one is obligated in covering water bottles, but we dont practice today as snakes are not common, but what if i lived in a desert like city, like Phoenix ...
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Why the need to mention the place that certain rabbis came from in Pirkei Avot?

In Pirkei Avot, a few rabbis are mentioned along with their place of residence (or is it their birth place?) Specifically: Antignos from Socho (ch 1 mishna 3) Yose ben Yo'ezer from Tzreida & Yose ...
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177 views

Is Shushan Purim observed (in theory) in Shush, Iran?

Shushan, Achashveirosh's capital, is identified with the modern Iranian archaeological site of Susa. A city, Shush, has been established nearby. In modern-day Shush, (if any Jews lived there), what ...
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233 views

Israel-centric map projection

Does anyone know how to get a hold of an azimuthal equidistant projection of the globe with Israel/Jerusalem at the center. (See: http://www.progonos.com/furuti/MapProj/Normal/CartDef/MapDef/mapDef....
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History: Prevalence of Torah study

Historically, when has Torah study throughout the world been most prevalent, and when has Torah suffered relatively limited study and knowledge thereof? Are there any sources that break this down? It ...
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0answers
47 views

“Down” to Jerusalem?

I have heard many people say "up to Jerusalem", i think as a sign of respect. It also happens to be that it's on a mountain, so you do have to go up. But is there a problem with saying "down" to/in ...
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144 views

Is it permissible to live in California (or similar places) that have an earthquake risk?

I'm from a place that usually never gets an earthquake, I want to move to California but it sounds dangerous because of the earthquake possibility (soil turning to liquid, no warning, etc)... Is ...