Questions tagged [geography]

Questions about places with Jewish connections.

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10
votes
1answer
417 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however – 3,225 square miles – but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
-2
votes
2answers
171 views

Is there a spiritual significance to the fact one of the most heavily Jewish neighborhoods in NYC is “Crown” Heights? [closed]

This may seem like a strange question but I was curious if there was any religious significance to this. Possibly, Jews following the opinion of a Rabbi who saw the name as signifying a place of ...
21
votes
3answers
457 views

Why don't islands read the m'gila two days?

Bavli, M'gila 5 amud 2, cites a doubt as to when the m'gila is read in T'verya: on the fourteenth of Adar, as in most places, or on the fifteenth, as in a city walled since the time of Y'hoshua. The ...
5
votes
2answers
264 views

Did the Talmudic rabbis know about America?

Is there any evidence in the ancient Sources that the Talmudic rabbis were aware of the existence of America?
9
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2answers
258 views

How did the Sages know that Jerusalem had a wall in the times of Joshua?

The criterion for whether a city celebrates Purim on 14 Adar or Shushan Purim on 15 Adar is whether it was walled in the times of Joshua (about 3300 years ago). (Well, Shushan itself is an exception, ...
2
votes
4answers
480 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: ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Walled cities for Purim other than Jerusalem

The holiday of Purim is unique in that some locations celebrate it on different days. The rule is: if the city was walled at the time of Joshua's conquest of the Land of Israel then they celebrate on ...
5
votes
0answers
63 views

What is the halachic boundary of modern day Jerusalem in regards to Purim

I would like to know what the halachic boundaries of Jerusalem are today in terms of where one would be obligated in the mitzvot of Shushan Purim.
4
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4answers
185 views

How does the law of prayer direction apply to a spherical Earth?

A Beraita is cited in Berachot 30a as follows: ת"ר סומא ומי שאינו יכול לכוין את הרוחות יכוין לבו כנגד אביו שבשמים שנא' והתפללו אל ה' היה עומד בח"ל יכוין את לבו כנגד ארץ ישראל שנא' והתפללו אליך דרך ...
0
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0answers
40 views

Geographical importance of Me'arat Hamachpela for Adam

Does anybody mention the geographical importance of the Me'ara being situated about 40KM South of Jerusalem? As it preceded Hebron as a city, why did Adam choose this site specifically for his ...
20
votes
2answers
378 views

How to determine “population statistics” for population-dependent Halachot?

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
159 views

Why didn't Terach go to the Land of Canaan?

In Genesis 11:31, Terach takes Avraham (then Avram), Sarah (then Sarai), and Lot to the Land of Canaan, i.e. Israel. However, they stopped in Charan, and Terach spent the rest of his life there. Why ...
1
vote
0answers
70 views

Orientation of Kahati's map of the Beis Hamikdash

R' Kahati's map of the Beis Hamikdash - that is printed just before the beginning of Meseches Midos - has South at the top and North at the bottom. I have always found this a little confusing, being ...
4
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0answers
50 views

Maps that can aid the locations of the cities referenced in Masechet Gittin?

I’m currently learning Masechet Gittin and would like to know where I can find maps of the cities referenced in the first daf or so that can assist me. Cities like heger, rekem, kfar lud, etc is what ...
6
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4answers
935 views

Where is the Sambatyon?

Where is the Sambatyon? Is there really a river somewhere that throws stones all week and rests on Shabbos?
7
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1answer
641 views

Where does the Maharsha mention the Bermuda Triangle?

Someone once told me that the Maharsha talks about Bermuda Triangle in meseches berachos. Does anyone know where the Maharsha speaks about it?
-4
votes
1answer
127 views

Why did G-d create everything important off-center?

I hope not to argue that the Heliocentric view is true as is our current understanding of [our position in] the Universe, the Earth is rotating around the Sun, that is rotating around the center of ...
3
votes
2answers
366 views

Where is “Nachal Mitzrayim”?

According to Numbers 34:5 the south-western most point of (Biblical) Israel is "Nachal Mitzrayim". My first question is what river is this referring to? The first time I remember reading this I ...
2
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0answers
46 views

How the areas of the tribes were possibly equally valued?

I base my question solely on the WIKI of the division of the Land of Israel between the 9.5 tribes (the final division by Yehoshua). I'm not a big of a geographer, but I live in Israel, and I know ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

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׳: ...
6
votes
1answer
219 views

Location of the Beit HaDeshen

In "aizeho mekomon" (the 5th chapter of Maseches Z'vachim)we learn that the the porim hanisrofim were burned in the Beit HaDeshen. What please was the location of the Beit HaDeshen? I seem to remember ...
2
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0answers
46 views

Are the borders of Eretz Israel going to be the same in regard to the Torah when moshiach comes? [closed]

I have read before an opinion that they are not going to be the same borders, I am hoping for some backup information.
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Is Mt Hermon located within the biblical boundaries of the Holy Land?

According to interpreters, Is Mt Hermon located within the biblical boundaries of the Holy Land?
7
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4answers
409 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
103 views

Southern Birkas Ha'ilanos

I've seen Saying Mashiv HaRuach in the Southern Hemisphere. Similarly, is Birkas Ha'ilanos (ברכת האילנות) said in Tishrei in the southern hemisphere? That's when the trees bloom.
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Gr"A stating that Africa is [at] the South Pole

(Saw it today at the Kolel in Mikraot Gedolot, sorry can't find it online, please help). At the beginning of Divrei Hayamim, Pirush HaGr"a explains various nations coming out of Noah's sons and how ...
10
votes
3answers
246 views

Walled from the times of Joshua: Why Joshua?

The Halacha is that those who live in a city that was walled in the times of Yehoshuah reads on a different day (Rambam Hilchos Megillah 1:4-5). The question is why from Yehoshuah (Joshua) when the ...
5
votes
2answers
208 views

Is the Bnei Brak of the Hagada and Megila the same as modern-day Bnei Brak?

The Pesach Hagada mentions the story of five rabbis in Bnei Brak It happened once [on Pesach] that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarfon were ...
6
votes
0answers
73 views

The application of the dispute about the borders of Babylon

The Talmud (Kiddushin 71b) discusses the differences in the lineage of people from different places in the vicinity of Bavel (Babylon) by analogy of health. Bavel is healthy (has a good lineage), ...
4
votes
2answers
220 views

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) ...
7
votes
1answer
267 views

Late sunset times and Jewish observance

This question is distinct from other questions which ask how and when to begin Shabbat, etc. when there is no sunset. I am asking about places in which sunset occurs very late during certain times of ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
69 views

What's the difference between ציון and ירושלים?

What's the difference between ציון and ירושלים? Initially I thought that they are just synonyms but after reading some phrases in the bible I doubt whether it's correct or not. The phrases that ...
123
votes
4answers
6k views

Implications of Samoa skipping a Friday

This week, the island of Samoa is switching time zones, causing it to skip from Thursday directly to Saturday. Out of simple curiosity, what implications might this have on any Jews on the island? ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Modern Directions to Sambatyon River

A Rav recently mentioned a sefer was written by an American Rav in the 1930s called Kol Mevaser which provided exact directions to find the Sambatyon River. (The map began in Tibet and carefully ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
450 views

How animals populated different continents after the flood?

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood? Did some species of animals survive the flood? Or are we to understand that the flood only affected the ...
3
votes
1answer
58 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
325 views

What nationality was Bilam?

In Numbers 22:5, the Torah is unclear as to where Pethor is. If it wants to tell us where Pethor is, then tell us, but one can only figure out where Pethor is if one knows of which people was Bilam. ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

May one walk under the Arch of Titus?

I have heard that it is prohibited (or at least that the custom is not) to walk under the Arch of Titus in Rome. Is this accurate? If so, what is the source? Would it make a difference if a large ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Sources for the world being round in the Gemara

Can anyone bring me proofs from the Gemara that proves the world was round-and that this was known 2000+ years ago? I have looked around and I can't seem to find any sources which prove this.
11
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3answers
469 views

Rivers in Genesis

I will be upfront about it - I am skeptical of our tradition about the Torah being given on Mount Sinai, and suspect that Judaism is a man-made religion. It's not that I don't want Judaism to be true, ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Where is נהר פקוד?

Is this a actually river named pikod? Are there records where it is? (Mentioned in Zevachim 8b among other places.)
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Why does the Torah specify only that Le'ah's children were born in Paddan Aram?

Breishit 46:15 states that "These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore unto Jacob in Paddan-aram..." What is the significance of the Torah telling us where the children were born, and why does it ...
8
votes
1answer
431 views

Sheidim after the Baal Shem Tov

According to the Minchas Elazar, the Baal Shem Tov evicted the Sheidim from where humans live. Does that mean that they are still located in the wilderness areas and one must be "choshesh" for them ...
7
votes
3answers
311 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
8k views

Is the term Cushite used to refer to people of African descent?

While reading the book of Numbers (I am a Christian, I don't know if it is referred to something else in Judaism), I came across the passage (Numbers 12:1-15) where Miriam and Aaron were speaking ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

How precisely oriented towards Jerusalem should we face for praying?

I know we're supposed to face towards Jerusalem when praying/davening. For most of us in the Europe or the Western Hemisphere, we're used to facing "Mizrach", east. How precise should we be? If I'...