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Questions tagged [historical-figures]

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If there were people before/during Avraham's life that recognised Hashem, why was Avraham chosen specifically?

We know that Shem lived during the life of Avraham Avinu, described as Malki Tzedek. Why is Avraham considered the first to spread ethical monotheism (concluding in G-d choosing him) if it's known ...
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1answer
80 views

What are some major differences between the G'RA and the Ba'al Shem Tov?

What are some major differences between the G'RA and the Ba'al Shem Tov, in terms of hashkafa, learning style, and other differences? Any sources would be great.
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1answer
72 views

The acronym יש״ו ימח שמו וזכרו

Is there any connection between the acronym יש״ו ימח שמו וזכרו and ישו the person? Is this just a coincidence, or does the acronym actually originate with the historical ישו?
1
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1answer
45 views

Who was a סרקייא?

Throughout Talmud Yerushalmi, there are references to סרקייא. The translation I am using translates it "Saracen," but that seems anachronistic. One reference in Bava Metzia indicates it is a non-...
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3answers
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What literally was the mark of Cain?

וַיֹּ֧אמֶר ל֣וֹ יְהוָ֗ה לָכֵן֙ כָּל־הֹרֵ֣ג קַ֔יִן שִׁבְעָתַ֖יִם יֻקָּ֑ם וַיָּ֨שֶׂם יְהוָ֤ה לְקַ֙יִן֙ א֔וֹת לְבִלְתִּ֥י הַכּוֹת־אֹת֖וֹ כָּל־מֹצְאֽוֹ׃ (Genesis 4:15) What literally was the mark ...
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Is there is any way to learn the names of people who were working on the preparation of the Vilna Shas? [closed]

A lot of people worked on the Romm's Vilna Talmud published in 1880. Is there is any way to get their names?
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3answers
232 views

Could Jesus have been a Rabbi?

Jesus was called a Rabbi during a time in history when being a Rabbi really meant something. He lived during the time of semicha, and his responses are often Rabbinic in nature. And so this begs the ...
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51 views

Which ספר מנורת המאור Sefer Menoras Hamaor came first?

Which ספר מנורת המאור Sefer Menoras Hamaor came first? Between the two sefarim called ספר מנורת המאור Sefer Menoras Hamaor - One written by Rav Yisrael ben Yoseph Alnakaweh, and one written by Rav ...
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1answer
103 views

The source of the story of GR"A and lashes

It is worrisome to argue with the Gra about the different meanings of words, particularly after the famous (apocryphal?) story of him ordering lashes for the maskil who asserted to him that gila, rina,...
5
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1answer
151 views

Who is Queen Cleopatra in Sanhedrin 90b?

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 90b relates: (Source from Sefaria.org) (Partial Quote) .....שאלה קליאופטרא מלכתא את ר"מ Queen Cleopatra asked Rabbi Meir..... My Question: What Queen Cleopatra was ...
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1answer
81 views

Living teachers of the Slabodka approach

The Alter of Slabodka died in 1927. Suppose someone today wanted to learn the unique "Slabodka approach" as embodied and taught by the Alter. Are there any remaining students of the Alter alive today (...
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1answer
134 views

the Rambam was hard of understanding [closed]

Someone told me that the Rambam when he was young was hard of understanding Is there a reputable source confirming this? How can I find it? What I found so far. לא הצטיין בשום תכונה מיוחדת. לא ...
5
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1answer
590 views

Hammurabi in the Book of Genesis

In the additional notes to the Book of Exodus in the Hertz Chumash, Rabbi Hertz writes: For nearly a century there has been continuous archæological rediscovery of ancient civilizations that had ...
4
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1answer
91 views

Source that indicates which Sefira corresponds to which persona

The Ten Sefiros can be correlated to people in Tanach. For example, Avraham is Chesed, Yitzchok is Gevurah, Moshe is Netzach, etc. I'm looking for an early source which lays out these correlations. ...
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1answer
80 views

Known birthdays

In the season of my birthday, I was wondering: Which figures, from Tanach and Sha"s, do we know the exact birthday of? I am aware of Moshe's birthday being identified as the 7th of Adar. Which other ...
2
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1answer
131 views

the Alter Rebbe's daughter had a male soul

What is the source that the Alter Rebbe's daughter (Fraida) had a male soul? I heard in a shiur that the alter rebbe said that his daughter has a male soul (I guess similar to this) Is this true (...
4
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1answer
160 views

What do we know about Yefuneh?

(Inspired by Who was Yehoshua Bin Nun's father?, as well as the riddle "What was Kalev ben Yefuneh's father's name?" "Chetzron!") Looking for sources that an actual person named Yefuneh actually ...
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1answer
122 views

Aristotle learning Torah

I have seen from a few places which claim that they have found a letter written from Aristotle to Alexander the great . In the letter Aristotle laments about the fact that he wasted so much time on ...
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0answers
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Did Rabeinu Tam wear Rashi Tefilin?

To the best of my knowledge the majority of people that wear Rabeinu Tam Tefilin put it on without a Bracha at some later point in Tefila or after Tefila. Based on this I was wondering is there any ...
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1answer
92 views

When Rishonim's title includes “ibn”, is it never his father's name? [closed]

While learning in Yeshiva, we focused also on clarifying our Mesorah. We are medakdek to know the Chachamim that are discussed in each sefer. One Sefer that helps us in clarifying who the Chachamim we ...
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146 views

What is the approximate date of the demarcation between Ashkenazim and Sephardim?

Based on this article it would seem that the transition from a unified people into two groups, Ashkenazim and Sephardim, began in the 9th century and proceeded over time. I would like to know if there ...
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3answers
749 views

Who is the Infamous Little Horn of Daniel 7?

"and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Who was Yalta's father?

In Gittin 67b Yalta is identified by Rashi as the daughter of the Nasi/Exilarch. Since she was married to the 3rd generation Babylonian Amora Rav Nachman (as per brachot 51b) I assume she was born ...
2
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1answer
112 views

Problem with Likkutei Maharil

I was listening to a shiur by Rav Asher Weiss on asmachta and he brought three explanations for its purpose: Ritvah - A derabannan that has a source in the torah Tosafos and Rambam - Memorization ...
2
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1answer
154 views

Who is the “Gilyon” on the page of the Talmud?

In many versions of the Talmud there are textual emendations made by "Gilyon". Who is this Gilyon and where did the publishers of the Talmud get this material from? The Gilyon I'm referring to is ...
8
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1answer
133 views

Composed with the desire of our Father in heaven

Both the sefer Ohr Sameach and Meshech Chochmah, written by Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, have on their title page the words חובר ברצון אבינו שבשמים (See http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=...
6
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1answer
109 views

halachic status of the Nasi in the talmud

I would like to understand the status of the Nasi in the times of the talmud. It seems that this was both an inherited position as well as something that could be lost/taken away and given to another ...
3
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1answer
267 views

Why did the R' Akiva marry the wife of Tyrannus Rufus?

The gemara in Avodah zara 20a brings a Baraisa that says, ואף רבי עקיבא ראה אשת טורנוסרופוס הרשע רק שחק ובכה רק שהיתה באה מטיפה סרוחה שחק דעתידה דמגיירא ונסיב לה בכה דהאי שופרא בלי עפרא We ...
5
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1answer
1k views

What was the pillar of stone of Seth's children mentioned by Josephus?

According to Josephus (Book 1, Chapter 2, 68-71), the family of Seth, the third son of Adam, was noted for constructing a particularly long-lasting edifice or monument. ...Now this Seth...did ...
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1answer
58 views

Did the wicked kings know how to learn?

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 102a) says Jeroboam I was almost as great as King David: וירבעם יצא מירושלים אמר ר' חנינא בר פפא שיצא מפיתקה של ירושלים (מלכים א יא, כט) וימצא אותו אחיה השילוני הנביא בדרך ...
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1answer
66 views

Kivrei Tanaim and Amoraim

How do we know for certain where in Israel Tanaim and Amoraim are buried if we've been exiled for so long?
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98 views

Heros of the Rabbanan Holidays and Ultimately losing out

Why is it that both Purim and Chanukah the heroes of their stories ended up losing out? That is Esther had no Jewish descendants as she married a non Jew (though her son was Jewish according to ...
1
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1answer
85 views

Which Rabbi was this?

I remember reading a journal article about a modern orthodox rabbi in late 19th century America who held the position that rabbis need to try to find lenient halachik rulings to make the lives of ...
3
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2answers
169 views

Gedolim with difficult beginnings

Although we all know the story of the Netziv, does anyone know any other stories of relatively famous Jewish personalizes who had a difficult time learning Torah in the beginning? I remember hearing ...
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1answer
75 views

Ben Kamtza and Bar Kamtza

In the Y.K. Davening, we read about kohanim who kept trade secrets of the temple to themselves. One of these, Ben Kamtza, knew a way of writing gods name with four pens in one hand so all the letters ...
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1answer
1k views

What was the ultimate fate of Rabbi Elisha ben Abuyah (Acher)?

Unsong is a work of online serial fiction by Scott Alexander which is based heavily on Judaism. (I highly recommend it to Jews and Gentiles alike.) In this chapter of Unsong, the archangel Uriel ...
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3answers
677 views

The Torah's perspective on waiting or patience

1) What are the virtues of learning to wait or having patience, סבלנות? 2) Is there anywhere in the Torah that shows because of lacking patience or the ability to wait, caused tragedies throughout ...
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1answer
212 views

How Could Jezebel, the Worshipper of Baal, be the Mother of Two Kings of Israel?

Jezebel was not Jewish by birth (Kings 1:16:31), nor do the verses say she converted. How did her two sons become kings of Israel and why didn't anybody like Elijah or Elisha (and later on especially ...
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1answer
325 views

What tribe was Jehu from?

From which tribe did Jehu, King of Israel, descend?
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2answers
64 views

what is the etymology of “Nebat”?

Brown Driver Briggs, usually unabashed at offering extra-canonical etymology, offers only "proper name" as the etymological parse of נבט, given that it is only ever found in the phrase " יָרָבְעָ֣ם ...
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2answers
200 views

What does “He is the Ahasuerus” mean?

Why in the first pasuk of Megillas Esther is it written that Ahasuerus is the Ahasuerus that ruled from India to kush? Where there other Ahasuerus's that were important enough that in our bible we ...
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1answer
43 views

Why did Naphtali name his first son Yachtzeal (יַחֲצִיאֵל)?

Why did Naphtali name his first son Yachtzeal (יַחֲצִיאֵל)? The name is mentioned (as יַחְצְאֵל) in Bereishis 46:24 and Bamidbar 26:48, and (as יַחֲצִיאֵל) in Divrei Hayomim I 7:13, but is there any ...
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423 views

Why does the Brisker Derech focus on the Rambam?

In Reb Chaim Soloveitchik's Wikipedia page, it says about his derech that That focuses on precise definition/s and categorization/s of Jewish law as commanded in the Torah with particular emphasis ...
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1answer
518 views

Who was Methuselah?

Who was Methuselah? The Torah tells us not much about him. What does the Talmud and the Rabbis say about Methuselah?
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1answer
3k views

Is the book of Enoch part of judaism?

The book (or books) of Enoch is a collection of works purportedly made by Enoch, the great grandfather of Noach, before the flood. I read that they are not part of the Tanach, even though it contains ...
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1answer
98 views

When the רא״ש refers to “הגאון”, who is he referring to?

A friend posted on Facebook the following question, and I couldn't solve it based on any context, so I thought I'd bring it here. When the רא״ש refers to "הגאון", who is he referring to? Is there ...
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1answer
64 views

Identity of “the Greek rabbi” in the Raavad's gloss (Tum'at Met 17:3)

In the Raavad's gloss on Hilkhot Tum'at Met 17:3, he mentions a scholar who (like the Rambam) also erred in his definition of בטח - as found in the Mishna, Ohalot 12:3. Where the Rambam thinks that a ...
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1answer
74 views

Who is the Arba'ah Turei Even?

In the back of the Frankel printing of the Rambam, they have a section of collected commentaries. One of them is a work titled "Arba'ah Turei Even." The Frankel bio page identifies the author as אלעזר ...
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2answers
57 views

Who is “הנגד” that the Ramban is referring to?

The Ramban in Sefer Bereishis, Perek 17, Passuk 1, ד״ה א-ל שקי quotes Rebbi Avraham (the Ibn Ezra) who says something in the name of ״הנגד״ . The words of the Ramban are: ״ורבי אברהם יפרשו בשם הנגד ...
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Who saw angels?

Which historical figures in Tanach had visions of malachim (angels)? Which of these were themselves prophets (e.g. Abraham, Jacob, Balaam)? Which were figures very close to prophets but not themselves ...