Skip to main content

Questions tagged [historical-figures]

questions pertaining to Jewish historical figures

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
2 answers
100 views

Reference book needed

Any suggestions for a reference book that is a "Who's Who" of persons named in the Tanach? Persons do appear in multiple places (such as in Shmuel and Divrei Hayamim, or in the lives of ...
steve nachman's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
63 views

Who’s Bar Tutni

The Gemara in Keritot 4b has Reish Lakish quoting someone named בר תאוטני. If my AlHatorah search was correct, it seems this is the only place in Shas he is mentioned. Does anyone have more info on ...
Curious Yid's user avatar
  • 2,572
1 vote
2 answers
211 views

Did Ramban ever cite kabbalah books?

Is there any evidence Ramban (Nachmanides) had access to books of kabbalah and did he ever cite them? I believe he is generally seen as Maimonides’ mystical counterpart. Is there any historical record ...
Kirk's user avatar
  • 4,676
10 votes
2 answers
284 views

Were Rivka, Rachel, and Leah monotheists prior to marrying their respective husbands?

I was wondering what the religious affiliation of Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah were prior to getting married. Did they all already acknowledge HaShem as G-d or at least subscribed to monotheism?
ddas91600's user avatar
  • 378
1 vote
1 answer
436 views

Lavan the son of whom?

Why is Lavan sometimes named as the son of Bethuel his father, and othertimes after his grandfather Nachor? וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח יִצְחָק֙ אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֔ב וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ פַּדֶּ֣נָֽה אֲרָ֑ם אֶל־לָבָ֤ן בֶּן־...
Shababnik's user avatar
  • 1,944
1 vote
0 answers
253 views

Who was Adina? (Lavan's wife)

In Sefer Hayashar it says: ויזרע יצחק בארץ ההיא, וימצא בשנה ההיא מאה שערים ויברכו ה׳. ויגדל האיש ויהי לו ובשנת חמישים ושש שנים לחיי יעקב, באו אנשים מחרן ויגידו לרבקה על אודות לבן בן בתואל אחיה. כי ...
Shababnik's user avatar
  • 1,944
2 votes
2 answers
212 views

Why do we have many teachings from Hillel and Shammai, but very few of earlier zugot?

We venerate our previous generations, and have a principle of yeridat hadorot. Therefore I would imagine that the Torah of Samaya and Avtalyon, for example, would be pure gold for us, and threaded ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
  • 10.5k
0 votes
0 answers
65 views

Who was Rambam responding to when he argued for free will against the idea that everything is pre-destined/pre-determined? Did any thinkers believe it

It is well known that Rambam advocated against the ideas that everything is pre-destined and pre-determined and that he believed in (absolute) free will for humanity. The fact that he felt that it was ...
setszu's user avatar
  • 944
0 votes
1 answer
126 views

When did R’ Hillel make the calendar?

I noticed that the Sefer HaChinukh (§4) attributes the calendar to Rabbi Hillel II, whom the mechaber says was the son of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi. I have never before encountered the idea that Rabbi ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
  • 18.9k
0 votes
0 answers
92 views

Which famous Rabbi had lifelong stomach pain?

I recently heard a shiur that quoted a famous rabbi (I think an Acharon) who talked about having stomach pain every day of his life, and studying torah was the only thing that gave him any joy. Does ...
human347359's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
129 views

Where is Nimrod written about outside Genesis, Chronicles, and Micah? In particular, is he described anywhere as mighty, strong, vigorous, etc?

I am ultimately interested in finding out why Greek scribes translated the Hebrew works as "mighty hunter" in Genesis and Chronicles for the Septuagint. The original Hebrew in those books do ...
Tym0027's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
204 views

What does it mean that Jacob had two concubines?

The Wikipedia article on the 12 tribes of Israel mention that Jacob had two wives, Leah and Rachel and two concubines Bilhah and Zilpah. What does the word concubine mean here? Is it like a mistress?
Neil Meyer's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
283 views

Was Herod Jewish?

Slightly related. This topic has been on my mind lately. According to Josephus, Herod's father Antipater was the son of Antipas, one of the Edomites converted by Yochanan Hyrcanus. I asked one of the ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
6 votes
1 answer
219 views

Rav Kook's full name

Recently, I discovered that when the Rav Kook was sick before he died, a third name was added to his name - Yechizkiyahu. This can be seen in this sign calling to people to pray for him: (image taken ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.8k
0 votes
0 answers
42 views

Who was Channah? [duplicate]

Throughout the Gemara we find grandchildren of Channah. There's Rabbah bar bar Channah, and R Yitzchak bar bar Channah, both quoted extensively, and maybe others that I don't know about because I don'...
Yehuda's user avatar
  • 2,055
2 votes
1 answer
119 views

From where do we get the birthplace of R Nehunia Ben Hakana?

According to Aryeh Kaplan in his introduction to the Bahir, R Nehunia Ben Hakana is from Ammaus (Emmaus). This is also indicated on the Jewish Virtual Encyclopedia and Wikipedia. None of these sources ...
JBiggs's user avatar
  • 123
3 votes
0 answers
129 views

Who were students of both the Vilna Gaon and the Maggid of Mezrich

I know Rav Avraham Kalisk was, and Mordechai Babroisk. I know there were others, but there seems to be quite a few more.
Lone yid's user avatar
  • 109
3 votes
3 answers
156 views

Jewish historical novels

Do you know any Jewish historical novels that center around the lives and times of the rabbis of the Talmud? I know As a Driven Leaf but very few others.
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

Did Maimonides really refer to Muhammad (the Islamic prophet) as a false prophet and a madman?

Maimonides referred to Muhammad as a false prophet and an insane man. In his Epistle to Yemen he wrote "After Jesus arose the Madman who emulated his precursor Jesus, since he paved the way for ...
Dark Knight's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
257 views

Who wrote the Haggada?

Who wrote our haggada? Was is a tanna, amora or reishon? I've heard different rumors from different people. Some say Rashi compiled it. Some say it was a tanna while others say it was an amora.
Shlomy's user avatar
  • 3,813
2 votes
2 answers
146 views

Why was Nevuchadnezer able to command horses not to whinny, and birds not to fly?

In the second chapter of Daniel in verse 38, At the beginning of his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream Daniel explains "Hashem, gave you rule over People, wild breasts and birds of heaven, ...
Sochacz's user avatar
  • 477
0 votes
0 answers
148 views

Where can I find a compilation of all the Chida's (Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai) riddles?

Did the Chida write a separate book of riddles or the few I've heard are from various different books?
Elcho's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
318 views

Who is Onkelos?

We're all familiar with Onkelos as a convert and a translator. According to Wikipedia, he was a prominent Roman nobleman, the son of a man named Callinicus and the sister of Titus, the Roman emperor. ...
Yehuda's user avatar
  • 2,055
4 votes
1 answer
300 views

Looking for source of story about the Noda Beyehuda and the Baal Shem Tov

I'm looking for a source of a supposed conversation between the Node Beyehuda and the Baal Shem Tov regarding the reliablitiy of a mystical 'halachic sixth sense' in halacha. It involved the Baal Shem ...
chortkov2's user avatar
  • 9,529
1 vote
1 answer
202 views

Known Autodidact Talmidei Chachumim (Gedolim) [closed]

Most Gedolim are known for their saintly deeds and breadth of Torah knowledge. Most of the Gedolim are known to have to learnt by other Gedolim or other giants in torah. But there are a number of ...
FalseMessiah's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
560 views

Who is Artaxerxes of Ezra 4?

Ezra 4:4-24: 4. Thereupon the people of the land undermined the resolve of the people of Judah, and made them afraid to build. 5. They bribed ministers in order to thwart their plans all the years of ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.6k
3 votes
0 answers
48 views

Who was the last Samukh (סמוך)?

Who was the last 'Samukh' (סמוך)? Rambam stated in the introduction of his book, that the last Sanhedrin (סנהדרין) was a little before the Talmud was edited. But it says nothing about the last ...
The Glacier's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
205 views

Day of Yosef’s Sale

I saw in a medrash - but can’t recall where - that the brothers sold Yosef on the tenth of Teveis. Does any which medrash I could find this in?
Chiddushei Torah's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
884 views

What made Yochanan go off?

After Yochanan served as the Kohen Gadol for 80 years, he "left the fold" (Berachos 29a) ולא והא תנן אל תאמין בעצמך עד יום מותך שהרי יוחנן כ"ג שמש בכהונה גדולה שמנים שנה ולבסוף נעשה צדוקי The ...
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.3k
7 votes
0 answers
65 views

Why does Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer only connect certain berachos of Shemoneh Esrei to events in Tanach?

According to Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer: The first beracha of Shemoneh Esrei, "Blessed are You, Hashem, Protector of Avraham," refers to Hashem's protecting Avraham during the war with the four kings (ch....
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.3k
6 votes
1 answer
299 views

Where does Flavius Josephus get his description of historical events about the Patriarchs

Josephus lived in the 1st century and would accurately report the history in that time period. However he does report about the activities of the Patriarchs. These stories are found in the Jewish ...
Beveloper's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
180 views

Does anyone know what siddur the Minchas Elazar, z"l, used?

I was wondering if anyone knows what specific siddur the Minchas Elazar, z"l, davened from? Also, where to find it today.
Feigenbaum's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
458 views

Are there any Rishonim buried in England and France

Do we know of any of the burial places of Rishonim around France and England? I know Rabbi Yisrael Meir Gabbai has found some but are there any tools to source ancient Jewish cemeteries e.g. a map?
yosefkorn's user avatar
  • 1,410
0 votes
1 answer
195 views

Who is Eliakim? Could he be both a son of the son of Hilkiah and Josiah?

In Kings II 18, Eliakim is the son of Hilkiah the kohen gadol, in Kings II 23 he is referred to as Jehoiakim son of Josiah. How could he be both?
Elchanan Campan's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
836 views

Sources that Reuven slept with Bilah

Okay, so this is how it seems like the correct translation of this pasuk is: that Reuven went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine…” (Bereshit 35:21-22) That would be an unbelievable act if ...
Moshe's user avatar
  • 1,913
1 vote
2 answers
306 views

What is known about Asaph son of Berechiah?

Is Asaph ben Berechiah the person mentioned in 1 Chronicles 16? What else do we know about him?
Kaveh's user avatar
  • 1,077
3 votes
4 answers
117 views

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 ...
Elchanan Campan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
554 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.
Moshe's user avatar
  • 1,913
1 vote
2 answers
448 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?
user27343's user avatar
  • 444
1 vote
1 answer
71 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-...
89pok's user avatar
  • 11
18 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 of Cain?...
Ephraim77's user avatar
  • 1,512
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is King Saul positively regarded in Judaism?

King David is well-known to be positively regarded in Judaism, not only for his great accomplishments and devotion (psalms, if not authored by him, became prominent because of him), but also as the ...
luchonacho's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
30 views

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?
user11646's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
712 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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 11.1k
1 vote
1 answer
213 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 ...
RibbisRabbiAndMore's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
224 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,...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
424 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 this? ...
TrustMeI'mARabbi's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
348 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 (...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.5k
1 vote
1 answer
233 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 ...
hazoriz's user avatar
  • 7,526
5 votes
1 answer
777 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 ...
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.7k

1
2 3 4 5