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Questions tagged [historical-figures]

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3
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1answer
73 views

Seeking teachings or stories involving the rabbis mentioned in the hagadda, to add a little more spice to the seders

To help me prepare for conducting seders again this year, can anyone point me to a compilation of teachings or stories involving any or all of the rabbis in the hagadda? Autobiographical tidbits? ...
2
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3answers
46 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 ...
3
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2answers
168 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 ...
4
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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 ...
2
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1answer
452 views

What does the talmud/rabbinic writing have to say about Yeshu ha-Notzri (Jesus)?

I understand that the name Jesus was not uncommon 2000 years ago, and Jewish writings about the person of historical interest to the Christian Church call him "Yeshu ha-Notzri" = "Jesus the Nazarene". ...
1
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3answers
293 views

The Chofetz Chaim's kiddush cup

I read somewhere (don't remember where) that the Chofetz Chaim used a kiddush cup that was a smaller shiur than he recommends to use in his Mishna Berurah. Can anyone verify this and/or explain the ...
1
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3answers
222 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 ...
0
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1answer
75 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.
5
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2answers
212 views

Why is the Or Hachayim's yahrzeit in Luach Colel Chabad?

The Luach Colel Chabad is a calendar published annually by Colel Chabad. It includes instructions for special prayers and Torah readings according to the Chabad custom. It also mentions red-letter ...
15
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3answers
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 ...
1
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1answer
71 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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2answers
147 views

Was Pinchas born in Egypt?

I'm a little confused about the chronology of the Biblical giants Caleb and Pinchas. Caleb appears to have been part of the Exodus generation, and with Joshua, their defense of the Land of Israel ...
8
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1answer
321 views

How do we determine the nature of the reign of the kings when the numbers don't seem to add up?

In the book of 2 Kings, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were separate. In Amaziah's (Judah) 15th year, Jeroboam (Israel) began to reign. In Jeroboam's (Israel) 27th year, Azariah (Judah) began to ...
7
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2answers
419 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 ...
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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7answers
931 views

Why doesn't Tefilat Geshem have a verse referring to Miriam?

The "Tefilat Geshem" ("Prayer for Rain") recited on Shemini 'Atzeret contains six verses. Each verse refers to a different person (except the last, which refers to a nation) and makes various ...
2
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3answers
135 views

What was Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi's role in compiling the Mishnah?

I have always heard that Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi "compiled" the mishna. What were his roles in compiling it in the form that we currently have it? Specifically, did he perform any of these roles: ...
7
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3answers
387 views

Who was the strongest person in Tanach?

I found, lying in a local synagogue's bes midrash room, a card that looks as though it came from a children's Judaism-trivia game. It had four questions on it, and, on the reverse side, their answers. ...
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0answers
24 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?
4
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
13
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3answers
693 views

Eldad HaDani's Lasting Influence - Is there any?

Eldad HaDani is (apparently) considered today to have been a fraud. According to this Wikipedia article, he was a traveler who told stories of his place of origin, which he claimed was a sovereign ...
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3answers
435 views

Source of appellation “Shimshon HaGibor”

I've heard it claimed that the expression "Shimshon HaGibor" (Samson the Mighty) [as a descriptive of Shimshon in Tanach] was invented by the Zionists, to promote their "strong Jew" narrative. Is this ...
11
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2answers
382 views

Who was Yehoshua Bin Nun's father?

Who was Yehoshua Bin Nun's father? Obviously his name was "Nun". Who was he exactly? What do we know about him (and from what sources)?
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0answers
49 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 ...
2
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2answers
421 views

Source for story about the Chasam Sofer, Rav Nosson Adler and an Amalekite?

I heard a story that goes roughly like this: after the death of his Rebbi, the Chasam Sofer decided to make Rav Nosson Adler his new Rebbi. He therefore undertook a long voyage to meet Rav Adler. On ...
5
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2answers
987 views

How many prophets were there and who were they?

How many prophets are recognized by Judaism, and what were their names? I found a website that claims the number of prophets is 124000. Is this true? Are all of their speeches or writings ...
1
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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,...
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3answers
736 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 ...
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4answers
611 views

Does anyone in Tanach ever get divorced?

Does anyone in Tanach ever get divorced? Not merely separated but fully divorced.
9
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5answers
313 views

R' Yehoshua Ben Levi — A Tanna or an Amorah?

I had always assumed that R' Yehoshua Ben Levi was an Amorah. However, we know he is quoted in the mishnah in Avos (Perek 6 Mishnah 2. Which is really a braisa, not a mishnah, but still a Tannaic ...
5
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1answer
145 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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10answers
4k views

Why don't Jews think Jesus is the messiah?

Christians say that Jesus is the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament; Jews disagree. Why couldn't Jesus be the Messiah spoken of? Or could he possibly have been?
1
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1answer
79 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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4answers
844 views

Was Cyrus really Queen Esther's son?

Are there any Talmudic sources that back up the claim that Cyrus was really the son of Queen Esther?
1
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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 ...
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4answers
201 views

Is there an orthodox publication of the book(s) of the Maccabees?

I would like to know if any orthodox publisher has put out a version of the book(s) of the Maccabees.
5
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1answer
587 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
90 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. ...
2
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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 (...
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4answers
1k views

Why did the Lubavitcher Rebbe give out dollars?

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late Rebbe of Lubavitch used to give out dollars to people who came to meet him. Why did he do this?
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5answers
1k views

What attitudes toward Jesus are acceptable for a Jew?

What attitudes toward Jesus are acceptable for a Jew? I understand that idolatry, or embracing the mainstream Christian perception of Jesus as divine, is absolutely out of the question. Furthermore, ...
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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 ...
6
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2answers
299 views

Ben Drosai - what was his Zechus?

Gemara Shabbos 20a and in other locations mentions כמאכל בן דרוסאי Rashi explains that Ben Drosai was a thief who ate his food when it was only cooked 1/3. Did Ben Drosai have some sort of Zechus ...
3
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2answers
154 views

Name of Pharaoh that we were enslaved to in Mitzrayim

Do we know what the name of Pharaoh (i.e. king or president) whom we were enslaved to when we were in Mitzrayim was?
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=...
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1answer
121 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
113 views

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 ...
0
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1answer
89 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 ...