Questions tagged [historical-figures]

questions pertaining to Jewish historical figures

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46 views

Tubal-cain (תּוּבַל קַיִן) and Vulcan [migrated]

Without the "Tu", Tubal-cain (תּוּבַל קַיִן) and Vulcan are very similar names. Both are famous for being metal-workers. Is there any support for identifying the mythological Vulcan as based ...
13
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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, ...
6
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1answer
4k 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 they contain ...
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1answer
127 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 ...
5
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1answer
174 views

Problem with Likkutei Maharil

I was listening to a class 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 ...
5
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0answers
65 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 ...
6
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3answers
774 views

What became of Moshe's sons and their descendants?

After Yisro brings Tzipora and Moshe's sons back to him at Exodus 18:2-5, they are not mentioned by name again in the Torah. Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles I 23:14 et seq.) lists their male descendants ...
9
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1answer
375 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 ...
6
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1answer
188 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.
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37 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 ...
6
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1answer
581 views

Was Marcus Jastrow an apikores? [closed]

During Yeshiva I remember some bochrim made a point of not putting the Jastrow dictionary on top of sefarim, and would often talk about how it does not have kedusha because it was written by an ...
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2answers
411 views

Can you attend Purim dressed like Hitler?

My question concerns an halakic issue about dressing up during Purim. Would someone allowed to dress up like Hitler during Purim, provided that this infamous man was the modern version of Haman? I ...
7
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1answer
938 views

Did Rashbi Write the Zohar?

In my experience, many religious Jews think that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai wrote the book we have today called the Zohar. The Zohar is a Jewish work of mysticism that was published in the 13th century. ...
2
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1answer
65 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?
5
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2answers
178 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 ...
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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....
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2answers
246 views

Why is the name of Eliezer often missing?

Very often in the Torah Eliezer's proper name is omitted when he is discussed. Examples include the story of finding a wife for Yitzhak where he is referred to as eved or ish, his accompanying Avraham ...
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2answers
1k views

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name? Our shul received a paper with questions on Simhat Torah, with this question being one of the harder ones. Is there a midrash on her name?
7
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1answer
160 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 ...
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2answers
384 views

Child from the relations Yael had with Sisra

According to Shoftim 5:27, per the explanation found in Yevamos 103a (in the name of רבי יוחנן), Yael had relations with Sisra. אמר רבי יוחנן שבע בעילות בעל אותו רשע באותו היום שנאמר בין רגליה כרע ...
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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 of Cain?...
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1answer
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Someone who doesn't believe the Lubavitcher Rebbe is Messiah is an apostate?

Major rabbis have signed a document declaring Rabbi Schneerson as Messiah, so do other Jews who do not hold this position become apostates according to these rabbis? Also do the signatories still ...
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3answers
192 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?
7
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2answers
253 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? ...
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2answers
186 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 ...
4
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1answer
62 views

Discrepancy -shoftim 7:18 and 7:20

Before Gideon goes out to war: יח וְתָקַעְתִּי בַּשּׁוֹפָר אָנֹכִי וְכָל אֲשֶׁר אִתִּי וּתְקַעְתֶּם בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת גַּם אַתֶּם סְבִיבוֹת כָּל הַמַּחֲנֶה וַאֲמַרְתֶּם לַיהֹוָה וּלְגִדְעוֹן: He says ...
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2answers
260 views

What financial arrangement did Rambam have with his jeweler brother?

I was taught in yeshiva that as a young man, Rambam just studied Torah and was supported by his brother, who was a jewel merchant. Then his brother died at sea, so Rambam became a physician. Some ...
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0answers
64 views

Where does Flavius Josephus gets 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 ...
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0answers
82 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.
0
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1answer
51 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?
3
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2answers
691 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 ...
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1answer
75 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?
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9answers
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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?
4
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0answers
190 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 ...
3
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1answer
75 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
72 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
237 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
209 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
543 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". ...
2
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3answers
352 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 ...
2
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3answers
333 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
162 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
230 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 ...
1
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1answer
157 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
55 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-...
7
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2answers
499 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
3k 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 ...
19
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7answers
976 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 ...
3
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3answers
163 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
423 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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