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Questions tagged [history]

Questions related to how something was in the past, and how it's developed since then.

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1answer
61 views

Different meaning of slapping the left or right cheek

I had this conversation with a colleague today and can't verify or falsify his words. In Christianity Jesus' quote But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also is ...
1
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2answers
117 views

Dead sea in the midrashim

We know that the water of the Dead Sea is very much salty, so much so that no fish exist in it. Is there any midrash or agada that speaks on the history of the Dead Sea, how it started to become ...
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1answer
42 views

Why were Jews locked in ghettos? [closed]

What was the rationale for locking Jews into ghettos at night, in past ages? Was there something about Jewish observance that led to this locking of the ghettos doors?
2
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0answers
26 views

Which enemies was Rav Huna running away from?

Yerushalmi, Pesachim 1.1: דאמר רב הונא כד הוינן ערקין באילין בוטיתא דסדרא רבה היו מדליקין עלינו נרות בשעה שהיו כיהים היינו יודעין שהוא יום ובשעה שהיו מבהיקין היינו יודעין שהוא לילה The Talmud ...
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0answers
49 views

Did Rabbis foresee the social and cultural changes in the Jewish World in the last 200 years?

Did any Rabbis in the last 200 years deal with long-term predictions regarding the social or cultural changes in the Jewish world - the society, the Torah and the Halachah? Did anyone predict /...
1
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0answers
31 views

Jewish sources on Spanish Inquisition

During and after the Holocaust, there were many situations, which although horrible, required שאלות ותשובות from many of the rabbis at the time on certain questions in הלכה pertaining to the Holocaust....
3
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0answers
59 views

Fasting to increase chances of getting prayer answered

It used to be that rabbis made the community fast to increase their chances of getting their prayers answered. This was done particularly if rain was late in coming. (The first thing God promises if ...
4
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1answer
546 views

How bulky would the original autograph of the Torah been?

Given the technology of the times what would the medium be in which he wrote his text and how bulky would it have been to carry, for example?
6
votes
1answer
76 views

Did converts (ger tzedek) in ancient Israel own land? [duplicate]

Sources like Exodus 12:48,49 lead me to believe, that righteous converts/ proselytes(ger tzedek) became full-fledged citizens and members of the nation of Israel. On the other hand, I know that the ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

How many wives did king Shaul have?

I heard that king David had 18 wives. Approximately how many wives did king Shaul have?
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0answers
32 views

Are there any teshuvot regarding the potato, when it was first introduced to Europe?

According to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_potato , the potato was introduced to Europe in the late 1500s. Are there any halachic discussions by the rabbis at the time regarding the ...
3
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1answer
62 views

Were Rabbinic Laws like Muktzeh given at Sinai

Did Rabbinic Laws such as Muktzeh exist in the time period between the receiving of the Torah and the time they were written down and institutionalised in Halacha? Are there different opinions on ...
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0answers
35 views

Why did the Savoraim only emend certain parts of the Talmud?

I remember learning that Savoraim added certain parts to the Talmud- ex: the beginning of Kiddushin (2a-3a) & parts of Bava Metzia. (feel free to add additional examples) Any idea why they ...
2
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0answers
44 views

Prayers and blessings in times of the Beis Hamikdosh and earlier?

Were there morning Berachot? Berachot on foods? Did people go to shul every day in the times of the Beis Hamikdosh, or only on Monday and Thursday to hear the Torah reading? (I'm guessing perhaps ...
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0answers
22 views

The World As Known to The Hebrews (Sons of Japhet, Ham and Shem) [duplicate]

Would you be so kind and tell me how accurate this map is? Especially, I'd like to know views from Rabbis. I also appreciate other views.
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Earliest source for question on timing of birth control?

I am aware of discussions in the Gemara and Rishonim of the permissibility of various methods of birth control. What I am looking for is the earliest mention of the modern day practice in which a ...
4
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0answers
31 views

In what order were the works of the Rashba written?

Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Aderet wrote a huge number of responsa, as well as a commentary on much of the Talmud, and a couple of Halachic works. I would assume that the responsa were written over a long ...
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0answers
44 views

Who came up with the name “Perushim”?

It's been previously asked why the Chachamim were called the "Perushim," those who are separate. As I answered there, Bartenura to Mishnah Yadayim 4:6 explains the name as follows: ...
1
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1answer
188 views

Why Prushim were the ones who “separated”?

As I understand the tradition of the Prushim - Pharisees (basically us all), our lineage held steady since Moses to the Tannayim and further and all the prominent figures in Judaism were of our sect (...
1
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0answers
57 views

“Children Of Miracles” quote

UPDATE: I reached out to one of the ministries listed below and was told that this was said by RABBI SCHNEERSON. So if anyone knows of a message, whether printed/published or audio/video, of Rabbi ...
0
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0answers
25 views

Why aren't people named after the rabbis from the Talmud? [duplicate]

Besides a couple names (ex: Akiva, Ashi) you don't really see many people over the course of history who have names that originated from the Talmud- ie "Huna", "Abaye", "Zevid", "Puppa" etc. Why do ...
2
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0answers
21 views

“The Torah shall be my profession” or “my faith”?

Following Modeh Ani in the Siddur, some recite a number of sentences (some of which are verses from the Torah): תּורָה צִוָּה לָנוּ משֶׁה מורָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקב. שְׁמַע בְּנִי מוּסַר אָבִיךָ ...
6
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0answers
62 views

Who wrote Ikar Siftei Chachamim?

Siftei Chachamim (שפתי חכמים) is a super-commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Torah, written by the 17th-Century CE Polish scholar Shabbethai Bass. It tends to be included in Mikraot Gedolot ...
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2answers
78 views

Historical sources on Bar Kochba? [closed]

Does anyone know any books or articles I can read to learn more about Bar Kohkba?
1
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1answer
23 views

Hebrew slaves and Yovel - how does it starts and ends?

The Gemmorah links the Hebrew slavery to the [idea of] Yovel (Gitin 65, Kidushin 69, Erchin 29, Rambam Avadim 1, 10): "אין אמה העבריה נוהגת ולא עבד עברי נוהג אלא בזמן שהיובל נוהג. בין עבד עברי ...
2
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1answer
86 views

Chayav Inish - Source of Tune?

What is the origin of this classic melody for the popular Purim song "Chayav Inish Lebasumei"?
6
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0answers
84 views

When did a Jew last marry a woman captured in war?

What is the last recorded case of a Jew marrying a woman captured in war, as allowed by the Torah [Deut. 21:10-14]? Anybody more recent than King David, as mentioned in Sanhedrin 21a and Kiddushin ...
3
votes
2answers
409 views

What exactly is the Mussar movement and how does it differ from mainstream Judaism?

I've been hearing the term "Mussar Movement" being used a lot more often as of late and I even saw some advertisements for it on other Jewish forums. I'm speaking to a specific movement, not just the ...
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0answers
25 views

Moreh Makom or Mar'eh Makom

A Torah source is often referred to as a M"M, which I have heard read as both מורה מקום, Moreh Makom and מראה מקום, Mar'eh Makom, (see here for example) which have similar meanings, and mean something ...
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1answer
117 views

What is the relationship between Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the Capital city of Mitzrayim?

It surely has not been lost on anyone that in this year, 5779 (2019), for this parsha, parshat Bo, the parsha which mentions the plague of 4 varieties of the single species of locusts which were ...
3
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0answers
91 views

Biblical ‘Noah’ & cinematic ‘Noah’

How accurate -or not- is the film ‘Noah’ according to the Jewish traditional version of the events and subjects? (I haven’t seen the film so I can’t offer any analyses.) I’d kindly request that any ...
6
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0answers
93 views

Can we use archaeology to determine halacha or mesorah?

Can archaeology be used to determine the proper halacha or mesorah in certain cases? For instance, what if we found a Sefer Torah from the times of Moshe Rabbeinu and it differed from our mesorah. ...
6
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0answers
52 views

What kind of flute was used in the temple, according to the mishna?

In Mishna there are several mentions of the use of flute, there were used at the time of the Bet Mikdash, see below a few examples. I am interested to know if we have some knowledge about the type of ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

Are there any non-inspired writings before Philo's time?

I came across some writings of Philo, which I found very interesting, and wondered if there are any Jewish writings either around his time (circa 20 BCE to circa 50 CE) or before. I looked around and ...
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0answers
23 views

What were the additional 40 plagues? [duplicate]

There's an argument between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer, how many plagues there actually were in Egypt. R. Akiva says 50 and Rabbi Eliezer says 40. Do we actually know what were the additional ...
6
votes
3answers
79 views

Sefer on Chazal, Geonim and Later Acharonim

I currently own the Artscroll books The Rishonim and The Early Acharonim by Rabbi Goldwurm. They have a few features on Rabbonim of the ages that I really appreciate: Anecdotal information about each ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

When was Birkat haTorah composed and added to the liturgy?

Do we know when Birkat haTorah was composed and added as an obligatory blessing to be said before learning Torah? Is it just something done by Anshei Knesset haGedolah or do we have any other ...
3
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0answers
60 views

Did Amoraim in Bavel study or know of the Talmud Yerushalmi?

The Talmud Yerushalmi was completed while the Amoraim in Bavel were still debating and discussing halachos that would be recorded later on the Talmud Bavli. I'd like to know if we can know or assume ...
8
votes
2answers
159 views

How observant were Jews throughout most of history?

This question relates to what we know about Jewish observance since the exile. I was curious if we knew for certain how observant most Jews were throughout most of history and if that observance ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

List of which Rishonim wrote on each Masechta?

I would like to know if anyone has made a comprehensive list/chart of which Rishonim wrote on each masechta in shas. Such a list would include details such as: Masechtos where Rashi is not rashi, the ...
5
votes
2answers
236 views

“Famous” Jewish painting “The Talmud” pedigree

I have a painting I inherited from my grandparents that I have seen reproduced elsewhere by seemingly other artists, with some variations. The scene depicts a number of rabbis/scholars around a table ...
10
votes
1answer
119 views

Writing on the stones of the Western Wall

In a number of old videos of Jerusalem in the 1920's and 1930's, one who is paying attention can discern Hebrew words written on the very stones of the Western Wall. What is the origin of this ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

(How) Did Channukah events and the Makkabim change Judaism?

Besides the obvious celebration of Channukah, How's Judaism is different now because of those events: Did the Makkabim and the Chanukkah event leave any trace in the Jewish Halachic tradition? Were ...
2
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0answers
35 views

Gaonic correspondence with Kiev

In a lecture here (@ 4:25) the speaker claims that we have responsa from Gaonim sent to Kiev, Ukraine. My hunch is that he is (mistakenly) referring to R. Moshe of Kiev, a contemporary of Rabbeinu ...
7
votes
3answers
150 views

Did any rabbis address the theological possibility/implications of nuclear extinction?

During the Cold War, plenty of people were aware (I think?) that detonating enough nuclear bombs could lead to human extinction. Did any rabbis address whether the belief that Moshiach will come mean ...
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0answers
40 views

How was Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum done before printing?

The source for Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum is the Gemara in Tractate Berakhot 8a: אמר רב הונא בר יהודה אמר רבי אמי "לעולם ישלים אדם פרשיותיו עם הצבור שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום Rav Huna bar Yehuda says ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

What happened to Leviim as teachers?

In the Torah it seems pretty clear that the Kohanim/Leviim were supposed to be the teachers and moral guides of Bnei Yisrael (e.g., Devarim 33:10): יוֹרוּ מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ לְיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָתְךָ ...
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1answer
26 views

What kind of ‘rocking boat’ is Menachos 94 referring to?

The Gemara in Menachos 94b says: רבי חנינא אמר כמין תיבה פרוצה ר' יוחנן אמר כמין ספינה רוקדת Rabbi Ḥanina says: It was rectangular, with a wide base and two parallel walls with an open space ...
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votes
0answers
53 views

Searching a text about story of chasididus

Somone knows where can I found this text online for free, the whole text or some parts of it: Samuel C. Heilman, Who Will Lead Us?: The Story of Five Hasidic Dynasties in America. University of ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

How did the Rambam write about kidney removal?

From this answer: The Rambam (Bias Mikdash 6:7) states clearly that a Kohain whos Kidney was removed is NOT considered a Baal Mum. אֵין פּוֹסֵל בָּאָדָם אֶלָּא מוּמִין שֶׁבְּגָלוּי. אֲבָל ...