Questions tagged [history]

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

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2
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1answer
43 views

What are the 35 cardinal principles enumerated by Jedaiah Penini in the last chapter of his Behinat ha-Dat?

Others, like Crescas and David ben Samuel Estella, spoke of seven fundamental articles, laying stress on free-will. On the other hand, David ben Yom-Tob ibn Bilia, in his "Yesodot ha- Maskil" (...
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Suppose you hear a commandment how do you know it’s God and not your own mind, or Satan? [duplicate]

Considering God asked Abraham to kill his son, it seems difficult to differentiate the word of God from that of Satan, how is one to know from whom a commandment is given? Is there a way to ...
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35 views

Which of the 9 Parah Adumahs that have existed was from Dama ben Nesina?

Kiddushin 31a teaches us the famous story of Dama ben Nesina, ie a gentile who refused to sell the Chachamim a precious stone for the ephod since doing so would wake up his father. The gemara ...
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2answers
171 views

What does the Canonization of Tanach mean?

Following "did-the-men-of-the-great-assembly-canonize-tanach" (please read for all the related sources): To recap: before the canonization there were many man-made books, incl. Meggilot, Nevi'im, ...
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38 views

When did they stop offering the korban during the Roman siege

Sheva asar betammuz commemorates the end of the korban tamid (ערכין י"א ע"ב), but is it during the first temple? When did they stop in the second temple?
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2answers
119 views

Origin of the name TAMMUZ

Tammuz seems to be the name of a deity or connected to idolatry. How is it that it became the name of a Jewish month given the prohibition of וְשֵׁ֨ם אֱלֹהִ֤ים אֲחֵרִים֙ לֹ֣א תַזְכִּ֔ירוּ לֹ֥א ...
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26 views

Was there always a beracha for Shabbat candles? [duplicate]

The wikipedia entry for Shabbat Candles says that: The first record of the complete text of the blessing is from the Siddur of Rav Amram, written by Amram Gaon in the 9th century. He then ...
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2answers
105 views

In modern Judaism, do they still make Menorah Stamps for the purpose of Marking Kosher Bread?

I just found this article, and I thought it was cool: https://www.livescience.com/17821-kosher-bread-stamp-discovered.html. The link says that during the Byzantine Era in Horbat Uza, Jewish bakers of ...
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1answer
140 views

Is the author of the Shu“t HaRidvaz the same one as the one known to be the rebbe of the Ariza”l?

I've heard that the Ariza"l was a talmid of the Ridvaz. I am wondering if it is the same person who authored the Shu"t HaRidvaz as I find that interesting since he seems to be someone that devoted his ...
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Lineage of serving Cohanim sects in the second Temple

I heard that during the hundreds of years of the second Temple there were numerous sects (and the High Priests) running the service in the Temple. And during each period, they instituted different ...
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2answers
439 views

What did people say in Shemoneh Esrei and Kiddush of Shavuos when it didn't fall out on the 6th of Sivan?

During Shemoneh Esrei and Kiddush of Shavuos, we describe the Yom Tov as "this day of the holiday of Shavuos, the time of giving our Torah" (יום חג השבועות הזה זמן מתן תורתינו). Before we had a fixed ...
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Were Jews always Monotheistic? [duplicate]

I was watching a debate where a Mormon claimed to a Christian that early Jews believed that other gods existed besides YHWH, but they only had a covenant with a single god (YHWH). He never got a ...
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How old is מדרש ר׳ עקיבא בן יוסף אל אותיות קטנות?

I stumbled on these midrashim, I'm curious as to how old they are...
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130 views

Did the Rambam or the Ramban correspond with Tosafists?

The Rambam and the Ramban lived 1 to 2 hundred years after Rashi, so they must have been contemporaries of at least some of the Baalei Tosfos. Is there any record of written correspondence between ...
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1answer
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Ideas for discovering the history of benchers

I'm thinking of making a "bencher museum". I'd like to gather some ideas from our readership for this project. I have a selection of old benchers from the 60's as well as a larger assortment of more ...
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When the Torah was almost lost and one (or several) Rabbis saved it?

I heard several times from numerous sources, that there were times in history (during the 1st and the 2nd Temples) when the Torah (incl. Oral) was almost completely lost and just one Rabbi (or a ...
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3answers
94 views

Origin of Chumashim (“unholy” Torahs)

Torah says many times that we're obligated to write Torah scrolls, read them in public and study them. Writing a Kosher Torah scroll while following all the requirements (parchment, ink, intentions, ...
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36 views

Are the borders of Eretz Israel going to be the same in regard to the Torah when moshiach comes? [closed]

I have read before an opinion that they are not going to be the same borders, I am hoping for some backup information.
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1answer
34 views

Meaning of II Kings 14:28 - “to Judah in/through Israel.”

II Kings 14:28(Chabad translation) says: "And the rest of the events of Jeroboam and all that he did and his mighty deeds, how he fought, and how he restored Damascus and Hamath to Judah through ...
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73 views

Implication for Lag Ba'Omer if Shimon bar Yochai wasn't the author of the Zohar

There are a number of posts relating to the questionable authorship of the Zohar ('traditionally' attributed to Shimon bar Yochai, see this wiki for examples, and references at the end). Some say that ...
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1answer
119 views

Rem"a on Socrates being Achitophel's disciple

Rama mentions that Achitophel was a teacher of Socrates, as per the Moses Isserles, Torat ha-Olah 1:11): "Socrates was said to have been his disciple" I'm not lucidly fluent in Hebrew, but here's ...
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41 views

What was the first “Siddur” prayer / section?

Outside of Shema and the Amidah, can someone explain the chronology of what sections of the Siddur service as we currently have them were added? E.g. was Psukei Dezimra added first? Blessings before / ...
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1answer
269 views

Why is Abraham considered the “Founder of Judaism”?

Why is Abraham called 'the founder of Judaism' given that he didn't write its founding legislation, which is what 'founders' of other religions did (for example, Paul and Muhammed)? What place does ...
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1answer
106 views

Milk & Meat Tradition

At what point in Jewish history did waiting 6 hours between milk and meat become the uniform approach in most communities (or in some places 1 hour or 3 hours)? Prior to communities adopting uniform ...
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1answer
76 views

Why do we use the term “Jew” or “Jewish” when referencing people in the Torah/Chumash passages?

Why do we use the term "Jew" or "Jewish" when referencing people in the Torah/Chumash passages? In the Torah (the Chumash), the "children of Israel" are called just that "בני ישראל" or Israelite. ...
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1answer
77 views

A prominent Mamzer Rabbi example?

Mishnah in Horayos 3,8 says: מַמְזֵר תַּלְמִיד חָכָם קוֹדֵם לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל עַם הָאָרֶץ: (the scholar mamzer takes precedence over the ignorant high priest.) Do we have a practical example of ...
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2answers
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Historically, were women trained for obligatory wars? Or did they serve some other military function?

Sotah 8:7 says that for obligatory wars all go out to fight, "even a bridegroom from his chamber and a bride from her canopy". Historically, was this in fact our practice? Did women participate in ...
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2answers
266 views

In the time of the mishna, were there Jewish cities without courts?

In a discussion of the heifer ritual when a murder victim is found between two cities, Sotah 9:2 lists some cases when a city does not bring a heifer, including a city where a majority of the ...
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For how long was there confusion about the date of a holiday?

The second day of Yom Tov outside of Israel was caused either by the length of time it took messengers to get to far away communities and tell them when the new month was declared or the confusion ...
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1answer
99 views

Age of Universe [duplicate]

What is the most plausible way to reconcile the traditional dating of the universe (now 5779) with science's understanding that the universe is billions of years old?
3
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1answer
74 views

Has the age of accountability always been 13 for boys and 12 for girls?

When was the bar-bas-bat-mitzvah celebration at that age recognised, or was it historically older, such as at age 20? I understand that a boy is a minor (katan-child) before his 13th birthday, and a ...
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63 views

After the Exodus was Egypt totally ruined or not?

We had the 10 plagues, we had the Egyptians drowned in the sea, but what's the bottom-line - was Egypt at Egyptians totally ruined and the end of the story or despite the fact that some died, Egypt ...
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1answer
84 views

Who are “the women who twist yarn by the moon”?

Sotah 6:1 talks about when a man who hears about his wife violating his warning divorces her rather than invoking the sotah test: Someone who warned his wife [against being secluded with a certain ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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2answers
121 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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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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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....
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1answer
103 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 ...
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1answer
557 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?
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1answer
87 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 ...
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1answer
124 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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39 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 ...
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1answer
65 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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38 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 ...
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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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23 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.
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1answer
132 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 ...
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33 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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45 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: ...
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1answer
208 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 (...