Questions tagged [history]

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

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Did a part of Jewish move to Greek after the first temple destruction?

Is there any evidence in Jewish history, that after the first temple was destroyed, some of the Jewish moved also to Greek? (besides obviously to Babylon).
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How ancient is the origin of the liturgical phrase “Baruch atah … melech ha-olam”?

I'm interested in who introduced (and/or when) the standard liturgical formula for bruchas, that is, that they start with (a) 'ברוך אתא ה (b) that, followed by אלוקנו מלך העלום (c) in the case of ...
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Where did the ancient rabbis say that reading הספרים החיצונים is forbidden? [closed]

Accordinng to wikpedia : Apocrypha in Judaism Certain circles in Judaism, such as the Essenes in Judea and the Therapeutae in Egypt, were said to have a "secret" literature (see Dead Sea ...
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Would someone please characterize Shabbat Shirah

I am fairly unfamiliar with Judaism and I happened upon a special Sabbath that I had not seen before. It occurs in late January or early February and is known as Shabbat Shirah. I would appreciate it ...
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Was the concept of Godhead (one God in multiple persons) known to Judaism before the advent of Christianity?

Was the concept of Godhead (one God, but multiple persons) known to Judaism prior to the advent of Christianity? Were there Jews that held a Binitarian, Trinitarian or similar "Godhead" ...
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When did the Cutheans undermine the lighting of signal fires to announce the new moon?

Back when the months of the Jewish calendar were determined by observations of the new crescent moon, eyewitnesses would bring their testimony to the rabbinical court in Jerusalem, and the court would ...
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IDF ceremony on the Temple Mount

Last year someone sent me this video. It shows an IDF "misdar", a kind of military formation/inspection/ceremony (not really sure how to translate it) on the Temple Mount after it was freed ...
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What is the Yadua bone? Is it extinct?

I was learning Sefer Hamitzvot with my dad last night and, when we came across mitzvah #256, I was curious; do we have any idea what the yadua bone is? It is a bone of a bird which grows from a long ...
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Climate and growing season in Iron Age Israel and Judah [closed]

Jan A Wagenaar, Origin and Transformation of the Ancient Israelite Festival Calendar, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 2005, proposes that the Feast of Unleavened Bread was originally in the month of ...
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The ancient segulah of a “Black Wedding” to combat a plague

In the recent Mishpacha Pesach 5781 edition they ran a lovely feature entitled 'Eyes that Saw Angels' which is a written testimony from various people who were zoche (merited) to have seen / spent ...
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Did the conversos who continued to live as crypto-Jews in Spain have any Halakhic justification?

Avoda Zara is 'ייהרג ואל יעבור', one of the few transgressions a Jew should give up their life for and be willing to die 'על קידוש השם'. In the medieval period, around the time of the Spanish ...
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How does Rav Zevin see evidence of post-Churban editing in Vetechazena?

In HaMoadim BeHalachah, page 371, Rav Shlomo Zevin endorses the idea raised by Rav Yitzchak Isaac HaLevy that the tefillot were established before the destruction of the Second Temple. However, he ...
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List of Greek-Roman decrees against Jewish rituals in ancient Israel

I'm confused by the prevalence of the Talmudic accounts of various Greek/Roman administrative decrees against the Jews and Jewish rituals/Torah study. On the other hand, most of the historical ...
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Validity and legitimacy of a non-Kosher High Priest

IIRC, in the second half of the Second Temple, starting with the Hasmonean revolt, many High Priests were either illegitimate (breaking Zadok's lineage), self-proclaimed, Sadducees, or appointed by ...
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What was the Rabbinic position toward the armed revolts against the Romans?

"...Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina said: Why are these three oaths needed? One, so that the Jews should not ascend to Eretz Yisrael as a wall. And another one, that the Holy One, Blessed be He, ...
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Selection of pupils under R' Gamliel in Berakhot 28a

"תָּנָא אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם, סִלְּקוּהוּ לְשׁוֹמֵר הַפֶּתַח וְנִתְּנָה לָהֶם רְשׁוּת לַתַּלְמִידִים לִיכָּנֵס. שֶׁהָיָה רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל מַכְרִיז וְאוֹמֵר: כׇּל תַּלְמִיד שֶׁאֵין תּוֹכוֹ כְּבָרוֹ, ...
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How Did Moses Build The Bronze Serpent and How Long Did It Take For Him To Do It?

How Did Moses Build The Bronze Serpent and How Long Did It Take For Him To Do It? Numbers 21:1-9 And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of ...
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Any pre 7th century Jewish source, teaches that non-Jewish prophets will never be sent again?

1- were the non-Jewish prophets sent to non-Jewish nations only, and not Jews ? if the answer is Yes Does it mean there is no way a non-Jewish prophet can ever be sent to the Jews? any textual basis ...
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Hourly timeline for the Exodus

In order to get an idea of what it was like to have participated in the Exodus, I would like to see an hourly timeline for the process, starting after noon on the 14 Nissan 2448. The timeline should ...
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Has the majority of Jews followed the decrees of the sages by the 7th century? [closed]

Can we say that the majority of Jews followed the decrees of the sages by the 7th century? Maybe earlier? Any proofs?
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Typically how long it takes to finish one page/chapter of the Hebrew bible? [closed]

What is the average time/day/months a prophet can finish writing one page or chapter before writing the next? I can't find a resource online other than how many years it took to finish the whole book. ...
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Kuntres by Rav Asher Weiss

In this shiur, Rav Asher Weiss references a kuntres he wrote called על הראשונים ועל האחרונים on the development of Torah Shebeal Peh. Does anyone know if it is available online?
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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.
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The possible history of Sefer Za'atutei?

I noticed that one of the changes made by the sages that authored Targum Hashiv'im (the LXX) for King Talmai was: "וַיִּשְׁלַח אֶת זַאֲטוּטֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶל זַאֲטוּטֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל ...
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Was the Jewish month of Tammuz named after the pagan god Tammuz of the Babylonian? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia: "The name of the month was adopted from the Assyrian and Babylonian month Araḫ Dumuzu, named in honour of the Mesopotamian deity Dumuzid" If so what's the implication ...
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Why Syrian Idolatresses okay but Canaanite not?

Why was Abraham, and later Isaac and Rebecca, dead set against their sons, Isaac, Jacob and Esau, respectively, marrying idolatrous Canaanite and Hittite women, but perfectly okay with them marrying ...
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Vilna gaon letter about zohar learning

B"H I heard from some that the vilna gaon wrote a letter saying that if one doesn't learn zohar he shouldn't poskin halacha. where can I look to find this letter? Blessings and success
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Does the Midrash show any examples of adjectives attached to Rabbi when addressing a Rabbi?

Are there any historic examples, such as in the Midrash, that show someone addressing a Rabbi with an adjective such as רַבִּי הַטּוֹב?
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When Did the Burning of the Ner Tamid become Perpetual?

In Parshat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-21) the first mention of the term "ner tamid" in the Torah appears. I had always thought of the ner tamid as the "eternal" or "perpetual&...
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The chronology of the Mishnah

Was the Mishnah compiled in the order we find it today? If so, this would mean "Zeraim" was written first, and finally "Tohorot"? If the Mishnah wasn't compiled in the order we ...
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Evolution of the Term “Ger”

According to Plaut ("The Torah a Modern Commentary", Revised Edition, p. 530) the term "ger" has changed over time. Ger was the term applied to resident non-Israelites who could ...
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Where can I find the text of the 1756 Vaad haArba Artzot / Brody Cherem?

I searched the web and couldn't find the text of the 1756 Cherem by the Vaad Arba Artzot excommunicating Sabbateans and limiting certain Kabbalah study. In particular, I didn't find it even mentioned ...
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Did the Samaritan cities fight with the Hellenists against the Maccabees?

The antipathy of the Judeans towards the Samaritans is well known. Is this simply because of the ethnicity ascribed to them in 2 Kings 17:24-26 and their unsanctioned temple, or were they also mortal ...
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What happened to Yisro?

What happened to Yisro after he went back to Midyan to convert his family? שמות 18:27 Also, is he mentioned anywhere after in tanach? (him, not his descendants)
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Why did the office of Nasi cease to exist?

In the work From the Maccabees to the Mishnah (Shaye J. D. Cohen, 2014) he states that the office of the Nasi ceased to exist around the year 425 CE (p.220), but does not explain why this is so. I ...
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How can the contradiction between Daniel 1:21 and 10:1 regarding the year of Cyrus be resolved?

In Daniel 1:21 it says וַיְהִי דָּנִיֵּאל עַד־שְׁנַת אַחַת לְכוֹרֶשׁ הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus. Yet in chapter 10 pasuk 1 it says בִּשְׁנַת שָׁלוֹשׁ לְכוֹרֶשׁ ...
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What are some of the influences on Judaism post Constantine The Great?

Up until Constantine The Great both Jewish and Christian religions were small religions among many others that vanished throughout history. Not only they were small, but both were also constantly ...
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Where is the term “Jewish philosophy” first attested? [closed]

Jewish philosophy has become such a commonplace term that a great many versions of Wikipedia include entries on this subject. Where is the term Jewish philosophy first attested? Surely this term ...
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If thou forgettest Me one day, I will forget thee two days

In a class he gave in the 90s, Rabbi Prof. Shnayer Leiman said that he believes that once all of the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls are properly analyzed and made public, it is very likely that the ...
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What are the specifics of the fake Yerushalmi story?

I heard, long ago, about a mesechta (or entire seder, I can't recall which) of Yerushalmi that was fabricated. It was finally proven to be a fake when a rabbi realized that every mesechta (or seder) ...
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What does שליט"א stand for?

I thought that שליט"א came from the Aramaic word שליט (Ruler). But a Rabbi I told this to, pointed out that שליט"א is always written as with " , in the Middle so each the letters must ...
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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. ...
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The Torah Transmission Date Discrepancies?

I'm curious to know the dates of birth and death of the following Torah transmitters, who appear in Pirkei Avot, since I've seen conflicting dates when doing some independent research: Shimon HaTzadik ...
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Who gathered the barley sheaves?

Every male was commanded to be at the temple for a week starting on Nisan 15. (Deuteronomy 16:16) On Nisan 16 freshly gathered sheaves of the First-fruits of the barley harvest were brought to the ...
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Pre-plagues hail?

In Shemot 9:24, it says about the plague of hail: "וַיְהִי בָרָד וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת בְּתוֹךְ הַבָּרָד כָּבֵד מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָיָה כָמֹהוּ בְּכָל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מֵאָז הָיְתָה לְגוֹי." &...
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Can an orthodox Jew be anti slavery? [closed]

Reading how integral slavery is to the scripture, is a person who promotes judaism also a promoter of slavery? Why or why not? Exodus 21:20-21 New International Version Anyone who beats their male or ...
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When were the books and the text of the Torah settled?

I am right now reading "The Lies That Bind" (Kwame Anthony Appiah). On page 50 at the bottom of the 2nd paragraph he states: "More than this, the idea of a final listing of the books ...
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102 views

How has our attitude changed toward the relationship of morality to Torah observance? [closed]

I have often noticed, in my interactions with other Orthodox Jews, that they seem to feel that the correct resolution of every moral question is to ask a prominent rabbi. For example, when I point out ...
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Why did the model of Rabbinic Pairs (Zugot) emerge and why was it abolished?

In What was the position of Av Beis Din vs Nassi in Rabbinic Pairs? I asked about the description of the two positions in the Sanhedrin. However, why did this model suddenly emerge after almost 1500 ...
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What was the position of Av Beis Din vs Nassi in Rabbinic Pairs?

Traditionally, from Moses and on there was always only one head of the Sanhedrin, the president, the prince, the king, the Supreme Judge, Av Beis Din, etc. No other members or titles or names are ever ...

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