Questions tagged [history]

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

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19 views

In Bible times, did God's people sometimes wear sleeveless tunics?

In Genesis 3:21, G-d clothed Adam and Eve with the kuttoneth (in this case, made with animal skin). According to one source, the kuttoneth was "a kind of shirt without sleeves, reaching down to ...
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Perizzite and Canaanite Difference

I want to know the difference between Canaanite and Perizzite. I know that they lived in the land of Canaan before the Israelites, however, I want to know what makes them different. Thank you.
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Rabbi Yosef Maman and the Bukharian Jews

According to Wikipedia, Rabbi Yosef Maman, a Shad"ar who came to Bukhara in the late 18th century, discovered that the Bukharian Jews believed they were descendants of the Ten Tribes and used the ...
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When was the last case of Go'el Hadam (Blood Avenger) that we know about?

When was the last case of Go'el Hadam (Blood Avenger) that we know about? Other than reading about the avenger in the Torah I've never come across any actual cases of it.
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Do we know where Yirmiyahu HaNavi is buried?

When researching for another answer, I stumbled across an interesting source. The Midrash Aggada in Bamidbar 30:15 writes: והקב"ה הוכיחם על ידי ירמיה ע"ה אשר רגמו אותו בני ישראל במצרים ...
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533 views

What is the history behind ascribing a heading to each of the Psalms?

For exmple, in my English book of Psalms, the 59th Psalm (attributed to David) informs us that it is a miktam and then gives a heading: When Saul had sent men to watch David's house in order to kill ...
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Does 4 Ezra (2 Esdras) teach the divinity of Ezra? [closed]

In an article by the University of St. Andrews about the Book of 6 Ezra, it is stated: In the Syriac text of 4 Ezra 14:48 (and the versions that derive from it) there is a brief account of the ascent ...
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Did the patriarchs travel at night?

I have heard that Abraham and the other Patriarchs would have travelled during the night and encamp during the daytime. What evidence is there for such a claim?
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What role did the Jews play in the Medieval money system (pre-banking, merchants, etc.)?

I just read here: In the middle of the 13th century, groups of Italian Christians, particularly the Cahorsins and Lombards, invented legal fictions to get around the ban on Christian usury;[147] for ...
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128 views

What were the gedolim's reactions when the Alter of Kelm implemented general subjects in his Yeshivah?

Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv Broida, aka the Alter of Kelm, around the year 1865, opened a Yeshivah with a focus on Mussar. In addition to Mussar, he " ...also introduced general subjects such as ...
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Was there an opposition to Arizal?

There was a big conflict about the Hashkafa of Rambam. But it seems that there was nothing to contradict the Arizal, as if everybody agreed with the fact that he learned with Elyahu, and so him being ...
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Were Bene-Israel more numerous than the Egyptians according to Exodus 1:9?

Exodus 1:9 He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join ...
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Where does Jacob Bernays discuss the creation of the Septuagint?

I'm not sure if this question is on-topic. If not, I would be happy for recommendations on which SE site would be more appropriate. On page 285 of the Hebrew translation of Der Chassidmus (The ...
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Who are the rabbanim of the story of Vehu Rachum?

The Artscroll Siddur records a tradition from the Machzor Kol Bo of three rabbanim who authored the tefillah of Vehu Rachum: Machzor Kol Bo and others record a tradition regarding the authorship of ...
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145 views

Were any Mishnaic passages found in the Dead-sea scrolls?

As I can see, there were some Halachic/Legal passages found in the Dead-see scrolls. From the archeological and historical findings, I've understood that these sects kept Teffilin, Shabbes, Kashrus, ...
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Suggested books of the development of the Mishna, Gemaras, and Talmud

What solid books on the historical and intellectual development of the Talmud would you recommend? e.g.: David C. Kraemer - A History of the Talmud - Cambridge (appears a bit light and intended to a ...
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Why specifically did Rav Moshe Feinstein serve as rabbi in Ohio for a while, per his visa? [closed]

Rabbi Feinstein's family write (beginning to Igros vol. 8) that Rabbi Feinstein had a relative in Ohio who arranged for a pulpit opening, which led to Rabbi Feinstein entering the US on a religious-...
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102 views

What would have been the nature of the religion of Galileans in the second temple period?

My understanding is that Hosea 1 describes the northern tribes (aka Israel, as opposed to Judah), as covenantally dead: Hosea 1:6-9 And she conceived again and bore a daughter, and He said to him: ...
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In what year were the Jews in Beitar killed? In what year were they allowed to be buried?

Wondering how many years were they not allowed to be buried for. What year were they finally allowed?
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Do scholars detect in the Jewish prophets any Platonic language or views?

And conversely, do scholars see any evidence that Plato was familiar with the Torah and incorporated any of it in his philosophy?
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English Names of the Five Chumashim

The Hebrew names of the Chumashim are usually referred to as בראשית שמות ויקרא etc. but the English names do not correlate with these names literally. The English names are Exodus, Numbers etc not ...
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Were there rabbinic objections when grave digging went from manually-powered to machine?

There are lots of responsa when matza-baking machines were introduced instead of everyone doing it by hand. When power machinery came up to make grave-digging faster/easier, did any rabbis object that ...
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Origin of Vows in Judaism

Almost all of Numbers chap. 30 deals with annulation or confirmation of vows. Basically, Nazirite and Vows look the same: somebody invents a trade-off between a desired benefit and a consented ...
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When did idolatry begin, post-flood?

Related. Rambam famously describes how idolatry began in the days of Enosh (Hil. Avodah Zara 1:1-2) and finishes off by writing: "but the Rock of Ages not a man was there to recognize Him or ...
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Do the current nations also have their own angels like the 70 from in the Torah?

Do the current nations (in 2021) also each have their own angel, like the 70 nations mentioned in the Torah?
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Were the Mishnah and/or the Talmud translated into Greek or Latin? [duplicate]

Were the Mishnah and/or the Talmud ever translated into Greek or Latin in ancient times as the Bible was?
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How can we say the Torah uses words of later-day languages? [duplicate]

My friend told me how the word das, which we use to mean halacha or religion, like k'das Moshe veYisroel, is actually a Persian word. If this is true, then how can commentators explain the word ...
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The history of Rabbi Samuel the Israelite

I found a book that is archived at BYU (a famously Mormon university). It is called The Epistle of Rabbi Samuel the Israelite to Rabbi Isaac, and was originally written in Arabic in the eleventh ...
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106 views

Prophet Isaiah's visit to Ahaz in Isaiah 7, was it before or after what happened in 2 Chronicles 28- 5:15?

According to 2 Chronicles 28, Aram-Damascus, under Rezin, and Israel, under Pekah, attempted to depose Ahaz through an invasion. Judah was being defeated and, according to 2 Chronicles 28, lost 120,...
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Is Purim recorded in Persian/Medean records?

In the book Let My Nation Live, there are sources brought down that one of the reasons Purim was established even in spite of possible tensions with gentiles was that either way it would be recorded ...
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Ancient Jews eating only fish with fins and scales?

“The Pentateuchal Dietary Proscription against Finless and Scaleless Aquatic Species in Light of Ancient Fish Remains” published in the peer-reviewed Tel Aviv archaeological journal on May 24, 2021, ...
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The Identity of R' Elazar ben Chananyah

Recently, I found that there are some academics that identify the Tanna Rabbi Elazar ben Chananyah with Elazar ben Chananyah, one of the rebel leaders during the Great Revolt. Prof. Ephraim Urbach in &...
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Did the Jews share some of the oral Torah's teachings and stories with the gentiles before the the 7th century?

I have found out that some Christians before the 7th century knew and borrowed concepts that are not found in the Tanakh but are found in the midrash, e.g., the story of Abraham and Nimrod, the story ...
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Before the Babylonian Exile of The Kingdom of Yehudah, was there any type of formal schooling in Ancient Israel (Northern and Southern Kingdom)?

Doing research on how educational practices in Ancient Yisrael (both the Northern and Southern Kingdom), I could only find reference to how schooling (formalized) was done post-Babylonian Exile. I ...
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What is the timeline of the 24 books of Tanach?

I am aware that Daniel lived during the time of Purim (as there are opinions he was Memuchan). This led me to think: is there a rough timeline with the 24 books of Tanach and their corresponding years?...
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233 views

Source for story of how Lubavitcher Rebbe returned a letter with all the "I"s circled

I have heard the following story, where the "sage" in question was the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and am trying to track down a more authoritative source. So far the only written reference I have ...
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To what extent did Jewish tradition of debate influence the development of Classical Liberalism in Europe? [closed]

Judaism has a long tradition of valuing debate. My sense is that it is somewhat singular in this regard. Certainly there is debate within Islam or Christianity, but if I understand correctly, Judaism ...
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125 views

The Torah from The Dead Sea Scrolls

Do we have the complete Torah from the Dead Sea Scrolls? If not, how can we know for sure that the Torah we have today is the same from the time of the Second Temple Period, for example?
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Did part of the Jewish community move to Greece after the destruction of the First Temple? [closed]

Is there any evidence in Chazal, that after the destruction of the First Temple, some part of the Jewish community moved to Greece? (Of course, the majority moved 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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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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