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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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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
72 views

Historical sources on Bar Kochba? [closed]

Does anyone know any books or articles I can read to learn more about Bar Kohkba?
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1answer
22 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 ...
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1answer
65 views

Chayav Inish - Source of Tune?

What is the origin of this classic melody for the popular Purim song "Chayav Inish Lebasumei"?
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76 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 ...
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2answers
384 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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21 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
113 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 ...
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0answers
84 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 ...
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86 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. ...
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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 ...
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3answers
114 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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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
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3answers
68 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 ...
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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 ...
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50 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 ...
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2answers
149 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
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1answer
72 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
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1answer
179 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
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1answer
116 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
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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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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3answers
148 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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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 ...
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2answers
57 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
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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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0answers
52 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 ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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3answers
219 views

Have there been instances where decisions in the Sanhedrin or Rabbinical decisions concerning Jewish practice have been reversed upon later review?

I was curious if there were examples or instances where one generation of Rabbis established an interpretation of the law which was followed accordingly, only to have another generation of Rabbis ...
3
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1answer
84 views

Did the high priest have a rope tied to him while he performed his duties?

There is a tradition many have heard that says the high priest had a rope tied to him on the day of atonement so that if he became incapacitated while in the most holy with the ark he could be ...
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Online Depictions of the Colorful Second Temple

Are there any artistic depictions, available online, of the multicolored appearance of the Second Temple, based on archaeological finds (see, e.g., here), or, e.g., the depiction of the blue/green and ...
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1answer
127 views

XX century Aliyah, State of Israel, and righteousness of the Jews

(please excuse if the title does not capture the question. Feel free to edit) On the one hand, during the first half of the XX century, a significant number of Jews returned to the land of Israel (...
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2answers
78 views

What is the issue with Rabbi Tarfon's redeeming of first-borns in Bechoros 51?

Bechoros 51b: וכך היה מנהגו של רבי טרפון שהיה נוטל ומחזיר וכששמעו חכמים בדבר אמרו קיים זה הלכה זו הלכה זו ותו לא אלא קיים זה אף הלכה זו This was how Rabbi Tarfon [the Kohen] used to deal with ...
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1answer
43 views

Translation (or searchable version) of *Sefer Elim* of Rabbi Joseph Solomon Delmedigo

Does there exist any translation of the Sefer Elim of Rabbi Joseph Solomon Delmedigo into a European language? If not, does there at least exist a text-version of the original Hebrew version (all I ...
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1answer
73 views

When did the daily sacrifices cease being offered in temple?

The daily sacrifices which were carried out in the temple did they cease after the destruction of the temple(AD70) or they had already ceased well before that. If they had ceased before the ...
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42 views

What was a rabbinic מעיל משי?

In the book מנהגים דק"ק וורמיישא, one of the first simonim notes that the rov and chazzan in Worms should wear a Seidenmantel (He: מעיל משי), which the notes explain was rabbinical garb in those days. ...
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1answer
81 views

What were the scrolls that the Jews had in Egypt fortelling of the forthcoming redemption?

I was reading Rav Melamed's Peninei Halacha, the Shabbat volume, and on page 5 he mentions that when the Jews were slaves in Egypt they had scrolls (megillot) in their possession telling of the ...
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1answer
89 views

Why aren’t they any statues attributed to Moshe when he was prince of Egypt? [closed]

Why aren’t they any statues attributed to Moshe when he was prince of Egypt? Did the Egyptians destroy them after the exodus?
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118 views

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Chassidism

Does anyone know if there is any historical record of Rabbi Hirsh's perspectives on Chassidism? The movement was obviously not very present where he was in Germany, but given that he was in contact ...
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1answer
66 views

Shemini Atzeret - a “Regel Bifney Atzmo” dispute

There seems to be some disagreement about the nature of Shemini Atzeret and the implications of its being called a "Regel Bifnei Atzmo" (a stand-alone festival). But I assume that, because there are ...
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What is the history and origin of the Etz Chayim symbol and the 10 Sefiroth?

This question is related to the question 'what is the origin of the Hebrew language?' since Hebrew is a key part of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. However, the question of Hebrew language origins seems ...
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2answers
167 views

Cylindrical Tefillin

The wikipedia page on tefillin shows cylindrical tefillin found in the Cairo geniza, with reference to this image from here: The source from the wikipedia page cites this: Kiell, Norman (1967). The ...
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2answers
132 views

What is the history and purpose behind Teki'ah Gedolah?

I am familiar with the origin and reasoning of the "regular" Tekiah blast that surrounds the shevarim, teru'ah and shevarim-teru'ah sounds. What is the origin of the teki'ah gedolah in terms of its ...
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1answer
130 views

Why the Jerusalem Talmud is not mentioned in the Bavli?

The JT was compiled some 150-200 years before the Bavli (WIKI), so the most of the disputes in the Bavli took place when the JT was already finished. The Rabbis (Tannayim and Amorayim) traveled all ...
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2answers
186 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 ...
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1answer
106 views

History of chattan & kallah classes

A common practice in some segments of today's Jewish world is for brides and grooms to attend "Chattan/kallah classes" where the attendees receive instruction and advice on relationship dynamics and ...
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1answer
84 views

When did Ma'ariv stop becoming 'optional'?

It's a bit of fun Jewish trivia that Ma'ariv was originally 'optional' (see for example here, and Halachic ramifications of its' original optionality here), but at some point became 'accepted' by ...
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18 views

When were the current Sidra breaks established? [duplicate]

The Gemara (Megillah 29b) relates that in Eretz Yisrael, they would finish the Torah every three years, while in Bavel, they would do so every year. In practice, it seems universally accepted to ...
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2answers
94 views

According to the Rambam, why is Achiya considered Dovid Hamelech's student?

The Rambam writes (in his Introduction to Mishneh Torah): ואחיה השילוני מיוצאי מצרים היה ולוי היה ושמע ממשה והיה קטן בימי משה והוא קיבל מדוד ובית דינו. Achiah of Shiloh was one of those who ...
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0answers
55 views

Zohar about the 18-19th century [duplicate]

I saw a quote one time--I believe it was in an Artscroll sefer--from the Zohar about how there would be tremendous spiritual and cultural revelations that would occur around the 18th-19th centuries. (...