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Questions tagged [history]

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

8
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4answers
581 views

Source of Ramban's famous debate

Where can one find the 'disputation of Barcelona' between Pablo Cristiani and the Ramban?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
30
votes
9answers
4k views

Why don't Jews think Jesus is the messiah?

Christians say that Jesus is the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament; Jews disagree. Why couldn't Jesus be the Messiah spoken of? Or could he possibly have been?
34
votes
10answers
3k views

Is there any evidence that Rabbi Akiva's students fought alongside Bar Kochba?

Various sources say that "12,000 pairs" of Rabbi Akiva's students died between Pesach and Shavuos because they did not treat each other with respect. See Genesis Rabba 61:3, Ecclesiastes Rabba 11, ...
1
vote
1answer
210 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
93 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, ...
2
votes
0answers
35 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.
2
votes
1answer
33 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
71 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
79 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
710 views

Was Malbim an innovator?

The Malbim - Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michel(1809 – 1879) - wrote a commentary on most of Tanach. In his introduction (to Yeshayahu) he writes the assumptions with which he operates in his commentary: ...
2
votes
0answers
39 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 / ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

Why do some of the Ten Commandments include Noahide Laws?

Of the Seven Noahide Laws, at least three are identical to one of the Ten Commandments. To be specific I am referring to Do not murder Do not steal Do not deny God Do not blaspheme I understand that ...
2
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
146 views

When did the Ashkenazi custom to NOT bake matza on Pesach start?

Historically, when did the Ashkenazi custom to not bake matza on Pesach start? I am specifically interested in when this custom arose, rather than the reasons/opions pro/against.
14
votes
1answer
340 views

Napoléon's Sanhedrin

In 1806, Napoléon Bonaparte convened a synod of French rabbinim (mainly Alsatiens and Bordelais) to ascertain halachic opinions on a set of questions. What is the halachic standing of this synod's ...
-3
votes
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. ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Which major gedolim have said Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim?

Which major gedolim, especially at the times at which the events occurred, but in general too, have said Hallel for Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalyim? The definition of a major gadol is, of course, ...
3
votes
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
405 views

What kind of seder did a non-oleh l'regel have during the time of the Bais Hamikdash (and for that matter, the entire 40 years in the desert)?

Our haggadah did not always exist - it appears to be primarily from the time of the Mishna. Before then, there was a Korban Pesach and specific procedures for organizing family and/or friends to eat ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

What has the Holocaust taught us as a people?

The Holocaust was one of the most horrific and important events in our history. What have rabbis said are lessons we should take from it? I am looking for lessons that should apply to all Jews, ...
8
votes
1answer
330 views

How do we determine the nature of the reign of the kings when the numbers don't seem to add up?

In the book of 2 Kings, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were separate. In Amaziah's (Judah) 15th year, Jeroboam (Israel) began to reign. In Jeroboam's (Israel) 27th year, Azariah (Judah) began to ...
21
votes
5answers
732 views

Did courts ever execute?

The laws of capital crimes elucidated in Sanhedrin and elsewhere make conviction very unlikely. Makkot 1:10 famously tells us that a court that executes once in seven years is considered "destructive",...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Reb Moshe Feinstein in the New York Times

Reb Moshe Feinstein was once interviewed by the New York Times where he answered questions like how does Klal Yisroel know who is a Gadol? Does anyone know when it was, and does anyone know where I ...
11
votes
2answers
250 views

One Gemara cites another — evidence of the order in which Shas was compiled?

Gemara Tamid notes (on daf 27b) that a certain Braisa appears in Yoma, in Perek Ba Lo Kohen Gadol. This citation is correct; Artscroll notes (Tamid 27b3 #27) that more specifically the Braisa appears ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
95 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
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
19 views

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
924 views

Was a sefer torah ever actually written in Greek?

This answer to a different question states that the only other language a sefer torah can be written in and be kosher is Greek. (Rambam, Hilchot Sefer Torah 1:19 says that this Greek no longer exists ...
7
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
527 views

What happened to the Mixed Multitude?

When the people of Israel left Egypt they did not leave alone. They left with a mixed multitude of many people (Exodus 12:38). What happened to the mixed multitude in the desert and, specifically, ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Is Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer the earliest Torah she'be'al'peh to be written down?

The Radal mentions that Rebbe Eliezer ben Herkinus's talmidim wrote down the Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer. Would that make it the earliest book of Torah she'be'al'peh to be written?
0
votes
0answers
62 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
77 views

Were Prophets originally called “Seers”?

In Samuel 1 9:9 it says: לְפָנִ֣ים ׀ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר הָאִישׁ֙ בְּלֶכְתּוֹ֙ לִדְר֣וֹשׁ אֱלֹהִ֔ים לְכ֥וּ וְנֵלְכָ֖ה עַד־הָרֹאֶ֑ה כִּ֤י לַנָּבִיא֙ הַיּ֔וֹם יִקָּרֵ֥א לְפָנִ֖ים הָרֹאֶֽה׃...
10
votes
3answers
744 views

לשון הקדש: the oldest language?

Rashi to B'reshis 2:23 says that the language Adam spoke was one that Rashi calls לשון הקדש, lashon hakodesh (or l'shon hakodesh), and that contains the words אִשָּׁה and אִישׁ. Keeping to Rashi's ...
5
votes
5answers
144 views

Any recommendation for educational Chanukah video?

I am looking for video clips about the Chanukah story that my kids - seven to ten years old - can watch. I thought there would be many, but it's not easy to find any good one. I prefer video in Hebrew,...
6
votes
3answers
230 views

Evidence of 2nd Temple Liturgy @Temple &/or Synagogue

Friends, I have tried & failed to find really firm documented evidence of 2nd temple period Liturgy used either in Temple services or among the Judean or extra-Judean synagogues. What I find ...
1
vote
2answers
119 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
130 views

Why no halachos in the Babylonian Talmud like in the Jerusalem Talmud?

Most Jewish texts have a easy way to pin down a citation. Some are numbered. For example, Rambam and Y'rushalmi and Tosefta have chapter and halacha. Some of these have different numberings in ...
2
votes
0answers
29 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Not All Te'amim Signs Musical?

Those of you may remember I had previously asked a question regarding a French Musicologist who had notated the Egyptian te'amim in 1798. One of the striking things I learned from that notation is ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Why take t'ruma? Aren't people trusted to do so?

I don't know much about hilchos z'raim (agriculture-related law), but from the mishnayos I recall as follows: If one acquires produce from someone who cannot be trusted to tithe, then he must take the ...
1
vote
0answers
33 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....
5
votes
3answers
647 views

multiple versions for Baruch She'amar

Being that Baruch She'amar fell from the sky (as said in the Baeir Heiteiv Orach Chaim 51:1), how is it that the Rambam (seder tefilos kal hashna) has a different version than what we have in our ...
3
votes
0answers
61 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
554 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
80 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 ...