Questions tagged [history]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
19
votes
4answers
604 views

Is it heresy to follow secular dating on the destruction of the first Temple?

There is a discrepancy between rabbinic and secular sources regarding when the first Temple was destroyed -- a difference of some 165 years or so, which are called the "Missing Years." My question is ...
5
votes
0answers
35 views

How many fled to the Cities of Refuge?

Do we know how many people (accidental murderers) took advantage of the Cities of Refuge (Deuteronomy 4:41-43)? Perhaps the size of the cities would put an upper limit on that number, so do we know ...
13
votes
1answer
402 views

What happened to the Eirev Rav upon entering Israel?

What happened to the Eirev Rav after the Jews entered Israel? They were open trouble makers in the desert, yet nothing was mentioned of them later? Did they clean up their act? Did they die out?
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Did synagogues exist between the 1st and 2nd temple period? [duplicate]

I'm unaware of the existence of any synagogues having existed between the 1st and 2nd Temple Period. It seems to have begun only after the 2nd Temple existed. Between the two Temples, from what I'm ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

“Hanukkah 8th day/Tevet 3/New Years Day” triple coincidences - What makes them so Rare?

I very recently became aware that Hanukkah 8th day sometimes (but rarely) falls on Tevet 3. What causes this to happen? At the same time, I also noticed that when Hanukkah 8th day/Tevet 3 happen ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

Kosher New World Animals

When Jews first set foot on new-to-them continents (AKA: North America, South America, and Australia), they would have found many animals that were previously unknown to them. Some of these new ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

Veracity of the Oral Torah [closed]

A Christian blogger commented: Rabbinic Judaism also has some relatively unconvincing claims of oral transmission from the past.  It claims that its interpretations of the Torah (which are compiled ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Idolatrous origin of the name TAMMUZ

The Gemmorah in [Jerusalem Rosh Hashana 6a][1] explains the process of adopting the Babylonian names on Months instead of Biblical ones. דא"ר חנינה שמות חדשים עלו בידם מבבל R'Hanina said: the ...
14
votes
3answers
297 views

Yearning for Moshiach while the Temples stood

Did we (the Jewish people) yearn for the complete Redemption (with the Techias HaMasim, etc) like we do today, at the time the either Temple was standing? It can't be that we just assumed "This is it"...
5
votes
3answers
633 views

Accuracy of Torah Text

What evidence do we have regarding the accuracy of the torah text? (five books of Moses) How much if at all has it changed over time.
3
votes
0answers
87 views

When did Jewish court systems replace Yisro's “chiefs” system?

The Jews in the desert implemented Yisro's "chiefs" system to act as judges, but we know at some point the nation transitioned to the courts system with judges of 3, 23, 71, etc. At what point and ...
6
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
36
votes
3answers
10k views

Questions about Polygamy in Jewish Law and Culture

I've recently been studying polygamy (having more than 1 wife), and had a few cultural questions. Was polygamy accepted at the time of David and Solomon? Were there any laws about it? Was polygamy ...
25
votes
2answers
433 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Tosfot quoted Rabbi Yom Tov Myiuni

For the first time I seen in Tosfot Yevamot 57b הרב רבי יום טוב מיוני I didn't find in Wikipedia about him. Does someone know who is this Chacham, what is his place in Tosfot constellation?
18
votes
8answers
11k views

Has the Torah been changed over the ages?

It is quite a famous argument from Muslims for authenticity of the Quran that the previous Holy Books (Bible and Torah) sent by God have been corrupted or changed by their followers and that Quran is ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Did Rav Akiva turn on Bar Kochba?

I once read that Rav Akiva had a falling out with Bar Kochba before the revolt ended due to the latter refusing to accept the Samaritans as friends. Others say it was because of R. Elazar HaModii's ...
8
votes
1answer
343 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
58 views

Simanim in the Rosh

In the Rosh's work found at the back of most gemaras, his halachos are split up into simanim (sections). I am wondering whether we can make inferences from how the simanim are split up and hence want ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

What were the ספרי דבי רב?

BBava Batra 124b, for instance, has Rav Nahman quoting "the remaining books of Debei Rav." How many were there? What were they exactly? If they contained written halachot, why were they allowed? (...
5
votes
3answers
159 views

Is there any attestation to the name “יעל” spelled with an Aleph?

Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe includes the story of Yael killing Sisera. The author renders the name with the common "Y" to "J" substitution as "Jael" and, in an aside, mentions that ...
-2
votes
2answers
135 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Who was the “Tana Dvei Rabbi Yishmael”?

What are the teachings labeled "Tana Dvei Rabbi Ishmael"? Are they Braisos or Amoraic teachings? On one hand, on Shabbos 26b we find it arguing on Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar (a Tana). On the other ...
16
votes
2answers
514 views

Were there any sages who supported the Zealots during the siege of Jerusalem?

In Gittin 56a-b, we read how the sages warned the Zealots (a.k.a. the Biryonim) to not wage war with the Romans who were holding Jerusalem under siege, but that the Biryonim set fire to the store ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Who built the first Jerusalem wall and when?

Wikipedia says: The city of Jerusalem has been surrounded by walls for its defense since ancient times. In the Middle Bronze Age, a period also known in biblical terms as the era of the ...
3
votes
3answers
357 views

What is the explanation for the discrepancy between Seder Olam's chronology and that of historical scholarship?

Rabbi Harav Yaakov Medan (etzion.org.il/en/chapter-12b-daniels-prayer-continued) states: 'According to historical scholarship, the second year of the Persian Darius, when the rebuilding of the Second ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

How many kids did the Tannaim and Amoraim have?

The Gemmorah (Yevomos 62b) brings a statement by R'Yehoshua: ...דתניא: רבי יהושע אומר נשא אדם אשה בילדותו ישא אשה בזקנותו היו לו בנים בילדותו יהיו לו בנים בזקנותו שנא' (קהלת יא, ו): "בבקר זרע את ...
3
votes
0answers
76 views

Who organized the Haftarot and when?

If I'm not mistaken, Masechet Megillah mentions a few haftarot, I think, mainly for Yom Tov. I don't recall much mentioned about the weekly Shabbat haftarot. In most Chumashim, I noticed that there ...
5
votes
1answer
211 views

When was the tzitz lost?

I was reading a translation of Josephus many years ago that mentioned the tzitz (the crown of the high priest with Qdosh Yisrael engraved on it). The commentary to this Josephus said that the tzitz ...
7
votes
2answers
209 views

Who is Queen Cleopatra in Sanhedrin 90b?

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 90b relates: (Source from Sefaria.org) (Partial Quote) .....שאלה קליאופטרא מלכתא את ר"מ Queen Cleopatra asked Rabbi Meir..... My Question: What Queen Cleopatra was ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Is there any tradition in Rabbinical sources regarding the conquering of Jerusalem by Pompey?

In Josephus and other sources, around 120 years before the destruction of the Second Temple, Pompey, a Roman leader, conquered Jerusalem and exiled Aristobulus the 2nd, the son of King Yannai and ...
10
votes
1answer
203 views

How were coins that were destined for the Dead Sea managed?

A mishna on Meila 11a talks about money that a nazarite set aside for his offerings; if he died before completing the term and had set money aside specifically for the sin-offering, those coins are ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Gender and “Seeding” - Just Torah-Derived or Common Belief?

Niddah 31a writes (Davidson Edition translation): אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי אמי אשה מזרעת תחילה יולדת זכר איש מזריע תחילה יולדת נקבה שנאמר (ויקרא יב, ב) אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר Rabbi Yitzḥak says ...
2
votes
6answers
184 views

Websites or books about the Torah and history of the world

I am looking for recommendations of good websites and books that talk about various ways of understanding the 'conflicts' between the Torah and a modern understanding of the age of the universe, the ...
5
votes
1answer
587 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, ...
14
votes
4answers
327 views

On what social issues were the rabbis ahead of their times?

On what social issues were the rabbis (Chazal and rishonim) ahead of their times? That is, which social/political matters subject to wide agreement today were shared by Chazal before these views ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Can a village / shtetl rabbi require the merchants to close their shops for a funeral?

I'm trying to help a co-worker decipher some history about his great grandfather. He showed me a picture of a poster - notice written in Hebrew that announced the funeral of his great grandfather. In ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Was Pinchas born in Egypt?

I'm a little confused about the chronology of the Biblical giants Caleb and Pinchas. Caleb appears to have been part of the Exodus generation, and with Joshua, their defense of the Land of Israel ...
3
votes
0answers
106 views

Chronological order of parshiyot in Sefer Vayikra

I am trying to figure out when several parshiyos in Vayikra were said by Moshe to bnei yisroel. For example, the parshiyos of Tazria and Metzora - when did Moshe teach them? In במדבר פרק ה Hashem ...
13
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
243 views

What financial arrangement did Rambam have with his jeweler brother?

I was taught in yeshiva that as a young man, Rambam just studied Torah and was supported by his brother, who was a jewel merchant. Then his brother died at sea, so Rambam became a physician. Some ...
5
votes
5answers
145 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,...
5
votes
2answers
272 views

Why was Judah/Yehuda the tribe that endured?

My basic question is: Are there any reasons or hints in the Torah that explain or hint that Judah/Yehudah would be the tribe that was not lost? Yes, I know that parts of Benjamin survived as well, ...
6
votes
0answers
56 views

What would the status of the “Book of the Wars of God” be today?

The Torah makes reference to a Book of the Wars of God (Bamidbar 21:10-16). According to most opinions this was an actual written work which has been lost over time. It is not clear (at least to me) ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Where does Flavius Josephus gets his description of historical events about the Patriarchs

Josephus lived in the 1st century and would accurately report the history in that time period. However he does report about the activities of the Patriarchs. These stories are found in the Jewish ...
14
votes
2answers
248 views

How is the story of the Torah being given told in the Torah itself?

How was the Torah (aka the Five Books of Moses) given if the story of the Torah being given is contained in these books? In other words, the Torah tells the story - close to halfway through it - of ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Any suggestions for documentaries/videos related to the stories of the sages?

I was curious if anyone would know of some good video resources related to learning about the various Jewish sages of our history. They can be biographical or they can be related to the philosophies ...
4
votes
6answers
327 views

Can Chazal be wrong? [duplicate]

I understand that a later ruling can't contradict an earlier one, but does that mean that Chazal are infallible, the way Catholics believe the Pope is infallible? And if so, where's the line? Who was ...
0
votes
0answers
73 views

Torah based on Mesopotamian (and other) sources

A lot of parallels that can be found between the earliest docoments of the Torah/Tenach and the Sumerian/Babylonian/Akkadian religions in Mesopotamia. This lead some to believe that the Torah was ...
1
vote
2answers
302 views

Where does the custom of the “tossing of the sandal” in Ruth come from? Why/How does it come to symbolize a successful business transaction?

Everybody loves a good Levirate Marriage story. Personally, I prefer the Ruth story over Tamar's (though that's interesting as well). But I have questions regarding the "sandal tossing" custom found ...