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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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1answer
354 views

Statistics regarding how many people convert yearly

What are the statistics for the last 50-100 years as to how many people convert and become Geirim yearly?
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1answer
50 views

Sefirah prohibitions

When did the Jews first observe laws of mourning over the death of Rabbi Akiva's students? Did it commence the first year after the death of the students or was it instituted at a later period in ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

What did the Arizal's contemporaries write about him?

Over here, ray posits that the validity of certain schools of Jewish philosophy rests on the Arizal's word. The Arizal was most famous for his teachings in Safed (though he only lived there for two ...
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votes
2answers
138 views

Source for the Usage of “Kabbalah”

What are the earliest sources that refer to Jewish mysticism in particular as "kabblah". (Preferably the answer should include an indication that the word was associated with this in particular, ...
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27answers
3k views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X (...
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0answers
56 views

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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votes
2answers
525 views

Who were the original users of Ktav Ashuri?

According to one opinion found in the Talmud Sanhedrin 22a ktav ashuri was brought up from the first exile, assumedly adopted from Babylonian sources. Who exactly was using this alphabet? Do we have ...
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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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2answers
130 views

What are Hebrew manuscripts important to us for, today?

What's the importance of Jewish manuscripts for us, today? Apparently many of these are dispersed in libraries, monasteries, and of course the Vatican, and one wonders whether there's value in ...
4
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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

Is there any mention from our sages of blessed memory of Alexander The Great building a big metal wall in Central Asia to keep Gog and Magog at bay?

Is there anything that our Sages, of blessed memory, say about Alexander the Great building a big metal wall in Central Asia to prevent Gog and Magog from invading the greater part of the world? The ...
1
vote
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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2answers
2k views

Rav Moshe Feinstein's opinion on the State of Israel

I was wondering if there is any document which states Rav Moshe's opinion regarding the existence of the state of Israel. Did he consider the state a good thing or bad thing. I ask this because we ...
13
votes
7answers
10k 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
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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2answers
250 views

Sukkah on public property in the Soviet Union for Lubavitchers

The opinion of the Shulchan Aruch Harav is that one isn't allowed to build a Sukkah on public property (because it is considered stolen). In the Soviet Union all property was nationalized and they ...
5
votes
0answers
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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11answers
4k views

How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?

How does human history fit in with the Torah's timeline? (This is not about why the universe and Earth look so old.) There is extensive evidence of a human population and human civilizations from ...
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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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votes
2answers
284 views

Paul being sent as a double agent by the Sanhedrin

I think there's a pretty popular conspiracy theory supposedly based on a censored Midrash that Paul was sent by the Sanhedrin to revolutionize Christianity in order to fully differentiate it from ...
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votes
0answers
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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votes
1answer
213 views

Mary Jesus' mother or Mary Magdalene?

The Gemara in Chaggigah (4b) mentions a woman by the name of Miriam Megadla Se'ar: זיל אייתי לי מרים מגדלא שיער נשייא Which means she was a "grower of woman's hair" which is to mean she was a hair ...
4
votes
1answer
534 views

Breakdown of Yirmiyahu's 70 year prophecy

Can someone supply a good breakdown of Yirmiyahu's 70 year prophecy, and the misinterpretations of the prophecy? This is what I've learned in the past: Yirmiyahu made a prophecy that 70 years after ...
12
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3answers
394 views

How were girls educated during the Talmudic era?

According to the Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society's article on Judaism: Owing to the primacy of ritual in traditional Judaism, instruction of children focused on the ...
4
votes
1answer
249 views

Lithuanian minhag for talis katan material

Not an halachic question, but we can read many things about talis katan: wool over cotton, tzitzis out or in, etc. It seems that the Lithuanian minhag was to tuck them in, but what about the material? ...
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votes
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
356 views

What did Sephardic Jews do when yibum required taking a second wife?

As I understand it, in the Sephardic world not long ago, the marriage contract would have a steep penalty clause if he took a wife beyond the first one without her permission. And as I understand it, ...
8
votes
1answer
197 views

Who are the Kutim, and what happened to them?

In the Yerushalmi Pesachim on daf Bet amud Bet, it talks about the "Kutim" and how whenever they keep a mitzvah, they are more exacting/cautious about it than the Jews. Who are these Kutim, why does ...
3
votes
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

How did Chazal attain its continued acceptance?

My question is: How did Chazal attain its authority? More specifically, how did the Pharisees who evolved into Chazal beat out the Sadducees who would later become practically extinct (some say that ...
6
votes
0answers
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. ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

17 of Tammuz occurrences

What happened on the 17 of Tammuz to inspire the fast observed on that day?
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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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vote
2answers
147 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 ...
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votes
3answers
131 views

Looking for source for history of Temple sacrifices?

Not sure the title has a clear meaning to the good people here -- if it can be edited to read better with respect to this site, please do so! I am reading the Christian Bible and seeing many ...
2
votes
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
118 views

Paro enslaved Yisrael but they kept the good land — was that normal?

When Yisrael come to Mitzrayim Paro gives them "the choice land of Goshen" Bereishis 47,6 which is also called "Raamses" Bereishis 47,11. Later a new king Paro who doesn't recognize Yosef (who saves ...
12
votes
2answers
647 views

Masada - heroic martyrdom or immoral murder/suicide?

Was the mass coordinated mutual killing at Masada (for lack of a better term) an act of heroic martyrdom or immoral murder and suicide? While it is unknown for certain what exactly transpired, ...
21
votes
2answers
375 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
317 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 ...
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0answers
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
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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 ...
4
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1answer
463 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
527 views

Rav Moshe's Psak on Fertility Treatments

I recently read an interview with Rav Dovid Feinstein and he referenced a two year period of Rav Moshe's life that were troubling due to backlash he received following a controversial psak regarding ...
2
votes
1answer
144 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?
2
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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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2answers
316 views

Under whom did these Rabbis study?

In an effort to trace back Rabbi-to-student transmission of tradition, I've run into some dead ends, and I'm hoping the community can offer some leads. Under whom did the following Rabbis study? ...
7
votes
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 ...
3
votes
0answers
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 ...