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Questions tagged [history]

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

-1
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1answer
60 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
76 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
738 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
215 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
702 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",...
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vote
2answers
117 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
128 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 ...
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votes
1answer
41 views

Why were Jews locked in ghettos? [closed]

What was the rationale for locking Jews into ghettos at night, in past ages? Was there something about Jewish observance that led to this locking of the ghettos doors?
2
votes
0answers
26 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
154 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
94 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 ...
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0answers
49 views

Did Rabbis foresee the social and cultural changes in the Jewish World in the last 200 years?

Did any Rabbis in the last 200 years deal with long-term predictions regarding the social or cultural changes in the Jewish world - the society, the Torah and the Halachah? Did anyone predict /...
1
vote
0answers
31 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
641 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
56 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
546 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
75 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

How many wives did king Shaul have?

I heard that king David had 18 wives. Approximately how many wives did king Shaul have?
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Timeline of Egypt to Sinai

Does anyone know of a source with an account of what happened each day of the journey from Yetzias Mitzrayim to Har Sinai?
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vote
0answers
32 views

Are there any teshuvot regarding the potato, when it was first introduced to Europe?

According to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_potato , the potato was introduced to Europe in the late 1500s. Are there any halachic discussions by the rabbis at the time regarding the ...
9
votes
3answers
222 views

Is history Torah?

Does studying Jewish history count as Torah? For example, could one study it on Tish'a B'av or in an unclean place or before saying Birkas HaTorah? It seems clear that the stories included in the ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Were Rabbinic Laws like Muktzeh given at Sinai

Did Rabbinic Laws such as Muktzeh exist in the time period between the receiving of the Torah and the time they were written down and institutionalised in Halacha? Are there different opinions on ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Niddah and Counting 7 Clean Days - What are its Origins?

The following comment is made in the wikipedia entry on Niddah: In the days of the Amoraim, because of possible confusion in determining when menstruation began and ended and hence whether blood ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Why did the Savoraim only emend certain parts of the Talmud?

I remember learning that Savoraim added certain parts to the Talmud- ex: the beginning of Kiddushin (2a-3a) & parts of Bava Metzia. (feel free to add additional examples) Any idea why they ...
10
votes
2answers
243 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
279 views

Tannis Esther reason

Why do we fast on Tannis Esther? In memory of what historical occurrence?
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Who laid the megalithic foundation stones under the wailing wall?

These stones under the Western Wall are of impeccable craftsmanship and required seemingly superhuman handling: My thoughts run to: Ezra-Nehemiah Solomon-Hiram Herod Do we know?
5
votes
2answers
211 views

How old is Purim Torah?

How old is the tradition of Purim Torah? The Wikipedia article linked from our PT policy notes a disputed claim of Purim Torah in the talmud (Hulin 139b), with some saying that while the talmud ...
7
votes
2answers
151 views

Parshas Zachor before Purim?

Prior to the story of Purim was there a special yearly reading of Parshas Zachor? At which point in history was it instituted to read Parshas Zachor before Purim?
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Prayers and blessings in times of the Beis Hamikdosh and earlier?

Were there morning Berachot? Berachot on foods? Did people go to shul every day in the times of the Beis Hamikdosh, or only on Monday and Thursday to hear the Torah reading? (I'm guessing perhaps ...
13
votes
1answer
521 views

Was the Shamir worm used for the second Beis Hamikdash?

Shlomo Hamelech used a 'Shamir' worm to quarry and cut the stones for the first Beis Hamikdash. Did they still have this worm for the second Beis Hamikdash? If not, how were the stones cut (as no ...
4
votes
4answers
247 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

How did they learn Torah before everything was taught in its entirety?

Halachos are spread throughout the Torah. Many times the Gemara uses pesukim that are scattered all around to figure out the true application of pesukim. So if, for example, we only had the section ...
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0answers
22 views

The World As Known to The Hebrews (Sons of Japhet, Ham and Shem) [duplicate]

Would you be so kind and tell me how accurate this map is? Especially, I'd like to know views from Rabbis. I also appreciate other views.
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Earliest source for question on timing of birth control?

I am aware of discussions in the Gemara and Rishonim of the permissibility of various methods of birth control. What I am looking for is the earliest mention of the modern day practice in which a ...
10
votes
2answers
386 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, ...
12
votes
7answers
674 views

Why did Esther make two parties; why not just one?

What was the purpose of the two parties that Esther made for Haman and Achashverosh (Esther 5:4–8 and chapter 7), if one could have done the job? In other words, what happened that she needed a ...
8
votes
1answer
253 views

Jacob Obermeyer and Talmudic Maps?

I had seen a footnote in Socinco on Pesachim (Or, for a real reference see note on בדיתא לבאי in M.K. 11a), I do not currently remember which page but it referenced a city that was mentioned in the ...
2
votes
1answer
449 views

What does the talmud/rabbinic writing have to say about Yeshu ha-Notzri (Jesus)?

I understand that the name Jesus was not uncommon 2000 years ago, and Jewish writings about the person of historical interest to the Christian Church call him "Yeshu ha-Notzri" = "Jesus the Nazarene". ...
8
votes
1answer
107 views

When the Mishnayos were compiled, were they compiled into the perakim we have today, or were they just compiled into masechtos?

Many times throughout Shas, it seems as if the Perakim are sliced in completely arbitrary places. To name a few examples: In Maseches Shabbos, the halachos of Tzad, trapping, are discussed in 13:5-14:...
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votes
0answers
31 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 ...
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0answers
44 views

Who came up with the name “Perushim”?

It's been previously asked why the Chachamim were called the "Perushim," those who are separate. As I answered there, Bartenura to Mishnah Yadayim 4:6 explains the name as follows: ...
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vote
1answer
188 views

Why Prushim were the ones who “separated”?

As I understand the tradition of the Prushim - Pharisees (basically us all), our lineage held steady since Moses to the Tannayim and further and all the prominent figures in Judaism were of our sect (...
17
votes
7answers
10k views

Why did nobody succeed the Lubavitcher Rebbe?

The late Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt"l had no successor as the rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch. Why is this? Was it simply because he had no children? If so, why was nobody else ...
1
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0answers
57 views

“Children Of Miracles” quote

UPDATE: I reached out to one of the ministries listed below and was told that this was said by RABBI SCHNEERSON. So if anyone knows of a message, whether printed/published or audio/video, of Rabbi ...
5
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
551 views

What does “the Talmud” mean in the Talmud?

The G'mara Bavli says in Shabas 63: אמר רב כהנא, "כד הוינא בר תמני סרי שנין, והוה גמירנא ליה לכוליה תלמודא, ולא הוה ידענא דאין מקרא יוצא מידי פשוטו..." Rav Kahana said, "When I was 18 years ...
1
vote
3answers
221 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 ...
0
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0answers
25 views

Why aren't people named after the rabbis from the Talmud? [duplicate]

Besides a couple names (ex: Akiva, Ashi) you don't really see many people over the course of history who have names that originated from the Talmud- ie "Huna", "Abaye", "Zevid", "Puppa" etc. Why do ...