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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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Is there a book that lists major Jewish events that occurred on each day (Judaic calendar)?

A few months ago, I attended a shul on Shabbat that had a list of "notable" historic events that occurred on each Judaic date that was to occur in the following week. (E.g., if the week following was ...
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0answers
88 views

Who originally speculated that the Orchos Tzaddikim's author was a woman?

I recall hearing (as well as saw from this link) that it has been speculated that the author of the Orchos Tzaddikim was a woman. Did someone originally posit this idea, or is it a rumor that has ...
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0answers
113 views

A dying man designates a disciple to care for his mother — does that carry any legal weight in Judaism?

(I originally asked this question on Christianity.SE, and was redirected here for a better understanding of the Jewish laws and culture.) I’m hoping someone can help me concerning ancient Jewish laws ...
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1answer
129 views

the Rambam was hard of understanding [closed]

Someone told me that the Rambam when he was young was hard of understanding Is there a reputable source confirming this? How can I find it? What I found so far. לא הצטיין בשום תכונה מיוחדת. לא ...
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0answers
59 views

Origin of the term “pilpul” as a method of Talmudic study

What is the source for referring to the known method of Talmudic study a "pilpul"? When did this usage begin?
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3answers
107 views

Changing name of 10 Hadvarim to 10 Hadibrot

Inspired by this discussion. When did the Decalogue (עשרת הדברים) begin being called the Aseres Hadibros (no Biblical source for those words) as opposed to the Aseres Hadevarim (Shemos 34:28, Devarim ...
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0answers
78 views

Sefer haKabbalah: How long did Jehoshaphat reign?

In the book of Melachim Alef 22:42 it says: Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. Seder Olam (see here) agrees with ...
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0answers
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History of How to Recite Kel Adon [duplicate]

In the Shabbos shacharis birkos kerias shema, there is a poem referred to as Kel Adon that we say. In some congregations, the custom is to say the stanzas responsively, with the chazzan saying each ...
3
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1answer
94 views

How did we live in Goshen in our own houses while still being slaves?

Bereshit 47:27 states that the Israelites (or Hebrews) settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. It also say they got them possessions therein. From 45:10 it seems they also had their own flock. ...
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2answers
58 views

Exodus points for discussion?

I have a few questions abou the Exodus. Is there any way to know in which era or year the Exodus took place? And do we take Pharaoh to mean Pharaoh or could it be any family member, vice or under ...
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1answer
221 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 ...
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2answers
53 views

How did the Boethusians linked the morrow after the Shabat with the Shabat Chol HaMoed Pesach?

In Menachot 65a-66a (according to the Sefaria translation): The Boethusians say, Shavuot falls on a Sunday [because they hold that "the day after the Shabbat" refers to the Sunday after Shabbat Chol ...
3
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1answer
69 views

History of using a feather quill for safrut

In the times of Chazal a reed (קנה) was used for writing (as is clear from Ta'anit 20b). When did the practice of writing with a feather begin? Also, since feathers did exist in those times, why did ...
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1answer
80 views

When were the tefillos formulated?

I have been told that before Galus Bavel the only prayer a Jew was required to pray was the Shema. (And I suppose Birkas HaMazon, as well.) When the Jews were exiled to Bavel, the Anshei Knesses ...
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2answers
227 views

Is there a definitive diagram showing the relationship between Jewish scriptures?

I am not Jewish, just interested in the culture and history. I was looking for a diagram which shows the relationship between various Jewish texts -- Torah, Midrash, etc. -- everything that is ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Known birthdays

In the season of my birthday, I was wondering: Which figures, from Tanach and Sha"s, do we know the exact birthday of? I am aware of Moshe's birthday being identified as the 7th of Adar. Which other ...
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1answer
310 views

Was Yonah able to visit the Beis HaMikdash? What about other prophets of his time?

In Yonah's prayer, he indicates that he will survive being swallowed by the fish, and still make it to the Beis HaMikdash. But wait a minute ... Yonah certainly spent time in the North Kingdom, as ...
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76 views

The Change to Pants for Jewish Men [closed]

At what point in history did Jewish men begin wearing pants; what the culture around them was wearing?
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1answer
49 views

When Affinity Arayos (Kurvah) started?

We have two types of Arayos: Consanguinity (blood relationships, like mother or sister) and Affinity (blood relationships, like in-laws). Consanguinity Arayos were forbidden for gentiles also (See ...
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1answer
103 views

Do Jewish historians consider the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE on par with the Shoah/Holocaust? [closed]

I'm trying to get a sense for how devastating it was to Jews at the time relative to the Shoah of modern times.
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1answer
91 views

What is the exile of Yishmael and why it will be harsher than Edom?

The source is from http://dafyomireview.com/article.php?docid=269 Considering the europeans/christians persecuted jews for thousands of years, how will it be possible worse than the previous one?
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1answer
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Questions about the 7000-year shmita cycles

The (currently) top rated answer to this other question says that: R' Aryeh Kaplan z'l teaches as follows: R' Nehunia ben Hakana brings in Sefer Temuna that there are larger shmita cycles of ...
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1answer
125 views

Winding Tefillin Strap Around Middle Finger

I was taught that one wraps the tefillin around his middle finger three times. Once between the top half of the finger, and twice around the bottom half of the finger. However I ran across an article ...
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0answers
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Why is the word “Talmud” censored? [duplicate]

In Megillah 2a, Rashi writes: שמצינו בכמה מקומות בשם ר"א בר' יוסי סתימתאי Regardless of the context there, as it's not needed for this question, Oz Vehadar brings from Dikdukei Sofrim (I don't ...
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1answer
187 views

Today who is considered an Am Haaretz?

I understand the question is very general, so any sources discussing an Am Haaretz from around the times of the Achronim to modern day would be very helpful in gaining a clearer picture of what is an ...
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2answers
130 views

Is there a reason to prefer giving a child single name over multiple names?

From biblical times through at least the Geonic period and perhaps until as late as the Chasam Sofer Jews gave their children a single first name. It seems to be a relatively late idea to give a child ...
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2answers
117 views

What were the arguments against the dafyomi cycle?

What were the arguments against the dafyomi cycle proposed by Gedolim when Rabbi Meir Shapiro tried to found it?
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1answer
78 views

First time things other then gold was used as jewelry for woman,

In the Bible I know of gold jewelry for woman But what are the first precious stones, semiprecious stones, or diamonds used as jewelry for woman (I know stones were used for the kohen gadol) I am ...
8
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1answer
104 views

What is the origin for the names of the various trope/cantillation signs?

I would like to know the origin of the names for the various cantillation marks, understanding that there are different names for different notes related 1, 2
8
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2answers
182 views

Where did the Semag Go?

Premise - the Semag was one of the popular/accepted works by a Rishon, and thus was chosen to be placed in the Ein Mishpat/Ner Mitzvah with Rambam and Tur. The Semak was written based off of it, as ...
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0answers
30 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 ...
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1answer
163 views

Legend of Bahamut giant fish/whale that carries earth on its back?

There is a Islamic account of a giant fish/whale that carries the earth on its back and resides in a vast ocean. It is a authentic narration but is said its a Israiliyat account - meaning fables ...
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1answer
174 views

Does Jewish tradition report a narrative on what happened to the original manuscript of the Pentateuch?

I'm an Italian gentile believer in HaShem, who commits himself to observe the Noahide Laws, as commanded by the Creator in the Torah. If I'm not mistaken, according to Jewish sources, the Pentateuch ...
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2answers
231 views

Is it correct to say that in the Jewish tradition the honorary title “Maràn” has never been used to refer to HaShem?

I am an Italian gentile believer in HaShem, who engages in the observance of the noahide precepts, as commanded by the Creator in the Torah. In the numerous debates I have with my catholic christian ...
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0answers
64 views

Evidence for pre-Greek Jewish currency?

The Torah is full with money statements - such as acquisitions, donations, fines and payments, presenting different names and values for money - such as Shekel, Sela, Kesef, Ksitah and more. But the ...
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1answer
499 views

Are professor Daniel Boyarin's writings about the messiah supported in traditional Jewish sources?

I bought and read the Italian edition of the book “The Jewish Gospels.The story of the Jewish Christ”, written by Daniel Boyarin, a professor of Talmudic culture at the University of Berkeley. I was ...
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1answer
280 views

When was the Midrash Tanhuma written?

This article (Hebrew) claims that the Midrash Tanhuma was likely written after the Quran. A response in the talkbacks says that this is incorrect. Neither provide any source. Does anyone know what ...
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Why is מועד the only סדר משניות that is singular? [duplicate]

In שבת לא. it brings the names of the 6 sederim of משניות. All of them are plural (זרעים נשים נזיקין קודשים טהרות) apart from מועד that is singular. Does anyone know is this issue is dealt with ...
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2answers
128 views

How do we have s'micha today if the Romans broke the chain?

I heard that Romans broke the smicha chain for one to be a proper rabbi in the old sense, and I heard that rabbis started after the second temple was destroyed. So i'm confused, the two things I ...
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0answers
60 views

What was so miraculous of the Chanukah war?

In the Canukah "Al Hanisim", it says: "You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the ...
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2answers
123 views

Hiding in an attic

There's a few instances I've seen in the gemarra where there were meetings in an attic. Both that come to mind are with Rabbanan Gamliel, although I'm not sure if it occurs with others. One is the ...
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2answers
123 views

Why does the Torah mention the lineage of Yishma'el and Esav?

The first Rash"i in the Torah cites Rav Yitzchak's question as to why the Torah didn't begin with the first mitzvah, because it's assumed that the purpose of the Torah is as a mitzvah guide and not a ...
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0answers
41 views

Whose side Rachel and Leah were on?

According to Ariz"l and his followers, the sequence of Yaacov's marriages (Rachel first and then Leah) was of a great importance, dealing with the Seider of the Geulah, Moshiachs etc. Lavan planned to ...
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1answer
67 views

When were the weekly sidrot (Torah readings) organized?

I understand that originally there was a triennial Torah reading common in Israel and an annual one common in Babylon. Most people now use the annual custom. (Note that the triennial reading that is ...
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1answer
102 views

How to understand the lack of archaeological evidence of Jews in Egypt in the story of Exodus

Over the past few years, attending various Seders on Passover, I have heard some secular people say that there is no archaeological evidence of Jews in Egypt during the bronze age when the story of ...
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3answers
255 views

Was Psalm 29 derived from Canaanite sources?

One question, people say that (Psalm 29) was originally a Canaanite psalm for their storm god Baal-Hadad and there seems to be verses in (Psalm 29) which supports this. Especially with verse 3 which ...
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3answers
180 views

Sanhedrin/Makkot - One masechta?

I remember hearing that originally Sanhedrin and Makkot formed one masechta. This is also mentioned by Wikipedia (without citation) [Sanhedrin] originally formed one tractate with Makkot, which ...
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1answer
113 views

Aristotle learning Torah

I have seen from a few places which claim that they have found a letter written from Aristotle to Alexander the great . In the letter Aristotle laments about the fact that he wasted so much time on ...
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2answers
108 views

Jewish Archaeology

I'm looking for a good read which discusses archaeology and the Tanach, Chazal, etc. Could anyone point me to some resources? I would prefer that the book be in English, and have pictures throughout. ...
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0answers
48 views

Spiritual Causes For The Black Death?

From Wiki “The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe in the years ...