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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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Unknown La'az in Teshuvot Rashi

In the Elfenbein (1943) edition of Teshuvot Rashi, in the teshuvot from Rashi to the rabbis of Auxerre ('סימן ג), Rashi writes "לשון דמות צלם" is "אאמיינדליי" in la'az. Elfenbein writes in his ...
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104 views

What once made the Karaite movement popular?

Karaites appeared and became numerous about 1,000 years ago but have since largely disappeared. What is it about Karaite philosophy or practice that made it popular a thousand years ago?
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1answer
63 views

When was the pagination of the Talmud begun and finalized and by whom? [duplicate]

Early editions of the Talmud did not have page numbers. (Early commentators give citations to chapters.) When did page numbering begin and, if today's page numbering differs, when was the page ...
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53 views

How could this ever be true? [duplicate]

I am new here. Infact I got an account here to genuinely find an answer, how could all this be true right at the very beginning? Pardon my mistakes because I am not jewish. Apologies in advance if I ...
1
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1answer
85 views

Why did the Bavli form of weekly Torah reading become the standard?

My understanding of the Torah reading cycle - In Israel, they originally had a triennial cycle, and in Bavel, they had an annual cycle. At some point, the Bavli (annual) cycle became the standard. (...
8
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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:...
3
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1answer
143 views

What mitzvos did Adam have in Gan Eden?

Which mitzvos did Adam have before eating from the tree? Posible options: 1 - Not to eat from the tree. 2 - (the above +) to have children. 8 - (the above +) 6 mitvos 9 - (the above +) tzedoko
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2answers
251 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 ...
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1answer
150 views

Which Seforim is Rav Chaim of Volozhin speaking of?

In the beginning of Sha'ar Daled of Nefesh HaChaim, Rav Chaim of Volozhin criticises those people who do not engage in classical learning, but instead spend time studying "Sifrei Yirah U'Mussar." ...
5
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1answer
76 views

Why did standing on one's feet become the posture for prayer?

When one reads about people praying to G-d throughout Tanac"h, we rarely discover them standing to pray. Most of the time they are kneeling, prostrating or falling on their faces. We see that when ...
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1answer
145 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 ...
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187 views

Why do Ashkenazi Orthodox Jews Chant With Reform Trope?

From what I've been able to gather the most popular/standard/traditional te'amim melodies were collected, blended, and then published by Abrahim Binder, a reform Jew. Source: http://www.milkenarchive....
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3answers
133 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 ...
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1answer
86 views

“Evil Inclination” History

I'm a Christian who wants to know more about history of the Jewish concept of "The Evil Inclination". (I find myself often arguing against saint Augustine's Original Sin theology and the more early ...
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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 ...
3
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1answer
238 views

Why would the Belzer Rebbe usually shake hands with a towel wrapped around his hand?

Jewish Educational Media publishes a series of videos about the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The series is called Living Torah. Disc 34, Program 135, contains an interview with Rabbi Chatzkel Besser, [about ...
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1answer
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Giving up ones life על קידוש ה׳ not to transgress גילוי עריות

Are there any instances in Shas (Bavli or Yerushalmi) or even records of history where a group or even an individual gave up their life not to transgress גילוי עריות, Adultery?
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1answer
210 views

How long did the Second Temple stand?

The classic Jewish sources (Seder Olam, accepted and cited Bavli in several locations; for example, see the discussion on Avoda Zara 9a) state that Bayis Sheini (the Second Temple) stood for 420 years....
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1answer
116 views

how old was shaul when he became king?

Shaul had Yonatan and Michal who were around Dovid's age. so how old is Shaul? I could not find any meforesh that said anything about it. asking on a Jewish perspective. thank!
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3answers
173 views

Determining trup, without trup

It was told in the name of Rabbi Heinenman of Baltimore, that there is such a concept of determining trup (טעמי מקרא) based on some sort of system. Meaning if I knew of such a system, and I saw this ...
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1answer
52 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 ...
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2answers
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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׃...
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2answers
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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
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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
114 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
134 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
63 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
108 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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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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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
100 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
59 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
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 ...
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2answers
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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
81 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 ...
2
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1answer
84 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
232 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 ...
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1answer
80 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
313 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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0answers
81 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
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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
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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
92 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
159 views

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
132 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
200 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
132 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
121 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 ...