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Questions tagged [history]

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

8
votes
1answer
107 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
9
votes
2answers
186 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
186 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
235 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
67 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
523 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
137 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
42 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
106 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
270 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
182 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
121 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
110 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
53 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

The why and how of Chag Ha'Ahava

What's the story/history/reason behind calling the 15th of the month Av 'Chag Ha'Ahava' ? And why, and how was or is this 'Chag Ha'Ahava' celebrated?
-3
votes
1answer
120 views

Is there any support to the Black Jews theory? [closed]

Is there anything to back up that the Jews were really black? Is there any sources that refute this? I see so many people claiming this.
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

R' Alexander bar R' Shlomo, “hevio likvurah”?

There is the following name in "Shemos HaTzaddikim": ר' אלכסנדר בר' שלמה, הביאו לקבורה I don't understand what this means. To my understanding, הביאו לקבורה would be "he went to the grave", but ...
2
votes
1answer
289 views

What's controversial about Chemdat HaYamim?

This answer from @Oliver mentions The controversial book Hemdat Ha-yamim... What is Chemdat HaYamim, and what is controversial about it? I know this is a very simple question but I wasn't ...
0
votes
0answers
365 views

History of Braided Havdalah Candle

What is the history of the braided havdalah candle? Most of the sources I've found speak from an Ashkenazi perspective who usually used candles instead of oil for all lighting purposes. So is it an ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Can anyone suggest books detailing the lives and philosophies of various sages? [closed]

I'm seeking out books which go into details about the lives and ideas of the various Jewish sages. Obviously, a single book for all is unlikely but any suggestions are welcome.
10
votes
1answer
585 views

First use of modern names for books of Torah

Today, it is common practice to use Bereshis, Shemos, Vayikra, Bamidbar, Devarim as the names of the five books of the Torah, but this was not always the case. As an example, the Talmud refers to ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

Has Paleo Hebrew (Ktav Ivri) Ever Been Found With Crowns?

Has Paleo Hebrew (Ktav Ivri) Ever Been Found With Crowns? Whether we are talking about ancient scrolls, or amulets, or any type of ancient Hebrew writing.
3
votes
0answers
80 views

At what point does a Jew going against tradition establish a legitimate extension to that tradition?

This question is in reference to tzitzit knots but it can really apply to any Jewish tradition which comes in "flavors" so to speak. Tzitzit are an interesting article because they tend to come in a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why if you drink water directly from a river you'd be considered pagan?

I once heard that one way to determine if a person were a pagan or Jewish was to see how the person drinks from a water reservoir (river/lake etc). If a person would hold the water with their hands ...
6
votes
0answers
161 views

Would suicide be considered acceptable if it was done to prevent yourself being sacrificed to an idol deity?

This is an oddly specific question but the thought came to me and I wanted to know what your opinions on it would be. Historically speaking, human sacrifice was a regular occurrence in various pagan ...
3
votes
0answers
97 views

Is there a spiritual/symbolic significance as to why the black and white tallis seems to be the standard amongst Orthodox? [duplicate]

The majority of Orthodox Jews I've seen wearing tallit tend to wear this style. I was curious if there was any sort of spiritual/symbolic significance associated with this style. The main reason I ...
8
votes
3answers
627 views

Rabbinic Opinions on Smoking, before the 1950's

Prior to the studies which convincingly connected consistent cigarette smoking with a variety of illnesses, including cancer, the frequent use of cigarettes was all too common, including amongst ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Is there a list of the haftorot for the tri-annual torah reading cycle?

Based on the assumption that when the tri-annual cycle for reading the torah was prevalent there were accompanying haftorot I would like to know if a list exists of what those haftorot were. I ...
-2
votes
1answer
82 views

How do the Rabbis rationalize Hebrew as being a divine language given from Hashem when we also believe Aramaic to be a sister language?

This is one of those issues that has always bugged me. Hebrew and Aramaic are both languages found within the Torah/Tanakh. If Hebrew is a divine language and given to us from Hashem as his word, why ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

What is the source of the Rambam's historical account of idol worship?

Rambam in his code of law under the section of idol worship (1:1-2) delineates the historical process which lead to the existence of idol worship starting with according honor to elements in nature ...
7
votes
0answers
146 views

What is the approximate date of the demarcation between Ashkenazim and Sephardim?

Based on this article it would seem that the transition from a unified people into two groups, Ashkenazim and Sephardim, began in the 9th century and proceeded over time. I would like to know if there ...
8
votes
2answers
151 views

Origin for making giyur?

A friend of mine asked me from when a Non-Jew was allowed to make giyur (conversion); and on which Biblical verses it was based upon. I guess he wanted to know more about it's origin. So that's why I'...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

What is the relation of the Savoraim, Geonim, and Masoretes?

I was taught that in the era immediately after the redaction of the Talmud, the Masoretes made what is now the final determination of which writings constituted the Tanach (for example, the book of ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

When did weekly sermons become part of the rabbi's job?

Each year on Shabbat Hagadol (the Shabbat just prior to Pesach), our shul rabbi explains that the reason it is called "Shabbat Hagadol" is that it means "The Shabbat of the Gadol" ("The great one"). ...
9
votes
3answers
732 views

Who is the Infamous Little Horn of Daniel 7?

"and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and ...
-4
votes
2answers
151 views

Do the Jews believe that prophet Jesus is their prophet? [duplicate]

Shalom friends do the Jews believe that prophet Jesus is their prophet do the Jews follow his teachings also what do the Jews think of prophet Jesus. Thank you Shalom.
0
votes
1answer
154 views

Do the Jews believe that prophet Muhamned is their prophet? [duplicate]

Shalom friends do the Jews believe that prophet Muhamned is their prophet do the Jews follow his teachings also what do the Jews think of prophet Muhamned. Thank you Shalom.
6
votes
0answers
80 views

Who added the sixth chapter of Avot?

The tractate Avot consists of five chapters. At some point, a sixth chapter was "added". This sixth chapter is an adaptation from the eighth (or sixth, depending on edition) chapter of the 'minor' ...
8
votes
3answers
198 views

Is there any evidence that Chazal knew what caused eclipses?

Many ancient cultures believed that eclipses are caused by things other than syzygy. The Egyptians had Apophis. The Hindus had Rahu. (The interested reader can see more here.) In light (ha) of the ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

Had an unmarried Jewish woman ever owned a male slave, whom she acquired or asked to become her husband?

Had an unmarried Jewish woman ever owned a male slave, whom she acquired or asked to become her husband? Was there ever any occurrence in the Tanach, Gemara, Mishna, Halacha, Aggadot, Midrashim, etc. ...
3
votes
0answers
42 views

Who were the בני ברית מערביים mentioned in the Trumas HaDeshen, and what was their agenda?

The Trumas HaDeshen #88 in chelek 2, seen here discussed going to live in Eretz Yisroel in his times. In his discussion he mentions בני ברית מערביים נחשבים לרשעים גמורים מוסרים מפורסמים והם ...