Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [history]

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

0
votes
1answer
61 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.
4
votes
1answer
169 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
275 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
338 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
54 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
578 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
201 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
78 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
145 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
92 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
613 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
76 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
90 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
145 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
148 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'...
0
votes
1answer
136 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
71 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
700 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 ...
-1
votes
0answers
66 views

Who is Megilla 9a referring to?

In Megilla 9a it says: And they wrote for him: God created in the beginning [bereshit], reversing the order of the words in the first phrase in the Torah that could be misinterpreted as: “Bereshit ...
-4
votes
2answers
142 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
147 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
64 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
192 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
191 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
38 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Does Devarim 11:10 make some indirect reference to the shaduf irrigation system?

The end of the verse in Devarim 11:10 says "...You watered the green garden with your foot." (rough translation.) My brother, an anthropology professor who studied Biblical history, explained to me, ...
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
283 views

When did usage of “Hashem” to refer to G-d gain traction?

It seems as though virtually all seforim (especially those written by Acharonim and earlier) refer to G-d as either Hakodosh Boruch Hu or Ribono Shel Olom, and never as "Hashem." Similarly, I don't ...
8
votes
2answers
241 views

Jerusalem Uninhabited?

The Nachem prayer for tisha b'av describes he city as השוממה מאין יושב, "desolate without inhabitant." What does this mean? In what way was Jerusalem desolate without inhabitants? Does this have a ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Were the Jews first to institute monogamy (a ban on polygamy)

It seems that Rabbi Menshe Kline claims (here) that Jews were first to institute monogamy.(a ban on polygamy) If I understood incorrectly, What is he really saying? Is he exaggerating(or literal)? ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Problem with Likkutei Maharil

I was listening to a shiur by Rav Asher Weiss on asmachta and he brought three explanations for its purpose: Ritvah - A derabannan that has a source in the torah Tosafos and Rambam - Memorization ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

A Tnach Guidebook to Israel?

I'm looking for a guide to Eretz Yisroel of tnach. Most books in this genre are guides to what happened in a particular sefer, I'm looking for one that is set up like a tour book, for example in this ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Was the Shema Changed?

I remember reading a statement that the third paragraph of the Shema was changed to a different paragraph from the Torah that we now use. The reasoning I read was that it was a measure against the ...
10
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
414 views

When did Jews start reciting the Shema Prayer?

When did Jews start reciting the Shema Prayer? Was it before or after the Babylonian Captivity? Was it before The Exodus? Did Moses start the practice?
8
votes
1answer
133 views

Composed with the desire of our Father in heaven

Both the sefer Ohr Sameach and Meshech Chochmah, written by Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, have on their title page the words חובר ברצון אבינו שבשמים (See http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

Office of the Rishon Letzion

I am interested in knowing how and why this office came about. Was it initiated by the Jewish community or was it necessary in order to have a representative to contact the ruling government? ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

Prayer for the local secular government

Many communities had the custom to say a prayer for the local secular government. I am looking for sources ​of varient nuschaos (i.e. versions).
1
vote
0answers
69 views

What was the primary motive for using a chazzan who is musically skilled?

O.C. 53:4 says that one of the requirements for a "proper" shaliach tzibbur (shat"z) is that he have a "pleasant voice". (There are other qualities included.) 53:5 states that if one cannot find all ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

Arizal and Yosef Karo [closed]

There's a famous tradition/legend that the Arizal, R Yosef karo and R Elazar azikri (the author of sefer Charedim) prayed in one shul, where R Yosef Karo served as the Rabbi and R Elazar azikri served ...
5
votes
0answers
165 views

Which foreign names did Jews associate with Hebrew names, and why?

A famous Medrash appears in slightly different versions in Lev Rabbah 32:05 and Songs Rabbah 4:12. The Medrah praises the Jews of the Egyptian slavery for certain attributes, such as their retention ...
1
vote
0answers
136 views

Why no manuscripts of Talmud survive in the Arab lands?

http://halakhah.com/talmud/nezikin_h.html: ...Munich manuscript which covers the whole Talmud and dates from the year 1334. Alas, that that is the only complete manuscript of the Talmud in ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Explain the use of the chazzan to end paragraphs

My understanding of the "history" of the shaliach tzibbur (shat"z) is that few people could read or pronounce Hebrew, and, there were few siddurim printed. Thus, the use of an "expert" to represent ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Are the Girgashites Carthage?

I have read that to explain the absence of the Girgashites in a list of the 7 nations, amora R. Samuel bar Nahman says the Girgashites left Israel and God rewarded them by giving them "Afrike" "...
5
votes
0answers
101 views

Did Dovid hamelech write music?

Do we have any music notes or tunes attributed to him? On the same note, do we have any music or songs attributed to biblical times? If not, why is that? EDIT: do we know any tunes or songs even ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Yom Yerushalayim and the seven weeks of sefira

Commentators in many places have discussed the spiritual ascent that is associated with the seven weeks of sefira, from the time an offering of barley (representing animal feed) is brought, right ...