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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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1answer
143 views

When did siddurim first start showing sheva na - nach differently?

Some (most?) widely used siddurim today give the reader some pronunciation information that is not obvious in standard Hebrew lettering: when a sheva is pronounced (e.g., by making the sheva na bold, ...
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0answers
78 views

Have there ever been inter-faith debates between Jews and Zoroastrians? [closed]

There are records of many inter-faith debates (disputations) between Jews and Christians even up to modern times. However I have never heard of similar such debates between Jews and Zoroastrians. Are ...
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0answers
109 views

Kosher New World Animals

When Jews first set foot on new-to-them continents (AKA: North America, South America, and Australia), they would have found many animals that were previously unknown to them. Some of these new ...
4
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1answer
222 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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1answer
95 views

Evidence that Yovel was ever observed?

In the 5773 podcast at 21:38m Behar, Bechukotai: An Economic Vision of Justice from the Pardes Institute, Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy says that there is no historical evidence that the Yovel year was ever ...
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0answers
88 views

Do Jewish scholars and/or Rabbis consider myths to be a violation of the second commandment?

Scripture consistently instructs against idols. It is the second of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or ...
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0answers
202 views

Does the concept of eternal damnation exist in Judaism? [duplicate]

Does the concept of eternal damnation exist in Judaism? This is not about some temporary state of judgement like is referred to on Rosh HaShanah 17a by the expression לדורי דורות, but a permanent ...
5
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1answer
896 views

What was the pillar of stone of Seth's children mentioned by Josephus?

According to Josephus (Book 1, Chapter 2, 68-71), the family of Seth, the third son of Adam, was noted for constructing a particularly long-lasting edifice or monument. ...Now this Seth...did ...
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42 views

יר"ה honorific for a king in Mishnah Berurah — a reference to a specific monarch?

In סימן דש, סקכ"ו the Mishnah Berurah says as follows: במקום שהמלך יר"ה גזר שאין שום אדם... My edition of Mishnah Berurah the acronym is expanded as: "יָרוּם הוֹדוֹ", which I believe means May his ...
5
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1answer
205 views

Are there any American minhagim? [closed]

I am curious about the nature of American minhagim/customs. Are there any minhagim that are specifically of American origin, and what are their qualifications? Most people receive their minhagim ...
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vote
1answer
62 views

What book is abbreviated as “Dor. Har.”?

There is a source text in the book "Jewish Time Line Encyclopedia" that is abbreviated at "Dor.Har." (https://books.google.co.il/books?id=1SD_AQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=iw&source=...
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0answers
140 views

What school of thought did the Jews of Mecca (or Bakkah) follow?

Inspired by Islamic studies, I came to wonder about the Jewish community in Mecca (Bakkah) in the time of Muhammad. What "school of thought" did the Jews of Mecca (or Bakkah) follow that time? Did ...
2
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2answers
399 views

Prediction from the Vilna Gaon that America would be the last exile . I am looking for the source?

I have heard from numerous people this prediction of the Vilna Gaon that America would be the last exile/galus but I have no idea where this actually comes from. I just wanted to know if anyone could ...
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0answers
52 views

What prompted the absent-Sanhedrin-head decree in Rosh Hashana 4:4?

R' Yochanan ben Zakai, in leading the Jewish people during and immediately after the Destruction of the Second Temple, issued many decrees aimed at responding to the new post-Temple reality and ...
3
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1answer
111 views

How did 'House of Israel' come to refer to Judah & Jews, not only the former northern kingdom?

At some point the phrase 'House of Israel' came to refer to all Jews, but much earlier it referred only to the northern kingdom of Israel, and not Judah. How long after the fall of Israel (c.722 BCE) ...
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1answer
145 views

How is a Gentile's membership in a Table of Nations Gentile nation determined?

In Genesis 10 (The Table of Nations), the Gentile nations that came from the descendants of Noah are enumerated "after their generations, in their nations". How is a Gentile's membership in a Gentile ...
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1answer
167 views

When was Nirtzah added?

The Rambam's Haggadah and the Ba'al HaTanya's Haggadah lack Nirtzah. @DoubleAA quotes a version of the Simanim poem in which the order concludes with Hallel, as well. Also note the discussion here ...
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2answers
96 views

Who put together the Hagadah?

Who put together the Pesach Hagadah and the seder we have today? The Mishneh provides some order, but who put together the Hagadah?
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3answers
238 views

How was Rosh Chodesh determined, if a New Moon Cannot be Seen?

1. Question / Issue : If a New Moon cannot be seen, then it seems that the first visible confirmation of a New Moon is actually the Waxing Crescent Moon, which can only be observed after the New Moon ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Original Aliyah breaks for Ki Tisa

The Magen Avraham (OC 428 sk 8) records a custom to give a Levi the Aliyah containing the story of the Golden Calf. Indeed in many Chumashim nowadays I see the first two portions of Ki Tisa are ...
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2answers
84 views

Were there any Tanaim in Bavel?

In the time of the Gemara (since at least the time of Rav), there were famous Rabbis in Bavel (and, at least in the early years, there were also famous Rabbis in Israel). But before that time, you ...
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1answer
288 views

Burial traditions and teffilin usage traditions

Was it a Jewish tradition in the First Century to bury a man with donned tefillin? I am asking since I am curious if it was possible that Jesus had donned tefillin before he was crucified, and ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is Herod's Temple Not Considered a “Third Temple”?

Closely Related: - What's the earliest source for the Third Temple? 1. Question : If the Second Temple is when Israel rebuilt Solomon's temple, then why isn't the rebuilding of "Herod's Temple" ...
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1answer
87 views

Has anyone compiled a historical book on Esther?

Megillat Esther leaves numerous questions in my mind, that are unexplained in the Megillah. A lot of it is filled in in the Talmud and various Midrashim. But, one has to sift through numerous pages ...
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0answers
82 views

When exactly did Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus die?

In Moed Qatan 27a, a difference of opinion is brought between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua as regards the point at which mourners need to overturn their beds. The case is brought of Rabban Gamliel ...
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0answers
65 views

What was a Rabbi Elector in Lithuania?

In doing genealogical research I found records for family members from Lithuania whose profession was listed as "Rabbi Elector". What was this profession? Was it a legitimate part of Judaism, or ...
6
votes
1answer
221 views

Rambam's Commentary on the Torah?

In the Seder HaDoros, published by R' Yechiel Heilprin in 1747, the author describes the life and legacy of many Jewish historical personalities including Rambam. I'm not sure how historically ...
1
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1answer
76 views

The Great War in Contemporary Acharonic Thought

I've recently acquired a book (rather a large pamphlet) about the Great War (1914-18) entitled "The War and the Bible" by HG. Enelow (then head of the Reform Temple Emanu-el in NYC). However, this ...
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0answers
65 views

When Tosfos refer to “Tosfos”, who do they mean?

According to Wikipedia, the Tosfos to Moed Qatan were written by a student to a certain Rabbi Yitzhak. Do we know anything about who he was or where he lived? Specifically, to whom is he referring in ...
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1answer
81 views

How was Rosh Hodesh declared prior to the Sanhedrin?

During the time that the Sanhedrin existed, witnesses had to come to the Sandhedrin and testify to their viewing of the "new" moon. The Sanhedrin would sanctify the month after confirming their ...
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1answer
293 views

Tisha b'Av and the First World War

There is a curious idea floating around, that World War One commenced on the 9th day of the month of Av. (For example, here, and here, and here.) I call it curious, since it takes a fairly creative ...
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2answers
154 views

who was/were the king/s in Egypt for the duration of the Jews' exile there?

in particular, who was the Pharoh on the throne during the actual exodus? i would be interested if anyone has any knowledge of how Egyptian historians correlate information they have from artifacts, ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Zodiac Mosaics on Synagogue Floors

When I went to visit some ancient synagogues in Israel (4th century - 6th century) a few of them have mosaics on the floor with prominent and beautiful pictures of the zodiac - all 12 signs with ...
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0answers
74 views

Baal HaTanya making kidush and a kvart of vodka

I was told of a story about the Alter Rebbe in which once he did not have wine and cups during Shabbos day, and so he made kiddush on a quart of vodka. What is the full story? Please give the most ...
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1answer
62 views

What Brachah did the Tannaim Make on Pretzels?

The Mishnah (Brachos 6:1) says that anything that comes from the ground gets a Ha'adamah, except for bread, which gets a Hamotzi. Well, what about non-bread foods from the Five Grains? The Gemara (36b)...
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70 views

Was Kaddish ever said in Hebrew?

The Kaddish that we say is in Aramaic. However the Talmud (Brachos 3a) quotes an excerpt from Kaddish in Hebrew: בשעה שישראל נכנסין לבתי כנסיות ולבתי מדרשות ועונין יהא שמיה* הגדול מבורך (*The ...
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1answer
92 views

What Egyptian/Greek text was Ibn Ezra consulting for his commentary on the name “Moshe”?

Ibn Ezra suggests that Pharaoh's daughter, who spoke Egyptian, most likely called the baby Monios, the Egyptian word for drawn; the Torah translated into Hebrew as "Moshe." He then writes that he ...
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211 views

The Arizal and Shovavim

This week begins the six week period of Shovavim, a time period that the Arizal wrote is an auspicious time to work on oneself, especially in the areas of sexual transgressions. I have two questions: ...
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0answers
116 views

Looking for info about the issur to marry chassidim

In the early days of the "war" between the misnagdim and the chassidim, some of the leading Rabbis of the misnagdim made some sort of public cherem forbidding marriage to chassidim. Are there any ...
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34 views

Simanim in the Rosh

In the Rosh's work found at the back of most gemaras, his halachos are split up into simanim (sections). I am wondering whether we can make inferences from how the simanim are split up and hence want ...
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0answers
84 views

History of separating milk and meat dishes

What are the origins of having separate milk and meat dishes? It seems to be a generally accepted practice, and there are many Acharonim that talk about it. Where was the idea first introduced and how ...
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votes
5answers
142 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,...
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1answer
173 views

When and how did Chet get its STaM easy-to-differentiate-from-Hay form?

I have been looking at photos of old (pre-1300'sCE) Torah scroll fragments, most notably the Song of The Sea pictures of the 700-800CE Ashkar-Gilson fragment and the 1150-1225CE Bologna complete ...
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2answers
88 views

Mean Hebrew Year Length

I am researching the kings of Judah and Israel and realized that the Hebrew year and the Gregorian year may be different. I know the mean length of the Gregorian year (365.2425 days), but I do not ...
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1answer
87 views

What does 1/2 tefachs in the front 2/1 tefachs in the back mean

Similar Halachos of the bathroom In the 3rd siman of the Shulchan Aruch is understood (by me) you should keep your body covered as much as possible, for example when a man goes to the bathroom (for ...
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1answer
312 views

Yiddish Woman name - Malya

In my grandmother's family history in Galicia, I have seen a Yiddish name being used by quite a few women - Malya. My question is what is the Jewish origin of the use of this name and what does it ...
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0answers
84 views

Anti-Zionism in Bentching? [duplicate]

Recently at a Shabbos table I heard that the addition to shir hama'alot "Tehillat Hashem" (a compilation of four verses beginning with Psalms 145:21) was anti-zionistic and shouldn't be said. I heard ...
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2answers
136 views

Why do we walk down the aisle at a wedding

How old of a Jewish tradition is it for a chosson and kallah to walk down the aisle at their wedding?
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0answers
49 views

Is the Midrash Chad Shenati available online?

According with this article, Midrash Chad Shenati was discovered in the Cairo Genizah almost a century ago. It is an early medieval midrashic collection most likely of eastern provenance, dating from ...
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0answers
98 views

What is the source for making a “Shabbos Kallah”?

What is the source for making a get-together for a bride and her friends on the Shabbos before the wedding? What is the earliest record of such a minhag in the Jewish community?