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Questions tagged [history]

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

3
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1answer
56 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, ...
10
votes
2answers
243 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
297 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
248 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
160 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
65 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
132 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
309 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
448 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
43 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
75 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
196 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
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0answers
170 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 ...
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0answers
143 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
105 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
102 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
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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 ...
5
votes
1answer
145 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, ...
2
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0answers
81 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
113 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
235 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
92 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
211 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
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
43 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
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 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=...
1
vote
0answers
145 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
votes
2answers
583 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 ...
5
votes
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
votes
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) ...
4
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
186 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
98 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?
8
votes
3answers
260 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
98 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
315 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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" ...
2
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
92 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
70 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
230 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
vote
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
69 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 ...