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Questions tagged [history]

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

201 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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363 views

Did Rashi wear a yarmulke?

Tractate Sofrim (14:14) records two opinions that concern the wearing of a head covering during the Shema: there are those who say that it is not necessary, and there are those who say that it is ...
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Why did הַר הַזֵּיתִים become a place of burial

I am wondering if there was any particular reason that הַר הַזֵּיתִים was chosen to become a place of burial. Is there?
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295 views

Order of Masechtos in Seder Moed

According to the standard Shas print (Vilna Bavli), the order of Masechtas is Pesachim-Shekalim-Rosh Hashana-Yoma-Sukka-Beitza. This makes (some) sense as this is the order of holidays. However, the ...
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315 views

List of oppressors of the Jewish people

We say in the V'hi She'amda passage of the Pesach Hagaddah that in each and every generation there have been those who rose up against us to destroy us, but Hashem saves us from their designs. Is this ...
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262 views

Relations among King David, the Sanhedrin, and the high priest

Do we have any historical source that discusses the relations among King David, the Sanhedrin during his reign, and the high priest during his reign? Were they on friendly terms? Was there a power ...
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1answer
103 views

Who laid the megalithic foundation stones under the wailing wall?

These stones under the Western Wall are of impeccable craftsmanship and required seemingly superhuman handling: My thoughts run to: Ezra-Nehemiah Solomon-Hiram Herod Do we know?
5
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1answer
198 views

How was Chanukah celebrated at the Beis HaMikdash?

In the centuries between the Maccabean Revolt and the destruction of the Bayis Sheni, how was Chanukah commemorated at the Beis HaMikdash (other than the addition of prayers like Al Hanisim)? Since ...
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1answer
109 views

Fasting to increase chances of getting prayer answered

It used to be that rabbis made the community fast to increase their chances of getting their prayers answered. This was done particularly if rain was late in coming. (The first thing God promises if ...
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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 ...
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90 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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332 views

Timeline of the 10 plagues in exodus?

Do we have a chronological timeline (with years) of the 10 plagues? I'm trying to recreate a full timeline of the הגדה של פסח for the upcoming holiday, going from the arrival of Jacob and his family ...
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121 views

Shavuah Tov or A Gutte Vuch on Motzai Shabbos

What is the earliest reference or source for wishing Shavuah Tov or A Gutte Vuch on Motzai Shabbos?
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252 views

The Mekor Baruch's intructions of making gold from copper

Rav Epstein in his Mekor Baruch 3:19:6 brings a story about him and a maggid. The maggid was looking for a certain sefer which instructs one how to make gold from copper. The Mekor Baruch (who had the ...
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121 views

what were taxes like during Solomon's time? (According to Judaism)

I know there was terumah (10%) which went to kohanim and maaser ani (9% every other year to poor) + maaser sheni, which isn't exactly a tax but you had to spend it in Jerusalem. Where did non-Temple ...
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83 views

What is the history of the terms Posek and Psak Halacha?

From my searches, the Tanach does not have the term Psak or Posek in it. Many questions here related to questions on psak quote the Rambam, but those sections refer to Horyaot, or Divrei Halacha, or ...
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49 views

How common was tzaraas?

Tzaraas (discussed in Vayikra 13-14) is a human skin disease that renders its victim impure and subjects him to many laws. In a different form, tzaraas can also affect clothing and houses. It is ...
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101 views

Historical Division of the Neviim

It is my understanding that the Neviim has two major divisions: the Former Prophets (Nevi'im Rishonim נביאים ראשונים, the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter ...
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152 views

Use of speaking “Baruch HaShem” in 1492 Spain

I am writing a play that takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. A Rabbi is walking home from the King's court and his belongings are tossed to the ground by hooligans. A young Spanish girl picks ...
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171 views

Who came up with this story?

It says in Mekor Baruch (of Rabbi Baruch Epstein) The Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, the Netziv, was once sitting down surrounded by several high-caliber students – avrechim versed in Torah, wise, and ...
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47 views

Noted instances of Kares and Ariri

Are there any written recordings in any branch of Torah where we find a comment proving someone actually died from Kares/Ariri? Now, of course being a heavenly decree it would be hard to know for ...
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94 views

Morning seder as the “main” seder

In most Yeshivas with which I am familiar, morning seder, the regimen of learning before lunch, is the more in-depth and intense learning seder, while afternoon seder (session) is generally less in-...
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139 views

Why is there seemingly such a disconnect between the Geonim and the Rishonim?

It seems that there was a disconnect or upheaval of some kind between the times of the Geonim and the times of the Rishonim and the hakhamim that these two eras contained. Shittoth regarding tefila, ...
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84 views

How were the “seven good men of the city” appointed?

How were the “seven good men of the city” שבעה טובי העיר appointed? Was there an election and if so who could be candidates?
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1answer
261 views

Lithuanian minhag for talis katan material

Not an halachic question, but we can read many things about talis katan: wool over cotton, tzitzis out or in, etc. It seems that the Lithuanian minhag was to tuck them in, but what about the material? ...
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1answer
295 views

Sitting or Standing for Kaddish - historical divergence between Conservative and Orthodox minhag

At most (maybe even all?) Conservative synagogues, the congregation remains seated during every kaddish (except mourner's kaddish, and then only mourners rise). At Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogues, the ...
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218 views

How do I know if a midrash is accepted?

I have found many different types of midrashic works. Some are, as far as I can tell, accepted as being authoritative. Meaning they were written (compiled?) by the sages in roughly the talmudic era. ...
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When did Jewish court systems replace Yisro's “chiefs” system?

The Jews in the desert implemented Yisro's "chiefs" system to act as judges, but we know at some point the nation transitioned to the courts system with judges of 3, 23, 71, etc. At what point and ...
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42 views

Does the Talmud discuss “Solomon's Pools”

I recall visiting Solomon's Pools, located a bit south of Bethlehem, years ago, before it became "Area A". Wikipedia says: The water system based on Solomon's Pools has provided water to ...
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42 views

Which of the 9 Parah Adumahs that have existed was from Dama ben Nesina?

Kiddushin 31a teaches us the famous story of Dama ben Nesina, ie a gentile who refused to sell the Chachamim a precious stone for the ephod since doing so would wake up his father. The gemara ...
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19 views

For how long was there confusion about the date of a holiday?

The second day of Yom Tov outside of Israel was caused either by the length of time it took messengers to get to far away communities and tell them when the new month was declared or the confusion ...
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94 views

Biblical ‘Noah’ & cinematic ‘Noah’

How accurate -or not- is the film ‘Noah’ according to the Jewish traditional version of the events and subjects? (I haven’t seen the film so I can’t offer any analyses.) I’d kindly request that any ...
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60 views

Did Amoraim in Bavel study or know of the Talmud Yerushalmi?

The Talmud Yerushalmi was completed while the Amoraim in Bavel were still debating and discussing halachos that would be recorded later on the Talmud Bavli. I'd like to know if we can know or assume ...
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76 views

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 ...
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110 views

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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120 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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71 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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62 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 ...
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84 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 ...
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44 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 ...
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101 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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130 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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105 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?
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Is the number of Jews killed during the Babylonian exile according to Gittin literally true?

Since the only authoritative sources of information, in this case, seem to be the Jewish Scriptures, can you help understand them? ... in this valley Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard killed ...
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144 views

Original Sources of Origin Claims of Hebrew's Pronunciations

I'm interested in finding out where the differences between Sephardic and Ashkenazic pronunciation of Hebrew come from. On wikipedia it says: "Leopold Zunz believed that the Ashkenazi pronunciation ...
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66 views

Mesada/masada, are there any torah sources confirming or denying Josephus' version

This documentary seems to give good points to doubt the masada story. Are there any talmudic or later sources regarding this if yes what are they Related. Masada - heroic martyrdom or immoral murder/...
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131 views

Book about Rabbis and Zionism

What is a good book which goes into detail about Rabbis (particularly those living in Israel from 1880-1950) and their personal experience with Zionists and the Palestinians? I am particularly ...
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429 views

Banei Abir clan of Habbani Yemenite Jewry

There's this video for "ancient tefillin wrapping" that shows a wrapping style utilizing the paleo-hebrew characters. The statement is that this method of wrapping is preserved by the "Banei Abir clan ...
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160 views

How big is the baalei tshuva movement resulting from the “Art Scroll Revolution”?

Since 1975, Art Scroll Publishing, and its non-profit arm The Mesorah Foundation, have produced Hebrew-English annotated translations of Tanach, the Mishna, the Babylonian Talmud, the Kitzur Shulchan ...
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Does Jacob's Well in present-day Nablus/Shechem have a Jewish tradition associated with it?

There's a well in present-day Shechem (Nablus) called "Jacob's Well." It has an Orthodox Christian church on top of it right now. I was wondering if there is any Jewish tradition that Jacob dug this ...
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163 views

Timeline of the frequency of Bedikos

The Talmud states (Mishna, top of Niddah 13a): כל היד המרבה לבדוק בנשים משובחת The more bedikos (checks for menstruation) that a woman does, the better This is brought in the Shulchan Aruch ...