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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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113 views

Chida's statement about shabbat violators

I heard Rabbi Yitzhack Yosef Shelita (Rishon LeTzion and son of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef, Z"L) who says that the Chida writes that in all the places that he was never saw a Sephardic Jew that wasn't ...
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Which of the Napoleonic wars had no casualties?

The Chasam Sofer (droshos 8th Tamuz) writes about a war in the year 1809 with no causalities on our side. Can anyone tell us which war this was, and where these details may be recorded?
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138 views

Why did they stop packing the gizard, neck and liver inside the chicken cavity?

Why did they stop packing the gizard, neck and liver inside the chicken cavity? I think this practice stopped about 25 years ago. When I was a novice cook, I didn't know that I had to first take out ...
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107 views

Chronological order of parshiyot in Sefer Vayikra

I am trying to figure out when several parshiyos in Vayikra were said by Moshe to bnei yisroel. For example, the parshiyos of Tazria and Metzora - when did Moshe teach them? In במדבר פרק ה Hashem ...
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100 views

Earliest use of the word “gematria” to mean the value of words

What's the earliest use of the word "gematria" followed by the use of it to mean the value of the word? I'm aware that in Pirkei Avot the word itself is used, but that is not used in conjunction with ...
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83 views

Why was Megillas Taanis written?

In general, oral Torah isn't allowed to be written down (Gittin 60b). For all generations until the Amorayim (at least according to Rashi), that Halacha was kept. Yet, according to Rashi, Megillas ...
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626 views

Did Achashverosh rule over the entire Old World?

Megilla 11a says "Three ruled over the world - Achav, Achashverosh and Nebuchadnetzar." It suggests a few other names that weren't on the list and rejects them because they didn't rule over one ...
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176 views

The heel of Moshiach?

I have seen quotes from various rabbis, the oldest dating back to the Ari Z"L that state that we are in the ikve d'Moshiach (the heels of the Messiah). Ostensibly that was meant to convey that ...
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204 views

How did the modern day Beis Hora'ah phenomenon develop?

Here in Eretz Yisrael, we find Batei Hora'ah in many cities - places where a moreh hora'ah sits either during special times or perhaps the whole day or different rabbonim throughout the day answering ...
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95 views

Was Bar Kochva disemboweled?

The gemarah in Gittin, 57a, details a story of "bar d'roma" who performs miraculous feats in defending the Jews before meeting his demise by being disemboweled by a snake (similar to the end of Bar ...
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85 views

A prominent Mamzer Rabbi example?

Mishnah in Horayos 3,8 says: מַמְזֵר תַּלְמִיד חָכָם קוֹדֵם לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל עַם הָאָרֶץ: (the scholar mamzer takes precedence over the ignorant high priest.) Do we have a practical example of ...
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51 views

Where does Flavius Josephus gets his description of historical events about the Patriarchs

Josephus lived in the 1st century and would accurately report the history in that time period. However he does report about the activities of the Patriarchs. These stories are found in the Jewish ...
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31 views

How old is מדרש ר׳ עקיבא בן יוסף אל אותיות קטנות?

I stumbled on these midrashim, I'm curious as to how old they are...
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43 views

What was the first “Siddur” prayer / section?

Outside of Shema and the Amidah, can someone explain the chronology of what sections of the Siddur service as we currently have them were added? E.g. was Psukei Dezimra added first? Blessings before / ...
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31 views

Which enemies was Rav Huna running away from?

Yerushalmi, Pesachim 1.1: דאמר רב הונא כד הוינן ערקין באילין בוטיתא דסדרא רבה היו מדליקין עלינו נרות בשעה שהיו כיהים היינו יודעין שהוא יום ובשעה שהיו מבהיקין היינו יודעין שהוא לילה The Talmud ...
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45 views

Prayers and blessings in times of the Beis Hamikdosh and earlier?

Were there morning Berachot? Berachot on foods? Did people go to shul every day in the times of the Beis Hamikdosh, or only on Monday and Thursday to hear the Torah reading? (I'm guessing perhaps ...
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26 views

“The Torah shall be my profession” or “my faith”?

Following Modeh Ani in the Siddur, some recite a number of sentences (some of which are verses from the Torah): תּורָה צִוָּה לָנוּ משֶׁה מורָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקב. שְׁמַע בְּנִי מוּסַר אָבִיךָ ...
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38 views

Gaonic correspondence with Kiev

In a lecture here (@ 4:25) the speaker claims that we have responsa from Gaonim sent to Kiev, Ukraine. My hunch is that he is (mistakenly) referring to R. Moshe of Kiev, a contemporary of Rabbeinu ...
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43 views

Whey in butter (Chema't akkum)?

I recently read a responsum from R' Tam (brought in Shaarei Dura 78) where he discusses butter that was mixed with whey. While he permits regular butter from a gentile for consumption he nevertheless ...
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109 views

What once made the Karaite movement popular?

Karaites appeared and became numerous about 1,000 years ago but have since largely disappeared. What is it about Karaite philosophy or practice that made it popular a thousand years ago?
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56 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 ...
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93 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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76 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 ...
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78 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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53 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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91 views

How long did King David reign in Jerusalem before he brought the Ark there?

In the book of Samuel 2, Chapter 7 it says: They brought in the Ark of the LORD and set it up in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and ...
2
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1answer
245 views

Is there any mention from our sages of blessed memory of Alexander The Great building a big metal wall in Central Asia to keep Gog and Magog at bay?

Is there anything that our Sages, of blessed memory, say about Alexander the Great building a big metal wall in Central Asia to prevent Gog and Magog from invading the greater part of the world? The ...
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81 views

Final redemption attempt

Elie Wiesel relates in "Souls on Fire" that the Seer of Lublin together with two friends Mendel of Riminov and the Maggid of Kozhenitz "devised a detailed strategy combining their powers to bring ...
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69 views

When did the Jewish people knead the dough that they took out of Egypt?

The Jewish people took dough out of Egypt with them. See Shemos 12 (39) which says “They baked the dough that they had taken out of Egypt as unleavened cakes, for it had not leavened, for they ...
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54 views

Why do we refer to Chazal as a monolithic group?

In discussions of Torah, halacha, etc., people often say, "According to Chazal..." as though all the thousands of rabbis of an 800-year period spoke with one voice. But you almost never hear people ...
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48 views

How was Rosh Chodesh “observed” in Temple times?

Before there was a standardized calendar, and after the date of Rosh Chodesh could no longer be communicated by fires, when the sanctification of the new moon had to be transmitted over distances, was ...
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347 views

Origins of the Yerushalmi Kaftan

Among Yerushalmi Chareidim, a special dress code seems to have developed which has some features which are unique from standard Eastern Ashkenazi dress. While most Chareidim I have seen wear black ...
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251 views

Are there any Jewish records of Ananus ben Ananus aside from Josephus?

In Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, he records an incident that led to the removal from office of the high priest of the Temple. According to this account, the Roman proconsul of Judaea, Porcius ...
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207 views

Responses to Dr. Chaim S. Heifetz's timeline of Persian History

Dr. Chaim S. Heifetz has been quoted in a few places as revising the history timeline which if correct would greatly impact Jewish history from the Persian empire and on. See here And in this ...
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78 views

Historicity of Chazal

What do traditional sources (particularly Rishonim and their predecessors) say about the historical accuracy of Chazal's statements?
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55 views

History: Prevalence of Torah study

Historically, when has Torah study throughout the world been most prevalent, and when has Torah suffered relatively limited study and knowledge thereof? Are there any sources that break this down? It ...
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100 views

Sefardim starting to study the Talmud with Rashi and Tosfot

When did the sefardim start to study the Talmud with Rashi and Tosfot? And which books did they use before knowing about Rashi and Tosfot?
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109 views

Josephus' Fall of Jerusalem

Is this book commonly accepted in the Jewish world as an accurate description of the events surrounding destruction of the Beit HaMikdash? I'm particularly interested in its portrayal of the behavior ...
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62 views

Chazals intention behind bedikat hametz

Nowdays, it seems to be standard for jewish family's to begin cleaning their houses days before Pesach. By the time bedikat hametz arrives, the houses are usually hametz free. From reading Talmud ...
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215 views

Why doesn't Rav Saadia Gaon write about wearing tefillin even during prayer?

In the Siddur of Rav Saadia Gaon, he only mentions tephilin once, and even then is only talking about the bracha made when putting it on. No where does he say that when davening, you should be wearing ...
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197 views

When was the modern manuscript for the Torah agreed upon?

(This question is also asked here on history.SE for a different perspective.) Considering that variations have occurred in the Torah's text over time (I think the Gemara may mention events where a ...
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114 views

Have the empires of old perished?

I remember being taught when I was younger that the fact that Jews are around is a testimony to the eternity of our religion; that we survived them all and that they are no longer. I am unaware (...
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88 views

Are there mystical underpinnings to Maccabi?

One of the explanations I have heard for the title מכבי is that it is an acronym for the pasuk 'מִי-כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם ה (Shemos 15:11). Is there any reason, mystical or otherwise that that pasuk (or ...
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138 views

King Yoash murdered - Who's responsible?

II Melechim 12:21 and II Divri HaYamim 24:25 both indicate that servants conspired and killed King Joash. There seems to be a little bit of confusion on the murderers' names---Yozacar vs Zabad ben ...
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215 views

What is the date ending the 700 years mentioned in these midrashim?

Based on this answer I was able to have some extra fun reading over Shabbat. First, I would like to say, that I was amazed as to how much of the material I was allready familiar with, mostly from ...
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168 views

Who gave the “yadav rav lo” ordination a few decades ago?

According to Rabbi Hoenig's article, "The Orthodox Rabbi as Military Chaplain" (Tradition Fall 1976, emphasis in the original): This situation brought up the question of proper ordination, the ...
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39 views

Do scriptures mention the presence of the Egyptians in the Holy Land after Yehoshua's conquer?

Archaeological sources (only an example) mention such presence/influence in the time of the conquer which gradually faded before David's Kingdom. Is it mentioned anywhere in the Nac"h that the ...
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19 views

What is meant by “synagogue” in the Temple in Sota 7.8?

THe Mishna (Sotah 7.8) describes the order of transferring a Torah scroll to the King for reading on Hakhel: חַזַּן הַכְּנֶסֶת נוֹטֵל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה וְנוֹתְנָהּ לְרֹאשׁ הַכְּנֶסֶת, וְרֹאשׁ ...
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76 views

Implication for Lag Ba'Omer if Shimon bar Yochai wasn't the author of the Zohar

There are a number of posts relating to the questionable authorship of the Zohar ('traditionally' attributed to Shimon bar Yochai, see this wiki for examples, and references at the end). Some say that ...
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34 views

Jewish sources on Spanish Inquisition

During and after the Holocaust, there were many situations, which although horrible, required שאלות ותשובות from many of the rabbis at the time on certain questions in הלכה pertaining to the Holocaust....