Questions tagged [history]

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

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5answers
144 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,...
23
votes
2answers
408 views

What kind of seder did a non-oleh l'regel have during the time of the Bais Hamikdash (and for that matter, the entire 40 years in the desert)?

Our haggadah did not always exist - it appears to be primarily from the time of the Mishna. Before then, there was a Korban Pesach and specific procedures for organizing family and/or friends to eat ...
17
votes
2answers
961 views

Was a sefer torah ever actually written in Greek?

This answer to a different question states that the only other language a sefer torah can be written in and be kosher is Greek. (Rambam, Hilchot Sefer Torah 1:19 says that this Greek no longer exists ...
8
votes
2answers
162 views

How observant were Jews throughout most of history?

This question relates to what we know about Jewish observance since the exile. I was curious if we knew for certain how observant most Jews were throughout most of history and if that observance ...
9
votes
1answer
560 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
9
votes
1answer
195 views

How were coins that were destined for the Dead Sea managed?

A mishna on Meila 11a talks about money that a nazarite set aside for his offerings; if he died before completing the term and had set money aside specifically for the sin-offering, those coins are ...
8
votes
1answer
134 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=...
8
votes
1answer
330 views

How do we determine the nature of the reign of the kings when the numbers don't seem to add up?

In the book of 2 Kings, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were separate. In Amaziah's (Judah) 15th year, Jeroboam (Israel) began to reign. In Jeroboam's (Israel) 27th year, Azariah (Judah) began to ...
7
votes
1answer
174 views

Belief in the Exodus

Recently, someone who presents himself as a religious member of Jewish society told me that he feels it doesn't matter if the story of the Exodus actually happened, and can be viewed as a nice ...
7
votes
1answer
131 views

Why no halachos in the Babylonian Talmud like in the Jerusalem Talmud?

Most Jewish texts have a easy way to pin down a citation. Some are numbered. For example, Rambam and Y'rushalmi and Tosefta have chapter and halacha. Some of these have different numberings in ...
5
votes
1answer
91 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
votes
1answer
547 views

What happened to the Mixed Multitude?

When the people of Israel left Egypt they did not leave alone. They left with a mixed multitude of many people (Exodus 12:38). What happened to the mixed multitude in the desert and, specifically, ...
5
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
210 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
285 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
254 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Rem"a on Socrates being Achitophel's disciple

Rama mentions that Achitophel was a teacher of Socrates, as per the Moses Isserles, Torat ha-Olah 1:11): "Socrates was said to have been his disciple" I'm not lucidly fluent in Hebrew, but here's ...
3
votes
1answer
77 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
219 views

Why was Judah/Yehuda the tribe that endured?

My basic question is: Are there any reasons or hints in the Torah that explain or hint that Judah/Yehudah would be the tribe that was not lost? Yes, I know that parts of Benjamin survived as well, ...
2
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

What are the Jewish months exactly?

I am aware that the names of the months are derived almost directly from the Babylonian calendar and that the Chumash itself never mentions a month by name and instead refers to it by number. Later on ...
0
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1answer
150 views

Origin of Mystical Theology

Are there some Kabbalistic concepts that are studied today in Jewish circles that originate from Christianity /Christian theology? Has there been any study of the relationship between the two, and ...
0
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1answer
232 views

?חד גדיא ,הגדה--מי יודע

My question is about the history of the Passover song Chad Gadya. I have long suspected this song was originally conceived as a pastiche of Echad Mi Yodeya--the thematic, musical, and phonetic ...
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votes
1answer
119 views

What is the relationship between Mecca, Saudi Arabia and the Capital city of Mitzrayim?

It surely has not been lost on anyone that in this year, 5779 (2019), for this parsha, parshat Bo, the parsha which mentions the plague of 4 varieties of the single species of locusts which were ...
-2
votes
1answer
72 views

Dialogue Between Jews And Persians In Jewish Tradition

I always wonder what people refer to when they quote things spoken between the Jews and the Persians. Does ancient Jewish doctrine include instances of dialogue between the Jews and the Persians?
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votes
1answer
125 views

Self Fulfilling Prophecy

Have there been any incidences of individuals or groups that have purposely triggered events, self fulfilling prophecy if you will, as a result of their belief that Moshiach has arrived? For example, ...
-3
votes
1answer
76 views

Why do we use the term “Jew” or “Jewish” when referencing people in the Torah/Chumash passages?

Why do we use the term "Jew" or "Jewish" when referencing people in the Torah/Chumash passages? In the Torah (the Chumash), the "children of Israel" are called just that "בני ישראל" or Israelite. ...
1
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0answers
68 views

Greeks' gas lamps

I once heard that there is a source that says the Greeks invented gas lamps or some sort of street lights which enabled the Jews to roam the streets at night and not be with their families. The plan ...
1
vote
0answers
134 views

Ibn Ezra vs. Hachamim in Regards to Piyyutim

In Kohelet 5:1 (Al Tibahel), Ibn Ezra has a lengthy, harsh critique of R. Eliezer HaKalir and other Paytanim for their poetry's components (in short: flowery language, the use of allegory/metaphor/...
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0answers
62 views

After the Exodus was Egypt totally ruined or not?

We had the 10 plagues, we had the Egyptians drowned in the sea, but what's the bottom-line - was Egypt at Egyptians totally ruined and the end of the story or despite the fact that some died, Egypt ...
0
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0answers
45 views

How was Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum done before printing?

The source for Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum is the Gemara in Tractate Berakhot 8a: אמר רב הונא בר יהודה אמר רבי אמי "לעולם ישלים אדם פרשיותיו עם הצבור שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום Rav Huna bar Yehuda says ...
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0answers
54 views

Searching a text about story of chasididus

Somone knows where can I found this text online for free, the whole text or some parts of it: Samuel C. Heilman, Who Will Lead Us?: The Story of Five Hasidic Dynasties in America. University of ...
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0answers
69 views

Women and the egel

The Leviim were rewarded for not participating in the egel (golden calf) by replacing the buchorim (firstborn) as the workers in the mishkan. But the women also did not participate in the calf. What ...
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0answers
82 views

Sefer haKabbalah: How long did Jehoshaphat reign?

In the book of Melachim Alef 22:42 it says: Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. Seder Olam (see here) agrees with ...
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0answers
30 views

Any suggestions for documentaries/videos related to the stories of the sages?

I was curious if anyone would know of some good video resources related to learning about the various Jewish sages of our history. They can be biographical or they can be related to the philosophies ...
0
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0answers
397 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 ...
0
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0answers
58 views

What powers and responsibilities do wives of Jewish kings have in relation to the public?

It is known that a Jewish king has to be male, as quoted by an answer to this question. What halachik powers did the queen (i.e. wife of the king) have within the kingdom? Also, what historical ...
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0answers
80 views

How would the Shekinah Glory be described in contemporary english?

Was the Shekinah really a cloud? I know it shaded the people, but did it produce rain? Is it thought of as a cloud because that was the only word to describe what the people saw? The two passages ...
0
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0answers
67 views

Akeidah and Ketoret

The earliest siddur I own (London, 5569 [18808-09]) does not include Ketoret or Akeidah, despite purporting to follow the customs of the "German and Polish" communities [emphasis mine]. Since most of ...
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0answers
16 views

Lineage of serving Cohanim sects in the second Temple

I heard that during the hundreds of years of the second Temple there were numerous sects (and the High Priests) running the service in the Temple. And during each period, they instituted different ...