Questions tagged [history]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Who built the first Jerusalem wall and when?

Wikipedia says: The city of Jerusalem has been surrounded by walls for its defense since ancient times. In the Middle Bronze Age, a period also known in biblical terms as the era of the ...
6
votes
1answer
174 views

What is the status of the “minor tractates”?

There is a collection of "minor tractates" some of which contain material not found in other works of torah sh'baal peh (the oral law). What is the origin of these tractates? Who wrote/compiled them? ...
4
votes
4answers
524 views

Why do we venerate previous generations?

In understanding torah sh'baal peh, as well as halacha we generally work under the presumption that earlier generations were correct and/or knew more than later generations. For example many a talmud ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Allegory vs. Literalism in Judaism and How to Tell the Difference [duplicate]

In the following article, the author makes a compelling argument for why Judaism doesn't always approach scripture literally. However, although there are many examples throughout the Bible for the use ...
11
votes
2answers
382 views

Why is 'Rabbenu Tam' called Rabbenu Tam?

Rabbenu Tam's name was יעקב בן מאיר. Why then is he known as Rabbenu Tam?
2
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
645 views

No yetzer hora of idolatry, so no nevuah?

I remember learning in a shiur (sorry, can't think of the reference) that Chazal was able to essentially destroy the yetzer hora of avodah zora but with the side effect that there wouldn't be nevuah ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

When did it become common to engrave tombstones?

I'm going to "link" this question to something in this week's parsha (Torah reading): Genesis 35:20: וַיַּצֵּ֧ב יַעֲקֹ֛ב מַצֵּבָ֖ה עַל־קְבֻרָתָ֑הּ הִ֛וא מַצֶּ֥בֶת קְבֻֽרַת־רָחֵ֖ל עַד־הַיּֽוֹם׃ ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Who First Knew of the Messiah

In Parashah Shemot 4:13, Moses says to G-d, "Send, I pray You, by the hand of whom You will send." On p. 77 of Rabbi M. Schneerson's book "Torah Studies" he explains that midrash (Lekach Tov) ...
7
votes
1answer
70 views

The beginning of public charity

In the Torah, charity is a private matter. Each person has an obligation to help the poor in various ways, for example, by leaving some wheat on the ground, leaving some fruits on the trees, giving ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

What's the source for the Cheirim of York?

Regarding the massacre of the Jews which took place at Cliffords Tower in York, 1190. It is said that as a result of this incident, a cheirem was placed on York forbidding people to sleep there ...
14
votes
3answers
747 views

Did Rambam have Rashi's works?

While the Rambam lived a century after Rashi, I cannot recall ever seeing or hearing the Rambam cite or mention Rashi or any of his works. Is there any evidence that Rambam had access to Rashi's ...
1
vote
5answers
2k views

Creation of State of Israel and birth of Abraham - 1948

According to the Jewish calendar, Abraham was born on the year 1948. The state of Israel was declared in 1948 according to the secular calendar. Is there any significance to this or is it just ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Taking shoes off before closing a deal - is there an history evidence?

In bible (Ruth 4,7) it's written that before closing a deal, it was used that one of the sides took his shoes off: Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Day of Yosef’s Sale

I saw in a medrash - but can’t recall where - that the brothers sold Yosef on the tenth of Teveis. Does any which medrash I could find this in?
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Is there a guide of some sort that explains the various differences between different Hasidish communities?

I wanted to know if there was a guide of some sort which clearly defined and explained the various differences between different Hasidic dynasties and communities.
2
votes
1answer
127 views

How to understand the texts that litterally speak of other gods and compares to G_d [duplicate]

Psalm 97:9 9 For You, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; You are very much exalted above all gods. There are many similar indications, that the Jews (at least in the time of the king ...
5
votes
1answer
258 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. ...
8
votes
2answers
312 views

Jacob Obermeyer and Talmudic Maps?

I had seen a footnote in Socinco on Pesachim (Or, for a real reference see note on בדיתא לבאי in M.K. 11a), I do not currently remember which page but it referenced a city that was mentioned in the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What was the source of Samson's strength?

It’s a popular notion that the source of his strength is his hair, but that doesn’t seem right to me. Most supernatural powers are blessings by God for some purpose. It is known that Samson was a ...
2
votes
7answers
229 views

Websites or books about the Torah and history of the world

I am looking for recommendations of good websites and books that talk about various ways of understanding the 'conflicts' between the Torah and a modern understanding of the age of the universe, the ...
27
votes
2answers
457 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
357 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

A good book on Monetary system of the Torah and the Talmud?

I am very confused, trying to understand the Sages' view on the monetary system of the Torah, and the commentaries do not present a holistic and consistent view. I am also confused by the historical ...
1
vote
1answer
221 views

Questions about the 7000-year shmita cycles

The (currently) top rated answer to this other question says that: R' Aryeh Kaplan z'l teaches as follows: R' Nehunia ben Hakana brings in Sefer Temuna that there are larger shmita cycles of ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

What happened to Joseph's coat of many colors

What happened to Yosef's coat of many colors? I know the brothers gave it to Yakov. But what happened later? Did he have it in Egypt? Do we know?
13
votes
5answers
931 views

Rabi Yochanan Ben Zakai, or Josephus?

Josephus in Wars 3. 8. 9. records a story of how he meets Vespasian, tells him that he will become ruler, and Titus will take over his position. Vespasian, although sceptical at first eventually ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Rambam's statement about a blessing from the Ri Migash

The Artscroll Rishonim history book, in the section about the Rambam, records a "tradition" that the Rambam, as a young child, received a blessing from the Ri Migash, and that he (the Rambam) later ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Gender and “Seeding” - Just Torah-Derived or Common Belief?

Niddah 31a writes (Davidson Edition translation): אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי אמי אשה מזרעת תחילה יולדת זכר איש מזריע תחילה יולדת נקבה שנאמר (ויקרא יב, ב) אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר Rabbi Yitzḥak says ...
5
votes
1answer
640 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

A few questions related to the Knesset Hagdolah and the Sanhedrin

Wikipedia says the Great Assembly was established in 410 BCE, and I'm wondering if that's what the masorah teaches. Wikipedia also mentions that Sanhedrin began to form around 57-55 BCE, and I'm also ...
5
votes
7answers
584 views

What's the origin of the name “Jew”?

Why are we called "the Jews"? Did Hashem pick out this name for us? What does the word "Jew" mean?
3
votes
1answer
126 views

What Rabbis originally supported and opposed Rambam's 13 principles and why?

I heard the when Rambam presented his 13 principles the opinions divided pretty sharply between the Sefardic Rabbis that openly supported it and the Ashkenazi (Rabaney Tzarfat) that opposed it for ...
3
votes
3answers
574 views

Why was there no ark in the second temple?

Since the exact dimensions of the ark - Aron - are mentioned in the Torah (Shmos 25:10 and on), why didn't they make one to replace the missing one in the 2nd Temple?
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Empirical sources that “Batei Midrash” existed prior to Chanukkah events [closed]

In anticipation of Chanukah, we had a discussion about the impact of the Chashmonayim dynasty on Judaism, and somebody presented an idea that although they did fight for the continuation of the Jewish ...
5
votes
5answers
156 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,...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

Is there an official haggadah?

Is there an official haggadah? How does one version of a haggadah have authority over another? Is there a most popular one, a controversial one?
0
votes
0answers
54 views

What specifically was the ancient Jewish practice of rubbing an infant's throat?

The Jewish Encyclopedia article on "Consecration" says that the later "rubbing on" of oil aka "anointing" has roots in the practice of rubbing an infant's throat in preparation for receiving a mother'...
6
votes
2answers
332 views

Why can an Eruv be made in cities nowadays?

Some Facts: An eruv cannot be made in a reshus harabim. Many eruvin are made in cities nowadays. Cities are much bigger now than they were thousands of years ago. Yet it seems that in those days, ...
2
votes
2answers
166 views

Was Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai a priest? And was he Nasi of a sanhedrin?

Was Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai a priest? And was he Nasi of a sanhedrin? I ask, because I read here that he was nasi of the sanhedrin from the years 70-80 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanhedrin ...
5
votes
2answers
318 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

History of Kabbalah

Has anyone attempted to write a historical sketch of the history of the shalsheles HaKabbalah (which, in this instance, I use to refer to Toras HaSod)? In other words, what was megale to Moshe Rabbenu,...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

What does מצלאים mean? What was said?

In O"C 288:10 the Shulchan Aruch states: נרדף מפני רוח רעה שאמרו לאו דוקא דה"ה לכל חולי שיש בו סכנת היום זועקים ומתחננין וכן נהגו לומר מצלאים בשבת על חולים המסוכנים סכנות היום:‏ הגה וכן מותר ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

How did the bible and Chachamim know the time of Chatzot?

In many places in the bible (e.g. here) as well as in the Mishna (e.g.Berakhot 1,1) it's written that some things happened on Chatzot (midnight point-חצות הלילה) or some Mitzva should be done not late ...
-2
votes
2answers
326 views

Were/are there any gedolim that do not wear a hat of some kind?

It seems like almost major rebbeim/poskim do/did ear some sort of additional head covering (black hat, streimel, cap, etc) for davening. If the practice is that universal among gedolim, that might ...
5
votes
2answers
166 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?
17
votes
1answer
248 views

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Chassidism

Does anyone know if there is any historical record of Rabbi Hirsh's perspectives on Chassidism? The movement was obviously not very present where he was in Germany, but given that he was in contact ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

When, why and who originated Chevruta style studying?

From reading various stories mentioned in the mishnah, it seems that students studied directly from their rav. I assume that they reviewed what they studied, and, perhaps, discussed ideas with each ...
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

Identifying the author Toras Yekusiel

I recently came across this teaching: [in footnote Aleph.] http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=3751&st=&pgnum=11 To summarize: during the time when the Vilna Gaon made his cherem ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

How Many vav Hahipuchs in each of the 24 books of Tenach

How Many vav Hahipuchs (Conversive vav) are in each of the 24 books of Tenach compared with the number of letters / verses in that book. As far as I know they are only in Tenach rather than Mishna or ...