Questions tagged [history]

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

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31 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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47 views

Four Minim at the time of the Great Revolt

This is a 5 Agorot coin bearing a copy of a coin from the 4th year of the Great Revolt (70AD) that pictures the 4 Minim: I can spot two oddities relative to what's commonly accepted: there are two ...
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67 views

When Did Sukkot Lose Its Status As “THE” Hag? [on hold]

In the Torah it seems like a few of the Hagim get some special status as being particularly significant. Pesah gets a lot of attention and a lot of rituals, Rosh Hashannah seems barely worth ...
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Did the Sadducees get anything right?

The Sadducee-Pharisee split probably began around 150 B.C.E and disappeared after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. As a result, the Karaites (9th-century) adopted many Sadducee-ideas ...
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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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131 views

Was Hakhel performed in separation of men and women?

Mitzvat Hakhel requires the presence of men, women, and children in the Azara (135x135 Ama incl. 4 Lishachot), with a tremendous density (for 600K grown-up men it's around 4M people per 4,000 sq.m.), ...
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46 views

Heter Bamos - When?

When did the heter bamos (the time when it was permitted for klal yisrael to build their own bamos) begin and end?
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81 views

What argument came first - Tanuro Shel Akhnai or Maariv Chovah? [duplicate]

What argument happened first - Tanuro Shel Akhnai (B"M 59b) or Maariv Chovah or Reshut (Brochos 27b) In the former, R"Y stood against R"E (backed by R"G) and in the later the same story happened to ...
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How many fled to the Cities of Refuge?

Do we know how many people (accidental murderers) took advantage of the Cities of Refuge (Deuteronomy 4:41-43)? Perhaps the size of the cities would put an upper limit on that number, so do we know ...
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89 views

Did synagogues exist between the 1st and 2nd temple period? [duplicate]

I'm unaware of the existence of any synagogues having existed between the 1st and 2nd Temple Period. It seems to have begun only after the 2nd Temple existed. Between the two Temples, from what I'm ...
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102 views

“Hanukkah 8th day/Tevet 3/New Years Day” triple coincidences - What makes them so Rare?

I very recently became aware that Hanukkah 8th day sometimes (but rarely) falls on Tevet 3. What causes this to happen? At the same time, I also noticed that when Hanukkah 8th day/Tevet 3 happen ...
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Veracity of the Oral Torah [closed]

A Christian blogger commented: Rabbinic Judaism also has some relatively unconvincing claims of oral transmission from the past.  It claims that its interpretations of the Torah (which are compiled ...
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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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39 views

Tosfot quoted Rabbi Yom Tov Myiuni

For the first time I seen in Tosfot Yevamot 57b הרב רבי יום טוב מיוני I didn't find in Wikipedia about him. Does someone know who is this Chacham, what is his place in Tosfot constellation?
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143 views

Did Rav Akiva turn on Bar Kochba?

I once read that Rav Akiva had a falling out with Bar Kochba before the revolt ended due to the latter refusing to accept the Samaritans as friends. Others say it was because of R. Elazar HaModii's ...
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215 views

When was the tzitz lost?

I was reading a translation of Josephus many years ago that mentioned the tzitz (the crown of the high priest with Qdosh Yisrael engraved on it). The commentary to this Josephus said that the tzitz ...
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1answer
79 views

How many kids did the Tannaim and Amoraim have?

The Gemmorah (Yevomos 62b) brings a statement by R'Yehoshua: ...דתניא: רבי יהושע אומר נשא אדם אשה בילדותו ישא אשה בזקנותו היו לו בנים בילדותו יהיו לו בנים בזקנותו שנא' (קהלת יא, ו): "בבקר זרע את ...
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190 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 ...
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What would the status of the “Book of the Wars of God” be today?

The Torah makes reference to a Book of the Wars of God (Bamidbar 21:10-16). According to most opinions this was an actual written work which has been lost over time. It is not clear (at least to me) ...
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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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61 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 ...
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Torah based on Mesopotamian (and other) sources

A lot of parallels that can be found between the earliest docoments of the Torah/Tenach and the Sumerian/Babylonian/Akkadian religions in Mesopotamia. This lead some to believe that the Torah was ...
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(How) did the South African rabbinate deal with non-white conversion candidates during apartheid?

As I understand it, during apartheid, the South African government treated the Jews as "white." Did it ever happen that someone in a different racial group expressed interest in converting to Judaism ...
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Origin of Chag Hasemikhah

I had thought that having a Chag Hasemikhah for new musmachim was a RIETS/ YU thing, but recently learned that many other Yeshivot also have a Chag Hasemikhah (for example, see: Landers, Chabad, ...
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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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133 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 ...
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Can a jew own a slave? [duplicate]

If yes, I am interested to know who can be a slave and is there a specific way to enter into this arrangement. If the answer is no, why and how did this come into effect.
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What are the 35 cardinal principles enumerated by Jedaiah Penini in the last chapter of his Behinat ha-Dat?

Others, like Crescas and David ben Samuel Estella, spoke of seven fundamental articles, laying stress on free-will. On the other hand, David ben Yom-Tob ibn Bilia, in his "Yesodot ha- Maskil" (...
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Suppose you hear a commandment how do you know it’s God and not your own mind, or Satan? [duplicate]

Considering God asked Abraham to kill his son, it seems difficult to differentiate the word of God from that of Satan, how is one to know from whom a commandment is given? Is there a way to ...
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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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180 views

What does the Canonization of Tanach mean?

Following "did-the-men-of-the-great-assembly-canonize-tanach" (please read for all the related sources): To recap: before the canonization there were many man-made books, incl. Meggilot, Nevi'im, ...
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When did they stop offering the korban during the Roman siege

Sheva asar betammuz commemorates the end of the korban tamid (ערכין י"א ע"ב), but is it during the first temple? When did they stop in the second temple?
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228 views

Idolatrous origin of the name TAMMUZ

The Gemmorah in [Jerusalem Rosh Hashana 6a][1] explains the process of adopting the Babylonian names on Months instead of Biblical ones. דא"ר חנינה שמות חדשים עלו בידם מבבל R'Hanina said: the ...
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Was there always a beracha for Shabbat candles? [duplicate]

The wikipedia entry for Shabbat Candles says that: The first record of the complete text of the blessing is from the Siddur of Rav Amram, written by Amram Gaon in the 9th century. He then ...
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In modern Judaism, do they still make Menorah Stamps for the purpose of Marking Kosher Bread?

I just found this article, and I thought it was cool: https://www.livescience.com/17821-kosher-bread-stamp-discovered.html. The link says that during the Byzantine Era in Horbat Uza, Jewish bakers of ...
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144 views

Is the author of the Shu“t HaRidvaz the same one as the one known to be the rebbe of the Ariza”l?

I've heard that the Ariza"l was a talmid of the Ridvaz. I am wondering if it is the same person who authored the Shu"t HaRidvaz as I find that interesting since he seems to be someone that devoted his ...
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442 views

What did people say in Shemoneh Esrei and Kiddush of Shavuos when it didn't fall out on the 6th of Sivan?

During Shemoneh Esrei and Kiddush of Shavuos, we describe the Yom Tov as "this day of the holiday of Shavuos, the time of giving our Torah" (יום חג השבועות הזה זמן מתן תורתינו). Before we had a fixed ...
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Were Jews always Monotheistic? [duplicate]

I was watching a debate where a Mormon claimed to a Christian that early Jews believed that other gods existed besides YHWH, but they only had a covenant with a single god (YHWH). He never got a ...
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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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141 views

Did the Rambam or the Ramban correspond with Tosafists?

The Rambam and the Ramban lived 1 to 2 hundred years after Rashi, so they must have been contemporaries of at least some of the Baalei Tosfos. Is there any record of written correspondence between ...
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69 views

Ideas for discovering the history of benchers

I'm thinking of making a "bencher museum". I'd like to gather some ideas from our readership for this project. I have a selection of old benchers from the 60's as well as a larger assortment of more ...
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1k views

When the Torah was almost lost and one (or several) Rabbis saved it?

I heard several times from numerous sources, that there were times in history (during the 1st and the 2nd Temples) when the Torah (incl. Oral) was almost completely lost and just one Rabbi (or a ...
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3answers
96 views

Origin of Chumashim (“unholy” Torahs)

Torah says many times that we're obligated to write Torah scrolls, read them in public and study them. Writing a Kosher Torah scroll while following all the requirements (parchment, ink, intentions, ...
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40 views

Are the borders of Eretz Israel going to be the same in regard to the Torah when moshiach comes? [closed]

I have read before an opinion that they are not going to be the same borders, I am hoping for some backup information.
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1answer
41 views

Meaning of II Kings 14:28 - “to Judah in/through Israel.”

II Kings 14:28(Chabad translation) says: "And the rest of the events of Jeroboam and all that he did and his mighty deeds, how he fought, and how he restored Damascus and Hamath to Judah through ...
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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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1answer
121 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 ...
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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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1answer
277 views

Why is Abraham considered the “Founder of Judaism”?

Why is Abraham called 'the founder of Judaism' given that he didn't write its founding legislation, which is what 'founders' of other religions did (for example, Paul and Muhammed)? What place does ...
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1answer
118 views

Milk & Meat Tradition

At what point in Jewish history did waiting 6 hours between milk and meat become the uniform approach in most communities (or in some places 1 hour or 3 hours)? Prior to communities adopting uniform ...