Questions tagged [history]

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

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3
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1answer
77 views

Which of the *Zugos* were in charge during the Chanukah story?

Pirkei Avos tells us of a chain of Torah leadership from Shimon HaTzadik (who lived in the times of Alexander the Great), to Antignos Ish Socho, to the pairs of leaders after that. On whose watch did ...
9
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3answers
504 views

History of Capital Punishment

When is the most recent documented occurrence in Jewish history of a beit din carrying out the death penalty? Or if historical documentation is lacking, when is the most recent time in Jewish history ...
0
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1answer
45 views

In story of Rebbe Akiva's students, found in yevamos 62b, how is it possible that they didn't show honour to one another [duplicate]

Rabbi Akiva, the tanna who has the famous quote " this is the greatest rule, love your fellow like you love yourself". If that is what he stands for how could it be that his students disregarded that ...
0
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1answer
81 views

High priest’s death pardoning criminals?

A Christian was telling me that in ancient Israel there was some rule about banishment and high priests, that Jesus is the ultimate high priest, that his death released everyone from sin. What - if ...
9
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1answer
374 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 ...
6
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1answer
252 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 that ...
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71 views

Tefillin on the elbow in the history

משנה האומר איני עובר לפני התיבה בצבועין אף בלבנים לא יעבור בסנדל איני עובר אף יחף לא יעבור העושה תפלתו עגולה סכנה ואין בה מצוה נתנה על מצחו או על פס ידו הרי זו דרך המינות ציפן זהב ונתנה על בית ...
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1answer
63 views

Tefillin on the chest

Were there a Jewish religious movements /sects in the history that used to put or hanged their Tefillin on their chest / neck? (rather than on the arm against the heart). As far as I remember, I read ...
2
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1answer
460 views

Ibrahim slaugthering his son as per Jewish beliefs?

Do Jews have a custom or teaching of Qurban/slaughtering animals as Muslims do to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim's test of slaughtering his son? If so, is it on a particular time or month and what this ...
2
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4answers
92 views

Who were the zekeinim mentioned in Pirkei Avot?

In Pirkei Avot, in chapter one mishna 1 it says that Yehoshua passed on the Torah to the zekeinim. Who were they? For how long did they exist?
5
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1answer
724 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, ...
2
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0answers
47 views

Jewish life during the times of the Black Death [closed]

I'm looking for any sources (if possible maybe even first-hand written accounts) of how Jews who lived in Western Europe at that time handled this particular period. Anything goes, matter of fact ...
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0answers
60 views

Does the leading status of Rabbi Akiva's students following the Bar Kochba revolt mean Rabbi Akiva's opinions are more often followed? [closed]

I understand that Rabbi Akiva was the foremost rabbinic leader of his time, and after the Bar Kochba revolt his students were the primary Tanaaim, and they also were responsible for organizing the ...
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0answers
55 views

Slobodka/Chevron and Shaving during Sefira

I have been told by many that in the famed Slobodka Yeshiva the students would shave even during Sefira, per the stress on Gadlus HaAdam the Yeshiva pushed. Has anyone seen this mentioned anywhere, ...
2
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2answers
127 views

Who were the Sabians?

In the Guide, Maimonides talks about the religion of the Sabians (first idolators). He tells us that he has spent much time learning about the Sabian religion (he was sort of an anthropologist). After ...
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0answers
59 views

Could Jesus the Nazarene have been buried near the Galilean city of Safed? [closed]

I am an Italian noahide. I read that the famous Rabbi Isaac Luria, in his "Book of the Reincarnations", writes in chapter 37, within the long list of Jewish Tzadiks: "On your way from Safed toward ...
1
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1answer
33 views

Praying based on national merit - Early examples

It seems to be a common theme in the prayer service that we ask for our needs basing our requests on the mercy of G-d, and, occasionally, on the merit of our forefathers. Nonetheless, we find some ...
5
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5answers
159 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,...
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3answers
1k views

Where does the tune for birkat hamazon come from?

It's hard to describe who's tune this is and I can only refer to it as the 'commonly used' or 'popular' tune for birkat hamazon. I seems like it is compiled of many unrelated tunes. At times there are ...
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0answers
28 views

Are there sources which cite art as being an extension of spiritual practice in Jewish tradition?

I understand this question may be interpreted as being slightly generalized but I'm asking for sources which cite the religious/spiritual nature of art in Jewish practice. Obviously, statues of ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Who was the last Samukh (סמוך)?

Who was the last 'Samukh' (סמוך)? Rambam stated in the introduction of his book, that the last Sanhedrin (סנהדרין) was a little before the Talmud was edited. But it says nothing about the last ...
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110 views

Gedolim on Spanish Flu

Did the Gedolim of the time during whcih the Spanish Flu was spreading (and killed anywhere from 17 million to 50 million people) comment on it and provide any halachic guidance on whether to permit ...
6
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1answer
578 views

Was Marcus Jastrow an apikores? [closed]

During Yeshiva I remember some bochrim made a point of not putting the Jastrow dictionary on top of sefarim, and would often talk about how it does not have kedusha because it was written by an ...
2
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1answer
72 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 ...
-1
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1answer
77 views

Arizal was 6 days on a island [closed]

It's known that the Arizal was on an island for 6 days a week and only came home on Shabbosim. Is there a Shuir/Sefer/Tradition that states what the Arizal did during his days on the island? Was he ...
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0answers
70 views

When was the din of Arba Kosot created?

The earliest source I found for the four cups in the Seder is the first Mishna in Pesachim 10: On the eve of Pesah close to minhah one may not eat until nightfall. Even the poorest person in Israel ...
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0answers
15 views

Where do the headings of the parts of the seder come from? [duplicate]

Every seder I have ever attended begins with a list of the different parts (simanim) of the seder. This list is often sung and consists of the following: קַדֵשׁ וּרְחַץ כַּרְפַּס יחץ מגיד ...
18
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5answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
88 views

How do references to eternity in Torah square with the finite life of the sun?

How is one to read אות היא לעולם, נר תמיד and שומר ישראל לעד knowing that the sun will not endure? Torah is written in human language. Is "for ever" confined to human measures, and in fact then, ...
4
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0answers
46 views

Why did the Tos'fos Yom Tov compose his Mi Sheberach?

It is well known that R. Yom Tov Heller, author of the Tos'fos Yom Tov and other works, wrote a prayer to be recited for the benefit of those who don't speak in the synagogue (or: during prayer). I'm ...
5
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1answer
477 views

When and how were trop melodies first written down?

We know that the trop (cantillation) marks were added to our written Tanakh text by the ba'alei hamesorim (Masorites) around the 8-10th century CE. They were recording an oral tradition that, I ...
49
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29answers
4k views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X (...
1
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0answers
82 views

What is the relationship between the tradition of the Pharisees and Rabbinic Judaism (Yahadut Rabanit)?

I am an Italian Noahide In several articles and studies I have read that the Rabbinic Judaism (Yahadut Rabanit) would have its roots in the Pharisaic tradition. However, here is what I read on a ...
9
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2answers
258 views

How did the Sages know that Jerusalem had a wall in the times of Joshua?

The criterion for whether a city celebrates Purim on 14 Adar or Shushan Purim on 15 Adar is whether it was walled in the times of Joshua (about 3300 years ago). (Well, Shushan itself is an exception, ...
4
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1answer
157 views

Did Aleppo Jews observe Purim on the 14th (regular) or 15th (Shushan Purim)?

Did the Jews of Aleppo, Syria observe Purim on the 14th or 15th of Adar? Was it believed to be old enough for the latter?
5
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3answers
565 views

Halachically skipping Purim

There have long been 'legends' of various liberal figures in Judaism, including Yeshayahu Leibovitz (brother of Nechama Leibovitz) that would 'skip' Purim. On the 14th of Adar they would be sure to be ...
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0answers
95 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 ...
2
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1answer
140 views

What is the halacha on proselytizing?

What is the halacha on proselytizing? If a Jew tries to convince a non-Jew to become Jewish, is he breaking any commandments or rabbinic decrees? Sources, please. (I know there is evidence we used ...
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6answers
11k views

Have Jews believed that Ezra was the son of God?

In reading the Qur'an, I noticed this passage: Qur'an 9:30 The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah ." That is their statement from their ...
17
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2answers
385 views

First-Temple-Era names of the Hebrew months?

The Chumash refers to the months simply as "the first", "the second", and so on. Today we know them by their Babylonian names (Nisan, Iyar ...) Occasionally the Prophets from the First-Temple Era use ...
3
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5answers
542 views

Where was Berit Ben Habetarim done?

I've always imagined that Berit Ben Habetarim was done in Eretz Yisrael, but someone recently told me it happened in Haran. Anybody have any sources for either?
7
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1answer
207 views

Tu B'Shvat Significance

What is the significance of Tu B'Shvat? How was it celebrated through history, and was it celebrated through history? What are the Halachic torah sources for Celebrating it? Why the recent Popularity?...
8
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0answers
244 views

Was the Chasam Sofer known for having an interesting way of learning?

I have a lot of experience learning Gemara and find myself oft dealing with the views of the Achronim to understand the Pshat in Rishonim. Unfortunately, I have inside me a slight aversion to the ...
0
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8answers
187 views

Seforim dedicated or named for a woman

I've heard of authors dedicating or naming their Sefer after a woman (wife, mother, etc), but I can't remember the specifics. What Seforim are dedicated or named in honor of a woman?
4
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2answers
340 views

Where does the Kaf HaHayyim first cite the Aruch HaShulchan and the Mishnah Berurah?

The Kaf HaHayyim was written roughly contemporaneously with the Aruch HaShulchan and the Mishnah Berurah, but is the last of the three seforim to be finished, with its final chapters completed by the ...
3
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1answer
274 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 ...
12
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4answers
957 views

Is beauty that is described in the Torah objective beauty?

Perceptions of beauty have changed throughout time. For example, in the times of the Talmud, R' Yochanan, who was described as being fat (Berachos 13b), is also described in the Talmud as being ...
7
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6answers
276 views

Are there books and / or online sources that discuss how the Talmud was compiled?

There are a few aspects of the Talmud that I'm curious about: Someone compiled it. My history knowledge is poor. I understand that Rabbi Yehuda compiled the Mishna. I'm not sure who compiled the ...
6
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1answer
191 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
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4answers
537 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 ...

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