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
3
votes
1answer
917 views

Toynbee's description of Jews as a “fossil” — what was the Orthodox response?

In the 1950s historian Arnold Toynbee made the argument that Jews and Judaism did not fit into any definition of nation, race, or religion. We were not a nation because we lived for centuries without ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do we count years from the date of Creation?

Why do we count years from the date of Creation? I intend two sub-questions here, of which the second is far more interesting, so please answer it: Whence did this tradition originate? Why do we ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
315 views

Where are the lost tribes?

Are they spread all round the nations? If so, how will they still be Jewish, surely they will have assimilated so many generations later? Or are they spread within the Jewish nation? I learnt in the ...
6
votes
2answers
445 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Which masechtot don't really have Rashi?

I often hear that the printed "Rashi" commentary in certain masechtot of the Talmud Bavli (first that come to mind are Moed Katan and Nedarim) is not actually written by Rashi. Does anyone have a full ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Is this the Chofetz Chaim? [closed]

What is the story behind this picture being known as the image of the great Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan(Chafetz Chaim)? Is it him in fact? Where does it come from? The only true picture (that I am aware ...
30
votes
9answers
2k views

Avot keeping Mitzvot

How are we to understand the tradition that the patriarchs kept all of the mitzvot in the Torah (see for example: the last mishna in Kiddushin (4:14), Rashi on Bereshit 32:5, etc.) in light of the ...
5
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
286 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
33 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...
11
votes
2answers
274 views

One Gemara cites another — evidence of the order in which Shas was compiled?

Gemara Tamid notes (on daf 27b) that a certain Braisa appears in Yoma, in Perek Ba Lo Kohen Gadol. This citation is correct; Artscroll notes (Tamid 27b3 #27) that more specifically the Braisa appears ...
6
votes
2answers
151 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
647 views

Source of Ramban's famous debate

Where can one find the 'disputation of Barcelona' between Pablo Cristiani and the Ramban?
7
votes
4answers
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 ...
30
votes
9answers
5k views

Why don't Jews think Jesus is the messiah?

Christians say that Jesus is the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament; Jews disagree. Why couldn't Jesus be the Messiah spoken of? Or could he possibly have been?
35
votes
10answers
4k views

Is there any evidence that Rabbi Akiva's students fought alongside Bar Kochba?

Various sources say that "12,000 pairs" of Rabbi Akiva's students died between Pesach and Shavuos because they did not treat each other with respect. See Genesis Rabba 61:3, Ecclesiastes Rabba 11, ...
1
vote
3answers
100 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, ...
2
votes
0answers
42 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.
2
votes
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 ...
27
votes
4answers
760 views

Was Malbim an innovator?

The Malbim - Meir Leibush ben Yechiel Michel(1809 – 1879) - wrote a commentary on most of Tanach. In his introduction (to Yeshayahu) he writes the assumptions with which he operates in his commentary: ...
2
votes
0answers
44 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 / ...
6
votes
1answer
324 views

Why do some of the Ten Commandments include Noahide Laws?

Of the Seven Noahide Laws, at least three are identical to one of the Ten Commandments. To be specific I am referring to Do not murder Do not steal Do not deny God Do not blaspheme I understand that ...
3
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

When did the Ashkenazi custom to NOT bake matza on Pesach start?

Historically, when did the Ashkenazi custom to not bake matza on Pesach start? I am specifically interested in when this custom arose, rather than the reasons/opions pro/against.
14
votes
1answer
363 views

Napoléon's Sanhedrin

In 1806, Napoléon Bonaparte convened a synod of French rabbinim (mainly Alsatiens and Bordelais) to ascertain halachic opinions on a set of questions. What is the halachic standing of this synod's ...
-3
votes
1answer
81 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. ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Which major gedolim have said Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim?

Which major gedolim, especially at the times at which the events occurred, but in general too, have said Hallel for Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalyim? The definition of a major gadol is, of course, ...
3
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

What has the Holocaust taught us as a people?

The Holocaust was one of the most horrific and important events in our history. What have rabbis said are lessons we should take from it? I am looking for lessons that should apply to all Jews, ...
21
votes
5answers
755 views

Did courts ever execute?

The laws of capital crimes elucidated in Sanhedrin and elsewhere make conviction very unlikely. Makkot 1:10 famously tells us that a court that executes once in seven years is considered "destructive",...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Reb Moshe Feinstein in the New York Times

Reb Moshe Feinstein was once interviewed by the New York Times where he answered questions like how does Klal Yisroel know who is a Gadol? Does anyone know when it was, and does anyone know where I ...
7
votes
2answers
271 views

In the time of the mishna, were there Jewish cities without courts?

In a discussion of the heifer ritual when a murder victim is found between two cities, Sotah 9:2 lists some cases when a city does not bring a heifer, including a city where a majority of the ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Age of Universe [duplicate]

What is the most plausible way to reconcile the traditional dating of the universe (now 5779) with science's understanding that the universe is billions of years old?
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Has the age of accountability always been 13 for boys and 12 for girls?

When was the bar-bas-bat-mitzvah celebration at that age recognised, or was it historically older, such as at age 20? I understand that a boy is a minor (katan-child) before his 13th birthday, and a ...
3
votes
0answers
20 views

For how long was there confusion about the date of a holiday?

The second day of Yom Tov outside of Israel was caused either by the length of time it took messengers to get to far away communities and tell them when the new month was declared or the confusion ...
7
votes
1answer
104 views

Who are “the women who twist yarn by the moon”?

Sotah 6:1 talks about when a man who hears about his wife violating his warning divorces her rather than invoking the sotah test: Someone who warned his wife [against being secluded with a certain ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Is Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer the earliest Torah she'be'al'peh to be written down?

The Radal mentions that Rebbe Eliezer ben Herkinus's talmidim wrote down the Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer. Would that make it the earliest book of Torah she'be'al'peh to be written?
0
votes
1answer
322 views

Different meaning of slapping the left or right cheek

I had this conversation with a colleague today and can't verify or falsify his words. In Christianity Jesus' quote But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also is ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

Were Prophets originally called “Seers”?

In Samuel 1 9:9 it says: לְפָנִ֣ים ׀ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל כֹּֽה־אָמַ֤ר הָאִישׁ֙ בְּלֶכְתּוֹ֙ לִדְר֣וֹשׁ אֱלֹהִ֔ים לְכ֥וּ וְנֵלְכָ֖ה עַד־הָרֹאֶ֑ה כִּ֤י לַנָּבִיא֙ הַיּ֔וֹם יִקָּרֵ֥א לְפָנִ֖ים הָרֹאֶֽה׃...
10
votes
3answers
786 views

לשון הקדש: the oldest language?

Rashi to B'reshis 2:23 says that the language Adam spoke was one that Rashi calls לשון הקדש, lashon hakodesh (or l'shon hakodesh), and that contains the words אִשָּׁה and אִישׁ. Keeping to Rashi's ...
6
votes
3answers
279 views

Evidence of 2nd Temple Liturgy @Temple &/or Synagogue

Friends, I have tried & failed to find really firm documented evidence of 2nd temple period Liturgy used either in Temple services or among the Judean or extra-Judean synagogues. What I find ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Dead sea in the midrashim

We know that the water of the Dead Sea is very much salty, so much so that no fish exist in it. Is there any midrash or agada that speaks on the history of the Dead Sea, how it started to become ...
7
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
33 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Not All Te'amim Signs Musical?

Those of you may remember I had previously asked a question regarding a French Musicologist who had notated the Egyptian te'amim in 1798. One of the striking things I learned from that notation is ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Why take t'ruma? Aren't people trusted to do so?

I don't know much about hilchos z'raim (agriculture-related law), but from the mishnayos I recall as follows: If one acquires produce from someone who cannot be trusted to tithe, then he must take the ...

1 2 3 4 5 30