Questions tagged [history]

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

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11
votes
2answers
377 views

Why is the Miracle of Oil mentioned so much later than records of Chanukah celebrations?

The miracle of oil isn't really mentioned until the Talmud, and is absent from all earlier sources for Chanukah like the Books of Maccabees, Josephus, and others. I have seen historians claim that ...
5
votes
1answer
280 views

Reconciling Young Earth Creationism With Racial Diversity

I'm wondering whether the Young Earth Creationism can be reconciled with the racial diversity found on the globe. How, can a young Earth accomedate, in a manner consistent with science, Noah's ...
2
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2answers
60 views

What happened to Leviim as teachers?

In the Torah it seems pretty clear that the Kohanim/Leviim were supposed to be the teachers and moral guides of Bnei Yisrael (e.g., Devarim 33:10): יוֹרוּ מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ לְיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָתְךָ ...
0
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1answer
28 views

What kind of ‘rocking boat’ is Menachos 94 referring to?

The Gemara in Menachos 94b says: רבי חנינא אמר כמין תיבה פרוצה ר' יוחנן אמר כמין ספינה רוקדת Rabbi Ḥanina says: It was rectangular, with a wide base and two parallel walls with an open space ...
8
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2answers
346 views

If the Canaanites occupied the land in Moses’ day, why would Moses write that they were in the land then?

What does the Torah imply when it notes 'the Cannannites were then in the land' (Gen. 12:6)? It seems to suggest they were in the land then (when the tale took place) but not now (when the book was ...
7
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0answers
151 views

Why are “Chiddushei” seforim rarely cited in the Nosi Keilim?

I noticed that when quoting Rishonim, Beis Yosef/Nosei Keilim tend to focus on Poskim (Rif (and main commentary)/Rosh/Rambam, Mordechai, Teruma, Rabbeinu Yerucham, etc.) and responsa. Very rarely do ...
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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 ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

How did the Rambam write about kidney removal?

From this answer: The Rambam (Bias Mikdash 6:7) states clearly that a Kohain whos Kidney was removed is NOT considered a Baal Mum. אֵין פּוֹסֵל בָּאָדָם אֶלָּא מוּמִין שֶׁבְּגָלוּי. אֲבָל ...
8
votes
2answers
157 views

Origin for making giyur?

A friend of mine asked me from when a Non-Jew was allowed to make giyur (conversion); and on which Biblical verses it was based upon. I guess he wanted to know more about it's origin. So that's why I'...
4
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1answer
275 views

Did the high priest have a rope tied to him while he performed his duties?

There is a tradition many have heard that says the high priest had a rope tied to him on the day of atonement so that if he became incapacitated while in the most holy with the ark he could be ...
1
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0answers
57 views

Online Depictions of the Colorful Second Temple

Are there any artistic depictions, available online, of the multicolored appearance of the Second Temple, based on archaeological finds (see, e.g., here), or, e.g., the depiction of the blue/green and ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

When were these fasts observed?

The Tur (Orach Chayim 580), quoting the Bahag (Laws of the Ninth of Av), gives a list of days on which to fast. This list is copied or mentioned by some other rishonim (as quoted in the footnote to ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Why did standing on one's feet become the posture for prayer?

When one reads about people praying to G-d throughout Tanac"h, we rarely discover them standing to pray. Most of the time they are kneeling, prostrating or falling on their faces. We see that when ...
2
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1answer
139 views

XX century Aliyah, State of Israel, and righteousness of the Jews

(please excuse if the title does not capture the question. Feel free to edit) On the one hand, during the first half of the XX century, a significant number of Jews returned to the land of Israel (...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

Winding Tefillin Strap Around Middle Finger

I was taught that one wraps the tefillin around his middle finger three times. Once between the top half of the finger, and twice around the bottom half of the finger. However I ran across an article ...
8
votes
1answer
86 views

Discrepancy in section headings between Tur and Shulchan Aruch

Over here I asked about the source of the section headings in the Tur. In a comment it was indicated that the Tur himself assigned these headings. In most Shulchan Aruchs that I have checked, the Tur ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Translation (or searchable version) of *Sefer Elim* of Rabbi Joseph Solomon Delmedigo

Does there exist any translation of the Sefer Elim of Rabbi Joseph Solomon Delmedigo into a European language? If not, does there at least exist a text-version of the original Hebrew version (all I ...
10
votes
1answer
236 views

What did mikdash workers eat?

Groups of Jews not from shevet Levi would work in the bes hamikdash, a week at a time. Their primary responsibility was attendance: being present when korb'nos tzibur, public offerings, were brought. (...
5
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3answers
1k views

Interpreting the Zohar's Prediction of the year 1840

On the verse in parsha Noach (Genesis 7:11): "In the six-hundredth year in the life of Noah... all wellsprings of the great deep burst open, and the windows of heaven were opened..." The Zohar (part ...
12
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2answers
219 views

Which came first the Mishnah Torah or the Pirush HaMishnayos

Which sefer did the Ramabm author first, was it his Mishnah Torah (Yad HaChazaka) or his commentary to Mishnayos?
1
vote
1answer
88 views

When did the daily sacrifices cease being offered in temple?

The daily sacrifices which were carried out in the temple did they cease after the destruction of the temple(AD70) or they had already ceased well before that. If they had ceased before the ...
1
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0answers
48 views

What was a rabbinic מעיל משי?

In the book מנהגים דק"ק וורמיישא, one of the first simonim notes that the rov and chazzan in Worms should wear a Seidenmantel (He: מעיל משי), which the notes explain was rabbinical garb in those days. ...
5
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1answer
96 views

What were the scrolls that the Jews had in Egypt fortelling of the forthcoming redemption?

I was reading Rav Melamed's Peninei Halacha, the Shabbat volume, and on page 5 he mentions that when the Jews were slaves in Egypt they had scrolls (megillot) in their possession telling of the ...
9
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1answer
436 views

How animals populated different continents after the flood?

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood? Did some species of animals survive the flood? Or are we to understand that the flood only affected the ...
-1
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1answer
99 views

Why aren’t they any statues attributed to Moshe when he was prince of Egypt? [closed]

Why aren’t they any statues attributed to Moshe when he was prince of Egypt? Did the Egyptians destroy them after the exodus?
13
votes
2answers
459 views

Why isn't there a single, centralized Sanhedrin today?

It seems that many mitzvot in the Torah are opened to interpretation in some way, potentially subject to ruling by the Sanhedrin. And some mitzvot (examples below) seem to require the presence of the ...
5
votes
2answers
474 views

Didn't Rambam say Aleinu leshabeach?

Siddur Mesorat Moshe is a siddur whose text follows the rulings of the Rambam. I received a copy a couple of weeks ago and am now using it daily. A completely never-seen-before thing is that there's ...
16
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0answers
166 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
181 views

List of titles before different Rabbis

It is customary to put many honorific titles before most modern day Rabbis (I've even seen seforim that write Harav Hagaon etc. etc. So-And-So). Many times one sees long lines of adjactives praising ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Shemini Atzeret - a “Regel Bifney Atzmo” dispute

There seems to be some disagreement about the nature of Shemini Atzeret and the implications of its being called a "Regel Bifnei Atzmo" (a stand-alone festival). But I assume that, because there are ...
9
votes
1answer
128 views

What is the origin for the names of the various trope/cantillation signs?

I would like to know the origin of the names for the various cantillation marks, understanding that there are different names for different notes related 1, 2
19
votes
4answers
601 views

Is it heresy to follow secular dating on the destruction of the first Temple?

There is a discrepancy between rabbinic and secular sources regarding when the first Temple was destroyed -- a difference of some 165 years or so, which are called the "Missing Years." My question is ...
6
votes
1answer
640 views

Date of the Akeida?

Are there sources in our tradition which discuss the Hebrew date of Akeidas Yitzchak? The fact that we read the Akeida on Rosh Hashana or, properly, every day suggests to me that the "real" date is ...
2
votes
3answers
146 views

What was Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi's role in compiling the Mishnah?

I have always heard that Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi "compiled" the mishna. What were his roles in compiling it in the form that we currently have it? Specifically, did he perform any of these roles: ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there “Torah Inerrancy”?

Is there Torah inerrancy? In other words, does the Torah contain no factual errors: the Noah flood did occur, Garden of Eden did exist, Adam and Eve did live there and were subsequently expelled, etc ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

What is the history and origin of the Etz Chayim symbol and the 10 Sefiroth?

This question is related to the question 'what is the origin of the Hebrew language?' since Hebrew is a key part of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. However, the question of Hebrew language origins seems ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Rav Shach and Lubavitsher Rebbe [closed]

From a purely Torah perspective. What was the disagreement between Rav Shach and the Lubavitcher Rebbe? Like, from a halachic point of view what were their opinions and why? I know they disagreed ...
9
votes
2answers
225 views

Cylindrical Tefillin

The wikipedia page on tefillin shows cylindrical tefillin found in the Cairo geniza, with reference to this image from here: The source from the wikipedia page cites this: Kiell, Norman (1967). The ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

Why the Jerusalem Talmud is not mentioned in the Bavli?

The JT was compiled some 150-200 years before the Bavli (WIKI), so the most of the disputes in the Bavli took place when the JT was already finished. The Rabbis (Tannayim and Amorayim) traveled all ...
9
votes
2answers
144 views

What is the history and purpose behind Teki'ah Gedolah?

I am familiar with the origin and reasoning of the "regular" Tekiah blast that surrounds the shevarim, teru'ah and shevarim-teru'ah sounds. What is the origin of the teki'ah gedolah in terms of its ...
2
votes
1answer
927 views

How can we explain the growth of Israelite population in Egypt?

Jacob and his family went to Egypt numbering (approximately) 70 people. After approximately 200 years, 600,000 men between the ages of 20-60 (if I'm not mistaken). So probably 2 million total got ...
16
votes
3answers
526 views

How are the two tales of dancing in vineyards on the 15th of Av related?

The Mishna tells us (Taanis 26b) that on the 15th of Av, unmarried girls would borrow clothes, dance in the vineyard, and invite the unmarried men to choose them for marriage. The Talmud (Taanis 30b) ...
10
votes
1answer
259 views

Why is V'Zot Habracha read on Simchat Torah instead of on Shabbat?

I understand that Ezra began the concept of an annual Torah cycle where each Parsha is to be read on a Shabbat (except if coinciding with Yom Tov.) However, V'Zot Habracha was scheduled to be ...
7
votes
1answer
129 views

History of chattan & kallah classes

A common practice in some segments of today's Jewish world is for brides and grooms to attend "Chattan/kallah classes" where the attendees receive instruction and advice on relationship dynamics and ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

Had an unmarried Jewish woman ever owned a male slave, whom she acquired or asked to become her husband?

Had an unmarried Jewish woman ever owned a male slave, whom she acquired or asked to become her husband? Was there ever any occurrence in the Tanach, Gemara, Mishna, Halacha, Aggadot, Midrashim, etc. ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

When did Ma'ariv stop becoming 'optional'?

It's a bit of fun Jewish trivia that Ma'ariv was originally 'optional' (see for example here, and Halachic ramifications of its' original optionality here), but at some point became 'accepted' by ...
7
votes
2answers
110 views

According to the Rambam, why is Achiya considered Dovid Hamelech's student?

The Rambam writes (in his Introduction to Mishneh Torah): ואחיה השילוני מיוצאי מצרים היה ולוי היה ושמע ממשה והיה קטן בימי משה והוא קיבל מדוד ובית דינו. Achiah of Shiloh was one of those who ...
11
votes
1answer
109 views

History of Talmudic Censorship

I'm looking for literature on the history of Talmudic censorship. I would prefer the material be in English, but Hebrew is also OK. Related post: Talmudic Censorship
0
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0answers
20 views

When were the current Sidra breaks established? [duplicate]

The Gemara (Megillah 29b) relates that in Eretz Yisrael, they would finish the Torah every three years, while in Bavel, they would do so every year. In practice, it seems universally accepted to ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Zohar about the 18-19th century [duplicate]

I saw a quote one time--I believe it was in an Artscroll sefer--from the Zohar about how there would be tremendous spiritual and cultural revelations that would occur around the 18th-19th centuries. (...