Questions tagged [history]

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

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43 views

What was the position of Av Beis Din vs Nassi in Rabbinic Pairs?

Traditionally, from Moses and on there was always only one head of the Sanhedrin, the president, the prince, the king, the Supreme Judge, Av Beis Din, etc. No other members or titles or names are ever ...
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1answer
161 views

Yeshivas that relocated

BS"D Which yeshivot relocated throughout the 20th century due to war, pogroms, etc.? For example, I know that The Mir Yeshiva moved to Shanghai in 1941. Are there any other similar yeshivot? Do ...
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1answer
125 views

Are there Traditional Jewish sources say that the story of Adam and Chava is a metaphor?

(Original: Are there any traditional Jewish sources that state that the story of Adam Harishon is a metaphor and/or that there were other intelligent human beings already on the earth prior to Adam’s ...
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87 views

Who are “the Yechidim”?

I'm reading a book called "Publications of The American Jewish Historical Society, no. 21" (which can be found for free on archive.com). The first part is a collection of records of ...
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1answer
87 views

During which plague did the Baal Shem Tov advise writing a Sefer Torah

The United for Protection campaign says: In the times of the Baal Shem Tov a terrible disease swept through his town of Mezibush. (…) Only by uniting together in the creation of a new Torah scroll, ...
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Do some scholars believe that “לנבא” (“lenabe”) meant “to philosophise”/“to entertain”/“to dramatise”?

I read with interest Julian Jaynes' Bicamerlism book where he claims that lenabe was mistranslated as "to prophetise" in LXX which also influenced Jewish thought. Later on, I wrote out of ...
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0answers
99 views

Do any commentaries suggest that the Tower of Babel was the Great Pyramid of Giza?

According to the Torah (Genesis 11) the tower of Babel was located in Shinar, which scholars place in southern Mesopotamia, and was built at around ~ 1765 BC (here). The Great Pyramid of Giza was ...
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102 views

What was Anglo Jewry's stance just before the establishment of the State of Israel?

By 1947 or so, many Jews emphatically wanted a State of Israel, and for the British to end their control of then-Palestine. How did this play out for the Jews of the United Kingdom? Did its United ...
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80 views

What was the first systematic book about Jewish tradition?

If I follow Rabbinic sources from the Torah to Rambam, I spot a progression from essentially unstructured and non-systematic books such as the Tanakh to Midrashic anthologies and Halachic compendia, e....
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101 views

Which nations were the Cherethites and Pelethites?

Which nations were the Cherethites and Pelethites? Divrei Hayamim I - I Chronicles - Chapter 18:17 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and the sons of David ...
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1answer
100 views

Did ancient Jewish maps have East at the top? [closed]

A long time ago, someone told me that ancient Jewish maps had East at the top instead of North. I can't even remember who it was that said that, but that idea has stuck with me. Is there any ...
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77 views

Are there Orthodox sources on alternative estimations of the Exodus?

When discussing the Exodus, some academic scholars try to reconcile the Biblical narrative with empirical findings by lowering the estimates for the number of people involved and the grandiosity of ...
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1answer
107 views

What was Adam’s race? [duplicate]

I’m asking because he it Lucy in Africa or an earlier person found in Ethiopia https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31718336, the evidence shows early humans were Black. Is this found in the ...
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2answers
721 views

Did Yonathan, King Shaul's son, have children?

Yonathan died young, during the war with the Pelishtim. Did he leave children?
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161 views

Rabbi Saadia Gaon on the 10 Lost Tribes

I have read that Rabbi Saadia Gaon, a great sage who lived from 882 to 942, considered the Assyrian Exile to be in modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Iran. Would anyone be able to confirm ...
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1answer
879 views

Was it David's custom to go into battle without an armour?

Shmuel I 17:38-39: וַיַּלְבֵּ֨שׁ שָׁא֚וּל אֶת־דָּוִד֙ מַדָּ֔יו וְנָתַ֛ן ק֥וֹבַע נְח֖שֶׁת עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ וַיַּלְבֵּ֥שׁ אֹת֖וֹ שִׁרְיֽוֹן. וַיַּחְגֹּ֣ר דָּוִ֣ד אֶת־חַ֠רְבּוֹ מֵעַ֨ל לְמַדָּ֜יו וַיֹּ֣אֶל ...
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189 views

How does the Motza Temple fit into our tradition?

This place is about a mile away from my home and I frequently ran in that area for years and saw the archeological site, until they announced that they've found a Jewish Temple running in parallel to ...
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60 views

What Talmudic disputes took place in Jerusalem?

I was asked this simple question, but couldn't recall one myself. I understand that it must include pre-R'Yochanan Ben Zakkai Tannoyim, and there are not many of them, but still. Were there disputes ...
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178 views

Resources that bring out interesting scientific/historic/academic related discussions from the daf?

I have a relative that invests a few hours a day learning daf yomi, yet he recently admitted that he does this solely because he believes it's a good thing thing to do but not because he actually ...
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Eretz Yisrael Esrog (Ordang)

From my understanding, standard Eretz Yisrael Esrogim are Ordang Esrogim, because virtually all of the Esrogim in Eretz Yisrael were safek murkav (possibly grafted) or produced exceptionally low ...
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After the destruction of the 2nd temple and Jerusalem, when, where and how did a new centralized leadership arise?

In other words, without a locus, polity or centralized worship, when and how did cohesion and order get reestablished from the chaos after the Great Revolt Circa 70 CE?
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Was there a traditional Hebrew equivalent of a Sator Square? [duplicate]

It seems a lot of old Latin stuff liked this Sator Square, five five-letter words that form a palindrome: S A T O R A R E P O T E N E T O P E R A R O T A S Was there ever a Hebrew equivalent to this? ...
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106 views

Did people use the Shem hameforash during the time of the First Temple? [duplicate]

Many people (especially the kings of Judah) seemed to use the suffix 'yahu' in their names, which seems to be related to the actual four-letter name. Are there any sources on this? Did the Neviim of ...
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1answer
76 views

History of מי אדיר and מי בן שיח

Where can I find sources about the history of the piyutim מי אדיר and מי בן שיח, which usually get sung at Ashkenazi weddings under the chuppah when the groom and bride walk in?
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Does the fact that “Elohim” is plural indicate that parts of the Tanakh hearken from a pre-Jewish polytheistic culture?

(disclaimer, I am a gentile and don't know how to type in square script) My question applies to the whole Tanakh, but I'm specifically curious about Genesis. Translating strictly literally (ie, ...
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3answers
87 views

List of Tosafists or Geonim?

I went through a list of Master Profiles of my ancestors on Geni.com and I saw many profiles which said "tosafist" in their title or description, as well as many which said "Gaon of ...
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70 views

Are the Torah's 5 Book divisions (Bereshit, etc.) justified by the Hebrew text?

I wonder if the Hebrew text divides the scroll of Moses as clearly into 5 Books/Sections as modern translations do (by adding titles as if they are 5 books of Moses), or whether, for example, the ...
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152 views

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices?

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices? The Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 2:3) mentions a concept called עורות לבובין which Maimonides and other commentators ...
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119 views

Where is the rest of Rabbi Shmuel Belkin's manuscript of The Midrash of Philo?

I am currently researching Philo of Alexandria, also known as Philon (פילון) or Yedidyah HaKohen of Alexandria. There is a book that was prepared in manuscript by Rabbi Shmuel (Samuel) Belkin, z”l, ...
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146 views

Where did the manuscript for Shoreshei HaMitzvot l’Ramchal come from?

There is a newly printed book entitled שורשי המצות לרמח׳ל claiming to be from a never before published manuscript from Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato. Does anyone know more about the discovery of this lost ...
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103 views

Source for story about a murdering son-in-law whose family was swallowed alive

I stumbled upon a really random story in the middle of a sefer on the Azharos of Rav Shlomo ibn Gabirol. The author says he heard it from his father. Since he was discussing the prohibition of murder, ...
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173 views

What is the connection or relationship between the two vocalizations of ערב?

What is the connection between the two vocalizations of ערב? This word ערב in Exodus 12:38 is latinized as "eirev" or "erev" or "eruv" and is the exact same Hebrew ...
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49 views

Hebrew script and the inconsistent views over history of the usage of the paleo Hebrew script [duplicate]

Can someone tell me where I found this opinion- that the modern Hebrew script was used for holy texts, and the Paleo-Hebrew script was used for secular texts. However all ancient Hebrew writing have ...
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228 views

History of Extramarital Relations [duplicate]

What was the view on extramarital relations in the times of the gemara? To be clear, this is not a question of what is or isn't permitted. This is a question about historical practices; historically ...
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77 views

Was the Ritva's teacher the Ba'al Hamaor's grandson?

I came across this statement while learning Ritva: והנכון כמו שפירש הרב בעל המאור ז״ל זקנו של רבינו נ״ר Who is "Rabbeinu" that he refers to? To the best of my knowledge, his teacher the ...
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2answers
154 views

Source for R' Shimshon of Sens's views on Rambam

While reading the wiki bio of R' Shimshon of Sens, a few statement there caught my eye. The Rash sided with the opponents of the Rambam in their disputes. condemned Rambams' rationalistic views on ...
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2answers
227 views

Why so much critique of the ibn Ezra?

Throughout Chumash, the Ramba"n goes after the ibn Ezra. The Ramba"n says in his introduction to the Chumash that his attitude toward the ibn Ezra is "תוכחה גלויה ואהבה מסותרת". In ...
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1answer
135 views

Ma'ayan HaChochmah - Written by Moshe?

I found the book Ma'ayan HaChochmah in many editions, all of which are attributed to Moshe Rabbeinu. Here are some examples: 1, 2, 3, 4. What is the history of this book? Is it unanimous that it was ...
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162 views

Why did Egyptian and Babylonian officials change Jewish names?

For example, in Divrei Hayamim Beth 36:4, the king of Egypt crowned Eliakim over Judah and Jerusalem, and he changed his name to Jehoiakim. In Melachim Beth 24:17 the king of Babylonia crowned ...
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G-D’ Instructions: Why didn’t G-D teach the ancient Israelites to have more respect for women? [closed]

Why didn’t G-D teach the ancient Israelites to have more respect for women. HE never reproached men for have multiple wives and concubines. He never reproached people for giving their children away to ...
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2answers
222 views

Were there insects in the garden of eden?

I was recently thinking, we create comfort for ourselves by keeping nature at bay. Flies and mosquitos are annoying, would Adam and Eve have thought the same? There were certainly serpents, maybe ...
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2answers
152 views

Rabbinic influences in the Karaite Siddur

The KJA Siddur appears to have a number of instances of influence from the Rabbinic liturgy. Some examples of note, based on a brief perusal: Page 2: The brachah on tzitzis. (The questions there ...
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1answer
100 views

Censored letters of the book Peri Haarets

I am looking for an uncensored version of the letters, from which we have a censored version in the standard versions of the Peri Haarets. I would appreciate some links. Note. Peri Haarets is the ...
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1answer
136 views

Migdal Bavel during the times of the Gemara?

In the Gemara Sanhedrin 109a, it states R. Yonatan said: A third of the tower was burnt, a third sunk, and a third is still standing. Rav said: The atmosphere of the tower causes forgetfulness. ...
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51 views

What is the original source for the story of the writting of the Akdamus?

the story is discussed in this question What exactly is the story behind the person who wrote the Akdomus (said on Shavous) where a source is give as this book http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?...
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140 views

Reason why Ruth the Moabite converted

What was the reason why Ruth converted to Judaism? Was it love of Naomi or love of Hashem or both?
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430 views

Midah Keneged Midah in the Punishment of an Entire Tzibur [i.e, Covid-19]

I was recently reading a controversial article on The Lakewood Scoop claiming that Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a punishment for the fact that we expelled anti-vaxxers from our Yeshivos and Mosdos ...
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162 views

Why are there no high priests today?

What happened in history so that there are no-longer high priests? If succession for the role is by descendant of Aaron, what conditions prevent a new high priest from existing.
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116 views

Were the Essenes considered apikorisim?

The ancient Essenes are known as being an highly Ascetic sect, with many Mystical and Monastical practices. In fact, Rav Aryeh Kaplan seems to imply that much of our Kabala actually originated from ...
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70 views

Help trying to find the lifespan of an ancient rabbi

Zohar (Vayikra 10a) quotes a sefer by R. Hamnunab [Hanunah] Sabah, a sage of Second Beit HaMikdash times. Thing is, I can't pin-point the lifespan. Can someone help me with this? Toda.

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