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Questions tagged [history]

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

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1answer
191 views

Position of Reish Galusa

Does anyone know why the position of Reish Galusa no longer exists and when it was discontinued?
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1answer
54 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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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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1answer
87 views

Why did the Bavli form of weekly Torah reading become the standard?

My understanding of the Torah reading cycle - In Israel, they originally had a triennial cycle, and in Bavel, they had an annual cycle. At some point, the Bavli (annual) cycle became the standard. (...
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120 views

how old was shaul when he became king?

Shaul had Yonatan and Michal who were around Dovid's age. so how old is Shaul? I could not find any meforesh that said anything about it. asking on a Jewish perspective. thank!
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376 views

Yiddish Woman name - Malya

In my grandmother's family history in Galicia, I have seen a Yiddish name being used by quite a few women - Malya. My question is what is the Jewish origin of the use of this name and what does it ...
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2answers
673 views

Is the number 6 considered evil in Judaism?

I have heard from some sources that the number six is/can be construed as an evil number in Judaism, and as such, it should be avoided. Is there truth to this? If so, what is the reasoning behind ...
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210 views

Q on Men of the Great Assembly [duplicate]

When did the Men of the Great Assembly start and cease to function and why? What was their relationship to the Sanhedrin and to beit Hillel and Shammai?
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1answer
445 views

Where do the names of the sedras come from and do they have meaning?

I would like to know where the names for the sedras come from (who named a certain sedra Balak, Emor etc.) and if there is any meaning associated with the naming (as the Lubavitcher Rebbi seems to ...
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383 views

What are the earliest sources of Oral Law irrespective of Jewish denomination like Kariate Samaritan etc

I read Oral laws were forbidden to be written down by MOses and then due to a threat people started to write it down , Hence curious to know which is the first manuscript on Oral law , most probably ...
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4k views

where was the ark of the covenant during the time of the judges?

After Joshua, during the time of the judges, where was the ark located? In Judges 18 it seems that the people did not have a central place of worship.
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92 views

When was the Shulchan Aruch HaArizal first published?

On HebrewBooks.org they have this edition. Is there any previous edition and when? מקום דפוס ווילנא שנת דפוס תרמא Pub. Place Vilna Pub. Date 1881 Pages דפים 95
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91 views

History of 9 Teveis [closed]

**Looking for answers as to what happened in Jewish history on this date. It can include both positive and negative occurrences. It can also include birthdays or Yarzheits of well known personalities ...
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1answer
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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48 views

At what stage of Joshua's leadership did he become Judge?

The Seder Olam states that Joshua was a judge over Israel for 28 years. (Seder Olam 12) We know that he succeeded Moses 40 years after leaving Egypt (Joshua 1:1), and that he died at the age of 110. (...
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1answer
180 views

Questions about the 7000-year shmita cycles

The (currently) top rated answer to this other question says that: R' Aryeh Kaplan z'l teaches as follows: R' Nehunia ben Hakana brings in Sefer Temuna that there are larger shmita cycles of ...
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1answer
141 views

Aristotle learning Torah

I have seen from a few places which claim that they have found a letter written from Aristotle to Alexander the great . In the letter Aristotle laments about the fact that he wasted so much time on ...
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1answer
111 views

Was it customary for there to be an annual lamentation for someone's death, e.g. the daughter of Jephthah? Details as to her mourning process?

In Judges 11, the overzealous (or prideful) short-reigned judge of Israel, Jephthah, makes the rash vow to G-d that if he is victorious against the Ammorites and safely returns home, then he will ...
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153 views

Did the Rashbam Practice what he Preached Regarding Shabbat?

Rashbam, on Bereishit (Genesis) 1:5, states: ויהי ערב ויהי בקר - אין כתיב כאן ויהי לילה ויהי יום, אלא ויהי ערב, שהעריב יום ראשון ושיקע האור, ויהי בוקר, בוקרו של לילה, שעלה עמוד השחר, הרי הושלם יום ...
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1answer
236 views

Mishna was a book in time of Gemara?

Rabbi Jacob Bar Abba asked Abaye: Is it permitted to a disciple in a district under his Master's jurisdiction to give a ruling that was as authoritative as those contained in the Scroll of Fast-Days, ...
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1answer
482 views

What year was the second temple destroyed?

What year, in the equivalent gregorian, and Hebrew, was the second temple destroyed? Edit: I did some googling before posting and it seems that there's a discrepancy between chazal and the secular ...
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299 views

When did the practice of Exodus 35:2 stop?

Exodus 35:2 JPS ב שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים, תֵּעָשֶׂה מְלָאכָה, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי יִהְיֶה לָכֶם קֹדֶשׁ שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן, לַיהוָה; כָּל-הָעֹשֶׂה בוֹ מְלָאכָה, יוּמָת.‏ Six days shall ...
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1answer
101 views

Is there a record of the Frankist talmud disputation?

In 1757 followers of the apostate Jew, Jacob Frank engaged in a disputation with Rabbinic Jews regarding the talmud. I would like to know if there is any record of the contents of that disputation.
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60 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 ...
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3answers
259 views

Could Jesus have been a Rabbi?

Jesus was called a Rabbi during a time in history when being a Rabbi really meant something. He lived during the time of semicha, and his responses are often Rabbinic in nature. And so this begs the ...
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1answer
150 views

the Rambam was hard of understanding [closed]

Someone told me that the Rambam when he was young was hard of understanding Is there a reputable source confirming this? How can I find it? What I found so far. לא הצטיין בשום תכונה מיוחדת. לא ...
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1answer
78 views

First time things other then gold was used as jewelry for woman,

In the Bible I know of gold jewelry for woman But what are the first precious stones, semiprecious stones, or diamonds used as jewelry for woman (I know stones were used for the kohen gadol) I am ...
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1answer
119 views

How to understand the lack of archaeological evidence of Jews in Egypt in the story of Exodus

Over the past few years, attending various Seders on Passover, I have heard some secular people say that there is no archaeological evidence of Jews in Egypt during the bronze age when the story of ...
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1answer
138 views

Was the Shema Changed?

I remember reading a statement that the third paragraph of the Shema was changed to a different paragraph from the Torah that we now use. The reasoning I read was that it was a measure against the ...
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1answer
208 views

Arizal and Yosef Karo [closed]

There's a famous tradition/legend that the Arizal, R Yosef karo and R Elazar azikri (the author of sefer Charedim) prayed in one shul, where R Yosef Karo served as the Rabbi and R Elazar azikri served ...
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1answer
87 views

Which Rabbi was this?

I remember reading a journal article about a modern orthodox rabbi in late 19th century America who held the position that rabbis need to try to find lenient halachik rulings to make the lives of ...
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1answer
100 views

Do the various sects of Judaism reflect differing national or cultural backgrounds?

There is a question about the religious significance of the existence of various sects, but I was wondering whether the sects tend to reflect differing national or cultural backgrounds. Within ...
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3answers
223 views

In which historical periods was it allowed to pronounce the tetragrammaton?

We know that Boaz introduced the possibility of greeting people using the tetragrammaton. The Mishnah in Berochos 54a says והתקינו שיהא אדם שואל את שלום חברו בשם שנאמר והנה בעז בא מבית לחם ויאמר ...
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1answer
45 views

Was the second part of the Tanya (“The Gateway of Unity and Belief”) initially released together with the first part?

Was the second book in the Tanya, Shaar Yichud vEmunah ("The Gateway of Unity and Belief") originally published alongside the first book?
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2answers
149 views

Book/s about apostasy throughout Jewish history

I am looking for book/s on the subject of apostasy throughout Jewish history. I haven't been able to find anything that focuses on this subject. I would appreciate any pointers What I have in mind ...
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1answer
99 views

What date was Kibrot Hattaavah?

Are there any sources that give the date for the incident in Kibroth Hattaavah recorded in B'Midbar Chapter 11? I am trying to figure out if it happened on a particular mo'ed or any significant date.
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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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2answers
84 views

Historical sources on Bar Kochba? [closed]

Does anyone know any books or articles I can read to learn more about Bar Kohkba?
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1answer
121 views

How did men used to shave their beards before electric razors? [closed]

Back then I assume the only way to cut a beard was with a straight blade--how did Jewish men shave?
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1answer
100 views

“Evil Inclination” History

I'm a Christian who wants to know more about history of the Jewish concept of "The Evil Inclination". (I find myself often arguing against saint Augustine's Original Sin theology and the more early ...
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1answer
57 views

Sefirah prohibitions

When did the Jews first observe laws of mourning over the death of Rabbi Akiva's students? Did it commence the first year after the death of the students or was it instituted at a later period in ...
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1answer
163 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 ...
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1answer
56 views

Can anyone suggest books detailing the lives and philosophies of various sages? [closed]

I'm seeking out books which go into details about the lives and ideas of the various Jewish sages. Obviously, a single book for all is unlikely but any suggestions are welcome.
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1answer
77 views

The Great War in Contemporary Acharonic Thought

I've recently acquired a book (rather a large pamphlet) about the Great War (1914-18) entitled "The War and the Bible" by HG. Enelow (then head of the Reform Temple Emanu-el in NYC). However, this ...
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1answer
90 views

Zodiac Mosaics on Synagogue Floors

When I went to visit some ancient synagogues in Israel (4th century - 6th century) a few of them have mosaics on the floor with prominent and beautiful pictures of the zodiac - all 12 signs with ...
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2answers
312 views

Where does the custom of the “tossing of the sandal” in Ruth come from? Why/How does it come to symbolize a successful business transaction?

Everybody loves a good Levirate Marriage story. Personally, I prefer the Ruth story over Tamar's (though that's interesting as well). But I have questions regarding the "sandal tossing" custom found ...
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1answer
154 views

Why was the ramchal banned, and how did he become so widely accepted later?

When ramchal was in Italy he was put in cherem for his writing and eventually left to live in Israel. Why did this happen and what changed about the perception of him?
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2answers
406 views

How to Reconcile if/when the Jewish Day Was to Begin at Sunset?

Question: Are there any historical documents that detail the differences in opinions on when the "Jewish Day" began? (Perhaps between Sadducee and Pharisee/Rabbinic definitions, etc). What the ...
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1answer
85 views

Evolution of Simchas Torah Night reading

I was in a situation this year, where I was the Torah Reader for the Simchas Torah Day, but wasn't sure if they wanted me for the evening. It's a long walk for me. Anyway I was looking at what is read ...
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333 views

The Three Jewish Tribes That Lived In Medina At The Time Of Mohammad

Is there any mention at all in the Talmud that backs the claim in the Quran that there were three Jewish tribes that lived in Medina at the time of Mohammad?