Questions tagged [history]

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

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How could a man named Philip in USA have Hebrew name Yehoshua Falk?

My great-uncle from Eastern Europe had given name of Philip in America (came in 1880s), is shown in 1889 directory as Philip plus his surname. His gravestone gives his name as Yehoshua Falk [then ...
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163 views

yushkas bris aniversary [closed]

Is it true that new years is the aniversary of yushka's bris
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1answer
27 views

Hebrew slaves and Yovel - how does it starts and ends?

The Gemmorah links the Hebrew slavery to the [idea of] Yovel (Gitin 65, Kidushin 69, Erchin 29, Rambam Avadim 1, 10): "אין אמה העבריה נוהגת ולא עבד עברי נוהג אלא בזמן שהיובל נוהג. בין עבד עברי ...
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43 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 ...
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Why is Herod's Temple Not Considered a “Third Temple”?

Closely Related: - What's the earliest source for the Third Temple? 1. Question : If the Second Temple is when Israel rebuilt Solomon's temple, then why isn't the rebuilding of "Herod's Temple" ...
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211 views

What dates were the Talmuds and Midrashes written?

Can we prove what dates in history these texts were written? Also, do we know exactly when the various Rabbis of these texts lived? What are those dates? Are there disputes about this? Further, ...
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52 views

Did Rebbi arrange the Mishna at the end of his life?

There's a famous line in the Gemara "וכי רבי לא שנאה ר' חייא מנין לו". It means that if Rebbi didn't teach a concept in a Mishna, Rabbi Chiya can't know it. Let's assume here it means that if it's ...
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197 views

Maskilim and Jüdischkeit

I often hear that the maskilim of the 18th and 19th centuries were, without exception, secularists and religious reformers. Is this true or were some/most of them actually religious individuals who ...
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179 views

Is there proof that we never skipped a day of the week? [duplicate]

Bereshit begins with the first 6 days and the Shabbat. The assumption is then that after that day, Mankind kept track of the day of the week all by themselves until today. Are we sure that no one ...
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68 views

Veracity of the Oral Torah [closed]

A Christian blogger commented: Rabbinic Judaism also has some relatively unconvincing claims of oral transmission from the past.  It claims that its interpretations of the Torah (which are compiled ...
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22 views

Suppose you hear a commandment how do you know it’s God and not your own mind, or Satan? [duplicate]

Considering God asked Abraham to kill his son, it seems difficult to differentiate the word of God from that of Satan, how is one to know from whom a commandment is given? Is there a way to ...
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26 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 ...
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76 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 ...
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34 views

Jewish sources on Spanish Inquisition

During and after the Holocaust, there were many situations, which although horrible, required שאלות ותשובות from many of the rabbis at the time on certain questions in הלכה pertaining to the Holocaust....
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Are there any teshuvot regarding the potato, when it was first introduced to Europe?

According to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_potato , the potato was introduced to Europe in the late 1500s. Are there any halachic discussions by the rabbis at the time regarding the ...
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38 views

Why did the Savoraim only emend certain parts of the Talmud?

I remember learning that Savoraim added certain parts to the Talmud- ex: the beginning of Kiddushin (2a-3a) & parts of Bava Metzia. (feel free to add additional examples) Any idea why they ...
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46 views

Who came up with the name “Perushim”?

It's been previously asked why the Chachamim were called the "Perushim," those who are separate. As I answered there, Bartenura to Mishnah Yadayim 4:6 explains the name as follows: ...
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61 views

“Children Of Miracles” quote

UPDATE: I reached out to one of the ministries listed below and was told that this was said by RABBI SCHNEERSON. So if anyone knows of a message, whether printed/published or audio/video, of Rabbi ...
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29 views

Moreh Makom or Mar'eh Makom

A Torah source is often referred to as a M"M, which I have heard read as both מורה מקום, Moreh Makom and מראה מקום, Mar'eh Makom, (see here for example) which have similar meanings, and mean something ...
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23 views

What were the additional 40 plagues? [duplicate]

There's an argument between Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer, how many plagues there actually were in Egypt. R. Akiva says 50 and Rabbi Eliezer says 40. Do we actually know what were the additional ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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139 views

Hebrew names and English names [closed]

I have just visited my great grandfather's grave and discovered his Hebrew name was Yehuda Leib, yet in England he was known as Louis Goodman. Is there a connection between the names? He moved to ...
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107 views

What once made the Karaite movement popular?

Karaites appeared and became numerous about 1,000 years ago but have since largely disappeared. What is it about Karaite philosophy or practice that made it popular a thousand years ago?
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218 views

Why do Ashkenazi Orthodox Jews Chant With Reform Trope?

From what I've been able to gather the most popular/standard/traditional te'amim melodies were collected, blended, and then published by Abrahim Binder, a reform Jew. Source: http://www.milkenarchive....
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61 views

History of How to Recite Kel Adon [duplicate]

In the Shabbos shacharis birkos kerias shema, there is a poem referred to as Kel Adon that we say. In some congregations, the custom is to say the stanzas responsively, with the chazzan saying each ...
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92 views

The Change to Pants for Jewish Men [closed]

At what point in history did Jewish men begin wearing pants; what the culture around them was wearing?
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73 views

Evidence for pre-Greek Jewish currency?

The Torah is full with money statements - such as acquisitions, donations, fines and payments, presenting different names and values for money - such as Shekel, Sela, Kesef, Ksitah and more. But the ...
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45 views

Whose side Rachel and Leah were on?

According to Ariz"l and his followers, the sequence of Yaacov's marriages (Rachel first and then Leah) was of a great importance, dealing with the Seider of the Geulah, Moshiachs etc. Lavan planned to ...
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58 views

Spiritual Causes For The Black Death?

From Wiki “The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe in the years ...
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1answer
159 views

What is the relation of the Savoraim, Geonim, and Masoretes?

I was taught that in the era immediately after the redaction of the Talmud, the Masoretes made what is now the final determination of which writings constituted the Tanach (for example, the book of ...
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86 views

What was the primary motive for using a chazzan who is musically skilled?

O.C. 53:4 says that one of the requirements for a "proper" shaliach tzibbur (shat"z) is that he have a "pleasant voice". (There are other qualities included.) 53:5 states that if one cannot find all ...
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151 views

Why no manuscripts of Talmud survive in the Arab lands?

http://halakhah.com/talmud/nezikin_h.html: ...Munich manuscript which covers the whole Talmud and dates from the year 1334. Alas, that that is the only complete manuscript of the Talmud in ...
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165 views

Kosher New World Animals

When Jews first set foot on new-to-them continents (AKA: North America, South America, and Australia), they would have found many animals that were previously unknown to them. Some of these new ...
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73 views

When Tosfos refer to “Tosfos”, who do they mean?

According to Wikipedia, the Tosfos to Moed Qatan were written by a student to a certain Rabbi Yitzhak. Do we know anything about who he was or where he lived? Specifically, to whom is he referring in ...
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79 views

Baal HaTanya making kidush and a kvart of vodka

I was told of a story about the Alter Rebbe in which once he did not have wine and cups during Shabbos day, and so he made kiddush on a quart of vodka. What is the full story? Please give the most ...
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220 views

The Arizal and Shovavim

This week begins the six week period of Shovavim, a time period that the Arizal wrote is an auspicious time to work on oneself, especially in the areas of sexual transgressions. I have two questions: ...
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85 views

Anti-Zionism in Bentching? [duplicate]

Recently at a Shabbos table I heard that the addition to shir hama'alot "Tehillat Hashem" (a compilation of four verses beginning with Psalms 145:21) was anti-zionistic and shouldn't be said. I heard ...
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224 views

How literally are we supposed to read the book of Bereshit/Genesis?

Especially with regard to the family of Abraham. Is there any extra-Biblical historical evidence of a paternal link between the Ishmaelite, Edomite and Keturan tribes and the 12 tribes of Israel? Is ...
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66 views

Was Potiphar, being a captain of an Egyptian guard, likely a eunuch? [duplicate]

In Genesis, we read the infamous story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Potiphar's wife (who is named Zuleikha, at least according Sefer HaYashar) repeatedly makes sexual advances on Joseph, and as we ...
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58 views

When was the Beith Hamiqdash hasheni fully completed?

What year was the second Beith Hamiqdash fully completed? Can any one of you answer back with both Hebrew and Secular dates?
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104 views

Questioning who is the real Achashverosh

So I am doing very much research and I am trying to find out the REAL Achashverosh, so far, there are several possible rulers of Persia that could be the real Achashverosh Can anyone of you guys ...
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76 views

The story of the Minim and Boethusians; trying to fix the festival of Shavuot on Sunday

I've found different sources like the Mishnah, Babylonian Talmud (tractate Rosh HaShanah), Jerusalem Talmud, Tosefta etc., talking about the Minim and the Boethusians who wanted to fix the festival of ...
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53 views

What subjects did talmud censoring involve and how far back does it go?

I'm aware of censoring of the name Yeshu, in the soncino printing of the talmud where they replaced it with "sinners of israel" in Gittin 57a. I'm interested what other subjects or names were ...
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86 views

What happened to the Mugmar?

In Brochos Perek 6, Mishna 6 the Mugmar is mentioned in the context of who makes the Brocha for it. Commentaries explain that it is some sort of incense that was smelled after a meal. It would ...
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72 views

Pairs of the Ramchal's works

Machon Ofek has published the Ramchal's Mesillas Yesharim (MY) as well as what they call The Mesillas Yesharim- Seder Vikuach which is essentially the same as the commonly known MY but in dialogue ...
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1answer
109 views

How to understand the texts that litterally speak of other gods and compares to G_d [duplicate]

Psalm 97:9 9 For You, O Lord, are Most High above all the earth; You are very much exalted above all gods. There are many similar indications, that the Jews (at least in the time of the king ...
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125 views

Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague

Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague? (Allowing it, protesting it (they should have been killed and not do it)) From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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30 views

How do we know that word of the torah has been kept the same over generations? [duplicate]

Can we guarantee this text has not been significantly altered in any way? What is the evidence which supports its preservation?