Questions tagged [mesorah-tradition]

The different traditions passed down through the generations.

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Changes to the name of Hashem in written texts

I have seen an article which cites a text called Massorah and this text supposedly catalogs 134 instances (referenced here) in which the written text "originally" used the 4 letter name of ...
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Does "Not in Heaven" approach break of the chain of tradition (B"M 59b)?

In the famous argument about Tanuro Shel Akhnai (Bava Metzia.59b) R' Eliezer claims to faithfully represent the Heavenly tradition and he's supported by the Heaven. Neither R' Yehoshua, nor God admits ...
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Was the Talmud written with diacritcs?

This might sound like a strange question, but was the Talmud written with diacritics? The MT today is written with critical marks that were added in the middle of the first millennium. But the Talmud ...
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What is the relationship between Ezra's scroll and the Aleppo/Leningrad codeces?

I'm a little bit confused. If Ezra re-established a singular text to the Torah, how is it that we have the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex and three different scribal traditions for Ashkenaz, ...
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What version of the Masoretic Text is used in synagogues of Rabbinic Judaism? [duplicate]

In this Wikipedia article it is indicated that there are several editions of the Masoretic Text. It seems they are not identical to one another. Is there a standardized text for official use in ...
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Is there a Jewish principle: "To sleep on a big decision"?

In Anglo society, there is the principle to "sleep on" a big decision before pulling the trigger on it. (Be it a large purchase, a business deal, or other substantial decision in work or ...
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Differences between Breuer Tanachim

I stayed with Dr. Gabriel Wasserman for Shabbos over the summer and he mentioned that the different editions of R' Mordochai Breuer's זצ"ל Tana"ch have some small differences (eg. the Mosad ...
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Authentic Q'laph for Tephilin [closed]

The Gemara describes a process for developing q'laph for tephilin. However, this tradition has been lost since then. Has there been any research on restoring the method of producing authentic q'laph? ...
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Rabbi Yosef Maman and the Bukharian Jews

According to Wikipedia, Rabbi Yosef Maman, a Shad"ar who came to Bukhara in the late 18th century, discovered that the Bukharian Jews believed they were descendants of the Ten Tribes and used the ...
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Do different branches of Judaism authorize the same Hebrew text edition of the Tanach?

In Christianity, recent Bible translations in most languages use the Hebrew text edition from the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1983 edition) while consulting other ancient manuscripts (such as the ...
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Magen Avraham's sources from the Arizal

When the Magen Avraham (commentary on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim) refers to כתבים, writings, as his source, I take it for granted that he is referring to the writings of the students of the Arizal. ...
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Where are resources about counting Omer Year round?

My rabbi mentioned there's a custom to count the omer year round. The idea is to travel through all the sefirot for 7 sets of 50 days. I'm looking for shiurim, texts, etc. that teach on this practice. ...
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ולא תתורו: kadma veazla or azla-geresh?

In the third parashah of Shema' (maftir from P' Shelach) we have a divergence of cantillation on the words ולא תתורו. In R' Wolf Heidenheim (see Koren for a contempary example) these words are ...
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How many instances of Kere and Ketiv?

How many instances of Kere and Ketiv appear within the TaNaKh? And are there any sources that list every verse in which they occur? And what are the underlying reasons for differences in count? For ...
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Origin and development of the tradition that Torah scrolls are exact to the letter from Moses

The claim that our Torah scrolls are copied exactly to the letter from Sinai or "for thousands of years" is very common and is used frequently by Rabbis and Kiruv organizations to prove ...
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What day of the week was Yeziyat Mizrayim?

Do we have a tradition what day of the week Yeziayit Mizrayim was? I seem to recall seeing it stated somewhere, but a quick search didn't find any sources.
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How to apply the Masoretic note, "2x, once plene and once defectively" to Ruth 1:1?

In Ruth 1:1, there is a Masoretic note on שְׁפֹט which I do not understand: The picture is a little unclear, but the note says (I have highlighted the letters with a dot above them): ב חד מל וחד חס ...
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Difference between Sefaria and Artscroll in enumerating Pirkei Avos

There seems to be a difference in the splitting of a Perek in Pirkei Avos. On sefaria the perek I am referring to is Perek 3 where the Perek in Sefaria groups certain Mishnayos in that Perek together ...
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Would a conversion witnessed by three Jewish sheidim be approved? [closed]

Would the conversion of a person, (knowledgeable in Halacha, meeting all the criteria for conversion), be halachically approved and functional, if the Beit Din is formed of three observant Jewish ...
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What is the significance of a yahrtzeit meal?

Some people are particular in having a yahrtzeit meal on the anniversary of someone's passing. Does this custom have any documented source, significance, or reason?
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Why is gefiltefish eaten at passover?

This is something I've been wondering for a while, so hopefully I can get a good answer. Why do we eat gefiltefish during passover, and where did this tradition come from? Is there a story, similar ...
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Transition from "Temple Judaism" to "Rabbinic Judaism"

In reference to this comment on the Worldbuilding.SE question, "What educational resources could help someone who knows they will time travel to the future?": There is little resemblance between ...
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What is the source that says David wrote Psalms / Tehillim while hiding from Saul

I'm trying to find the source of the common tradition that David wrote at least part of Tehillim while on the run from Shaul, but I can't find any sources. Does anyone here know of a source for this ...
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What was actually handed down in the Oral Law?

When Judaism claims that the Oral law was transferred from Mount Sinai to today, what exactly was transferred over? Meaning, what specific body of information was transferred as opposed to later ...
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Penalty for not washing hands?

(I originally asked this in Christianity.SE, but was redirected since the question deals with Jewish laws. Please forgive my obvious ignorances of Jewish society.) In the Christian Bible, Matthew 15:...
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Gemara seems to ignore the Masoret

The Gemara Yoma quoted below enumerates five words in verses of the Pentateuque for which it's not clear, according to Issi Ben Yehuda if they are attached to the previous words or to the next words. ...
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History of Kabbalah

Has anyone attempted to write a historical sketch of the history of the shalsheles HaKabbalah (which, in this instance, I use to refer to Toras HaSod)? In other words, what was megale to Moshe Rabbenu,...
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Inconsistent sifrei Torah for the required number of aliyos

Different groups (Ashkenazim, Sefaradim, Teimonim) have different traditions for spellings of different words in the Torah. Practically, while each group writes according to their own mesorah, we ...
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Why no Torah or wisdom or knowledge is mentioned presented by G-d to Adam?

IIRC, the passing of the Tora/wisdom/divine knowledge in our tradition didn't start with Moses or even Abraham. Allegedly, the 19 generations of Tzadikim from Adam to Abraham studied/dealt with it ...
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The tradition of a Gezeira Shava

A number of questions and answers (here is one, for example) have pointed out that expounding text by means of a gezeriah shava requires a mesorah, a teaching from one's teacher, and that different ...
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Why was Shlomo haMelekh not a part of the Oral Torah’s transmission?

Reading the Rambam's introduction to his Mishne Torah, I am struck by the fact that he has Achiya haShiloni succeed David in the transmission of the Oral Torah, and not David's son Shlomo. I'm curious ...
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Large Samech in Bemidbar 13:30

A mesorah records that the samekh in Bemidbar 13:30 ויהס כלב is large (see marginal note in Artscroll and elsewhere). Yet none of the printed editions which I have consulted actually conform to this ...
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Source of small/large letters in the torah

Although there are many small and large letters throughout tanach, both the aleppo codex and the Leningrad codex have extremely few of them. Were they later introduced? The different miforshim, ...
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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 ...
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Customs/Habits around having a second child?

Besides the brit milah ceremony, pidyon haben/habat (redemption of the firstborn) or kidush peter rechem (sanctification of the womb's opening) or seder kidushat chaye hamishpacha, (ceremony of ...
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"Vaishakehu" Extra Points over entire word? or some letters?

Shalom! The famous Passuk on which Esav and Jaacov ran, hug, kiss and cry. The Word VAISHAKEHU has points-dots over every leter. Siftei Chakhamim seems to have VAISHAKEHU וישקהו with 5 nekudot, ...
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Why break Hallel in the middle of a parsha?

On Pesach night, following Beis Hillel we break up Hallel between חלמיש למעינו מים and לא לנו. This is in the middle of a parsha, according to the Keter (navigate to Psalms --> From 114_2 to 118_1) ...
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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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If the Dodo bird had a tradition of being kosher & was resurrected, would it be OK to eat again?

Came across an article titled "Could scientists resurrect the dodo bird?" and it made me wonder: suppose there was a mesorah that the Dodo bird was kosher before it went extinct in 1681. If we in ...
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2 votes
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Strange letters according to Sefer haTaggin

My chevrusoh mentioned last week that there is a sefer entitled Sefer haTaggin which discusses all of the strange letters found in Tana"ch. Is there a collection of these letters and their forms (...
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Why is the location of Mount Sinai not traditionally known?

Why don’t we know the exact location of Mount Sinai, after all if millions of people were there, surely they would have handed down the tradition of the location just like Kivrey Avos or Har Hamoriyah ...
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Who are the Elders in the beginning of Avot

The Pirkei Avot 1:1 says משֶׁה קִבֵּל תּוֹרָה מִסִּינַי, וּמְסָרָהּ לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ, וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ לִזְקֵנִים, וּזְקֵנִים לִנְבִיאִים, וּנְבִיאִים מְסָרוּהָ לְאַנְשֵׁי כְנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה. Moshe received ...
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Was there a parasha beginning at Exodus 18:21?

Rashi to Exodus 18:1 says that Yisro was also called Yeser because he added (yasar) a parasha in the Torah: "And you see…" [from 18:21]. We don't have a parasha break before verse 21. Did ...
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Does Jewish law have a separate status for someone whose father is a Jew rather than simply grouping them with non-Jews? [duplicate]

Traditional standards on Judaism are clear about the topic. One is only legally Jewish if they have a matrilineal connection to the community. That being said, I've heard a few people throw around ...
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Can we use archaeology to determine halacha or mesorah?

Can archaeology be used to determine the proper halacha or mesorah in certain cases? For instance, what if we found a Sefer Torah from the times of Moshe Rabbeinu and it differed from our mesorah. ...
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Is there a surviving Jewish translation of the entire Masoretic Text in Greek?

Please don't say "the Septuagint" because I know that this has fallen out of favor among most modern Jews (the only exception being Beta Israel, which I believe still uses it - correct me if I am ...
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Meaning of "נראים דבריהם מדברינו" - accepting scientific theories over Jewish tradition?

Questions about the reconciliation of the Torah and the science are very frequent and popular, but they are nothing new. The sages were asked similar questions by the philosophers of Ancient Greece ...
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Looking for an interpretation of Shir Hashirim that follows the parsha breaks

Coming off of some tangential discussion in the comments here, I'm looking for an interpretation of Shir Hashirim that follows the parsha breaks. It doesn't have to explicitly address every one, but ...
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Do any of the differences between the various printings of Shas (Mishnah and Gemara) have halachic significance?

I recently watched a video by Rabbi David bar Hayim about the "18 minute matzah fallacy." While I don't think I know nearly enough to weigh into this debate in particular, he brings an odd proof. He ...
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At what point does Moshe relay G-d's commandments to B'nai Yisra'el?

I'm asking this as a general question. We do see in a few places that G-d speaks to Moshe and then, the Torah says something like, "Moshe told this to B'nai Yisra'el". But, in numerous other places (...
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