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Questions tagged [mesorah-tradition]

The different traditions passed down through the generations.

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36 views

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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I thought Gezeirah Shavah requires Mesorah

In Masecheth Rosh Hashanah (9b), the Gemara uses a Gezeirah Shavah from Tishrei, with the word שנה, to support the Mishnah's ruling that 'Orlah is counted from Tishrei. In response, however, the ...
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3answers
498 views

Mesorah exchange between communities

Based on this thread What exactly prevents Ashkenazim from accepting Mesorah from other communities on things that we have not done in our own community? For example, what is it about the Mesorah of ...
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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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8answers
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Has the Torah been changed over the ages?

It is quite a famous argument from Muslims for authenticity of the Quran that the previous Holy Books (Bible and Torah) sent by God have been corrupted or changed by their followers and that Quran is ...
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3answers
597 views

What is “emunas chachomim”?

My daughter came home from school with a textbook response for what "emunas chachomim" is. I disagreed strongly with what was written in the book, so I'm not even going to say what they said. Rather,...
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2answers
175 views

Why the location of Mount Sinai is 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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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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2answers
275 views

List of Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai

Is there a comprehensive list of things in the Talmud that are "halachot limosheh misinai"- laws that were passed down from Moshe through the generations? An example of such is tefilin needing to be ...
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4answers
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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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2answers
815 views

Is this chart of the mesorah of Torah available in English?

Does anyone know if this chart of the mesora of Torah is available in English? or if there is anything like it in English?
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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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2answers
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What is the total amount and count of pesukim in the Torah?

After much research, both on Israeli websites (here) and other locations, I have yet to figure out what the total amount of pesukim there are in the Torah. I've even physically counted the pesukim in ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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Who was Rav Moshe Margolis's Rav?

I'm currently making a Mesorah chart (I know there are some out there, I just wanted to do it myself). I've gotten all the way back to the Vilna Gaon's Rav, Rav Moshe Margolis, but I can't find any ...
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5answers
2k views

What ancient sources discuss the meaning of Psalm 22?

Many Christians believe Psalm 22 refers to Jesus of Nazareth. How have Jews historically understood Psalm 22 and interpreted it?
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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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2answers
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Chain of tradition for stories/parables told by Rashi

I've already asked one question about where Rashi got a particularly troubling interpretation of an obscure reference in the Gemara, telling a very detailed and gruesome story about R' Meir and his ...
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0answers
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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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3answers
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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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How early were maps used to understand Tanach?

In many editions of Tanach I’ve seen there are often maps of the middle eastern area in attempt to explain the places where certain events occurred. (For example, the journeys of יעקב אבינו or stuff ...
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3answers
736 views

Eldad HaDani's Lasting Influence - Is there any?

Eldad HaDani is (apparently) considered today to have been a fraud. According to this Wikipedia article, he was a traveler who told stories of his place of origin, which he claimed was a sovereign ...
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11answers
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Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah? Not necessarily that the Rashbi authored the Zohar, but in the general tenets of kabbalah including but not limited to: tzimtzum, sefirot, ...
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6answers
733 views

How to reconcile the possibility that Rashi had a slightly different text of the Torah

In the Parshah of Chayei Sara, in Bereishis 25:6, there is a Posuk that refers to הפילגשים - "the concubines". Rashi expounds that since the word is missing a Yud, it must be a reference to the fact ...
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2answers
103 views

Who compared “the ox that gores the cow” to “I am Hashem Your G-d”?

I once read a machshava--possibly from chasidus--to the effect that: "'The ox that gores the cow' is as much charged with G-dliness as 'I am H' your G-d.'" I was quite moved by this. What is its ...
3
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3answers
168 views

Why is “(his) song” in Psalms 42:9 written in the feminine form?

In Psalms 42:9, (his) song is written with a ה yet apparently recited with a ו. Is there a significance to it being written in the feminine form?
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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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1answer
122 views

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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2answers
136 views

Community without tzitzith

Are/were there any halachic Jewish communities that do/did not have a daily custom of wearing a garment obligated in tzitzith (e.g. tallith katan/tallith gadol)?
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1answer
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It is same species if offspring can have offspring (source)

I heard that if we do not have a messora on a certain bird but we do have one on a similar species then we can check by checking if their offspring can have offspring What is this idea based on? I ...
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2answers
1k views

Hammurabi in Jewish sources

The Hammurabi code is one of the oldest preserved codes of law dating back to 1772 BCE. This is roughly the time after the flood (-2105BCE), the tower of Bavel (1765BCE) and the Patriarchs. Although ...
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7answers
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Why don't we just follow the shittah of Moshe Rabeinu?

My question can apply to virtually all mitzvos where there is a disagreement in the standard way to fulfill them. If one reads the hakdama (introduction) to the Rambam's peirush mishnayos (commentary ...
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0answers
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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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1answer
59 views

Does anyone say the “extra” pesukim in Yehoshua about the cities from Reuven belong there?

Some versions of Yehoshua, including Sefaria, print two extra pesukim (identical to the ones in Divrei Hayamim) about the cities that Shevet Reuven gave to the Leviyim. The Radak, quoted by the ...
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2answers
965 views

Where can I find a list of differences between the Aleppo Codex and Ashkenazi texts?

Does anyone know of a list of textual differences for all of tanach or at least the chumash between the Aleppo Codex (Keter Aram Soba/Tzova) and the more common text? I already have such a list for ...
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2answers
257 views

Why is precedent set by individual rabbis, but not courts?

The headline on this obituary for R' Eliyashiv ("A One Man Supreme Court") got me thinking - why do we invest so much power in precedents set by individual rabbis, as great as they may be, but not in ...
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2answers
98 views

How can there be machlokes in gezairah shavos?

The Gemara says (Nidah 19b, among other places), אין אדם דן גזירה שווה מעצמו - a person can't make up gezaira shavos, they have to have been learned from one's teacher. If so, how can there ever be a ...
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0answers
111 views

Must one follow Minhagim he reads in books?

If an Ashkenazi reads of a minhag, for example in Mishna Brura which it says Ashkenazim follow (the Rema), must he follow it? Or is it only what a father teaches his children?
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1answer
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Succession of Leadership in the Rambam's Introduction to the Mishnah

In the Introduction to the Mishnah, the Rambam lists the leadership through the years from Moshe to Rav Ashi. Is there a source for each link in this chain, showing that successive leaders were ...
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4answers
694 views

What is the source for Pardes?

What is the source for expounding the torah according to remez, derush and sod (along with 'pshat' the group can be referred to by the acronym PaRDeS)? These forms of hermeneutics are not found in ...
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1answer
157 views

How was brit milah practiced during the First Century?

The Christian New Testament records that both John the Baptist and Jesus were circumcised on the eighth day in accordance with Jewish Law. Luke 1:57-60 English Standard Version (ESV) Now the time ...
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0answers
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At what point does a Jew going against tradition establish a legitimate extension to that tradition?

This question is in reference to tzitzit knots but it can really apply to any Jewish tradition which comes in "flavors" so to speak. Tzitzit are an interesting article because they tend to come in a ...
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5answers
201 views

Why can't we distribute mitzvah obligations around the community?

How do we know from the Torah that it would not be sufficient just to have some people doing davening, others doing negel vasser, others doing tzitzit, others doing hachnosas kallah, others doing ...