Questions tagged [mesorah-tradition]

The different traditions passed down through the generations.

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13
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5answers
554 views

The authenticity of rabbinic literature

I am studying the history of various branches of Judaism. I understand the position of rabbinic Judaism that parts of the laws were oral and not written. But this alone would not justify the ...
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2answers
528 views

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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4answers
312 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
88 views

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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2answers
107 views

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 ...
6
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4answers
329 views

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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1answer
113 views

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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2answers
146 views

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:...
2
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1answer
65 views

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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1answer
269 views

How do I know if a midrash is accepted?

I have found many different types of midrashic works. Some are, as far as I can tell, accepted as being authoritative. Meaning they were written (compiled?) by the sages in roughly the Talmudic era. ...
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2answers
134 views

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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2answers
125 views

Vegan tekheileth

Does the oral tradition that identifies the hilazon as the source of tekheles necessarily indicate that one could not create the indigo-colored wool by other means? The gemara certainly indicates that ...
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0answers
55 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
937 views

Is there a tradition to pronounce kamatz katan as “a”?

There are many ways of pronouncing Hebrew in prayers and when reading the Tora. Most of these are tradition-based: one pronounces it the same way his parent or teacher did, or a close approximation. ...
2
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1answer
56 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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2answers
191 views

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
513 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 ...
6
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0answers
84 views

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 ...
16
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3answers
660 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,...
3
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2answers
59 views

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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0answers
37 views

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, ...
14
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2answers
320 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
1k views

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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0answers
60 views

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 ...
8
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2answers
905 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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0answers
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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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0answers
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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
2k views

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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0answers
47 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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150 views

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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0answers
45 views

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
32 views

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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0answers
99 views

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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70 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
115 views

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
361 views

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
99 views

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
178 views

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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0answers
47 views

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
798 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
2k views

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
778 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
104 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
176 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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0answers
78 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
137 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 ...
3
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2answers
141 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
52 views

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 ...