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Questions tagged [rabbis]

Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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Why does Rabba bar Mari in the Talmud quote Ben Sira as a part of “the Writings” when it is not in the Ketuvim section of the Tanakh?

As revealed in the answer here, in Bava Kama 92b, Rava asks Rabba bar Mari for the source of a popular saying, and Rabba bar Mari answers with five different sources for it. The third verse, which is ...
2
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1answer
50 views

What does the Torah think of Pangea?

What does Torah literature say about Pangaea? Is it considered be legitimate? Are there sources which lean either way?
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1answer
677 views

Let the young ones speak first?

I remember reading that, in the Sanhedrin, the most junior rabbis were encouraged to speak first, so that they would not be swayed or intimidated by the more senior ones. Is this true and what is the ...
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54 views

Where can I find this Rabbi’s seforim?

I can't seem to find several of Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits’ seforim. For example T'nai Bi'N'suin u'V'Get. Does anyone know a store in NYC or which delivers to the US which has his books? Particularly the ...
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0answers
73 views

“A time to act for Hashem” and doing whatever you want

Who under what circumstances has the right to declare that a violation of halacha is in order because "it is a time to act for Hashem"? I have by now a few times seen this posuk from Tehillim used as ...
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0answers
26 views

“Rabbi Shopping” - how often and for what can one change his Rabbi

The other question "rabbi-shopping" asks about asking a single question to two Rabbis. This question addresses the possibility of changing the personal ruling Rabbi time to time. Assuming a person ...
2
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0answers
26 views

Audio or video of Rabbi Michel Ber Weismandl zt”l

(related) Rabbi Michel Ber Weismandl zt"l, saved many people during the holocaust, but also was a noted Torah scholar genius. They published some of his work after his death. However, does anyone ...
2
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1answer
43 views

Citing ancestors: why the Sages said Halachot in their name?

The Gemmorah sets a rule - while saying a Halachah one should mention its [original] source (Megillah 16a): "אמר רבי אלעזר א"ר חנינא כל האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאולה לעולם שנאמר ותאמר אסתר למלך ...
6
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1answer
114 views

Does one have to be Jewish to be a rabbi

In terms of what we call semicha today, does one have to be Jewish to receive or hold it? Is it simply an indicator of learning (like an academic degree) which could be reached by anyone? Knowing ...
7
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1answer
95 views

Do prominent Rabbis have a list of problems to resolve?

In science, every scientist, such as a mathematician, a physicist or a biologist, has a list of unsolved problems he tries to solve in his lifetime. Judaism is full of untouched / unsolved / ...
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2answers
78 views

Who were the leaders of the Jewish religion between Ezra and the 1st Zugot?

Who were the leaders of the Jewish religion between Ezra and the 1st Zugot ? Do we have a list for that ?
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1answer
58 views

Do the Talmudic disputes prove absence of ruled Halachah (הלכה פסוקה)

This is a serious question about our understanding of the development of the current Halachah. When I started my Teshuvah some 30 years ago, I was told that the Sages knew the Whole Torah and their ...
3
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1answer
140 views

If rishonim/acharonim frequently make mistakes in their zeal to critique others, can we still justify a belief in their singular devotion to truth?

I was always taught that the great Torah scholars were as near-perfect human beings as could possibly be, particularly in their scholarly abilities, but perhaps even more so in their character traits ...
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62 views

Honoring female Rabbis - sources [duplicate]

Sorry I'm stuck with this topic... I am looking for sources on various Halakhot of honoring female Rabbis (knowledgeable women that tech Judaism). My basic assumption is that as many rule that כיבוד ...
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1answer
39 views

Who is R' Yisrael in Reishis Chochmah, Shaar Hamitzvos, and how much of שער המצוות is from him?

In The Sefer Raishis Chochmah (written by Rabbi Eliyahu de Vidas - 16th century), There is a perek (chapter) called פרק המצוות - The Chapter of the Mitzvos. After his introduction to the perek ...
2
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1answer
46 views

The will of the Maharsham

Does anyone know where to find the tzavvah of the Maharsham? It has been refenced a bunch of times as being a proof that the Maharsham wore techeiles since he asked to be buried with techeiles in his ...
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1answer
58 views

Maharam Discussing the Rosh

Is there a list of teshuvot (or other documents) in which the Maharam discusses his student the Rosh?
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2answers
85 views

Proving you are a kohen

When you ask a rabbi to perform a life-cycle ceremony, he will frequently ask for proof that you are Jewish (birth certificates, ketubot, certificates from other rabbis, etc.) But do you ever have to ...
2
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1answer
74 views

Sages that questioned the existence of Hashem

While I'm sure there are individuals that perhaps struggled with their belief in Hashem and His "existence" were there ever any great chachamim (sages) from the throughout the generations that perhaps ...
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1answer
136 views

Earning semichah with just a test

What if someone does know a lot of halachah and wanted to earn semichah and become a posek? Are there any good semichah programs which will award semichah with just a test (as opposed to a additional ...
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1answer
584 views

What is the process called to become a Rabbi?

For example, Minister's become ordained in Christianity. What is the process and the actual act of becoming a Rabbi called in Judaism?
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1answer
74 views

Is there an online archive with quality photos of gedolim? [closed]

I'm personally and currently looking for images of Rabbis Shlomo Carlebach & Shlomo Twerski. But I know in the future I'll probably want more for others i.e. R' Wolbe. A Google search might ...
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1answer
72 views

Living teachers of the Slabodka approach

The Alter of Slabodka died in 1927. Suppose someone today wanted to learn the unique "Slabodka approach" as embodied and taught by the Alter. Are there any remaining students of the Alter alive today (...
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2answers
2k views

Did the Ba'al Shem Tov actually exist?

In my high school Jewish history class, we learnt of the idea that the Ba'al Shem Tov might have not even existed. I have also heard this "dispute" from another rabbi recently. Is there any ...
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3answers
852 views

Name for house of rabbi

I know in some religions and denominations, a building housing the officiant at a nearby place of worship has a special name, like rectory, parsonage, etc. Does a rabbi's place have a similar ...
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0answers
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Did the Tannaim act correctly on “Bo BaYom”?

Berachos 27b-28a records the story of “Bo BaYom,” in which Rabban Gamliel was kicked out from being the Nasi as a result of two separate incidents with Rebbi Yehoshua (Ibid. and RH 24b-25a) and one ...
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1answer
67 views

What does “knowing the whole Torah” means?

Many interpretations (both Talmudic, Midrash, Rishoynim etc) when referring to the wisdom of our Sages (from Moses to Tanoyim) use this allegory of "knowing the Whole Torah" (כל התורה כולה). What ...
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2answers
125 views

Part time yeshiva in New York

Are there any yeshivas in New York wich I could go and get a semicha while going to university?
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28 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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2answers
114 views

Is Harav Shteinman's tzava'ah (last will) halachically binding?

The Rav Hakadosh Harav Shteinman zatzal wrote in his tzava'ah (last instructions) to the public, not to call him a Tzaddik or Yereh Shamayim, and not to write articles about him in the newspaper. Is ...
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1answer
47 views

Why do we recite “v'tzivanu” in mitzvos which come from the Rabbis? [duplicate]

'בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ וגו Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who sanctified us with His commandments and ...
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2answers
127 views

How do we have s'micha today if the Romans broke the chain?

I heard that Romans broke the smicha chain for one to be a proper rabbi in the old sense, and I heard that rabbis started after the second temple was destroyed. So i'm confused, the two things I ...
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2answers
107 views

How many rabbis does a synagogue have and what is their role?

I am a someone who is interested in Judaism. A question I have is that are there many rabbis which work in a synagogue and if so, what job do they all perform? I know that a rabbi teaches and makes ...
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205 views

How much time does it take to become a rabbi in a yeshiva? [closed]

Generally how many years is it to get semicha in a yeshiva?
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2answers
156 views

No Cohen - use a Levi or Yisra'el Gadol?

Mishna Berura note 9 on O.C. 135:3 says that if there is no Cohen in the shul during public Torah reading, we call up the wisest person in the shul. In many shuls that I have attended, they call up a ...
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2answers
714 views

Is one allowed to learn a book written by a rabbi who was accused and convicted of impropriety? [duplicate]

What is the status of books from rabbis who were accused of impropriety? The question would also likely also apply to online shiurim. For example, here is is a very good book from a rav who admitted ...
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0answers
91 views

Did Rabeinu Tam wear Rashi Tefilin?

To the best of my knowledge the majority of people that wear Rabeinu Tam Tefilin put it on without a Bracha at some later point in Tefila or after Tefila. Based on this I was wondering is there any ...
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1answer
52 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
143 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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3answers
172 views

Are there any living mainstream orthodox Rabbonim today that permit abortion for Tay Sachs etc

Are there any orthodox rabbis alive today that allow one to abort a fetus that has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness such as Tay Sachs? I have read the related posts that discuss the For ...
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2answers
149 views

Encyclopedia of Tzaddikim

Sheimos HaTzaddikim is a very unique prayer within Breslov which is pretty much reciting the names of many righteous people, from characters within the Tanach to fairly modern figures. I could not ...
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1answer
131 views

What makes a Rabbi?

There are Rabbis everywhere, how to identify who is a real Rabbi if the Rabbi is not included in a recognized organization, such as Israeli Supreme Court or RCA etc.? Does a Rabbi need Yeshiva study ...
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2answers
154 views

Talmid Chacham today

The term talmid chacham is used commonly in our tradition to describe a Jew with a certain high level of knowledge, understanding, closeness to Gd, etc. Can the halachic label "talmid chacham" be ...
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1answer
503 views

Is a female Torah scholar accorded the same honors as a male?

Would a woman who is as learned in Torah as a male Rosh Yeshiva or talmud scholar accorded the same honors such as standing up for them or, in the case of an outstanding scholar reciting the blessing ...
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1answer
126 views

Speaking negatively about Rabbis

I vaguely recall hearing in a shi`ur once about a grave prohibition against speaking negatively about Rabbis. Unfortunately, I don't recall the shi`ur (I think it may have been by R' Eli Mansour) nor ...
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1answer
425 views

Is K-כשר kosher?

What is the kashrut authority behind the K-כשר symbol that is now used on Kirkland Signature milk sold at Costco?:
3
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1answer
70 views

When did weekly sermons become part of the rabbi's job?

Each year on Shabbat Hagadol (the Shabbat just prior to Pesach), our shul rabbi explains that the reason it is called "Shabbat Hagadol" is that it means "The Shabbat of the Gadol" ("The great one"). ...
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1answer
62 views

Two Rabbi Akivas?

The gemara, in Ketubot 38b, resolves a contradiction between a mishna and a baraita by postulating the existence of a second person named Rabbi Akiva. Is there any reference, outside of this ...
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0answers
122 views

Rosh Yeshiva - how? [closed]

Can anyone provide sources that delineate the path on how to become a Rosh yeshiva? Please limit questions to sources (not opinions) based on Torah mekoros, biographies (of Roshei Yeshivas) or other ...
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174 views

Sefaria and Rabbinic Endorsements

Sefaria is a popular and novel Web site with various translations of holy texts; are any rabbinic authorities on record as endorsing or forbidding it? Translations can be subjective, it is inevitable ...