Questions tagged [rabbis]

Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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65 views

Looking for picture of "tzadikkim in sukkah"

I recently saw a noy-sukkah, it was a picture of many tzaddikim (chasidic rebbis and litvish gedolim) gathered around a table in a large sukkah, with the head of the table empty (I gather it's ...
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Why didn't Reb Elazar ben Azariah dye his hair white?

Why didn't Reb Elazar ben Azariah dye his hair white, so that others would respect his opinion? Instead, Hashem performed a miracle whereby his beard turned white. According to this article (page 4) ...
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Understanding "Shimon ben Shataḥ restored the Torah to its former glory."

"... ויהרגו כל חכמי ישראל והיה העולם משתומם עד שבא שמעון בן שטח והחזיר את התורה ליושנה." "... and all the Sages of the Jewish people were killed. And the world was desolate of Torah ...
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Do any Jewish commentators or any targum or midrash see Haggai 2:7 as a reference to the messiah?

Haggai 2:7 speaks about the coming of "the desired of nations". Christians say this is a reference to the messiah. But I'm wondering if any of the sages - the commentaries or targum or ...
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What rabbis openly allowed/promoted wearing wigs?

When discussing wigs as a means of covering women's hair, I only heard that rabbis recognized them only aposteriori. What prominent rabbis publicly allowed their use apriori?
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The difference between the ordination of the 70 elders and that of Joshua?

In the process of the ordination of the elders, God executed the procedure without Moses' assistance: "וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁה אֶסְפָה־לִּי שִׁבְעִים אִישׁ ... וְלָקַחְתָּ אֹתָם אֶל־אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד ...
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Did Pharisee Semichah tradition (rabbinic ordination) include tests?

IIRC, God commanded Moses to ordain Joshuah, so the latter hadn't had to pass any exams. The next 20 generations were all [considered] prophets, so I guess they had divine revelations also. The ...
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73 views

Are there testimonies of passing the "complete oral tradition"?

The unbroken passage of the Oral Torah as a whole is the foundation stone of Rabbinic Judaism. Of course, there are many mentions of rabbis learning from other rabbis, for example, the beginning of ...
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Ark of the Covenant

During the journey a man named Uzza touched the Ark of the Covenant to support it and fell dead on the spot (2 Samuel 6:1-8, 1 Chronicles 13:9-10). Here are two questions: 1. Why does God kill for ...
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Suggested books on the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Zealots

What solid books there are on the historical and intellectual development of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Zealots? Especially written from an orthodox perspective? The Intro to the Schottenstein ...
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Which rabbanim of the generation did the Baal Shem Tov meet with?

For example he met with the Nodah Beyehudah and the Shaagas Aryeh. Do we know if he met with the Yaavetz, Reb Yonasan Eybushitz, Pney Yehoshua?
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62 views

How did Jewish scholars deal with supposed "scribal errors" in the Tanach [closed]

There are some contemporary Christians (Evangelicals, etc) say that there are contradictions in the Old Testament caused by scribal errors (Who Killed Goliath? (2 Samuel 21:19; 1 Chronicles 20:5), How ...
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56 views

The earliest source calling a rabbi "Kadosh"?

I'm looking for the earliest source that calls any rabbi "Kadosh", like calling R' Yehuda "Rabeynu Hakadosh", or "Rashi Hakadosh", or ZaTZuKa"L (זצוק"ל), etc.
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Who were students of both the Vilna Gaon and the Maggid of Mezrich

I know Rav Avraham Kalisk was, and Mordechai Babroisk. I know there were others, but there seems to be quite a few more.
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188 views

Source for a quotation from a Rabbi (or Jewish story)

My apologies if this question isn't within the typical scope of this site. I'm trying to locate the source of a quotation I saved long ago, it was from I believe an academic text collecting various ...
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76 views

Why specifically did Rav Moshe Feinstein serve as rabbi in Ohio for a while, per his visa? [closed]

Rabbi Feinstein's family write (beginning to Igros vol. 8) that Rabbi Feinstein had a relative in Ohio who arranged for a pulpit opening, which led to Rabbi Feinstein entering the US on a religious-...
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528 views

How do Jewish sects view the role of the legal law of the Halacha in today's society?

The legal laws of the books of Moses included rulings on stoning adulterers, homosexuals, disobedient children, etc. Christians view these laws as no longer binding on Christians today through the ...
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Jewish historical novels

Do you know any Jewish historical novels that center around the lives and times of the rabbis of the Talmud? I know As a Driven Leaf but very few others.
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Imitating Rabbanim

Is it Lashon Hara (or any other aveirah) to imitate a rav. It’s a common thing in yeshivos (at least the ones I’ve been involved in) that some bachrim imitate the rebbes mannerisms and way of speaking ...
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Who was the father of Rav Aha Bar Rav?

Rav Aha Bar Rav was a talmid-haver of Ravina (6th generation of amoraïm), and also a contenporary of Ravina II (7th) (source). So it's seems that Rav Aha is not the son of Rav (ie Rabbi Abba bar Aybo, ...
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How should rabbis answer questions on disputed issues?

You have a halachic question. Unknown to you, there is a dispute on the matter. Some rule as (A) and some rule as (B). You ask your Rav. He will give you one of three answers: (1) The answer is (A)...
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Story of a famous rav and a questioner

There’s a wonderful, supposedly true story about a revered rabbi. A woman comes to him with a Halachic question. According to the story, the question was not a very sophisticated one. Indeed, the ...
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Have Chasidic dynasties ever merged?

Chasidic Judaism is broken up into various communities around the world. I was just curious if any of these communities have ever moved to "consolidate" and absorb into a new larger ...
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Rav Heinemann Semicha

Does anyone know what one should prepare himself with before taking a semicha bechina on Basar B'chalav with Rav Moshe Heinemann?
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The Identity of R' Elazar ben Chananyah

Recently, I found that there are some academics that identify the Tanna Rabbi Elazar ben Chananyah with Elazar ben Chananyah, one of the rebel leaders during the Great Revolt. Prof. Ephraim Urbach in &...
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Ribnitzer Rebbe Limudim

I hear these different schedules of great tzadikim, in terms of what they learned and how much of it did they learn and it made me curious to ask, does anyone know what the Ribnitzer Rebbe's Learning ...
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Classic Achronim and Rishonim [closed]

People often say they learn Shas with Achronim and Rishonim. I'm curious, what are the mainstream Rishonim and Achronim that are generally learnt throughout Shas?
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184 views

Rav Yosef Engel style of learning

I understand that the world is very much into learning Gemara via the Brisker method. I was told that Rav Yosef Engel had a different approach to learning Gemara etc. However, I wasn't told how his ...
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323 views

Who is הרב הנאמ"ן?

I was learning the sefer אור ההלכה on hilchos Shabbos and he quotes someone as הרב הנאמ"ן. Does anyone know who that is?
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What was the Rabbinic position toward the armed revolts against the Romans?

"...Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina said: Why are these three oaths needed? One, so that the Jews should not ascend to Eretz Yisrael as a wall. And another one, that the Holy One, Blessed be He, ...
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130 views

Why is Rebbi Meir frequently quoted as "he used to say" in the Talmud?

If one has taken a 'swim' in the Talmud, it would become apparent that Rebbi Meir is often cited as "he used to say". I cannot express with certainty that it is a completely unusual ...
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75 views

Is there a connection between Smicha for korbanot and Smicha for rabbis?

Is there any connection with the semichah when a person is about to offer a korban to the semicha of becoming a rabbi?
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Rabbi Avraham Hachozeh and his book

A friend of mine is looking for information on a rabbi he saw mentioned in the book "Chochmat Hanefesh" by Rabbi Elazar of Worms (most famous for his "Sefer Haroke'ach"). In the ...
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444 views

Vilna Gaon letter about zohar learning

I heard from some people that the Vilna Goyn wrote a letter saying that if one doesn't learn Zoyhar, he shouldn't render decisions about Jewish law; where can we look to find this letter?
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Does the Midrash show any examples of adjectives attached to Rabbi when addressing a Rabbi?

Are there any historic examples, such as in the Midrash, that show someone addressing a Rabbi with an adjective such as רַבִּי הַטּוֹב?
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13 ways in which the Torah is trampled

I've found a reference in a book to a medieval Italian document which refers to "the 13 ways in which the Torah is trampled and profaned". Can anyone tell me more about these 13 ways?
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184 views

Picture of the Chacham Tzvi

In the book "Hachassidut" by Rabbi Ahron Marcus there's a drawing of the Chacham Tzvi: This seems to be based on this painting or this one. In all three, he's drawn pointing at his bookmark,...
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622 views

What does שליט"א stand for?

I thought that שליט"א came from the Aramaic word שליט (Ruler). But a Rabbi I told this to, pointed out that שליט"א is always written as with " , in the Middle so each the letters must ...
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113 views

Shlomo Yosef Zevin a Rav at 9 years old

Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Zevin, according to here was given smicha by the Aruch HaShulchan. Assuming that the Aruch HaShulchan ordained Rabbi Zevin at the very end of his life, Rabbi Zevin would have been ...
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R' Meir, posek of "the Beardlings" regiment

In "A Treasury of Jewish Folklore" there's an English translation of a story that seems to be a fictional account of a former soldier who was part of Berek Yoselevitz's Jewish regiment in ...
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Why did latter Rabbis study Torah in solitude?

From the Talmudic discourse, it appears that there's a special merit of learning Torah in Beis Midrash especially in Chavrutah or with students. However, I recognize an emerging pattern of the latter ...
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Nittel Nacht in Israel

Do Gedolim in Israel not learn on Nittel Nacht? The Nitei Gavriel (3:1) writes בארץ ישראל יש אומרים שאין לחוש לניטל אכן רוב הגדולים חשו לזה גם בא"י -- Some say it doesn't apply in Israel, but ...
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163 views

Where do Israeli nationalist Orthodox movements derive their Halacha?

This isn't a question regarding Israeli politics or issues like that. This question is purely about where these groups (Groups which followed Meir Kahane or similar voices) developed or derived their ...
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What does it mean "to be proficient in Shas and Poskim" as said about Talmidi Chachamim? [closed]

One constantly reads in biographies about Gedolim or at a friend's siyum HaShas that mention how the talmid chacham or guy is a bucky and a maeivin in Shas and poskim. See example in this Wikipedia ...
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325 views

Yose b. Yoezer and Yose b. Yohanan received from them. Who does "them" refer to?

Avot 1:2-4: שִׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק הָיָה מִשְּׁיָרֵי כְנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה....‏ אַנְטִיגְנוֹס אִישׁ סוֹכוֹ קִבֵּל מִשִּׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק...‏ יוֹסֵי בֶן יוֹעֶזֶר אִישׁ צְרֵדָה וְיוֹסֵי בֶן יוֹחָנָן אִישׁ ...
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82 views

R' Yohanan's behavior to make women bear kids in his resemblance

To support my previous question ("biblical-genetics-understanding-childs-resemblance-to-his-parents" here's a Talmudic passage (Berakhot.20a): רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן הֲוָה רְגִיל דַּהֲוָה קָא ...
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128 views

Who is "your teacher"?

There is an injunction that you may not give a halakhic opinion in the presence of "your teacher". The Talmud says: The sons of Aaron died only because they issued a halakhic ruling before ...
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120 views

Gezerah D'Rabbah in the Beit Hamikdash?

Rabbah publicized a Gezerah (command / decree) that Lulav and Shofar should not be used on Shabbat because of a fear someone may violate the Melacha of Hotzaah. I heard that there was another case ...
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Did Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi learn the Angel of Death's personal name?

I recently heard that when Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi was in Paradise he learned the personal name of the Angel of Death/Satan. Can anyone provide a source for this claim? In Ketubot 77b it is written: &...
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Did Ezra abrogate the Mosaic Law in Num. xviii. 21,(according to Yeb. 86b, Ḥul. 131b)?

According to http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/636-abrogation-of-laws The ancient rabbis claimed authority, not only to make new provisions and to establish institutions as a "hedge&...

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