Questions tagged [rabbis]

Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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Who was Rabbi Matzliach of the Upper Galilee?

In this question, it is brought that three halachic responsa by the Rif, originally written in Arabic, were translated for the Ramah of Fano into Hebrew. The Ramah stated that the translation was done ...
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Source for Rava's first name

According to Wikipedia and Encyclopedia.com, Rava's real first name was Abba and "Rava" is a portmanteau of R' Abba. However, both claims are sourceless (Encyclopedia.com refers to Eruvin ...
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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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Rabbinical testing in Volozhin

I heard once (can't remember where) that in Volozhin, the students preferred to be tested for the rabbinate by Reb Chaim of Brisk and not the Netziv, because the Netziv didn't give very hard tests. In ...
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The qualifiers given by the Meiri

Following this post, quoting several qualifierss given by the Meiri to the Rabanim whose opinions he reports, I am interested to know if we have an exhaustive list, because some of are not reported in ...
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Biography of Rabbi Yisrael Yitzchak (Yishai) Chassidah [closed]

Author of the Jewish Encyclopedia of Biblical Personalities - Ishei Tanakh. I am having great difficulty finding any information on the Rav. Is he alive? Does he have other works? Any shiurim/books on ...
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What were the first rabbinic reactions to the rise of Islam?

Practically, all Jewish second-Temple diaspora in the 7th and 8th centuries fell under the rule of Islam. How did rabbis respond to the new sister religion? Did they attribute any special qualities, ...
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Community of R' Menachem Elon

Rabbi Menachem Elon is described all over the web as an "Orthodox Rabbi." However, while he seems to be very respected in the academic world, I have been unable to find a single record of R' ...
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What is the reason behind the Meiri intentionally replacing the names of Rabbis?

The Meiri in his writings gives each Rabbi whom he quotes an alternative name, based on the main contribution that particular rabbinic authority made. Why does he do so, for it seems he goes against ...
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What's the story behind the Sages killing Rav Acha Bar Yaakov?

Bava Kamma 40a: Rav Acha Bar Yaakov is a great man. Bava Basra 14a: "רַב הוּנָא כְּתַב שִׁבְעִין סִפְרֵי דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא וְלָא אִיתְרְמִי לֵיהּ אֶלָּא חַד רַב אַחָא בַּר יַעֲקֹב כְּתַב חַד ...
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R' Elazar Shach's polemic against Chabad [closed]

There are numerous reports that the late R. Elazar Shach fought a bitter battle against Chabad, even using harsh language in his campaign. If these reports are true, I wonder why this rabbi was so ...
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Church fathers and the Rabbis

I’m wondering if there is any evidence in Jewish writings of correspondence/the mentioning of church fathers. I would assume that the interactions would have happened in the time of the late tanaaim/...
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Do Medieval Rabbis speak about the Black Plague?

I was wondering if any Rabbis in the Medieval times wrote anything about the Black Plague.
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Which rabbis say that women were not created in the divine image? [closed]

Some scholars (I can identify them privately if anyone wishes to know who they are) insist that the rabbis deny women creation in the divine image. After much searching, I have only found two rabbis ...
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Rabbinical authority (2)

Part 2 of the question: Rabbinical Authority: I am delving into the concept of the rabbinical authority based on the following pasuk "If a case is too baffling for you to decide, be it a ...
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Rabbinical authority

I am delving into the concept of the rabbinical authority based on the following pasuk "If a case is too baffling for you to decide, be it a controversy over homicide, civil law, or assault—...
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Did Rabbi Yehudah ben Bateira not come for the Regel?

The gemara in Pesachim 3b brings a story in which Rabbi Yehudah ben Bateira discovers that an Aramean non-Jew is eating from the Korban Pesach in Yerushalayim. He tricks him into outing him to the ...
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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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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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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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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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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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3 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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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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2 votes
2 answers
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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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3 votes
1 answer
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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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3 votes
1 answer
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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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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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1 vote
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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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5 votes
2 answers
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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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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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