Questions tagged [rabbis]

Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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4
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2answers
380 views

Gedole HaDor: who and how

1)Who do we know to refer to as a "Gadol?" 2)How do we determine who is a "Gadol?" For example, how did we determine that Rav Elyashiv is a Gadol? A Gadol HaDor is known as one of the most ...
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0answers
56 views

Is the difference between an average Haredi and a Gdol Hador qualitative or quantitative? [closed]

In the traditional Haredi education, becoming a Gdol Hador is the ultimate goal - ask any kid in Meah Shearim - their pictures are on the walls and in children's cradle. While the Rabbis themselves ...
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2answers
155 views

Empirical evidence of Sages' intellectual superiority

Throughout ages, our Sages engaged in Halachic, scientific and philosophical arguments between themselves and with other nations' philosophers. We hold that the truthfulness of Talmudic discussions ...
-3
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1answer
87 views

In case of Halachic doubt should one ask a Rabbi or assume anything will work? [duplicate]

Following comments on my other question "how-an-open-succah-oriented": Let's imagine one is facing a new Halachic reality he never heard of: he always built Succah on his 5th-floor balcony and then ...
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2answers
323 views

Were/are there any gedolim that do not wear a hat of some kind?

It seems like almost major rebbeim/poskim do/did ear some sort of additional head covering (black hat, streimel, cap, etc) for davening. If the practice is that universal among gedolim, that might ...
4
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2answers
233 views

Notable Rabbanim and Thanksgiving

I know (from a friend who attends) that the Maimonides, the school founded by R' Soloveitchik, observes Thanksgiving. Did the Rav, or any other notable American Rabbanim, observe Thanksgiving?
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4answers
2k views

How did Gdoley Israel react to the landing on the Moon?

IMHO, landing on the Moon did/could seriously undermine the bases of the Jewish religious view about the nature of the celestial bodies. How did Gdoley Israel react/deal with the landing on Moon (and ...
1
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1answer
98 views

Is one allowed to publicize stories about Rabbis without asking them first?

THe approach of learning Halochos or Middos or behaviors from observing Tzaddikim's behavior alone is very common in our literature and is even rooted in Gemmorah (Brochos 62): תניא אמר רבי עקיבא ...
3
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1answer
79 views

What Rabbis originally supported and opposed Rambam's 13 principles and why?

I heard the when Rambam presented his 13 principles the opinions divided pretty sharply between the Sefardic Rabbis that openly supported it and the Ashkenazi (Rabaney Tzarfat) that opposed it for ...
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3answers
443 views

Semicha (ordination) by Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky Zatzal

I have never met anyone or heard of anyone that has received Semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky Zatzal. Did Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky ever give anyone Semicha? If the answer is ...
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1answer
108 views

What does “knowing the whole Torah” mean?

Many Rabbis from our forefathers to Moses to Tannayim are said to "know the Whole Torah" (כל התורה כולה). This is very unusual, as in other realms we usually don't say that about other people "he ...
2
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1answer
251 views

Is there any mention from our sages of blessed memory of Alexander The Great building a big metal wall in Central Asia to keep Gog and Magog at bay?

Is there anything that our Sages, of blessed memory, say about Alexander the Great building a big metal wall in Central Asia to prevent Gog and Magog from invading the greater part of the world? The ...
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0answers
33 views

The biggest named gathering in the Talmud?

THe Talmud uses the term "Chachamim" extensively to refer to "other Rabbis" making it difficult to follow the Halachic decisions. What is the biggest Talmudic gathering where all participants (...
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0answers
29 views

Why let the Sages stay anonymous in arguments?

This bothers me a lot - the idea of using anonymous "Chachamim" in arguments. I don't understand why is it important or useful to hide their names. The Mishnah uses it extensively and makes it very ...
10
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4answers
136 views

Why do different halachic authorities arrive at conflicting rulings?

Rabbi A says strawberries are ha'adama; Rabbi B says that strawberries are Ha'etz. The halachic texts are replete with such differences in "opinion". What's the underlying reason that different ...
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0answers
79 views

List of establishing rabbis for each set of minhagim [closed]

I am a baal teshuva who is becoming orthodox and wondering what customs to hold. Is there a list of important rabbis who set minhagim (ie ashkenazi, sephardi yekki, chabad, notable subgroups, etc) and ...
5
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4answers
506 views

Why does Halacha not follow the simple reading of the Biblical text?

There are many Halachot which appear to contradict explicit Biblical statements. For example, that an "Eye for an Eye" means monetary compensation. Why does Halacha not follow the simple reading of ...
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0answers
44 views

Chofetz Chaim's Advice to Son

A Rav mentioned that Chofetz Chaim told his son (a Rav) to appoint leaders of the community to take care of the chesed needs in order to address more global issues - noting that he himself writes ...
16
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2answers
521 views

Were there any sages who supported the Zealots during the siege of Jerusalem?

In Gittin 56a-b, we read how the sages warned the Zealots (a.k.a. the Biryonim) to not wage war with the Romans who were holding Jerusalem under siege, but that the Biryonim set fire to the store ...
2
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1answer
83 views

How many kids did the Tannaim and Amoraim have?

The Gemmorah (Yevomos 62b) brings a statement by R'Yehoshua: ...דתניא: רבי יהושע אומר נשא אדם אשה בילדותו ישא אשה בזקנותו היו לו בנים בילדותו יהיו לו בנים בזקנותו שנא' (קהלת יא, ו): "בבקר זרע את ...
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99 views

Who were some of the “sages” referred to in the Mishnah?

When the Mishnah uses the term חכמים אומרים, as in the first Mishnah in Tractate Brachot, approximately how many comprised this group? Who were in this group of people? (doesn't need to be a complete ...
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1answer
80 views

Why the Sages said Halachot in their own name instead of their Rabbis?

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 ...
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1answer
132 views

Did Rav Papa issue a halachic ruling in order to benefit financially?

In the Gemara Shab. 140b Rav Papa is recorded saying that one who drinks wine while able to drink beer violates “ba’al tashchit”. Maharsh”a comments that Rav Papa’s disapproval of consuming wine ...
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1answer
109 views

Are there any rishonim buried in England and france

Do we know of any of the burial places of rishonim around France (and England). I know rabbi Yisrael Meir gabbai has found some but are there any tools to source ancient jewish cemeteries e.g. a map.
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1answer
134 views

Why can't we uncensor all editions of Sefer Vayikra?

I heard according to our sages of blessed memory that certain editions of Sefer Vayikra were censored in Europe, because it says in Sefer Vayikra when the end comes Edom (The West/Christianity) will ...
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0answers
466 views

How much time does it generally take to get Semicha?

What is the average amount of time that it takes to get Yoreh Yoreh Smicha? Yadin Yadin? And in Israel to pass each of the Rabannut tests? To get "Rav Shchuna"? "Rav Ir"? I understand that it ...
8
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2answers
246 views

What financial arrangement did Rambam have with his jeweler brother?

I was taught in yeshiva that as a young man, Rambam just studied Torah and was supported by his brother, who was a jewel merchant. Then his brother died at sea, so Rambam became a physician. Some ...
7
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1answer
187 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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1answer
72 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 ...
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2answers
721 views

Does the institution of Chabad believe that Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was the Mashiach or is that a subset community of Chabad?

This may seem like a silly question but I never have been able to get a straight answer from anyone. Rabbi Schneerson is a figure of extreme controversy in that his name has been thrown around with ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Talmudic sages of Davidic descent

Which (individual) sages of Talmud were said to be traced back to King David? IIRC, R. Hillel was one (?). Are there others? Sources are welcome.
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1answer
43 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 ...
3
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1answer
196 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 ...
7
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3answers
800 views

How can I know a rav has daas Torah

I have been privileged to know rabbis of great wisdom and knowledge who could address my issues with unique and helpful insights through the prism of Torah. I always understood them to have "daas ...
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3answers
133 views

What does it mean to have faith in our wise sages? [duplicate]

What does it mean to have faith in our wise sages (אמונת חכמים)?
5
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1answer
123 views

Are we allowed to assume that a Rabbi may have not thought of something?

Sometimes in reading a difficult Rishon or Acharon, you come across a statement which seems limited and difficult to understand. Sometimes it's what seems to be an answer to a question which skims ...
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3answers
374 views

Are gedolei Yisroel fallible?

Is there a source to assert that the leaders of the Jewish people at any given time are always correct in how they lead (perhaps because their decisions are divinely inspired), or is it possible to ...
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0answers
46 views

Who are the “Sages of Israel” in Pesochim 94b

In Pesochim 94b, the Gemora brings the Braisa D'Mazolos 1:6 which relates an argument between the "Sages of Israel" and the "Sages of the nations," as follows: תנו רבנן חכמי ישראל אומרים גלגל קבוע ...
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3answers
94 views

Why don't Rabbis endorse technological progress?

I started off thinking about technological advancements that Judaism handed to humanity throughout millennia. I couldn't find one many. Sorry for formulating it as a fact, but I feel it is ...
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2answers
145 views

Did Rabbis speculate on the future of Judaism? [closed]

As we all know, Judaism is a flexible, human-driven (human Rabbis I mean), masses-friendly religion. While the basic premises remain intact, the Halachic norms change - things that were widely ...
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46 views

Origin of Chag Hasemikhah

I had thought that having a Chag Hasemikhah for new musmachim was a RIETS/ YU thing, but recently learned that many other Yeshivot also have a Chag Hasemikhah (for example, see: Landers, Chabad, ...
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1answer
59 views

What is the proper way to address someone with s'micha who doesn't work as a rabbi?

If a person received semicha (rabbinical certification) from a yeshiva upon successful completion of the necessary curriculum, but is a lay person, for instance, a businessman ,rather than a ...
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1answer
66 views

Did Rabbis reflect on their cognitive processes?

I was probably too harsh attributing various cognitive biases to Rabbis, so I'd like apologize and to step back. With some background in Cognitive sciences, I'm very interested in understanding the ...
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2answers
438 views

Talmudic personages and their occupations

One question I have been researching is on the Jewish attitude towards secular occupations to complement Torah learning. There is even a statement in the Talmud about how it is preferable to flay ...
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3answers
127 views

Can Rabbis decide whether non-Jews are getting a piece of the Next World?

I remember asking about the limitations of the Rabbinical rulings, based on "לא בשמים היא" within Judaism. After other questions dealt with deciding whether Gentiles in general or any specific group (...
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1answer
112 views

Shofar and Lulav on Shabbos - how can Rabbinical decree override Deorayso

The gezaira of Raba is that when Purim Sukkos or Rosh hashana fall out on shabbos we do not blow shofar or shake lulav or read the meggila. Why? Because we are worried that he may not know what to ...
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1answer
222 views

Biographical details of Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim z"l [closed]

I am a big fan of Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim's teachings, and would like to know more about who he is, where he was born, where he studied and who was his teachers? Did he have a mechudash way of psak? ...
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0answers
61 views

Does the Talmud continue to use extra Tanachic sources?

I'm trying to draw an analogy between the written and the oral Torah. After the Mishna was signed, the Sages continued to use extra-Mishnaic sources forever (Toseftah, Midrashim, etc). After the 24 ...
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2answers
185 views

What does the Canonization of Tanach mean?

Following "did-the-men-of-the-great-assembly-canonize-tanach" (please read for all the related sources): To recap: before the canonization there were many man-made books, incl. Meggilot, Nevi'im, ...
3
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1answer
478 views

Gedolim During the Holocaust

During a lecture addressing the Torah perspective on the Holocaust, a Rosh Yeshiva mentioned a letter which Rav Aharon Kotler z"tl wrote telling someone to remain in Europe because the war would blow ...