Questions tagged [rabbis]

Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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1answer
82 views

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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91 views

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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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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3answers
745 views

Audio or video lectures of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt"l

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt"l, wrote many interesting articles and books in his life. However, does anyone know if there are an audio of video lectures of him?
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1answer
263 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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0answers
70 views

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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1answer
58 views

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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1answer
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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31 views

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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0answers
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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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2answers
97 views

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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74 views

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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16answers
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Reliable Ask-a-Rabbi Websites

There are some times on this site where questioners will be directed to "ask their Rabbi." While it's always optimal to have such people discuss the question with their own Rabbi (and such action ...
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0answers
77 views

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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96 views

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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0answers
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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1answer
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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29answers
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About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X (...
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1answer
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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1answer
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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4answers
309 views

Upon whom would one make this blessing?

Upon whom today would you make the bracha - Baruch Attah Hashem Elokeinu Melech HaOlam She’chalak Mei’chochmaso Li’rei’av, that He bestowed of His wisdom to those who fear Him (Gemara Brachos 58a)? I'...
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2answers
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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2answers
3k views

Is this the Chofetz Chaim? [closed]

What is the story behind this picture being known as the image of the great Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan(Chafetz Chaim)? Is it him in fact? Where does it come from? The only true picture (that I am aware ...
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3answers
135 views

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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4answers
184 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 ...
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1answer
113 views

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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1answer
162 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 פעם ...
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4answers
772 views

Is there a Chief Rabbi of the United States?

Is there currently or has there ever been historically a Chief Rabbi of the United States? If not, why not?
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2answers
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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2answers
245 views

Rabbi who killed children?

I recall of a story where a Rabbi during the time of the Tosafists who personally killed many Jewish children in order to save them being raised in the Christian faith. Anyone know source? ...
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3answers
287 views

Were ancient Rabbis night owls?

I constantly here of stories of rabbis, in the olden days, who woke up at midnight, recited Tikkun Hatzot, and studied Torah until sunrise. Was this the common practice of Jews of ancient times or was ...
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2answers
306 views

Why do Rabbis curse in the Gemara?

I've always believed cursing people is forbidden in Judaism, but I recently read the following on the Gemara: Berakhot 13b והא רבי יהושע בן לוי לייט אמאן דגני אפרקיד For lo, R. Joshua b. Levi cursed ...
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1answer
38 views

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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1answer
87 views

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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2answers
131 views

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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3answers
297 views

How would the Rabbis handle a Jew who presents as having psychic or supernatural abilities?

I was curious if a precedent has been set for how the Rabbis would handle an individual who presents as having supernatural abilities which are forbidden in Torah. Let no one be found among you who ...
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9answers
1k views

G'dolim or Rabbis Owning Pets

Are there any g'dolim (or rabbis of major influence) - past or present - who are known to have owned pets/kept animals for non-agricultural purposes?
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1answer
182 views

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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0answers
115 views

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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1answer
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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1answer
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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5answers
580 views

Who is the voice of Tosafoth?

Tosafoth were the sons-in-law, grandchildren, and students of Rashi (and their students), and "they" wrote a commentary on the Talmud that is often at odds with Rashi's earlier commentary. Sometimes ...
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1answer
86 views

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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83 views

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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2answers
91 views

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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1answer
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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1answer
227 views

Why is the term שליט"א more commonly used for a rav than the term נ"י?

As a follow up to this answer to a M.Y. question, why is שליט"א more commonly used after a notable Rav's name than the term נירו יאיר (or נ"י, as an abbreviation)? A wise person, such as a rav is ...
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2answers
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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1answer
70 views

Who are the Elders in the beginning of Avot

The Pirkei Avot 1:1 says משֶׁה קִבֵּל תּוֹרָה מִסִּינַי, וּמְסָרָהּ לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ, וִיהוֹשֻׁעַ לִזְקֵנִים, וּזְקֵנִים לִנְבִיאִים, וּנְבִיאִים מְסָרוּהָ לְאַנְשֵׁי כְנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה. Moshe received ...
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1answer
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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