Questions tagged [rabbis]

Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

78 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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8
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1answer
225 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
197 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 ...
7
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1answer
367 views

Which rabbi said "if a horse had the mind of Kant ..."?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...
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149 views

What blessing would one have said on seeing Einstein for example?

The Oruch Hashulchan O Ch 224, 6 says הרואה חכם מחכמי ישראל שגדול בתורה מברך: "ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם שחלק מחכמתו ליריאיו, Someone who sees a Jewish Torah sage makes the blessing “ ...
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60 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 ...
5
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245 views

The ban on conversion to Judaism in Argentina

In 1927 the rabbi of a Syrian-Jewish congregation in Buenos Aires banned all conversions to Judaism in Argentina forever ("ad kol yemei olam"). The ban is still in effect today. Candidates for ...
5
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102 views

At what point can you assume senility?

In my experience it is rare to see a Rosh Yeshiva or other prominent Rabbi declared to be senile and no longer working at full mental capacity. Recently such a proclamation was made about one Rosh ...
5
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1answer
141 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 ...
4
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102 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 ...
4
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0answers
86 views

Is there a Talmudic "score card"?

When I am learning a masechta, one thing that shocks me is the ability of those people involved in arguments to cite an authority and know his view on most any other case. So if Rabbi Yehoshua is ...
4
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84 views

Od (Ovadyia) Yosef Chai - what is the idea behind the movement

I saw in Tzfat a car adorned with signs saying עוד יוסף חי - with a big picture of Rav Ovadia Yosef. I was informed by someone going to Yeshiva there that this is some kind of nascent Jewish (not ...
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124 views

Letter of Rav Yechezkel Landau

There was a letter written by Rav Yechezkel Landau to the followers of Reb Yonason Eibeshitz after the whole debacle between their leader and Reb Yaakov Emden. I have seen a few English versions of ...
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346 views

The difference between Chazal and Razal

I have heard it said before that Chazal (חז"ל = חכמינו זכרונם לברכה; "our sages of blessed memory") refers to sages of the Mishna and Gemara, while Razal (רז"ל = רבנים/נו זכרונם לברכה; "our/the ...
4
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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 ...
4
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1answer
214 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 ...
3
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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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111 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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53 views

Rabbi Eleazar and Rabbi Shimeon in Mishna

In Mishna, it's current to find that "Rabbi Eleazar and Rabbi Shimeon say", e.g. in Rosh Hashana, Yoma, Shkalim, etc. Sometimes it's Eliezer instead of Eleazar, but it's not probably because they were ...
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62 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 ...
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697 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 ...
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79 views

Can the Rav enforce his own made-up rule as a "penalty"?

Several years ago, while making a trip to the Catskill area, I stopped near the large shul in Woodbridge, NY (I forgot its name). The rabbi has a reserved parking spot across the street from the shul. ...
3
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116 views

Chida's statement about shabbat violators

I heard Rabbi Yitzhack Yosef Shelita (Rishon LeTzion and son of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef, Z"L) who says that the Chida writes that in all the places that he was never saw a Sephardic Jew that wasn't ...
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57 views

Song from Rebbi Meir Shapira

I have a script of a song from Rebbi Meir Shapira of Lublin which starts with מיט דער כתר התורה Are any of our readers familiar with the words or the tune which is supposed to accompany them?
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198 views

Let's play Name that Gadol - women wearing Tallis story

There is a story that I have heard with multiple names being used as the Rabbi in the story. It goes like this: A woman came to [insert name of Torah Sage here] and said that it would enhance her ...
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205 views

How does one 'learn' how to paskin?

When a person goes through smicha (in order to become a Rabbi) they learn (at least) the laws of kashrus. Depending on the program this can include more or less amounts of information (more or less ...
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115 views

Why are rabbonim referred to by the names of their seforim?

Many rabbonim who published important seforim are coloquially referred to by the names of one of the seforim. Why is this? When did it start?
3
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1answer
131 views

A prominent Mamzer Rabbi example?

Mishnah in Horayos 3,8 says: מַמְזֵר תַּלְמִיד חָכָם קוֹדֵם לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל עַם הָאָרֶץ: (the scholar mamzer takes precedence over the ignorant high priest.) Do we have a practical example of ...
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15 views

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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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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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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63 views

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?
2
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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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68 views

Should a congregational rabbi resign based on "common public" accusations?

Last night, I found numerous articles published in many newspapers over the course of about the past decade regarding several students accusing a former Yeshiva principal who sexually abused them. The ...
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139 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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71 views

How was the Nasi allowed to diminish the honor of a torah scholar?

In Horiyot 13b it recounts that Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel made a edict that, as opposed to previously where all people stood for both the Nasi and the 'Chacham', now all people should stand for the ...
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112 views

What was a Rabbi Elector in Lithuania?

In doing genealogical research I found records for family members from Lithuania whose profession was listed as "Rabbi Elector". What was this profession? Was it a legitimate part of Judaism, or ...
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46 views

Referring to a rav with multiple sefarim

I've noticed that some rabbanim are referred to by the titles of multiple books. For example, R' Jair Bacharach (Wermeiser Rov between 1699-1702) is referred to both by the name of his shu"t, Chavot ...
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156 views

Picking and choosing Hashkafa

Can one decide to follow for example the Rambam's more rational Hashkafic approach and then the Ramban for other Hashkafic ideas even though they clearly disagree? I've heard that by practical ...
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50 views

Is there a communal responsibility to ensure that its Torah scholars are dressed and groomed appropriately?

The Gemara in Mesekes Shabbos 114a teaches that a Torah scholar should not go out in stained or patched clothing, suggesting that one who goes out with a stain is subject to the "penalty of death." ...
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380 views

Written Semicha Tests

Which Rabbonim give a semicha based on a written test (as opposed to requiring one to complete a program under them)? Are they only on Basar Bechalav and Ta'aruvos, only on Shabbos, only on Niddah or ...
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0answers
178 views

Who gave the "yadav rav lo" ordination a few decades ago?

According to Rabbi Hoenig's article, "The Orthodox Rabbi as Military Chaplain" (Tradition Fall 1976, emphasis in the original): This situation brought up the question of proper ordination, the ...
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1answer
127 views

What's the difference between Sanhedrin and Kenesset Hagedola?

What is the difference between Sanhedrin and Kenesset Hagedola?
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1answer
105 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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90 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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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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36 views

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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97 views

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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71 views

Help trying to find the lifespan of an ancient rabbi

Zohar (Vayikra 10a) quotes a sefer by R. Hamnunab [Hanunah] Sabah, a sage of Second Beit HaMikdash times. Thing is, I can't pin-point the lifespan. Can someone help me with this? Toda.
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34 views

Yahrzeit is most auspicious (source)

An ad, IIRC sponsored by Chabad, in a Jewish magazine (Ami) reads: Chazal teach us that the day of a tzadik’s yahrtzeit is a most auspicious day, a יום סגולה ועת רצון, to connect with the tzadik, ...
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68 views

English Translations of Major Yechezkel/Ezekiel Commentaries

Shalom! I have been looking for some time and I cannot seem to find any resources in English. Are there any translations (into English) of the Yechezkel/Ezekiel commentaries of the following rabbis? ...