Questions tagged [rabbis]

Questions about the lives and personalities of Jewish religious authorities.

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6
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2answers
2k views

Did the Ba'al Shem Tov actually exist?

In my high school Jewish history class, we learnt of the idea that the Ba'al Shem Tov might have not even existed. I have also heard this "dispute" from another rabbi recently. Is there any ...
7
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3answers
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Name for house of rabbi

I know in some religions and denominations, a building housing the officiant at a nearby place of worship has a special name, like rectory, parsonage, etc. Does a rabbi's place have a similar ...
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1answer
149 views

Did the Tannaim act correctly on “Bo BaYom”?

Berachos 27b-28a records the story of “Bo BaYom,” in which Rabban Gamliel was kicked out from being the Nasi as a result of two separate incidents with Rebbi Yehoshua (Ibid. and RH 24b-25a) and one ...
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1answer
137 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 ...
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2answers
225 views

Part time yeshiva in New York

Are there any yeshivas in New York wich I could go and get a semicha while going to university?
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1answer
75 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 ...
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2answers
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Is Harav Shteinman's tzava'ah (last will) halachically binding?

The Rav Hakadosh Harav Shteinman zatzal wrote in his tzava'ah (last instructions) to the public, not to call him a Tzaddik or Yereh Shamayim, and not to write articles about him in the newspaper. Is ...
2
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1answer
187 views

Why do we recite "v'tzivanu" in mitzvos which come from the Rabbis? [duplicate]

'בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ וגו Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who sanctified us with His commandments and ...
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2answers
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How do we have s'micha today if the Romans broke the chain?

I heard that Romans broke the smicha chain for one to be a proper rabbi in the old sense, and I heard that rabbis started after the second temple was destroyed. So i'm confused, the two things I ...
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2answers
489 views

How many rabbis does a synagogue have and what is their role?

I am a someone who is interested in Judaism. A question I have is that are there many rabbis which work in a synagogue and if so, what job do they all perform? I know that a rabbi teaches and makes ...
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0answers
693 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 ...
3
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2answers
289 views

No Cohen - use a Levi or Yisra'el Gadol?

Mishna Berura note 9 on O.C. 135:3 says that if there is no Cohen in the shul during public Torah reading, we call up the wisest person in the shul. In many shuls that I have attended, they call up a ...
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2answers
749 views

Is one allowed to learn a book written by a rabbi who was accused and convicted of impropriety? [duplicate]

What is the status of books from rabbis who were accused of impropriety? The question would also likely also apply to online shiurim. For example, here is is a very good book from a rav who admitted ...
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0answers
201 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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1answer
66 views

Can anyone suggest books detailing the lives and philosophies of various sages? [closed]

I'm seeking out books which go into details about the lives and ideas of the various Jewish sages. Obviously, a single book for all is unlikely but any suggestions are welcome.
4
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1answer
216 views

How was brit milah practiced during the First Century?

The Christian New Testament records that both John the Baptist and Jesus were circumcised on the eighth day in accordance with Jewish Law. Luke 1:57-60 English Standard Version (ESV) Now the time ...
5
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3answers
290 views

Are there any living mainstream orthodox Rabbonim today that permit abortion for Tay Sachs etc

Are there any orthodox rabbis alive today that allow one to abort a fetus that has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness such as Tay Sachs? I have read the related posts that discuss the For ...
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2answers
238 views

Encyclopedia of Tzaddikim

Sheimos HaTzaddikim is a very unique prayer within Breslov which is pretty much reciting the names of many righteous people, from characters within the Tanach to fairly modern figures. I could not ...
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 ...
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4answers
404 views

Talmid Chacham today

The term talmid chacham is used commonly in our tradition to describe a Jew with a certain high level of knowledge, understanding, closeness to Gd, etc. Can the halachic label "talmid chacham" be ...
6
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1answer
699 views

Is a female Torah scholar accorded the same honors as a male?

Would a woman who is as learned in Torah as a male Rosh Yeshiva or talmud scholar be accorded the same honors such as standing up for them or, in the case of an outstanding scholar reciting the ...
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1answer
175 views

Speaking negatively about Rabbis

I vaguely recall hearing in a shi`ur once about a grave prohibition against speaking negatively about Rabbis. Unfortunately, I don't recall the shi`ur (I think it may have been by R' Eli Mansour) nor ...
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1answer
1k views

Is K-כשר kosher?

What is the kashrut authority behind the K-כשר symbol that is now used on Kirkland Signature milk sold at Costco?:
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1answer
88 views

When did weekly sermons become part of the rabbi's job?

Each year on Shabbat Hagadol (the Shabbat just prior to Pesach), our shul rabbi explains that the reason it is called "Shabbat Hagadol" is that it means "The Shabbat of the Gadol" ("The great one"). ...
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1answer
74 views

Two Rabbi Akivas?

The gemara, in Ketubot 38b, resolves a contradiction between a mishna and a baraita by postulating the existence of a second person named Rabbi Akiva. Is there any reference, outside of this ...
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169 views

Rosh Yeshiva - how? [closed]

Can anyone provide sources that delineate the path on how to become a Rosh yeshiva? Please limit questions to sources (not opinions) based on Torah mekoros, biographies (of Roshei Yeshivas) or other ...
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2answers
334 views

Sefaria and Rabbinic Endorsements

Sefaria is a popular and novel Web site with various translations of holy texts; are any rabbinic authorities on record as endorsing or forbidding it? Translations can be subjective, it is inevitable ...
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1answer
149 views

Is it possible to overcome Yetzer Hara without the Torah? [closed]

What do our great teachers say about overcoming evil inclinations without Torah? Is it even possible? Look forward to your answers!
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1answer
128 views

Which religious texts cause some Jews to focus and worship the material gains in this life (creation) rather than to Hashem (the creator)? [closed]

Please see this article in Asbury Park Press regarding welfare fraud by rabbis. Also, years ago when Christy was a NJ state prosecutor there was another roundup of rabbis in a New Jersey corruption ...
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0answers
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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0answers
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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2answers
3k views

How to get an urgent answer if your local rabbi isn't reachable

I think many frum people have been in the situation of needing time-sensitive help with a halachic question, but not having access to their/any rabbi. What resources such as hotlines are available to ...
4
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1answer
51 views

Office of the Rishon Letzion

I am interested in knowing how and why this office came about. Was it initiated by the Jewish community or was it necessary in order to have a representative to contact the ruling government? ...
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3answers
165 views

How can Chachomim nullify my recitation of the evening Shema if I read it at a time permitted by the Torah?

The Mishnah Berurah (OC 235:30) writes: לא יצא וכו' - דאף דמן התורה קרינן בשכבך עד הנץ משום דאיכא עדיין מקצת אנשים דגנו בההיא שעתא מ"מ היכא דלא איתנס בטלו חכמים ממנו מצות ק"ש על שאיחר כ&...
3
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1answer
191 views

Is it possible to lodge an appeal for a soul that has gone to Gehenom?

Unsong is a work of online serial fiction by Scott Alexander which is based heavily on Judaism. (I highly recommend it to Jews and Gentiles alike.). As I discussed in my earlier question here, the ...
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2answers
134 views

Is there any sect of Judaism that interprets both the written Torah and oral Torah literally [closed]

Is there any sect of Judaism that interprets both the written Torah and oral Torah literally?
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1answer
75 views

Source for exclusively learning/seeking Torah from someone whose face is glowing like an angel?

I remember several times coming across a text that asked something along the lines of: "Who should one seek/learn Torah from?" or "How does one know whether to seek/learn Torah from a certain Rabbi?" ...
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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 ...
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2answers
60 views

Looking for online material by previous Chief Rabbis of the UK

I'm trying to find online material (essays, sermons, articles, etc.) to read by previous Chief Rabbis of the United Kingdom before Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. I am particularly interested in Joseph Hertz, ...
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1answer
586 views

Rav Belsky's illustration on how to lean by the seder

I remember watching one of OU's Pesach webinars a few years back where Rav Belsky was asked what is the proper way to lean at the seder. Rav Belsky answered that based off an ancient (Roman) tapestry ...
3
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2answers
179 views

People with defects and their role in serving

Parashat Emor teaches (Vayikra/Leviticus 21:17) something about a kohen with a 'מום' (blemish, defect, deformity, disability, handicap) isn't allowed to serve in the Holy Temple. But without the ...
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1answer
60 views

Cannot speak Torah while working

In Shemot Rabbah 13 Parshash Bo there's a story involving Abba Yosef. He responds to an invitation of scholarship by Avnimus with "...I can't come down because I'm a salaried worker." I remember ...
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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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2answers
242 views

Title to use when addressing a rav

When speaking to the rav of a community, what title should one use? "Hello, Rabbi X" would surely be acceptable for someone with regular semicha, but perhaps not for a person who is referred to as "...
5
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2answers
809 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 ...
2
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2answers
318 views

Are there high level poskim who are easily accessible?

I often have Halachic questions that upon approaching local Orthodox rabbonim, I don't feel comfortable with their psak. I know enough to know that they don't have a complete grasp of halacha but I ...
2
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0answers
39 views

Why were different pronunciations allowed in the first place? [duplicate]

The following question might be a duplicate of How could different pronunciations arise when we are obligated to pronounce the Shema precisely? Why did our Rabbonim however many hundreds of years ...
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0answers
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 ...
4
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1answer
225 views

Who is HaRam in Tosafos

I've seen הר"ם quoted in Tosafos in a few places. One example is Kiddushin 50a, Tosfos ד"ה היה לו. I always assumed it was Rabbeinu Meir, the son in law of Rashi, whose sons are the famous ...
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1answer
115 views

Which Rabbi was this?

I remember reading a journal article about a modern orthodox rabbi in late 19th century America who held the position that rabbis need to try to find lenient halachik rulings to make the lives of ...

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