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18 votes
Accepted

Exile helped the Jews to survive

Rabbi Oshaya said... The Holy One, Blessed be He, performed a charitable deed toward Israel in that He scattered them among the nations. [Sefaria adds: Had He exiled them to one place, they could have ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
16 votes

Should a half Jewish man be discouraged from marrying a Jewess?

The man isn't Jewish in this case, so he has no obligation whatsoever in marrying a Jewish woman. It is forbidden for the Jewish woman to marry this man because he is not a Jew. If the man truly feels ...
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.9k
9 votes
Accepted

Why are we called 'Jews'?

The earliest reference to the term Jew (יהודי in Hebrew is found in Esther 2:5 where it has Mordechai האִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדִ֔י הָיָ֖ה בְּשׁוּשַׁ֣ן הַבִּירָ֑ה וּשְׁמ֣וֹ מָרְדֳּכַ֗י בֶּ֣ן יָאִ֧יר בֶּן־...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
9 votes

Exile helped the Jews to survive

To add to Maurice's fine answer, here is the Ramban's commentary on B'reishis 32:9 (regarding Ya'akov's plan to divide his people into two camps before encountering Esav): וגם זה ירמוז שלא יגזרו ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 17.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Esther reveal her origin earlier?

The following is culled from Oz V'hadar's Mesivta on Megillas Esther, page 37, note 89; pages 230-232; and pages 251-252. Unless otherwise specified, the mefarshim are on Esther 2:10. Mordechai ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.5k
7 votes

Are the Conservatives and all who practice it considered non-Jews in the eyes of Orthodoxy

This is totally incorrect. Even if a Jew sins sufficiently to merit being punished with karet, he is still a Jew. An example would be those who succumbed to the Spanish in 1492 and converted to ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
7 votes

Did Israelites who stayed in Egypt become halachically Jewish?

Rashi on Shemot 10:22 writes regarding the plague of darkness And why did He bring darkness upon them? Because there were wicked people amongst the Israelites of that generation who had no desire ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.3k
7 votes
Accepted

Other species in deep space and the Uniqueness of Klal Yisrael

R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik addressed this point when asked about alien life by R. David Holzer. The Rav Thinking Aloud p. 93 [DH:] Would the discovery of alien life be an issue in terms of the Torah ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Is it forbidden to count Jewish people without uttering any words?

The OU quotes "the Kaf Hachaim (13:10) writes that one is permitted to count Jewish People in one’s mind (b’machshava), as long as he does not count them audibly." This is referring to the ...
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Ezra claimed that Samaritans are not Jews. Is genetic data in conflict with this?

Samaritans, much like Jews, are an isolated and endogamous community who remained in a single region for much of their existence. So while empires came and went and conquered the region, intermixed ...
RandomUser's user avatar
6 votes

Did the Jewish people choose G-d, or did G-d choose the Jewish people? Or both?

Both, according to the commentary of Rashi to Deuteronomy 26:17–18.
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Yeshivas that relocated

Slabodka Yeshiva was originally in Lithuania and after the ravages of WWI and enforced military conscription in the years that followed, they established a branch in Chevron in 1924. Following the ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.7k
5 votes

Would those of the lost tribes lose their status of Israelites after converting?

Unfortunately, we do not need to speculate widely about the application, as this type of scenario does occur in our day. R. Dov Lior addressed the following question (דיני גר בן לוי): האם אדם שנולד ...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
  • 9,088
4 votes

Can a yefas toar be Jewish?

An Eishet yefat toar is not Jewish because there is no Kiddushin for her. Kiddushin 68b: א"ק (דברים כא, יג) ואחר כן תבוא אליה ובעלתה וגו' מכלל דמעיקרא לא תפסי בה קידושין Only After she has cut ...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k
4 votes

Is there any Torah source for the phrase "עם ישראל חי"?

A quick search of Sefaria.org reveals that there are 0 results for those exact words. Therefore, it is safe to say that those words are not mentioned in Tanakh, Talmud, Midrash, Halacha, Kabbala, and ...
aBochur's user avatar
  • 3,869
4 votes

What official position did Moses have acc. to Torah?

Rambam writes that Moses had the halachic status of king (Mishnah Torah Beis Habechirah 6:11): אֵין מוֹסִיפִין עַל הָעִיר אוֹ עַל הָעֲזָרוֹת אֶלָּא עַל פִּי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְעַל פִּי נָבִיא וּבְאוּרִים ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,505
4 votes

Why are we called 'Jews'?

In the Hebrew Bible, the Jews are called B’nei Yisrael, Israelites. After the reign of Solomon, the unified twelve tribes split in two, the northern kingdom was called Israel, and the southern kingdom ...
Jonathan's user avatar
  • 723
4 votes

Would those of the lost tribes lose their status of Israelites after converting?

The Gemara in Yevamot 17a states that the 10 lost tribes have the status of non Jews and therefore must convert
Mordechai's user avatar
  • 2,122
3 votes

National Character affecting its Jewish Community

Rabbi Hamburger quotes the source as: Michtav Mei'Eliyahu, vol. IV, Yerushalayim 5745, pp. 129-30 He also goes on to quote Reb Yehuda HaChassid: Sefer Chassidim (siman #1101), `In most places,...
user6591's user avatar
  • 33.9k
3 votes

Is it forbidden to count Jewish people without uttering any words?

Yoma 22b תנא הוציאו אצבעותיכם למנין ונימנינהו לדידהו מסייע ליה לרבי יצחק דאמר רבי יצחק אסור למנות את ישראל אפילו לדבר מצוה דכתיב (שמואל א יא) ויפקדם בבזק מתקיף לה רב אשי ממאי דהאי בזק לישנא דמיבזק ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.9k
3 votes

How can the child of a convert know/find out if the conversion was valid?

There should be documentation as to which bais din did it and when along with the kesuvah since the rav who married them would have verified the situation. Check the location where the kesuvah is ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
3 votes

Was Uriah Jewish?

In shut Avraham ben Harambam 25 the author states that Uriah was a Jewish convert from Hittite origin. He adds that the Rambam his father maintained that Uriah was not even a full fledged convert but ...
Bach's user avatar
  • 2,783
3 votes

What's the difference between "Jew", "Israelite" and "Judaizer"?

Judaizer is a pejorative term used by Christians to describe those they claim are attempting to change their religion to conform to the laws of Moses. As an example, the Inquisition killed many people ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
3 votes

Why does the Torah forbid interest only on loans to Jews?

It seems to me that halakhah accommodates the reality that there is a time value of money (opportunity cost and whatnot). Therefore there is no moral problem with charging interest in-and-of-itself. ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
  • 9,746
3 votes

Is there any Torah source for the phrase "עם ישראל חי"?

I found the following (and added in the bolding): The Alei Tamar on Brachot 9 אגב הנני לרשום שמתוך דחף פנימי על קרב מלחמת ה' של בנינו הצעירים חביבי האומה ותפארתה נגד אויבנו אשר אמרו לכו ונכחידם מגוי ...
rosends's user avatar
  • 38.3k
3 votes

Should a half Jewish man be discouraged from marrying a Jewess?

Regardless of how he considers himself, he is not Jewish. Subsequently, it is not just not encouraged, but forbidden for him to marry a Jewess.
chortkov2's user avatar
  • 10.2k
3 votes

Egyptians guarding Israelites

Following @mbloch's sleuthing here, this seems to come from R. Yitzhak's Abravanel's comments on the passage Avadim Hayinu in his commentary Zevach Pesach to the Haggadah: וכבר זכרו חכמים זכרונם ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 44.4k
3 votes

Invalidating Jews as the Suffering Servant

Where/when religion is in vogue, Jews are and have been hated ("nobly" once called "Judenhaas") for rejecting Jesus (or Mohammed). Where/when religion is passe, and "science" is the highest cause, ...
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
3 votes

Why mention healing everyone after the restroom and Jews in the amida?

The Amidah is said from the perspective of the Jewish people/congregation, as it begins "velokai avoseinu", and as is indicated in other brachos as well ("hashiveinu avinu lsorasecha","tekah bshofar ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,505

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