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15 votes
Accepted

Why don't islands read the m'gila two days?

I gave a Shiur on this last year. Here is my summary of the reasons to be lenient. Much of this is based on a piece in קובץ פרי תמרים אדר תשמ"ז by Rav Ezriel Kahn. (Its also worth looking up the תשובה ...
Eliyahu's user avatar
  • 5,465
7 votes

What was Yaakov's funeral procession doing in Transjordan?

Another two approaches by mainstream Peshat Mefarshim: Shadal here (and Clint Eastwood in the comments above) suggests that for Moshe and Benei Yisrael, Ever Hayarden is Eretz Yisroel, because they ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
7 votes

Gr"A stating that Africa is [at] the South Pole

In my Mikraos Gedolos, I see the following quote (it's in his commentary to I:1:4): שם נטל חלק שליש במזרחי והוא אפריקי. וחם ויפת חלקו המערבי לשנים: חם נטל חלק הדרומי והוא אזיע, ויפת הצפוני והוא ...
DonielF's user avatar
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7 votes

Where are the regions Kerutim & Hatoulim, mentioned in the Mishna as having the best wine grapes, located on a map?

Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Naturally, there's some disagreement about where these places were exactly. Here are the views I was able to find so far (and I'll add more if I find any other views): Kerotim: ...
Harel13's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Which French/European city is "Kiryath Yearim"?

There are two places in France that were known as Kiryath Yearim. The place called פושקרייא - פוסקרייה - פסאקורי (Posquières) in Provence was known as קרית יערים. Per Wikipedia this is known today as ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Are Ra'meses and Ra'amses the same place

Ibn Ezra in his long commentary to Shemot 1:11 and 12:37 claims they are different places and that the Jews lived in Ra'meses and not in Ra'amses which they built. (According to this it would be a ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 100k
6 votes

What was Yaakov's funeral procession doing in Transjordan?

All the answers that I've come across suggest that Ever HaYarden does not mean Transjordan in the context of this verse. Chizkuni suggests that that the Canaanites who are observing the mourning at ...
Joel K's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Where is נהר פקוד?

The following is found in this article כאשר כבדה ידו על עמנו, יצא ר' חנניה, בן אחי ר' יהושע הלוי, לשבת לבטח בין אחינו שבבבל, ובראותו עני היושבים בארץ הקדש מורה מאד, גמר בלבו ליסד תורה על ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
5 votes

What time should Chanuka candles be lit in the Southern Hemisphere?

A blog in The Times of Israel makes it clear that the normal time of lighting (“as soon as possible after nightfall”) is observed in Melbourne Australia: For starters, it only gets dark well after ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Did Rabbi Akiva Go To Africa?

Yes! we definitely find this name in other Rabbinic literature. See Sanhedrin 94a. Yerushalmi Sheviis chapter 6. Yitzchak Meitlis in the appendix to his book Excavating the Bible writes that this ...
Bach's user avatar
  • 2,783
5 votes
Accepted

Source for the boundaries of Egypt

His source would appear to be a beraita quoted in Pesachim 94a: Egypt was four hundred parasangs by four hundred parasangs
Joel K's user avatar
  • 44.4k
5 votes

What spot is on the other side of the World from the Beit HaMikdash?

There is one opinion that if Jerusalem is the center of the world, then the halachic international dateline is 180 degrees from there. While the Encyclopedia Talmudit (22:665-694) presents no less ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
4 votes
Accepted

Late sunset times and Jewish observance

We did a spend a Shabbat in Alaska last summer so I had looked into this. It appears that, when the sun actually sets at night (even late), there is no real dispensation to change things but one needs ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Where is "Nachal Mitzrayim"?

According to Rav Sadya Gaon (a native of Egypt) in his Tafsir to Numbers (34:5) this refers to Wadi al-Arish. According to Rashi, (a native of France), in his commentary to Joshua (13:3), nahal ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.8k
4 votes

Why does the Torah specify only that Le'ah's children were born in Paddan Aram?

הרב איתן שנדורפי suggests that it is to give praise to those Shevatim, that despite all being born in Padan Aram, they were still tzadikim, based on Rashi Bereishis 25:20. He shows that this is a ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
4 votes

Was the whole earth covered during The Flood?

Rabbi Meiselman's book "Torah, Chazal and Science" addresses the concept of a local flood (p.556 heading 'A local deluge'): In the early 20th century the observant community of Germany was an ...
bondonk's user avatar
  • 10.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Does the Third Temple have to be built on the Temple Mount?

The Torah specifies that the Temple can only be built at the location specificaly chosen by Hashem. R'ei 12:5 But only to the place which the Lord your God shall choose from all your tribes, to ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
4 votes

How did Abraham end up in Ur Kasdim when Shem and Ever lived in Israel?

Perhaps a starting point can be provided from the Midrash in Bereishis Rabbah 44:7 אַבְרָהָם וְשֵׁם מְסֻיָּמִים בָּעוֹלָם. וְיִרָאוּ, זֶה נִתְיָירֵא מִזֶּה וְזֶה נִתְיָירֵא מִזֶּה, זֶה נִתְיָירֵא ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.7k
3 votes

R' Yehoshua and the Athenian Elders: Where is the center of the world?

As you say, the debate was a battle of wits. It is important to keep this in mind when analyzing it. We should not expect the account to necessarily yield many substantive insights -- that is not its ...
Dov F's user avatar
  • 6,423
3 votes

Why does Scripture in parashat bereishit need to mention the four rivers?

The Malbim in his commentary to Bereishis 2:10 and following pesukim seems to adress this question. He says that history has proven that mankind tended to dwell on riverbanks (hence the account of ...
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
3 votes

Ritual locations during the times of the Mishkan

A partial answer, addressing only the question of the scapegoat on Yom Kippur: Firstly, your assumption that this ritual was performed during the time of the Mishkan in Shiloh (as well as earlier ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 44.4k
3 votes

Why did Jacob live "in his father's dwelling land"?

Ramban explains כי אמר שאלופי עשו ישבו בארץ אחוזתם כלומר הארץ שלקחו להם לאחוזת עולם אבל יעקב ישב גר כאביו בארץ לא להם אלא לכנען והכונה להגיד כי הם בוחרים לגור בארץ הנבחרת ושנתקיים בהם כי גר ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.3k
3 votes

Dividing the world for the sons of Noah

Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 6. Some key quotes: 1. Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons: they inhabited so, that beginning at the mountains Taurus and Amanus, they ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 44.4k
3 votes

Where Is The City Of Gurbaal? Is It Bozrah?

Yes, there's a disagreement among scholars about the location of Gur-Baal. The Encyclopedia Mikrait (Hebrew Biblical Encyclopedia), entry 'גור בעל' writes that Gur-Baal was in southern Judah, in the ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 26.1k
2 votes

Al Hamichyah - Wide land?

See Rashi to Devarim 11:11, where he cites Sifrei. Eretz Yisrael is 'bigger/wider' than we might think because it is hilly, offering more surface area in a compact space.
Myron Chaitovsky's user avatar
2 votes

Why blessings on Mt. Gerizim and curses on Mt. Ebal?

Tosafot on chulin 6A quotes a midrash that Yaakov buried the idols his family got when they conquered shechem on har grizim. (See also daat zekenim Bereshit 35). The eitz yosef (in his commentary on ...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.7k
2 votes

Techelet from the Kineret

The Gemara in Shabbat 26a clearly defines the area in which the hilazon was caught around the time of beginning of the Babylonian exile and probably even before then: ‎״וּמִדַּלַּת הָאָרֶץ הִשְׁאִיר ...
Gershom Menachem's user avatar
2 votes

Where did the Jews send the goat "for Azazel" while in the desert?

Rabbi Prof. Yoel Elitzur wrote in his book "Makom Ba'Parasha", pg. 425 (my translation): "First of all, we must remember that Yerushalayim was only chosen in the time of David and ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 26.1k
2 votes

Walled cities for Purim other than Jerusalem

I heard that the city of Prague also had a wall around it in the days of Yehoshua
Chana's user avatar
  • 31

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