66

I used to be a Christian but converted to Orthodox Judaism more than 32 years ago. I have a website called: "A Primer: Why Jews Can't Believe in Jesus" that should more than adequately answer your question (although I actually designed it for Jewish education and not to combat missionaries). But let me just touch on the basics: Not only isn't Jesus the ...


25

Didn't Moshe Rabbeinu get divorced from Zipporah? See Rashi Bamidar 12:1, על אודות האשה: על אדות גירושיה. Sounds like he divorced her. I don't think this shittah is universal though. Still looking for more sources. Tosafos in Yevomos 62:a dichsiv says that possibly he wrote her a Get. Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (chapter 30) brings down the following story that ...


22

Because "Alfasi" is really "al-Fasi". "Al-Fasi" is Arabic for "the Fezite" (Fez being the city in Morocco where he lived). So kind of like how the word "of" gets swallowed in "USA", the word "the" got swallowed in "Rif". Wouldn't have made much sense to make his acronym stand for "Rabbi Yitzchak The".


21

Here is a sampling of the interpretations offered by the commentators (all taken from commentaries to the verse in question): Rashi God inscribed (part of) His name on Cain's forehead: חקק לו אות משמו במצחו Ibn Ezra God gave Cain a horn: ויש אומרים כי האות קרן God gave Cain courage and removed his fear: ואחרים אמרו שנתן חוזק בלבו והסיר פחדו ...


20

The only divorce I can find in Tanach al pi peshat is Avraham's divorcing Hagar. The verse (Genesis 21:10) says: גָּרֵשׁ הָאָמָה הַזֹּאת, וְאֶת-בְּנָהּ Cast out this bondwoman and her son. The word used is גרש which is the word used for divorce generally in Tanach (eg. Leviticus 22:13) and it seems to be the peshat here because we never hear of Hagar ...


18

Midrash, Bereishit Rabbah 22:12 וַיָּשֶׂם ה' לְקַיִן אוֹת, רַבִּי יְהוּדָה וְרַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אָמַר הִזְרִיחַ לוֹ גַּלְגַּל חַמָּה, אָמַר רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה לְאוֹתוֹ רָשָׁע הָיָה מַזְרִיחַ לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא גַּלְגַּל חַמָּה, אֶלָּא מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהִזְרִיחַ לוֹ הַצָּרַעַת, הֵיךְ מָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר וְהָיָה אִם לֹא יַאֲמִינוּ לָךְ ...


15

"Non" (whom the Metzudas David identifies as Nun) is mentioned in Divrei HaYamim 1 7:27 as the son of Elishama ben Amihud, the nasi of Efrayim (Bamidbar 1:10).


15

The Talmud (Megillah 14a) writes: הרבה נביאים עמדו להם לישראל, כפלים כיוצאי מצרים, אלא, נבואה שהוצרכה לדורות - נכתבה, ושלא הוצרכה - לא נכתבה.‏ Many prophets arose for the Jews: more than twice the number of Jews in the Exodus [1200000, but this language is likely meant to be understood as a really, really big number]. However, those prophesies which ...


15

Gitin 57b says that the grandchildren of Sisra taught children in Yerushalayim. Rabbi Tzadok HaCohen in Poked Ikrim - Os 5 - page 36 - line 3 - second columm says that this Gemara, according to the teachings of הרמ"ע is talking about grandchildren that came from the relations Yael had with Sisra. I do not know whether she had a son or daughter nor whether ...


14

There is no record of the membership of Beis Shammai, or Beis Hillel for that matter. The Babylonian Talmud tells us a bit about Beis Hillel -- e.g. Sukkos 28a and Bava Basra 134a record the number of Hillel's disciples as 80 (see also Yeurshalmi Talmud, Nedarim 39b), and both sources mention two of them by name, Yonasan ben Uzziel and Yochanan ben Zakkai, ...


14

Bava Metzia 87a: Until Abraham there was no old age; whoever wished to speak to Abraham would speak to Isaac, and the reverse. Thereupon he prayed, and old age came into existence, as it is written, And Abraham was old and well-stricken in age. So during the age when people lived 200+ years, they showed no signs of age.


13

There is an opinion (Rit Algazi, in his commentary to Ramban's Hilchos Bechoros 8:65) that the rule about the son of a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father being Jewish comes with a caveat: it depends on how he was raised. If (as was often the case in earlier times) a non-Jew impregnated a Jewish woman (whether consensually or not) and afterwards wasn't ...


13

Only three of his children are named in Tanach: his successor Rechavam, and two daughters named Tafath and Basemath, who married two of Shlomo's officials (I Kings 4:11,15). R. Chaim Dov Rabinowitz (Daas Soferim) comments that it seems likely that Shlomo had 100 children or less (which would of course mean that most of his wives were childless), since in ...


13

Anyone can convert to Judaism. We find an example in Gittin 57:2 that Nevuzardan killed millions of jews and then converted.


13

R. Eitam Henkin (R. Y.H. Henkin's son) wrote an essay on the curious Rashi. He claims there that the text attributed to Rashi was a later interpolation by an errant student, since it is not referred to by any of the subsequent commentaries for centuries. His argument is not the usual "must have been an errant student" type, but rather is quite convincingly ...


13

I suggest Ishei Hatanach / Encyclopedia Of Biblical Personalities Anthologized from the Talmud, Midrash, and Rabbinic writings by Yishai Chasidah. It's an Artscroll product.


13

The Tzla'ch in Berachot 26b says the גמרא can't ask on Rebbe Yehoshua ben Levi from a ברייתא because he lived at the end of the Tannayic era and, therefore can argue on a ברייתא


13

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (here): In accordance with the suggestion of the late Professor Eb. Schrader, he is almost universally identified with the AMRAPHEL of Genesis 14:1, etc. Here's a source in the Jewish Encyclopedia: The identity of the name has long been a subject of controversy among Assyriologists, and is not ...


12

Here are a couple: The very fact that the Megillah introduces him as איש, and takes the trouble to tell us his lineage and background, indicates that he was a person of importance. (It is true that איש can mean simply "a man," but quite often in Tanach, when a person is introduced with this term, it bears the connotation of "a prominent person" - one ...


12

To quote S. from On The Main Line: Rashi was known by Christians as Rabbi Solomon Jarchi (Yarchi) because of a mistake, the mistake being that it was thought that 1) he was from Lunel and 2) that the yud stood for ירחי, which was Hebrew for "from Lunel" (Lunel as in luna as in moon). This mistake was so entrenched that the Chida (page 6 in linked ...


12

I found this website online: http://www.tanakhprofiles.org/showentries.php.


12

The Chida notes that no Tannaim or Amoraim were named Avraham (however, see mention of אברם חוזאה in Gittin 50a). The quote from the Chida follows (Shem ha-Gedolim in his entry for Mar R. Avraham Gaon): וראה זה חדש שלא מצינו בתנאים שבמשנה והבריתא תנא ששמו אברהם וגם מאמוראים לא מצאתי כעת בס' יוחסין... גם שם יצחק בתנאים שבמשנה לא יש מי ששמו יצחק, אך בבריתא ...


12

The Rambam mentions him in the הקדמה to משניות in his list of people mentioned in the משנה as "someone mentioned but not for his views in אסור והיתר". R' Sherira Gaon lists him as the same generation as Rav and Shmuel, but does not list him as one of the people how is both a Tanna and an Amora. it would seem that R' Sherira hold that he is not a Tanna.


12

As I mention on my post on this very topic, Rabbi Slifkin reported the following: I once asked Rav Gedaliah Nadel z”l, one of the foremost talmidim of the Chazon Ish, about the Chazon Ish’s medical knowledge. He told me that the Chazon Ish’s knowledge came from reading medical journals.


12

Three entries in the Otzar Ishei Tanach. Novach was born in mitzrayim and died after Moshe rabbeinu, sedder olam rabba 9. When knas was captured, Novach called it by his own name, in order to have a memorial, being that he didn't have sons, medrash agadda bamidbar 32 38. That name didn't last, Rus rabba 5 5. Also of interest rav Hirsch discusses the ...


12

Kli Yakar - Shmuel 2 says he was called Hachiti, either because he was a convert from Chais or he lived amongst the Bnei Chais. Either way he was a Jew.


12

Her name was אמתלאי בת כרנבו. ואמר רב חנן בר רבא אמר רב אמיה דאברהם אמתלאי בת כרנבו אמיה דהמן אמתלאי בת עורבתי וסימניך טמא טמא טהור טהור Bava Basra 91a (I knew it existed, but will admit to having resorted to Google to find it fast.)


12

Tosfos in Bava Basra 141a writes: בת היה לו ובכל שמה. וא"ת ולמה לא השיאה ליצחק למ"ד בפרק ארבע מיתות (סנהדרין דף נח:) דבן נח מותר באחותו וי"ל דשמא קטנה היתה ולא רצה עדיין להשיאה ליצחק אי נמי מהגר היתה לו ולא משרה ולכך לא רצה להשיאה ליצחק Tosfos asks, if Avraham Avinu had a daughter why didn't Yitzchak marry her, according to the opinion that a ben ...


12

147zcbm made what even 147zcbm thought was a wild inference from how things are ordered in the Aruch Hashulchan. You'll never believe what happened next. The Aruch Hashulchan was written by R' Yechiel Michel Halevi Epstein. His son, R' Baruch Halevi Epstein, author of the Torah Temima, also wrote an autobiographical work called Mekor Baruch. His research, ...


12

Rashi, a renowned 11th Century commentator on the Bible and Talmud, wrote that this "little horn" in Daniel 7:8 that is "speaking arrogantly" refers to Titus, the one who destroyed the Holy Temple and Jerusalem. He writes thus: :ממלל רברבן. דברי גאוה, הוא טיטוס שאחז"ל שחרף וגדף ונכנס להיכל בעזות פנים "Speaking arrogantly." Words of arrogance. He is ...


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