As per the site rules, questions relating to Jewish individuals, when not exclusively related to Judaism, are off-topic.

I would assume this would extend to even discussing personalities in the Tanach or Talmud.

Would questions about biographical information for a particular personality in the Tanach or Talmud be on-topic for the site? Or would they be closed like any other question relating to Jewish individuals? (Such as a question about a modern rosh yeshiva, rabbi, etc.)

Like, for example, if I wanted to know why R' Acha is called "Aricha" (which means "the tall one"), could I ask why he was called this?

  • Update: "Aricha" might actually be "Arecha", which according to Jastrow would mean a teacher. Just sayin'.
    – ezra
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 12:47
  • Good question. (On a side note, IIRC, there are other Amoraim referred to in similar ways, such as Aba Aricha and Aryoch). Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 13:28
  • 2
    My own unorthodox feeling is that topicality should be weighed against our competence to answer. The same things that make someone competent in general on this site will also make him competent in discussing why R' Acha is called Aricha -- witness ezra's weighing-in on that question. People good at dealing with Jewish source material, familiar with the issues, etc., should be the logical place to turn with this question too. So it would be silly to rule this question off-topic.
    – Chaim
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 19:57
  • @Chaim that should be an answer not a comment
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, the content of Tanach and Talmud and the interpretation thereof is part of Judaism, regardless of the specific subject matter of that content. Most questions about personalities found in these canonical sources are likely to fall into this category.

One could come up with questions that pertains to Tanach people without dealing with Tanach at all; absent other relevance to Judaism, those are presumably off-topic. For example, "Did Sennacherib build the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?"

  • For the record, Wikipedia says maybe, but more likely Nebuchadnezzar. Or maybe they never actually existed.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 17:16

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