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2answers
66 views

Why do we bring a sin offering on rosh chodesh

We bring a sin offering as a 'kapara' for hashem for decreasing the size of the moon. The story goes that the moon said we cant have two 'kings' the same size so I want to be bigger. Hashem says no ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

What is the source of this story about suffering and having a dream about it..?

I remember a story about a person that suffered very much and went to see a certain rebbe to help him. While waiting he feel asleep and had a dream where he saw his mitzvos and aveiros and the ...
7
votes
2answers
166 views

Are Synagogues “holy ground,” offering protection from evil creatures?

I'm not a Jew, but I'm writing a fantasy novel set in medieval Europe, and one of my characters is a Jew. I've got a group of people with diverse backgrounds who've come together to fight a great ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Did Elisha get his tefillin back?

The story of אלישע בעל כנפים (Elisha-the-man-of-the-wings) is told on Shabbos 130a: דא"ר ינאי תפילין צריכין גוף נקי כאלישע בעל כנפים [...] ואמאי קרו ליה אלישע בעל כנפים שפעם אחת גזרה מלכות הרשעה ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Halachic issues with using a frozen river as a mikvah

One hears a lot of legends about women who went to extraordinary lengths to go to mikvah in difficult times. One popular story is about a woman who would make a hole in a frozen river and tovel in the ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

How does the talmud know that the mashiach's name was known before creation?

The talmud on Nedarim 39b (English) lists seven things that were created before the world: torah, repentance, Gan Eden, Gehenna, the Throne of Glory, the Temple, and "the name of the mashiach". The ...
5
votes
1answer
82 views

Chafez Chayim checked copies of (which) books?

I've heard that the Chafetz Chayim inspected each page of each printed copy of the Mishna B'rura to be sure that it was printed correctly (with no large ink splotches or the like). Is there a ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Is there a prohibition in the Torah against calling someone by their nickname?

I remember vaguely about a story of a certain sage in the Talmud that would never call anyone by a nickname. Is this just proper moral behavior or is there an actual halachah against giving people ...
9
votes
4answers
918 views

Rashi's Daughters wearing Tefillin

There is a commonly held "tradition" that Rashi's daughters wore Tefillin. One highly educated rabbi/professor has publicly stated that he's spent 35 years searching for a source but to no avail. ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Haman servant of Mordechai: text of document

The gemara in Megillah 15 writes that Mordechai acquired Haman for a piece of bread. Rashi writes: וזה בא בפרוזבולי - מרדכי בא אליו בטענת עושר המן בא בטענת עוני שמכר המן את עצמו למרדכי קודם לכן ...
6
votes
1answer
69 views

Rabbi Akiva and Ketarim

In Menachos the Gemara relates the Moshe asked Hashem about the meaning of the "crowns" on many Hebrew letters as written in the Torah. Hashem then gives the following response: אמר לו, אדם אחד יש ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

The Gra finished the Torah?

I heard from a friend that he read that the Vilna Gaon did a Sium on the Torah. Not just the חמישה חומשי תורה, but that he basically claimed that he finished all there is to learn in Jewish studies. ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Midrashic(?) Proof from Design story about overturned inkwell

I believe I read years ago about an instance where a rabbi presented a heretic with a well written poem that he claimed had actually formed accidentally when he overturned his inkwell. I though I had ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Seeking teachings or stories involving the rabbis mentioned in the hagadda, to add a little more spice to the seders

To help me prepare for conducting seders again this year, can anyone point me to a compilation of teachings or stories involving any or all of the rabbis in the hagadda? Autobiographical tidbits? ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Why are different Agadot in different masechtot

I once heard that the agadot of each masechta are in that particular masechta fora reason. does anyone know the source of such a claim
8
votes
1answer
344 views

Is the leviathan kosher?

The leviathan seems to be a unique sea creature, which I've always pictured as some sort of sea serpent. This is consistent with Yeshayahu 27:1's description of it as a snake (nachash). An answer to ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

Source for Dubno Maggid's rebuke of the Vilna Gaon?

In a shiur I heard that the Vilna Gaon begged the Dubno Maggid to give him mussar (rebuke) after repeatedly declining the Maggid responded that It is not so difficult to be a Gaon, cloistered in ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Source for an Aggadah about Moshe feeding a bird

I was reading a book called "Shylock" by Hermann Sinsheimer and he made reference to a story from "the Jewish Talmud." I don't know to what he is referring. I looked online quickly and found someone ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Source for story about Chazon Ish and mischief

I once heard a story along the lines of the following: A man brought his 7 or 8 year old son to meet the Chazon Ish. He wanted to show him what a masmid his son was. The Chazon Ish, after asking ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Is Julia Donaldson's “a squash and a squeeze” based on a Jewish source?

The children's book 'A Squash and a Squeeze' by Julia Donaldson is about a woman who feels that her house is not big enough. She meets a 'wise old man' (who looks uncannily like an old chassidish ...
3
votes
0answers
131 views

Let's play Name that Gadol - women wearing Tallis story

There is a story that I have heard with multiple names being used as the Rabbi in the story. It goes like this: A woman came to [insert name of Torah Sage here] and said that it would enhance her ...
7
votes
1answer
75 views

Legend About Rashi

In the book "Rashi and Maimonides" (pg 302), I found the following (paraphrasing): Another story has it that Rashi sat fasting for 613 days to purify himself for the task of commenting on the ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

Was Bar Kochva disemboweled?

The gemarah in Gittin, 57a, details a story of "bar d'roma" who performs miraculous feats in defending the Jews before meeting his demise by being disemboweled by a snake (similar to the end of Bar ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

What was the ריב"א thinking?

In ריקאנטי number 166 (brought down here, #4), he brings a story about the ריב"א: ושמעתי כי ריב"א חלה חוליו שמת בו וחל יוה"כ באותם הימים וא"ל הרופאים אם לא תאכלו ודאי תמות ואם תאכל שמא לא תחיה ...
8
votes
1answer
307 views

Sherlock Holmes-ian deduction in the Talmud

I remember learning a story in the Talmud (I think) and am trying to find the source. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but this is what I remember. There was a Talmudic Rabbi who was sold into ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Werewolf in the Torah

I have been told that there are Pirushim on the Torah who speak of werewolves. Can anyone locate them?
6
votes
1answer
170 views

What is the earliest source of the story of Serach bas Asher and the harp?

This post indicates that the earliest source for the story of Serach bas Asher and the harp, wherein she notified Yakov that Yosef was still alive in a very subtle musical fashion, is a very late ...
5
votes
1answer
316 views

Source for eulogy of lost bookcases

I recall learning a gemarah (Bavli) where a certain scholar passed away and when another scholar was asked to eulogize him he responded with something akin to, "What should I say? We lost our ...
-1
votes
1answer
110 views

The Chazon Ish pronunciation

The Chazon Ish would tell the Shatz to be careful pronouncing בַּֽעַל גְּבוּרוֹת so it didn't come out as בַּֽל. What is a source that the Chazon Ish would do this?
7
votes
1answer
787 views

Why did the rich Gentile buy a pearl?

In the story of Yosef Mokir Shabbat, Yosef is a Jew who honors Shabbat above all, and ends up becoming very rich because of it. There was a very rich Gentile who was told that all of his wealth would ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

source for a story: man who went to milk a lion

When I was a kid I heard the following story at least a few times in grade school from the school headmaster (probably around Rosh Hashanah time). It's based on a Jewish legend or midrash, and I'd ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Source for story of rabbi's claiming land said “you're both mine”

I heard the following story recently (though I paraphrase, and may have some details wrong): When Rabbi M'nachem Perr lived in Queens, New York, he had an Italian, non-Jewish neighbor who, during ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Why did R' Yochanan ben Zakkai ask for multiple things?

In Gittin 56b there is a conversation between Vespasian and R' Yochanan ben Zakkai. Vespasian offers to grant a wish of R' Yochanan's אלא בעי מינאי מידי דאתן לך R' Yochanan proceeds to ask for 3 ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Are there any Jewish miracles? [closed]

I, from an outside faith is studying Judaism. However, I do have a question - are there any Jewish miracles (exclusively Jewish, those that are particular to the faith)? For example, in Christianity ...
4
votes
3answers
135 views

Information about Arab Travelers in Aggadah

Pesachim 110b and Bava Metzia 86a mention ההוא טייעא‏ in the midst of aggadic stories. Professor Jastrow translates this word as a traveler, esp. an Arabian caravan merchant. Soncino Translates it ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Is there a Jewish tradition of God reviving Israel at Sinai?

I once heard that according to "Jewish tradition", though it could be mere hearsay, that there was a story or legend that when the Israelites saw God's presence upon Mt. Sinai (or heard His audible ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Are coupons for Chometz - Chometz? II

Inspired by yydl's question. I read that in Russia where bread was unpurchasable without "bread ration cards", people would save them throughout Pesach and use them after Pesach. One such person ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Source for story about the Chasam Sofer, Rav Nosson Adler and an Amalekite?

I heard a story that goes roughly like this: after the death of his Rebbi, the Chasam Sofer decided to make Rav Nosson Adler his new Rebbi. He therefore undertook a long voyage to meet Rav Adler. On ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Who said many agados were to wake students?

Someone told me this morning that he had, years before, seen a commentary published in the back of a volume of g'mara, likely Maharsha or Maharam, say that many of the agados throughout shas were said ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

What is the story of Yehudit which takes place during the Chanukkah Story?

I have heard many varying and conflicting stories about Yehudit and her effect on the war with the Greeks at Chanukkah time and was wondering if anyone has sources for her story and what it truly is. ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

The full story behind “Kohen and Navi”?

In Eicha (and in Kinnot), there's mention of a "Cohen and Navi" that was killed. Traditionally, this is ascribed to a Navi Zecharia who lived in the time of Yoash who was killed in the Beit Hamikdash. ...
10
votes
2answers
488 views

Why was שמאי holding a ruler?

The Bavli, Shabas 31 amud 1, has two stories in which a gentile came to Shamay asking to be converted to Judaism, upon which Shamay "pushed him with the construction cubit in his hand". Rashi explains ...
3
votes
0answers
76 views

Which of the Napoleonic wars had no casualties?

The Chasam Sofer (droshos 8th Tamuz) writes about a war in the year 1809 with no causalities on our side. Can anyone tell us which war this was, and where these details may be recorded?
5
votes
2answers
79 views

How do different scholars define “aggadah”?

It is common to conceive of Shas (Bavli and Yerushalmi) as being an admixture of halakha and aggadah, and I've no doubt that people have differed from one another on the precise delineations of each. ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Source of Anecdote About Divorce

I was recently sent by a friend this article which contains the following quote: The temple altar, the Talmud says, weeps when a man divorces his wife. When a revered rabbi got divorced, his ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

What was/is the leviathan as described in Tanach and Rabbinic literature?

Today the Hebrew word "leviathan" is translated as a whale. But the leviathan of the Tanach seems to be some kind of sea creature. See Job 41:1-34. Tehillim 74 there is an implication that G-d ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

What did the Or Sameach do for Rabbi Yaakov Ruderman?

I have heard that Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Ruderman of Ner Israel quoted Rabbi Meir Simcha (the Or Sameach or Meshech Chochma) in almost every, or possibly even in every, Torah address to the school. I ...
11
votes
2answers
229 views

Are these two urban legends about perceptions of God's help for Jews true?

The following story is told as an urban legend: I don't know if the following story is true, but I'll let you decide. Kenya's star soccer player used to offer a prayer for victory before every ...
-4
votes
1answer
125 views

rav wosner and the kind kallah who got a brocho [closed]

a couple of years ago I read a very moving story of a Kalloh who insisted that she doesn't break her engagement in spite of the situation which had arisen. The story of the Kalloh moved Harav Shmuel ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

Abigail's Thigh

The Talmud in Megillah 14b says that Abigail revealed her thigh, and that David followed her for 3 parasangs in his desire for her. In Tosafos it is asked how this righteous woman could have revealed ...