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3
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0answers
12 views

Returning a Library Book on Shabbat

When I return a book I put it in a bin, and a (nonJewish) worker later takes it from the bin, and scans it into the computer as "returned." As such, can I return a library book on Shabbat?
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Secular sources with Torah wisdom

Some secular books have a hefty amount of wisdom that we find in our Torah sources. For example, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has a lot of almost verbatim lessons from Pirkei Avos, although ...
1
vote
0answers
87 views

What is the stance on reading and writing non-Jewish literature?

So, I'm guessing that secular study books (e.g. Biology, Math, etc) are fine and I've heard that reading something like Fantasy is not. What genres of literature are allowed and not allowed to be read ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Halacha for a lending library dealing with publishers' stipulations

I operate a free book-lending library which is funded by donations of money and of books. Somebody donated some books to the library that state inside that it is not permissible for libraries to lend ...
3
votes
0answers
128 views

Would Harry Potter be killed as a sorcerer?

Before asking my question, I'd like to make it clear that this is being asked in all seriousness, and not as some form of satire or "Purim Torah". I think there is a precedent for asking halachic ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Why do Jewish books use shiny text on the spine?

I have noticed that sefarim (Jewish books) tend to use golden-colored shiny text on the spine and cover. Of course, there are some notable exceptions (e.g. books by Mossad HaRav Kook), but this seems ...
5
votes
0answers
112 views

Is it forbidden for a Jew to read the writings of Baruch Spinoza?

The cherem against Spinoza says the following: The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza... We order that no one should communicate with him ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

How old is the tradition of the Genizah?

You'll have to excuse my ignorance and if I word something slightly awkwardly, but I did wonder how old is the tradition of burying the Genizot, or alternatively, if that is unknown, what is the ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

The “Canon” - Basic Seferim for a Shul Library?

Our shul library has been neglected for many, many years, and b'h' we are finally cleaning and organizing it. We have some great books, but I'd like to know of some resources identifying important ...
6
votes
4answers
94 views

Can anyone help me find resources for the content and organization of a shul library?

Our shul library has been neglected for many, many years, and b'h' we are finally cleaning and organizing it. I am used to using a library, not organizing it! So I wonder if anyone can give me some ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Choosing literature based on content/values

I saw this list of secular books for Jewish children ( http://savvima.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/4552B_a_00663_book_list_with_comments_and_cover1.pdf ) and it says this as part of its rationale: ...
7
votes
1answer
83 views

What is the Book of Genealogies?

The g'mara on Pesachim 62b says (Soncino translation): Rami the son of Rab Judah said: Since the day that the Book of Genealogies was hidden, the strength of the Sages has been impaired and the ...
2
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0answers
44 views

Can I improve something I borrow?

If I borrow something may I do something which I believe improves that thing, without the owners consent? For example if I borrow a library book and find an error in one of the facts printed there can ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

List of Publishers

I am looking for a list of publishers that are putting out seforim now a days. My reason is because I want to make a list of publishers in an effort to track down certain seforim. Many publishers ...
6
votes
2answers
80 views

Are there any books which specifically deal with the laws of an Aguna? Preferably in English?

I know where it is written in the Torah that a man needs to write a document for his wife in order to divorce her, but I want to know if there is a thoroughly explained book written on the topic of ...
0
votes
0answers
88 views

Gentile Biography which Inspires

What is the jewish view on reading biographies of remarkable gentiles which one finds inspirational provided there is no apikorsus in the content. Have come across a website about a certain person ...
0
votes
2answers
163 views

Reading foreign literature: perspectives and experiences

I'd like to hear how people make their decisions about reading, watching, and listening to materials that express non-Jewish ideas and imagery... both in your study and in your entertainment. There ...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

Publisher prohibiting purchaser from sharing

Tradition articles are downloadable from the Tradition Online website, which prohibits further distribution of the materials. On each download page there is the following warning: It is strictly ...
10
votes
2answers
268 views

Reading secular books on shabbat?

Which prominent halakhic authorities permit (or forbid) the reading of secular books, magazines, and newspapers from Friday evening until Saturday nightfall? Why? Is it uvda dechol? What if it is ...
7
votes
2answers
243 views

How historically accurate is Josephus?

How accurate is the writing of Josephus? Can we rely on any of his writings to establish authentic Jewish practices or in areas of halacha?
8
votes
1answer
174 views

Pronunciation guide by a Gerer Rebbe?

I heard from a friend years ago that one of the Rebbes from Gur (the S'fas Emes) wrote a book describing the proper pronunciation of Hebrew letters and words. I am not able to find any trace of such a ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Trouble understanding this Kaf HaHaim

My friend asked recently asked me an interesting Hakira in Halacha. Is it better to eat Pat Shahrit Hamosi or Pat Shahrit Mezonot and go to the Mikve (because of a lack of time)? I started looking ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Respected Haskamot [closed]

Sometimes I find a interesting looking Sefer (I know...I know...don't judge a book by it's cover) and want to take a look at the content. To my surprise, there are many Haskamot (approbations) from ...
7
votes
2answers
265 views

Fulltext search across sources: Gemara, Zohars, Rishonim and Aharonim

I know about Hebrewbooks.org for searching for sources in books, but the problem is you have to get to let's say every Masechta to look for a phrase. Is there a program (doesn't have to be free) that ...
6
votes
2answers
133 views

The original Mesilas Yesharim

Mesilas Yesharim is a digest version of a previous work by the Ramchal. This work is an ongoing conversation between a wise man and a pious man (Thank you chanoch for the correction). I don't recall ...
3
votes
3answers
157 views

What are the major ancient literature on Judaic mysticism and spiritual development?

What are the major ancient literature on Judaic mysticism and spiritual development? By ancient I mean B.C.E. I also would appreciate if you can also provide links to online English translations if ...
5
votes
3answers
212 views

Is one allowed to fold the corner of a book on Shabbos?

An easy way to keep a bookmark is to fold the upper-right corner of a book (aka Dog ears) Is such an action permitted on Shabbos?
7
votes
1answer
107 views

Which came first the Mishnah Torah or the Pirush HaMishnayos

Which sefer did the Ramabm author first, was it his Mishnah Torah (Yad HaChazaka) or his commentary to Mishnayos?
3
votes
2answers
101 views

Why does “ateres roshi” mean “my parent”?

The phrase "עטרת ראשי" (ateres roshi == my head's crown) appears in many Hebrew texts to refer to respectable individuals. I heard in a shi'ur recently that it specifically refers to the father of the ...
13
votes
1answer
295 views

How does Orthodox Judaism view the Book of Jubillees

How is the Book of Jubilees regarded by Orthodox Jewry (I'm not asking if we believe it existed, but if we hold any of the information in it to be accurate). Is it ever quoted by any of the ...
8
votes
1answer
117 views

Why were the prophecies of Eliyahu and Elisha not written as separate books?

The prophets during the second half of the First Temple era have their prophecies and actions recorded in books of Tanach named for them (or, as in the case of Trei Asar, in sections of a book). This ...
3
votes
2answers
106 views

is there a good source for critical study of shabbat zemirot?

The Shabbat Zemirot are written as poetry/songs, and as such, can be kind of cryptic. (See questions tagged "shabbat-songs" for examples of questions about certain phrases in the songs. Is there a ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Source of Dzikov customs

Does anyone know of a book of minhagim (practices) or a sidur (prayer book) of the chasidim of Dzikov (דזיקוב, sometimes דז׳יקוב)? (Or anything that would show their minhagim.) Hebrewbooks.org ...
11
votes
2answers
190 views

Can a book with ancient text really be copyright?

Pick up your local chumash, siddur or gemara. Open it to the front page. There it is, the dreaded ©. But to me that seems quite odd. Can the text of the actual davening or talmud really be ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

How to pronounce the name of the sefer “Bnei Yso(s)cher”

How does one pronounce the name of the sefer בני יששכר ? I've heard people pronounce both sins -- so it is Ysoscher. (There is also a common custom to pronounce the name יששכר with both sins the ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

Where are these mysterious OU documents?

I was recently reading a Halachically Speaking article and noticed that in many places in the footnotes, a reference to an OU Document is made. For example: Refer to OU Document A-94 Is this ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

What are Brochos seforim for Sefardim?

There are many Hilchos Brochos (on food) seforim for Ashkenazim such as Halachos of Brochos, The Laws of B'rachos, etc. What are examples of English Brachos seforim that sefardim could use? (in other ...
12
votes
1answer
482 views

What does this pointing hand symbol mean?

I've seen in the Shulchan Aruch the hand symbol ( ☜ ) appearing quite a few times. What does it do? Does it reference to mforshim on the side?
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Who was R' Jacob Pidanki?

Every once in a while the Judaica Press English translations (such as this one) will quote R' Jacob Pidanki in their commentary anthology. Who was R' Jacob Pidanki? Where did he live? What ...
8
votes
5answers
270 views

Learning History on Shabbos

Is there a Halachic problem to read and or learn the topic of History on Shabbos for enjoyment purposes? and why?
6
votes
2answers
163 views

Is using a book with letters stamped on the sides melacha (erasing) if the book wasn't closed in the first place?

A comment on this question points to the following from OU: Likewise, when words are stamped on the edge of a book (as is the case with most library books), these letters are separated when the ...
2
votes
2answers
332 views

Looking for a good version of Maimonides Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishna available online

I while ago, I read through most of an English translation Rambam's Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishnah. I think it was an earlier edition of this one, but I'm not sure. I'm looking for a ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

'fixed' wording of the g'mara justified by found mss.?

In the margins of the g'mara are many notations indicating changes that various rabbis (Bach, G'ra, Tzon Kadashim, Shita M'kubetzes, etc.) made in the wording of the g'mara, seemingly to resolve ...
12
votes
1answer
424 views

What is the oldest manuscript of Torah Shebaal Peh?

We don't have (and more's the pity!) R' Yehudah Hanassi's autograph copy of the Mishnah (well, okay, it's a controversial issue whether he actually wrote it or only arranged it orally), or Ravina and ...
5
votes
2answers
121 views

Why is Chulin in Kodshim

Why is the Gemara (Talmud) Chulin which talks about Ritual slaughter of animals not having to do with sacrifices in the Beis Hamikdash (temple) in the SEDER (order) of Kodshim which is talks about ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Less disgraceful placement of a sefer kodesh?

Suppose I find myself in a public building, in need of a restroom, with a chumash in my hand that is too large to fit in a pocket. Outside the restroom, in a painted cinderblock hallway, there is no ...
6
votes
6answers
163 views

Beginning a comprehensive study of Moreh N'vuchim

A friend of mine would like to begin learning Moreh N'vuchim seriously and is unsure of exactly where/with what to start. What is the best version out there of the book itself? Are there any ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Do they still print g'maras with regular Torah Or?

It used to be the standard for many many years that each in-text quotation of a Biblical verse in the Vilna edition Talmud Bavli had a little circle before the first word, which corresponded to a ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Closing abbreviation ושכמ"ה

Every [anonymous] question asked in the responsum Torah Lishmah ends with an address to the answerer and the abbreviation ושכמ"ה (e.g.). The Otzar Rashei Teivos had only one entry for this ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays?

This is a follow up to: Why was Torah sheBal Peh not allowed to be Written?. The Gemara in Temurah (14b) states that one may not write Torah sheBal Peh. It then states an exception that was made so ...