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13
votes
2answers
229 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
307 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
319 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?
6
votes
2answers
176 views

Shakespeare in Classic Jewish Sources

Does anyone know of any references to Shakespeare, translations of his works, or anything related to Shakespeare in classic Rabbinic sources?
5
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Citation format for G'mara

If one is citing a g'mara in a scholarly article, what is the proper publication information to use, including title, etc.? I can't seem to find reliable examples in either English or Hebrew. This ...
8
votes
5answers
312 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?
0
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
157 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
350 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
298 views
3
votes
3answers
168 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
442 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
114 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?
10
votes
3answers
410 views

How Kabbalistically accurate is the golem-making procedure described in “Niflaos Maharal”?

There's been plenty of discussion about the historic authenticity of "Niflaos Maharal", a book that appeared in the early 1900s describing how the Maharal made a Golem to defend the Jews against blood ...
8
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
476 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
120 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
445 views

Why was Torah sheBal Peh not allowed to be Written?

The Gemara states that it is forbidden to write down the Oral Torah [1]: דרש רבי יהודה בר נחמני מתורגמניה דרבי שמעון בן לקיש, כתיב: +שמות ל"ד+ כתוב לך את הדברים האלה, וכתיב: +שמות ל"ד+ כי ...
5
votes
1answer
185 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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
235 views

Sherlock Holmes & the Maharal of Prague [closed]

What is the connection between the Maharal and SHerlock Holmes?
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Answering others' sh'elos

Would it be surprisingly improper for the author of a legal responsum to publish his own answer to a question asked, answered, and published by another such author because he believed he had a better ...
4
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
139 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
105 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
153 views

When and What was the first Hebrew Sefer published?

When and What was the first Hebrew Sefer that was mass published?
4
votes
3answers
272 views

Books on Tefillah

Can you tell me of some books/seforim about Jewish prayer (in terms of nusach, development of tefillah, etc.). A good example would be http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=34206&pgnum=1 ...
3
votes
2answers
132 views

sitting on a table with sifrei kodesh on it

Is there a halachik problem with sitting on a table or surface that has siddurim/chumashim on it? What about other sefarim? What about putting one's feet on a table that has such books on it?
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Torah Learning Time Calculator

I am looking for something that will take the sefer I want to learn, and the amount of time/days I want to complete it in and tell me the average amount I need to learn a day. It doesn't have to be ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

“The Romans' Book” in Ramba"n

The commentary of Ramba"n on Vayikra 26:16 explains a large swath of parashas B'chukosai as an allegory to the two batei Mikdash and the corresponding exiles. Included therein, he elaborates on the ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Where does the Sefer HaChinuch discuss geometry/“Handassa”?

I recall flipping through a Sefer HaChinuch and seeing some geometry diagrams. If I recall correctly, he talks about some mitzva involving fair evaluation of plots of land, and he writes you neeed to ...
4
votes
1answer
491 views

Where can I find the Maharal's Netivot Olam Online?

Where can I find a searchable copy of the Maharal's Netivot Olam (Netiv haTorah specifically) online?
2
votes
1answer
110 views

Can't remember the name of a mussar sefer [closed]

I'm trying to remember the name of a sefer that I learnt with someone a couple of times a while ago. It was written by a chasidic rebbe, but isn't just popular amongst chasidim. We were learning a ...
4
votes
5answers
210 views

What is your favorite haggadah? [closed]

There are many classic and modern haggadot. Any recommendations? If so, why? And if available online (such as at HebrewBooks), please provide a link.
3
votes
1answer
105 views

“Ramba”m“ or ”The Ramba“m”?

I often hear the Hebrew abbreviation for Maimonides appended to a definite article but don't quite understand why it should be there when the unabbreviated name would (I think) never warrant such an ...
10
votes
2answers
395 views

What rabbinic/Judaic scholar has the lowest Erdős number? [closed]

From Wikipedia: The Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers. ... Due to the very high ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Heretical Material Permitted in Maharal's Netivot Olam?

I have heard that Maharal permits one to read heretical material in his sefer Netivot Olam. Is this true? If so, where does he say this in the sefer?
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Seridei Ha'Eish by Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg

Does anyone know where I can find the sefer Seridei Ha'Eish online? I want to find it for free, but at the very least, does anyone know of the cheapest price for me to buy it?
1
vote
2answers
69 views

When was the Shulchan Aruch HaArizal first published?

On HebrewBooks.org they have this edition. Is there any previous edition and when? מקום דפוס ווילנא שנת דפוס תרמא Pub. Place Vilna Pub. Date 1881 Pages דפים 95
3
votes
2answers
155 views

Learning Hebrew

If I have a decent Hebrew knowledge, but not great, what books (i.e. dictionaries, lexicons, etc.) should I have at hand when I'm learning a sefer, such as the Mishneh Torah?
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Availability of the S'dei Chemed

I heard a couple years ago that someone had begun a new, laser printed, annotated edition of the שדי חמד. Did this happen? Is the full text of S'dei Chemed available anywhere online?
3
votes
3answers
556 views

Moreh Nevuchim Arabic-Hebrew

Does anyone know of a Hebrew/Arabic online or in print?