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23
votes
2answers
2k views

Abbreviations before/after names

What are the more common abbreviations one might see printed before or after a person's name, and what do they mean? Please include honorifics (R'=Rabbi) as well as memorial - or prayerful - suffixes ...
14
votes
4answers
546 views

Why was Torah SheBe'Al Peh not allowed to be written?

The Gemara states that it is forbidden to write down the Oral Torah ("Torah SheBe'Al Peh") [1]: דרש רבי יהודה בר נחמני מתורגמניה דרבי שמעון בן לקיש, כתיב: +שמות ל"ד+ כתוב לך את הדברים האלה, וכתיב: ...
11
votes
2answers
388 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
5answers
342 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?
12
votes
11answers
2k views

Where can I buy inexpensive seforim online?

Where can I buy seforim online for inexpensive prices? I mean real seforim.....not digital ones. I'm willing to buy seforim either new or second-hand.
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
222 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Good books for non-Jews who are interested in understanding Judaism, especially branches of Orthodox judaism

I have found that the first thing to do when you want to learn something about a subject, is to start with the idea that you know absolutely nothing. I understand, for example, that Judaism has ...
7
votes
2answers
267 views

Reading books about Avodah Zarah

Is it permissible to read books about Avodah Zarah? Is it permissible to read Greek mythology for informational purposes, seeing as it's not particularly tempting to anyone nowadays? Is it ...
8
votes
2answers
365 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?
4
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
176 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?
6
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
319 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
371 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
605 views

What is the font with points in the middle of the letters called? [closed]

What is this [type of] font called - the kind that makes it look like every leg of every letter is a snake that swallowed a block? Where can I download such a font?
6
votes
0answers
142 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Changing “shlit”a“s to ”za“l”s?

The name of living Torah scholar mentioned or quoted in another's book is often followed by an abbreviation of blessing such as שליט"א or נר"ו. The name of a past scholar, no longer living, is ...
3
votes
0answers
145 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
154 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
236 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
680 views

Origins of איל משולש and Vilna Ga'on's bathroom math

There is a well-known fact that the Vilna Ga'on studied math while in the bathroom since Torah was out of the question in an unclean place. It is also somewhat well-known that he produced the material ...
6
votes
2answers
181 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?
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Sefas Emes and your mission

Someone mentioned that the Sefas Emes quotes in the name of the Chiddushei HaRim on that Mishnah (Avos 1:14), אם אין אני לי מי לי, וכשאני לעצמי מה אני, ואם... The Sefas Emes says, Every yid has ...
13
votes
1answer
419 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
599 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
248 views

Dealing with anger

What is a good sefer or even book that helps people with a problem with getting angry?
4
votes
2answers
74 views

Why did Chizkiyahu Hide the book of Refuos

...and he shall provide for healing" (Mishpatim 21:19) nitna reshus larofeh lerapos (Bava Kama 85a) - so why did Chizkiyahu Hamelech hide the Sefer Herefuos (Brachos 10b)
11
votes
3answers
465 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
240 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
131 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
199 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
87 views

“Hagahos MaimoniYOS”?

Is the correct title for the work abbreviated "ה"מ" "Hagahos Maimoni" or "Hagahos Maimoniyos"?
6
votes
2answers
197 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
2answers
317 views

What Mikraos Gedolos has the most meforshim?

What sefer (prob Mikraos Gedolos) has the most meforshim in it?
4
votes
6answers
110 views

Who sells broken up sets of sefarim?

I lost one volume of my Mikraos Gedolos. I cannot find a sefarim store that is willing to sell me just the one volume, and cannot find it on Amazon. Is there a website or store that is willing to ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Are you allowed to study (not Torah) on Tisha Bi'Av

For example if someone has a big math test on Yud Av, is he allowed to study math (my question was applied to math but goes to learning anything besides Torah) on Tisha Bi'Av?
4
votes
3answers
190 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

can someone recommend a niggunim / jewish melodies book

i read notes well enough to sing them. i need two things: niggunim/jewish melodies song book niggunim/jewish melodies ADVANCED for piano
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Returning a Library Book on Shabbat

When I return a book I put it in a bin, and a (non-Jewish) 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?
3
votes
1answer
81 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: ...
3
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Is a library book with an embedded RFID tag a problem on Shabbos?

RFID tags have very many uses in identifying different objects via radio waves. Recently, libraries have started using them to help keep track of books. I would imagine that the tags, in themselves, ...