Questions about the origins of all things Jewish. Questions on the origins of Jewish customs, ideas, sayings, songs, foods, games, etc., are all fair game for this tag.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
64 views

First Use of the Phrase “Cheit HaMeraglim”

The negative report given by the people who are sent to scout the land of Cana'an before Bnei Yisrael go in, resulting in the punishment that they have to wander for another 38 years in the desert, is ...
7
votes
0answers
225 views

Origin of Reform/Conservative “scarf” talleisim

I've noticed that Reform and Conservative often use small "scarf" talleisim (here's an image). Where did this practice originate? (Is there any connection to the scarves that some Christian priests ...
6
votes
0answers
105 views

What is the source of the expression המבין יבין?

The Forward writer Philologos in his most recent column claimed that the earliest uses of the expression והמבין יבין are found in the Ra'avad and in the Radak. Based on the fact that both these ...
4
votes
0answers
174 views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
2
votes
0answers
16 views

What is the first use of the word “Seder” (סדר) for the Pesach night proceedings?

The Pesach night proceedings are commonly called the "Seder" (סדר). This word more generally means "order." What is the first recorded use of the word סדר for this event?
2
votes
0answers
121 views

How did the modern day Beis Hora'ah phenomenon develop?

Here in Eretz Yisrael, we find Batei Hora'ah in many cities - places where a moreh hora'ah sits either during special times or perhaps the whole day or different rabbonim throughout the day answering ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Process of making a chalitza

Although I've never actually witnessed a chalitza taking place, I understand there is a whole process involved. What is the earliest source for the process/procedure/ceremony that takes place today ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

what is the first recorded instance of the phrase “im yirtzah Hashem”

Where is the phrase "im yirtzah Hashem" as an amending clause first found in writing? For example "I will see you tomorrow, im yirtzah Hashem." I am looking for the first writing of this phrase in ...