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19
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?

What is the famous argument between the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al HaTanya in understanding the Sod HaTzimtzum? And what are some ma'areh mekomos in their works where this Machlokes is seen?
14
votes
4answers
946 views

Why do we say “You should live till 120”?

Prior to the Mabul people lived for hundreds of years. After the Mabul lifespans shortened although we see that the Avos lived in the 180 year range. In the Pasuk in Tehilim we say Yemei Shenoseinu ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Pomegranate = 613 seeds?

Has anyone ever counted the seeds of a pomegranate? Is it true that each pomegranate has 613 seeds?
10
votes
5answers
461 views

Need a Torah-based quote for “reaching new levels”

Can someone please recommend an appropriate biblical quote or passage that illustrates (or somehow relates to) the ethic "reaching new levels" (spiritual, emotional, educational)?
9
votes
1answer
781 views

“Don't say 'lehavdil' between one Jew and another.”

In today's Parashat Hashavu'a Chat, I used the qualification "lehavdil" (*) to apply to a pun that jokingly and innocuously related the actions of Datan and Aviram to those of a community member here. ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is this really in the Talmud?

I've seen this before on anti-semetic sites - is it really in the Talmud? Extracts from the Jewish text the Talmud "Just the Jews are humans, the non-Jews are no humans, but cattle" ...
7
votes
1answer
267 views

Question about a 'Jewish proverb'

A [secular Jewish] Facebook friend posted the following as his status: "Commit a sin twice and it will not seem a crime. - Jewish proverb." I am unsure about what he thinks this means, and more ...
7
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
172 views

Noach with seven mistakes [closed]

There is a pithy Yiddish description for a simple matter that has been massively bungled: "Noiach mit zibn greizen" -- [The two-letter name] Noach (נח) spelled with seven mistakes. Does anyone know ...
6
votes
1answer
355 views

If I knew Him I would be Him

Anyone know the source of the phrase "If I knew Him I would be Him," and its meaning? (heard it a few times though don't recall where. rumors abound that the rambam said this though have never seen a ...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

How to find if a particular pasuk is used in davening

My father is trying to find out if a pasuk is ever quoted in any davening and I don't know of a specific resource which would help in a search. Other than using ctrl-f after downloading each siddur/...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Rambam Quote About Books

Where can this quote be found in Rambam: "Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen."?
6
votes
2answers
213 views

Jewish Community in China Around WW2

I was recently at a lecture given by Professor Xu Xin of Nanjing University in China. The topic of the lecture was "The Jewish Diaspora in Modern China". Professor Xin covered the brief but ...
6
votes
1answer
170 views

“Naḥat Ruaḥ LeYoẓro” source

At the end of מוסף לשבת in דרכי אבות השלם (p. 375), a quotation is written in the name of רבי יהודה: אמר רבי יהודה: אשרי מי שעמלו בתורה ועושה נחת רוח ליוצרו Can anyone help me find the exact ...
5
votes
2answers
312 views

Source for “אין שמחה כשמחת התרת הספקות”

Some people in my synagogue this morning were discussing the aphorism אין שמחה כשמחת התרת הספקות there's no joy like the joy of the resolution of doubts or words to that effect. Specifically, ...
5
votes
1answer
51 views

Where is Is. 40:12 used in prayer?

The phrase וְכָל בַּשָּׁלִשׁ עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ from ישעיהו מ יב (used in the haftara of Vaeschanan) is very familiar to me from prayers, and I can't think where it's from. Moreover, Google is not ...
5
votes
1answer
351 views

Origin of a Jewish quote about fools

There is a quote about fools that I have heard, which is attributed to the Talmud. It goes as follows, "Never tell a fool he is a fool. All you'll have is an angry fool." I know that there are a ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Where was it first said that “The generation is diminishing and diminishing”? (הדור הולך ופוחת)

in Hebrew we have an adage that says “הדור הולך ופוחת” ("Hador holekh wepocheth"), meaning “the generation is getting more and more diminished", which may have meant that there are fewer and fewer new ...
5
votes
0answers
155 views

Which rabbi said “if a horse had the mind of Kant …”?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

Misquotes from Rebbi Nachman?

I cannot find two famous saying attributed to Rebbi Nachman of Breslov. The whole world is a very narrow bridge... It is a great mitzvah to be happy constantly Instead I have found A man must ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Who first said “You're being machmir on pikuach nefesh”?

I've been hearing the phrase "This is not being meikil1 on Shabbos, this is being machmir2 on pikuach nefesh3" for a long time. I've heard it quoted from R' Chaim, from the Gra, and from various and ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Gemara on volunteering?

I heard that there was a Gemara to the effect of "volunteers cost more than employees because their motivation is not as good" -- or somesuch. Any ideas? Thanks.
4
votes
2answers
238 views

Source for Quote about the cost of bread in the times before Moshiach?

Does anyone know where it says that in the times before moshiach, it will cost a barrel of money to buy a loaf of bread? I remember hearing that, but can't find the source. The reason I ask that is ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Which 20th century rabbi said “G-d normally doesn't stop the ill-intentioned”?

I recall hearing the following story: There was a non-observant Israeli Jew who kept having visions of his deceased father telling him he should do more religiously. Finally he was about to turn on ...
3
votes
1answer
210 views

Where does the Taz say that beer gives us life?

There is a Taz on the topic of yoshon (old grain) that says something to the effect of: כי עיקר חיינו תלוי בשכר While it's an awesome quote out of context, the basic pretense is that since the ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

Source for the quotation, “More than Jews have kept the sabbath…”

I have heard and seen in print many times the quotation attributed to Achad Ha'am that "more than Jews have kept the sabbath, the sabbath has kept the Jews" (exemplified in all its unattributed ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

Praise for abstract thinking

Where in the Jewish scriptures and law can praise for abstract thinking be found? Presumably this has something to do with why so many Nobel prize winners are Jewish. Thanks.
3
votes
3answers
111 views

Correct version of pasuk about wisdom

An old teacher of mine is about to turn 90 and I'm trying to locate a pasuk, which, I think, says: "Treasure the words of a wise man for they are..." or "Heed the words of a wise man, for they are ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

When the Gemoro quotes a possuk, why does it sometimes not quote the part which is the reason for the quote?

(possibly related to Why does the Mishna misquote the Tanakh? ) When the Gemoro quotes a possuk, why does it not always quote the part which is the reason for the quote in the first place. For ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

Quote from Chazal

I read in Real Power on page 47, the following: “If you are not going upward then you are automatically falling downward.” —Chazal Does anyone know if this is a Gemara or Medrash etc.?
2
votes
1answer
35 views

What's the point of this editorial note on Keth. 43b?

At the top of Keth. 43b the Gemara cites a ruling of Rav's, passed down by Rav Mathneh, as taught in the name of either Rav Zeira or Rabi Zeira: אמר רב זירא אמר רב מתנה אמר רב ואמרי לה אמר רבי ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

The Chozeh Mi'Lublin prioritizing dveikus over kriyas shema

I heard someone quote from the Chozeh (parshas Pinchas) that if one is in a state of dveikus with Hashem and zman kriyas shemah is arriving (or passing?) the yetzer harah says to stop for kriyas ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Gematria 515 avodat halev

I read this article: 'ABOUT AND BY THE COMMENTATORS: Why do we Eat Matza on Pesach?' written by Rabbi Amnon Bazak, in which he wrote: Avudraham gives many examples of gematria, the numerical ...
2
votes
2answers
29 views

Looking for the source of a saying on “redemption being like a candle in the daylight”

I'm looking for the source for the saying that goes something like: "celebrating the first redemption in the yemos hamoshiach will be like lighting a candle in the daylight".
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Bons-mots of R' Yoel Teitelbaum

I've heard many Judaism-related witticisms attributed to the Satmar Rebbe over the years, often without sources. This has led me to wonder whether a compendium, preferably sourced, of R' Yoel ...
2
votes
4answers
167 views

How can one give HaShem “Naḥat Ruaḥ”?

At the end of מוסף לשבת in דרכי אבות השלם (p. 375), a quotation is written in the name of רבי יהודה: אמר רבי יהודה: אשרי מי שעמלו בתורה ועושה נחת רוח ליוצרו Rabbi Yoḥanan makes a similar ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

King Josiah famous last words?

I was told that the tale of king Josiah's death has a few versions. I was told one of Josiah's last words or famous words after he was hit with arrows was in regards to his own error for not listening ...
1
vote
2answers
250 views

Quotations of the Islamic Hadith in Jewish texts

This source claims that there is a Chovas Halevavos that quotes the Islamic Hadith without attribution. I was wondering if there are other examples of this in Jewish texts.
1
vote
2answers
173 views

Nothing stands in the way of desire

I saw on page 15 of this pdf the following statement quoted in the name of the Chida: "אין דבר העומד בפני הרצון, Nothing that stands in the way of desire." Does anyone know where the source for this ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

What's “כי אתא פלוני אמר פלוני”?

The phrase "‫כי אתא [name] אמר [name],‏ [statement]‏‬‬" appears many times in the Bavli. For example, Rosh Hashana 35:1: כי אתא רבין אמר רבי יעקב בר אידי אמר רבי שמעון חסידא לא ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Reb Yoel's opinion on Torah of Baal Shem Tov

In the answer here, an opinion that 'the Torah of the Baal Shem Tov is forgotten' is attributed to Reb Yoel of Satmar. Is there an actual source for these words being said by him? Is there any ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Temple Mount and Tefillah

On Aish.com, I saw the following: הר הבית הוא שער השמים - The Temple Mount is the gateway to heaven. כל תפילה עולה דרך מקום זה - All prayers ascend from this spot. Does anyone know where this line ...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

What did the lubvitcher rebbe mean?

On chof cheis Nissan 5751 the Chabad Rebbe said in a public address "I did all I can to bring moshiach now I leave it up to you" What does this mean that he did everything he could? What do we still ...
0
votes
1answer
220 views

What are quotes in Neviim that mention justice? [closed]

I'm looking for some quotations in Neviim that discuss the idea of justice. Are there any verses in Neviim that discuss justice?
-1
votes
2answers
140 views

A Jewish Equivalent for this Quote?

I have read an Islamic quote that I like very much: "All praise is due to Allah; all the mistakes have been mine." Can anyone think of a Jewish source that expresses a similar concept?
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

The words מעשה אבות סימן לבנים

Where do the words מעשה אבות סימן לבנים come from?
-1
votes
4answers
83 views

the King is in the Field

What is the source of the expression that during the month of Elul the King is in the field? I have seen this on many occasions but could not find any source.
-1
votes
1answer
137 views

What are the most recited verses during Jewish prayer?

What are the top three most recited/used verses/supplications (from or not from Torah) in Jewish prayers? Not asking about the single most used one only. I think, if a passage or a sentence is ...
-3
votes
2answers
302 views

Why say Hashem wrote the torah? [closed]

Why do people say Hashem wrote the torah, shouldn't it be He created it, made it, edited it, etc?
-4
votes
1answer
81 views

Which Rabbi claimed he was metaphorically born at the top of a mountain?

I once heard that a rebbe claimed that his great levels were compared to a child born at the top of a mountain. Does anyone know where this is recorded?