Questions seeking sources for a given practice or idea, or seeking the location of a specific source.

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2
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1answer
51 views

Source for saying Shir Hama'alos but not Al Naharos Bavel

I have noticed that most people say Shir Hamaalos before bentching at their Shabbos and Yom Tov seudos. However, I have noticed very few people say Al Naharos Bavel before bentching on a weekday. As ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

Is Gematria accepted by all?

It is widely accepted that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a Gematria (numerical value) attached to it. These numerical values often provide insight when comparing one Gematria to either ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Rambam's responsum about treating depression with music

I remember reading a tashubho from the Rambam where he clearly states that music can treat depression and therefore it is ok to listen to if you are depressed. However, I can't seem to find it at the ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Making a shechiyanu and major appliances

Someone told me that one makes a שהחיינו on a new car, air conditioner, dish washer, refrigerator or any other major appliance. Where is the source for this?
5
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2answers
136 views

Laws regarding excessive conversation while dating

In speaking with a friend regarding conversation between men and women who are dating, this is what they said: So I asked someone who knows about these things and she said that it originates from ...
5
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0answers
65 views

Rambam claiming some of Hazal were superstitious

I forgot where, but I remember reading the Rambam z"l saying that some Hazal believed in superstitions, ideas such as ayeen haro because they lived in small villages with lack of science, and ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

loshon hora and shul

I heard that speaking Loshon Hora, Rechilus or to have arguments and quarreling is a serious crime in itself. It becomes an even greater sin when spoken in a shul or yeshiva, for the person, which ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Source for quote about a slight wrong being a serious matter

I heard someone quote an Avos D’Rabbi Noson which said, “If you have done your fellow man a slight wrong, let it be a serious matter in your eyes… but it you have done him much good, let it be a ...
0
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1answer
38 views

Hashem testing a person

The Chofetz Chaim al Torah says, Chazal teach in bereishis rabbah, "Hashem does not elevate a person to greatness until He first tests him." Where in bereishis rabbah do chazal say this?
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2answers
64 views

meaning of words and tefillah

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:1) tells us, “When one makes a berachah he should have in mind the meaning of the words.” Is there any halachic source (i.e. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Shulchan Aruch or ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

Jacob's Dual Names and Wives

The third Patriarch's birth name was Jacob. He is given another name, Israel, in Genesis 32. Jacob had two primary wives; Leah and Rachel. I have heard the idea that the Rachel was the betrothed ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Where is it written in the Zohar that the Yishmaelites must have Eretz Israel until Mashiah comes?

I remember reading a paper where it was written that the Yishmaelites should have Eretz Israel until the coming of Mashiah according to the Zohar. Is it true ? If it is the case, where is it written ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Source for story about the Chasam Sofer, Rav Nosson Adler and an Amalekite?

I heard a story that goes roughly like this: after the death of his Rebbi, the Chasam Sofer decided to make Rav Nosson Adler his new Rebbi. He therefore undertook a long voyage to meet Rav Adler. On ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Satmar Rebbe's opinion on Mechitza

Where could I find the opinion of the Satmar Rebbe (Rav Yoel) zt'l on the height and laws pertaining to the Mechitzah?
7
votes
3answers
196 views

Did the Men of the Great Assembly Canonize Tanach?

Many Jewish websites, (Aish, Jewish History, Ou), state that the the Men of the Great Assembly finalized the contents of Tanach in the early Second Temple Period. No source is brought to support this ...
5
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1answer
150 views

Is there any reason to deny aliens?

Is there any reason that we couldn't believe in life on another planet somewhere? Is there any source that indicates to the contrary?
10
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0answers
90 views

Can one have a favorite pasuk/parsha/masechta?

This closed question asks for a 'favorite pasuk', presupposing that such a thing is allowed. When it comes to sugyos or sections/topics of Torah, Chazal say on the one hand, (Eiruvin 64a) that a ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

War, Pray and Learn

The Medrash Rabbah and the Yalkut relate that during the war against Midyon, for every one that went out to battle there was a designated person whose task it was to pray and learn for him. Where in ...
3
votes
2answers
56 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
142 views

Metzudat Tzion on the Torah

Was there a Metzudat Tzion written on the Torah? If so, does anyone know if it is available online or for sale? I always loved this commentary as it explained the hard words on the Nach.
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Do we have any proof (Biblical or other Judaic) that current-day Arabs have lineage from Yishma'el?

I am relating my question to Hashem and Arabs. Offhand, I thought that Islam claims ties to Yisma'el. If true, I don't know how or why it makes that claim. If it's all Arabs, even non-Muslims, how do ...
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2answers
82 views

Hashem and Arabs

Someone quoted to me a Gemara in Sukkah which said that Hashem had charata that He created arabs. What daf in Sukkah is that on?
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Source of Gentiles given sports to distract them from harming Jews

I heard a long time ago from a high-school rebbe of mine that G-d gave Gentiles sports / athletics to distract them from attacking Jews. What is the source of this concept?
2
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0answers
38 views

'Removal of the evil inclination is like removal of the soul'

I saw recently (here) in the name of the Chazon Ish that 'removal of the evil inclination removes the soul'. Is there a written source for this (either in the writings of the Chazon Ish or elsewhere)? ...
9
votes
1answer
895 views

Source that those without a genuine need soliciting charity is a good thing

Judaism 101 says (and I have heard it many times): Judaism acknowledges that many people who ask for charity have no genuine need. In fact, the Talmud suggests that this is a good thing: if all ...
2
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2answers
136 views

Olam Haba depends on how you treat your wife

I have heard in the name of Rabbi Chaim Vital that one's olam haba depends largely on how he treated his wife. anyone know the source (if any) of this statement and what is the logic behind it.
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Which kind of relations are considered incestuous in Judaism?

Specifically what kind of relationships are defined as incestuous in Judaism? I am guessing that it is forbidden to marry one's parents/children or siblings but what about other relations like first ...
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0answers
131 views

What was the earliest use of the Rambam's language in Shmita V'Yovel in support of kollel study?

Here's the Rambam, waxing poetic at the end of Laws of Shmita and Yovel (and his entire volume of Zeraim): ולא שבט לוי בלבד, אלא כל איש ואיש מכל באי העולם אשר נדבה רוחו אותו והבינו מדעו להיבדל ...
6
votes
3answers
184 views

Custom of Rov speaking before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos

I've been in a number of shuls where the Rov of the shul will get up before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos and say some sort of "drasha". Sometimes it was connected to the parsha or inyunei d'yoma (i.e. ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Source for # times chai?

I often see donation requests with amounts in multiples of $18. I would like to know the source for giving charity of the numeric value of the Hebrew word chai (18) and its multiples.
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Rav Moshe on mechitzah and kalus rosh

I read somewhere in the Igros Moshe that a mechitzah is required at every wedding. Does anyone know where in the Igros Moshe it says that the reason we have a mechitzah at a wedding is to prevent ...
9
votes
3answers
104 views

Does learning Torah or doing Mitzvos protect others from enemies?

I know from the gemarah Bava Basra 7b-8a that learning (being a talmid chacham) or doing many mitzvos can protect oneself from enemies (such that when a city is taxed for a wall that was built to ...
5
votes
1answer
74 views

When is the Halacha like Raba and when like Abaye?

I've run across variations of the following: קיימא לן דהלכתא כרבא בכל מקום פרט ליע"ל קג"ם That the halacha is like Raba in every place in the Talmud except six place where it is like Abaye. The ...
6
votes
1answer
56 views

Halachot of IVF

Does anyone know of any good teshuvas or sefers giving an overview of the halacha of in-vitro fertilization IVF? (Feel free to also give overviews in your answers, but I'd appreciate links to the ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Is there a source for the Kallah Bride wearing white in Torah?

BS"D Is there a Torah source for the Kallah Bride to wear only white? What about a second marriage? Does the white indicate that the bride and groom make the day before marriage a special attempt to ...
3
votes
0answers
28 views

What is the blessing on dough?

Shulchan Aruch discusses the blessing on baked dough (various places - Hamotzi), fried dough (O.C. 168:10), raw grain kernels (Ha'adama - O.C. 208:4), flour (shehakol - 208:5), and various cooked ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

backroom, minyan and shul

I read somewhere that people who daven in the backroom of a shul (i.e. a hallway or on the balcony) are not יוצא davening with a tzibur, unless there happens to be a minyan in that room with them. ...
0
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0answers
35 views

Walking In-front of Someone Davening Shemona Esrei

I read somewhere that shtenders, chairs, tables and benches aren’t considered an interruption between the one davening and one passing before him unless the shtender is 10 טפחים tall by 4 טפחים wide. ...
0
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0answers
45 views

shemonah esrei and moving to another location

I heard that one can/ should, step out of שמונה עשרה if they are being disturbed and move to somewhere else. Where is the halachic source for this? I also heard that they may move elsewhere and ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Washing the hands of the ba'al habayis

I heard that at one's Pesach Seider someone else is supposed to wash the hands of the ba’al habayis. Where is the basis for this halachah? Furthermore, I heard that He should pour once over both ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Tefillin and Knots

Where in halachah is it stated that the kesher shel yad must be in contact with the bayis while they are davening? Where in halachah is it stated that the kesher shel yad must also be in contact with ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

Source for prohibition to listen to music during the 3 weeks

What is the earliest source for the prohibition to listen to music during the 3 weeks? Is there any dispute as to the timeframe of the prohibition (only 9 days, week of etc.)?
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Are separate glasses required for milk and meat?

It seems to me that there are some interesting things which are done in virtually every kosher Jewish home that may have no basis in halachah. I think that having separate glasses for meat and dairy ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Havdalah and fingers

As the berachah on the havdalah candle is made, I've been told, the proper thing to do is to raise your hands toward the candle with your fingers curled over your palm and look at the shadow of your ...
2
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1answer
29 views

hot pot and trief

I heard that placing hot pots onto counters or refrigerator shelves could treif the pot (although not its contents) if the counter or shelf is dirty with an opposite type of foodstuff. Is there a ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views

Drinking medicine with a straw on shabbas

I saw on Revach.net questions about drinking with a straw and it mentioned that the Mahrsham held that drinking medicine from a straw might be considered a shinui and permitted on shabbas. Does anyone ...
5
votes
3answers
228 views

Why is Moshe (mostly) absent from the haggadah?

Somebody asked at my seder this year why Moshe is largely absent from the magid. I have heard that the reason is because we're supposed to focus on God, and also that Moshe was very humble and there ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Amein and Food in One's Mouth

Where in halachah does it say that one shouldn't answer amein to someone else's berachah, if they have food in their mouth?
9
votes
2answers
245 views

What is the origin of the custom to kiss a Mezuzah?

What is the source or origin of the custom to kiss a Mezuzah?
3
votes
3answers
423 views

The concept of glatt

Where in the Gemara do you find the concept of meat being "glatt"? Or where do you even find the concept of "kosher lmehadrin."