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

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3
votes
1answer
41 views

text for Rav Kook's positive viduy?

It was quoted in a class that I was in once that Rav Kook has a text for a positive viduy where he takes the normal expression of sin and inverts it to talk about what we have done right. What is the ...
17
votes
1answer
169 views
+100

Source of non-verse in Selichot

In Ashkenazi Selichot, the following set of verses from Tanach (patterned around the opening verb ז.כ.ר.‏ to remember) appears towards the end of the Selichot service (there may be some slight ...
2
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
200 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
votes
4answers
825 views

Sources For Listening To/Not Listening to Non-Jewish Music

What are sources for it being allowed to listen to non-Jewish music and sources for it being prohibited?
5
votes
0answers
53 views

Whose minhag does a Kalla follow in neiros shabbos and mikvah?

I was told by my mother-in-law that my wife should follow all of my minhagim except for shabbat candle lighting and mikveh, for which she will follow her mother's. Is there any halachic authority who ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

Pray to G-d in feminine (leshon nekeva)

For some reason I remember there were sources strictly prohibiting turning to G-d as a woman. Of cause there are may be prophets metaphores etc. But I think it is at least not encouraged to describe ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Halachik source for saying ushpizin

Is there any source in halacha (shulchan aruch, mishna berura etc) besides for the zohar that mentions reciting the ushpizin?
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Why wine for kiddush

Why do we use wine (or grape juice - fruit of the vine) when sanctifying Shabbat? How was it first determined that wine was holy and that it is used to satisfy and make holy the coming holiday or ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

From where do we know that Yaakov has the spirit of prophecy when referred to as Yisroel?

The Torah frequently shifts in references to Yaakov. I have heard that it refers to him as Yisroel when he is experiencing prophecy, and as Yaakov when his prophetic abilities are lacking, as they ...
5
votes
2answers
161 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

From whence do we learn that the Torah does not mince words? [duplicate]

I have oft heard it stated that "the Torah does not mince words" (example 1, example 2, example 3). While it seems natural/logical that the Creator of the World would use words precisely, from whence ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Rav Ovadia Yosef's Books Online

Are any of Rav Ovadia Yosef's books available online? I had run across his son's Yalkut Yosef online at one point, but forgot to bookmark it and was wondering if someone could point me to either one. ...
0
votes
2answers
80 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
195 views

A source for the claim that the Satmar Ruv (R' Yoel Teitelbaum) said to VP Hubert Humphrey “Sell weapons to Israel!”

There is a commonly quoted anecdote that when Vice President Hubert Humphrey came to the Satmar Rav for votes in 1968 and asked him what he could do for him the Satmar Rav replied "Sell weapons to ...
3
votes
3answers
266 views

Modern nations and Umos Haolam

Where can I find a discussion about the roots of modern nations, in the Umos Haolam mentioned in the Torah and Chazal?
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Where does Chassam Soffer say Hillel needed a job

I recall seeing a Chassam Soffer who explained that Hillel Hazakein was allowed to lead a life of poverty for Torah only as long as he had no children. Up untill then it was a lifestyle that his wife ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

Wanting to do a Mitzvah, getting paid for intent AND accomplishent

I heard from someone that whoever wants to do a mitzvah, Hashem gives him reward before he does the mitzvah, and after he does the mitzvah Hashem doubles it. Where is the source for this?
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Champagne and hechsher

I have heard (without a source) that some who were makpid to purchase only wines with hashgachot would consume wine from Champagne without a hechsher, probably because gentiles typically do not use ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

Chida's statement about shabbat violators

I heard Rabbi Yitzhack Yosef Shelita (Rishon LeTzion and son of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef, Z"L) who says that the Chida writes that in all the places that he was never saw a Sephardic Jew that wasn't ...
3
votes
0answers
33 views

Kiddush, Learning and Mitzvos for dead/niftar neshamos

I seek an early source that giving Kiddush (so others will make a bracha for the zchus of the neshama) or other such actions that can positively affect the neshamos of those who have departed.
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Source for story of rabbi's claiming land said “you're both mine”

I heard the following story recently (though I paraphrase, and may have some details wrong): When Rabbi M'nachem Perr lived in Queens, New York, he had an Italian, non-Jewish neighbor who, during ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

swaying and bowing

In the Aryeh Kaplan Reader (page 192) Rabbi Kaplan zt"l says, "Many people - during Shemonah Esrei - have the habit of swaying and bowing. However, the Shelah HaKadosh writes, such movements may ...
-1
votes
0answers
61 views

Source for if something can't go on forever, it won't

The economist Herbert Stein is attributed to having made the tautological observation that "If something can’t go on forever, it will stop." Or with more rhetorical flourish "If something can’t go on ...
6
votes
3answers
52 views

Why is Techiyas HaMeisim not explicitly mentioned in the Torah?

Since believing that Techiyas HaMeisim is part of the Torah is a fundamental of Judaism (Mishna Sanhedrin Perek HaChelek, although the Rambam Hilchos Teshuva Chapter 3 doesn't emphasize the believing ...
0
votes
1answer
47 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
votes
2answers
111 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
1answer
106 views

Halachik source for wearing stockings

What is the Halachik source for women covering their lower legs (past the knee)? And why would sheer stockings be acceptable if the point is to cover the lower leg?
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Chofetz Chayim, Sheim Olam and Suffering

Someone quoted the Chofetz Chayim in Sheim Olam, where he says, "When Hashem - in the future – will show each and every one of us, how our periods of suffering helped us achieve the growth that we ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Source for Bless you

I've heard that the custom of saying tzu gezunt, bless you etc. When someone sneezes is because until Ya'akov, people used to sneeze and die, but Ya'akov was the first one to first get sick. What is ...
3
votes
2answers
92 views

ראש וראשון לכל דבר שבקדושה

The phrase "ראש וראשון לכל דבר שבקדושה" is used quite often in haskamos and introductions to describe people who devote their life to Torah study or supporting Torah study or other important Jewish ...
7
votes
1answer
42 views

Does anyone have any resources on voluntary prayer/tefillah n'dava?

I was recently learning Rambam's hilchot tefilah from Mishneh Torah. After outlining the five kinds of statutory recitiations of the Amidah, he states that just as an individual (but not the tzibur) ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Prophecies of the Maccabees uprising are foretold in which ancient book?

I read on the internet somewhere about an ancient prophesy in which the Lord having horns on His head and using them to fight back against the Dragon and the horns on the Dragons head. One of the ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Ba'al Shem Tov, King and Nation

Rabbi David Aaron said that the Ba’al Shem Tov says in Parshas Yisro, והעולם הזה צורך גבוהה - This world is of great heavenly need.” כי אין מלך בלא עם - “For there is no King without a Nation. Go ...
7
votes
2answers
338 views

Walking around the house after shiva

I'd heard something about how some people, when getting up after the week of "sitting shiva" (mourning), take a walk around the outside of their house before going back to "normal" life. Has anyone ...
5
votes
0answers
160 views

Source for not referring to Chanuka lights as a “menora”

Following up on this question about the use of the words "menora" or "chanukiya" to refer to Chanuka lights: I find it interesting that the use of "chanukiya," popularized in 1897 through a secular ...
10
votes
2answers
170 views

“m'nora” on Chanuka

My kid came home from school one day insisting that the thing we light on Chanuka is not a m'nora but a chanukiya. I replied that that's the word most Israelis use now but that m'nora is a perfectly ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Ben Sorer U'moreh - is anyones future doomed?

the Gemara (Sanhedrin 71a) writes that a Ben Sorer U'moreh never took place. I would like to suggest that the Gemoro is teaching us that it never happened that a Jewish child - however bad he may be - ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Is there a Jewish tradition of God reviving Israel at Sinai?

I once heard that according to "Jewish tradition", though it could be mere hearsay, that there was a story or legend that when the Israelites saw God's presence upon Mt. Sinai (or heard His audible ...
4
votes
2answers
145 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
246 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
63 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
votes
0answers
75 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
60 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
46 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
votes
1answer
40 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?
3
votes
0answers
103 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
101 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
80 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
143 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?