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

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2
votes
1answer
148 views

Communities where men didn't put their טליתות over their heads?

I heard that the Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna mentioned cases where the custom of the place was different, one such place being יָוָן, where men didn't cover their heads with their tallitot, ...
2
votes
2answers
398 views

What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?

What is the source that a woman's (singing) voice is considered ervah?
5
votes
1answer
417 views

Whence is the idea that the deceased is a meilitz yosher?

At funerals I have often heard it said that the deceased should be a meilitz yosher (one who relates rectitude). Where does this idea come from?
6
votes
3answers
265 views

List of people in Tanach

Can I find anywhere a comprehensive list of every single person that is mentioned in Tanach. Including somewhat "biographical" information, who they were, family, what they did, how they fit into ...
13
votes
3answers
513 views

Killing Civilians in a defensive war

In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, many Palestinian civillians were killed by Israeli air-strikes (the Palestines claim the number is as high as 158, while according to the IDF ...
-1
votes
2answers
146 views

When to go out to fight the enemy?

I'm sure everyone knows what's going on right now in Eretz Yisrael with the rockets being fired at the Israeli population from Gaza and the response of the IDF. I have heard many people say ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

Where is the source not to walk over someone because it stops him growing?

I have been brought up with the belief not to walk over someone because it can stunt their growth. Can anyone else here say where they have also heard of this? If yeah, where is the source?
7
votes
4answers
550 views

Why a human Messiah?

I understand that Mashiach is going to be a human. What is the source for this, and are there any explanations why it must be so? Can't G-d Himself redeem us?
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Sources for Pidyon HaBen Ceremony

Where can I find the original sources for the pidyon haben ceremony? I don't mean the verses in Torah that gives us the halakha, rather something on the rituals of the ceremony itself (much like ...
1
vote
0answers
123 views

Genevas Daas (deception) with a gift

The Shach in YD Siman 117 Sif-Katan 13 writes, דאין במתנה משום גניבת דעת With regard to a gift there is no problem of "genevas daas" (deception). The Shach writes this in regard to selling ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

What is the source for lighting a candle for the whole year after the death of a close relative?

I am familiar with the idea of a yahrzeit candle. I have observed a custom of keeping a flame alight for the whole year (or maybe 11 months) after the death of a close relative. (When one goes out, ...
9
votes
1answer
213 views

Where does the concept of “shirayim” come from?

Please explain the concept of shirayim (literally, leftovers) wherein the followers of a chassidic Rebbe will receive portions of his food to it, these leftovers are considered holy or special in some ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Which Tana said the shem hafemorash and why?

I remember learning a gemarah (midrash?) that one of the tanaim (possibly R' Chanina [ben Dosa]) said the shem hameforash explicitly. Can you source this story and explain why the shem hameforash was ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

A Convert taking on customs of ashkanazim or sephardim

When someone converts is there any determining factor on what minhagim (customs) they will take upon themselves in terms of Ashkanazim or Sephardim? Should it be dependent on the Beis Din they ...
7
votes
0answers
114 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Cooking on Yom Tov for Bein Hashmoshos

There is really another question that I want to ask however to improve upon that question I need to clarify first a certain point. Is there a Pri Megadim anywhere that says it's ossur to cook on Yom ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

Are there mystical underpinnings to Maccabi?

One of the explanations I have heard for the title מכבי is that it is an acronym for the pasuk 'מִי-כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם ה (Shemos 15:11). Is there any reason, mystical or otherwise that that pasuk (or ...
9
votes
1answer
664 views

Halachic justification to not pray the amidah before zman t'filah?

Some Chassidic courts are not makpid (careful) to daven the morning Amidah before z'man tefilah, although this seems to be a clear halacha. Are there any opinions they are relying on? I was once told ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Mitzvah of Ner Channukah — not until after churban habayis?

Someone said over today (in then name of the Sfes Emes) that the mitzvah of Ner Channukah didn't officially "start" until the 2nd Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, since it was established as somewhat of ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Minhag Kaparos with Money - What's the source?

In the Rama on SA OC Siman 605, we find the custom of "Kaparos" that many do Erev Yom Kippur. Of those who perform this custom a chicken is used. However many also use money (i.e. instead of waving a ...
5
votes
0answers
136 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 -- ...
2
votes
3answers
180 views

Go out to receive the Torah then come back to convert Egypt

I just heard from my uncle a novel idea about the Exodus. Apparently, the original intention was for the Jews to go out of Egypt to receive the Torah, and then come back to convert the Egyptians. ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Where is a mediator between God and man forbidden

I don't believe that there should be mediators (like Christians believe Jesus is a mediator between God and man whom they pray to and/or pray through) between us and God, but is there anywhere in the ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Speaking in the middle of Kaddish

In Shulchan Orach Siman 124 Sif 7 the machaber speaks about how bad it is to speak during Chazaras HaShatz (when the Shliach Tzibbur is repeating Shomeneh Esrei out loud.) The Shulchan Aruch HaRav ...
4
votes
2answers
366 views

Will we follow Beis Shammai in times of Moshiach?

I've heard a few times that in the times of Moshiach the Halacha will follow the opinion of Beis Shammai. What is the source and reasoning for this? Is it true? We will no longer follow Beis Hillel ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

What is the source for “the custom of our forefathers is in our hands”?

Where does "minhag avoseinu byadeinu" as a halachik concept, which is commonly cited as the source for keeping two days of yom tov outside of Israel, originate from?
4
votes
3answers
114 views

“Think about love for fellow Jews before praying” - source?

At the risk of being a guessing-game, I thought I'd read that before starting prayers (the beginning? The Amida?), one should take a minute to think about love for fellow Jews. Any source for this?
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Source for 4 species and the name of God?

I have seen many people say that one of the things that the arba minim (four species used on Succot) relate symbolically to the name of God, each species corresponding to another letter. What is the ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Source and reason for throwing the Hoshanos on top of the Aron Kodesh

I have seen in many Shuls on Hoshana Raba after using the Hoshanos people throw the used Hoshanos on top of the Aron Kodesh. What is the reason and source for this Minhag?
6
votes
2answers
167 views

“Tzon k'doshim!” ―“Baa!”: source/provenance

In some synagogues, on Simchas Tora, someone will shout "Tzon k'doshim!", meaning "holy sheep/goats", or "Tzon kadashim!", meaning "sheep/goats of sacrificial-offering sanctity". He's replied to with ...
3
votes
2answers
274 views

what's the source for Bar Mitzvah being at 13?

How do we know that a person is not obligated in Mitzvos before the age of 13, and is obligated from that point forward?
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Cooking on Chol HaMoed for after the Moed

A theoretical shailo. One who is making a bris the day after shmini etzeres on isro chag (in eretz yisrael) and will have limited time to cook may they prepare the food already on chol hamoed for ...
4
votes
1answer
549 views

Reciting a Posuk representing your name at end of Shemona Esrei - source?

Many Sidurim mention in the name of the Shela that one should say a Posuk at the end of Shemona Esrei that begins and ends with the same letter as ones name. Does anyone know where in the Shela this ...
2
votes
1answer
226 views

Belief in Yechidah

According to Chabad.org, Yechidah connotes the essence of the soul--its unity with its source, the singular essence of G-d. For the essence of the soul of man is "literally a part of G-d ...
5
votes
3answers
252 views

Are there forms of Jewish mysticism outside of kabbalah?

Is kabbalah the one and only form (source?) of Jewish mysticism?
8
votes
2answers
168 views

Esrog with “gartel”

Esrogim can be found in the shuk (market) that have on them a sort of "gartel" shape around the middle. That is to say a sort of indentation that make the esrog appear as if it's wearing a "gartel" ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

What is the origin on metziztah b'peh?

Is metzitzah b'peh of biblical origin or was it instituted by the rabbis? What is the source for this practice?
6
votes
2answers
194 views

How/why does kaparot work?

The ritual of kaparot [lit. atonement], which is usually done just prior to Yom Kippur (usually the day before), where one waves a chicken or an [unspecified] amount of money over one's head in a ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

Are there any ma'amrei chazal on תּוֹלָע בֶּן-פּוּאָה?

תּוֹלָע בֶּן-פּוּאָה was the shofet from Yissachar (Shoftim 10:1-2). I have not been able to find any information on him anywhere. Do chazal or any later commentators mention anything about him?
3
votes
0answers
194 views

Maimonides on Circumcision

These are not questions about circumcision. They are about what Maimonides said about the practice. I would to know if the following things do, or do not, in fact represent things Maimonides said ...
20
votes
2answers
219 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Is there any concept of “troubling” G-d?

Is there any idea mentioned on Judaism of not wanting to "trouble" G-d with something too trivial? Obviously, G-d is infinite, and it's no more trouble for Him to do a thousand things than it is to do ...
17
votes
1answer
196 views

Why do we open the ark for important prayers?

What is the origin of the custom of opening the ark for important prayers (not connected with the need to take out the Torah scroll)?
5
votes
1answer
251 views

Customs surrounding fasting when a sefer torah falls to the floor?

Based on this question I would like to know what the earliest source for fasting when a sefer torah falls comes from? Is is true that if a person is in the room but turns away so as not to see it ...
2
votes
2answers
159 views

what is the source for “Ein Melech B'Lo Am”?

There is a seemingly well known chazal "Ein Melech B'Lo Am" there is no king without a people. Which is supposed to indicate that God cannot truly be king without subjects. Where is this chazal found ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Genesis 3:22 as a reference to Yona?

I was told that there is a midrash that learns Genesis 3:22 as a reference to the navi (prophet) Yona ben Amitai, but cannot find the source. Do you know where it is?
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Rambam (Maimonides), talks about different kinds of people

I have heard in school from our teacher that Rambam talks about different kinds of people, one that sees things he does not understand and disregards them as nonsense, another who when faced with ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Source for checking talis over shoulder

What is the source for checking one's tzitzis while the talis is over one's right shoulder: isn't the halacha just to check the knots and strings? Can't the checking be done on a table?
9
votes
1answer
327 views

Embarrassing a Baal Teshuva

Be'er Hagolah at the end of Yoreh Deah 334 says that one of the things that are considered Cherem D'Rabeinu Gersom is not to embarrass a Baal Teshuva regarding his previous lifestyle. Yet when you ...
7
votes
1answer
172 views

Origin of the nine days

I just learned a gemara (taanit 30a) that seems to pretty clearly state that the mourning for tisha b'av starts the beginning of the week that tisha b'av falls out on, and ends with tisha b'av itself. ...