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

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122 views

What sources are there saying that the knot of the tefillah shel yad should be right next to the bayit?

I know that the Zohar brings that the yud knot of the tefillin should rest right next to the titura (box), but are there other sources which do not rule al pi kabbalah?
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235 views

The Parameters of Hakaras HaTov?

Hakaras HaTov is generally translated as, or equated with, gratitude. Insofar as it literally means "recognizing the good",are there any sources which explicitly include recognizing good that we do ...
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120 views

Saying names of angels

I've heard you shouldn't say the names of angels, except for the four that surround us at night. What's the source and reason for this? Is it halacha or kaballah?
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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 ...
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45 views

Learning words from the servants of Rebbi

Where is the gemarah that discusses how the sages didn't know the meaning of certain words until their heard the servants of Rebbi Yehuda HaNasi using those words in everyday conversation?
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287 views

Who wrote Aleh Katan by Avraham Fried? [closed]

There is a (in my opinion) beautiful song by Avraham Fried called Aleh Katan. Does anyone know who composed this song? Is it Yishai Lapitdot? It seems like he said his name here: ...
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1answer
31 views

Chol HaMo'ed and wearing dignified clothing

It says in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (104:2), "One who disgraces Chol Hamo'ed, even though he has to his credit Torah and good deeds, has no share in the World to Come." Disgracing Chol Hamoed implies ...
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47 views

Why is Pesach called זמן חירותנו, when we did not have the Torah yet?

Our sages tell us, "there is no free man except one that involves himself in Torah learning" (see Avos 6:2). If that's the case, why is Pesach called זמן חירותנו, a time of our freedom, when we did ...
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68 views

Having parakeets in one's house

Someone told me it's Mazel Rah (bad luck) to have parakeets in one's house. Is there any source for this?
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28 views

Where does the Zohar say blessing and success come as a result of the Shabbos’s holiness?

The Eitz Yosef (cited in a footnote in 'The Complete Artscroll Siddur', page 316) quotes the Zohar who says: All the weekday blessing and success come as a result of the Shabbos’s holiness. ...
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66 views

Earliest sources for the hot-rock method of hagalah

What is the earliest source explaining how to do hagalah? What is the earliest place we see detailed instructions for the hot rock method as opposed to the clay/dough method? To elaborate: If you ...
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55 views

Source for dirt of a mitzvah is good

I heard somewhere that when an object was used for mitzvah purposes and becomes dirty because of it, that the dirt is not something to be ashamed of -- it's even something good! Some examples of this ...
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83 views

Omnipotence and Omniscience

Where was it first claimed that God is omnipotent or omniscient? Did God or an authorized prophet ever actually make this claim?
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1answer
71 views

Scraping fish with a finger nail?

I heard that a kosher type fish bought from a grocer that has also non-kosher fish, that scraping it with a finger nail where the blade cut makes it good to eat. What is the source for this idea?
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72 views

“Lo Plog” in Shas

In a case of a gezera or any other issur that might not apply to a particular person (for whatever reason) we often still say it does because of a "lo plog". In order that we shouldn't make ...
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310 views

Going to a wedding of a gentile

It says in SA YD Siman 152 Sif 1 that it's ossur to go to a wedding (seudah) that a gentile is making for his son. The Shach and Taz both discuss over there if for reasons of "aiveh" if one is allowed ...
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10 views

Source for Maaser Money

Several questions on this site Ask about 'maaser money', giving a tithe of one's income to charity. What is the source for this practice?
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60 views

Help with finding a Pirkei Avot Citation

Hebrew Wikipedia writes, commenting on the well known quote "אבות אכלו בוסר, ושיני בנים תקהינה:" אבות אכלו בוסר ושיני בנים תקהינה הינה סוגיה דתית-פילוסופית מרכזית ביהדות ובדתות אחרות. פסוק ...
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43 views

Words of Torah Need Not Be Enunciated

Ritva (commentary to Brachos 15b) writes that Torah need not be enunciated out loud during study. Which other Rishonim espouse this view? I am not asking regarding side issues such as verbal ...
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34 views

Maimonides' 13 Principles

What are the earliest sources who state that the thirteen principles of Maimonides are authoritative?
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26 views

Nishmas Chaim / Rav Chaim Berlin - searching for his tshuva on men and women shaking hands

Regarding the sugya of men and women shaking hands, I saw a few places who source the Nishmas Chaim who explains his shitta. They source it as Nishmas Chaim Siman 135 and some add (anaf) 6. However, I ...
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30 views

What is the origin of the minhag to recite psukim having 3 words?

A few weeks ago, I saw in a Siddur (I wish I could recall which one. It's not one of the "popular brands") a section at the end of Shacharit saying that there is a minhag to recite verses from the ...
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59 views

Speaks during kaddish

I saw the following quote: "If one speaks during Kaddish, then when his children say Kaddish for him after he leaves this world, it will not help his neshama, because he mocked the Kaddish while he ...
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32 views

History: Prevalence of Torah study

Historically, when has Torah study throughout the world been most prevalent, and when has Torah suffered relatively limited study and knowledge thereof? Are there any sources that break this down? It ...
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36 views

Torah out of order and the resurrection

I remember reading once that the Torah (Pentateuch) is not in the correct order and if someone knew the correct order he would have the ability to do techias hameisim (resurrection). The exact ...
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49 views

Source for an Aggadah about Moshe feeding a bird

I was reading a book called "Shylock" by Hermann Sinsheimer and he made reference to a story from "the Jewish Talmud." I don't know to what he is referring. I looked online quickly and found someone ...
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39 views

Ramban and the generations

I heard someone mention the folowing: The Ramban in the writings on sefer koheles make an interesting diyuk. Koheles (1:4) tell us, “A generation goes and a generation comes.” The Ramban tell us that ...
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20 views

reading secular lecture or knowledge [duplicate]

Is one allowed to read secular lecture/ knowledge (i.e. technology, science or history etc.) for pleasure reading? Does the Torah or halacha explicitly tell us what one should distance himself from ...
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62 views

Sources about learning to defend oneself

Does the Torah require one to know how to defend one's self if attacked?
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38 views

Source for guest bed in Sedom as a parable for education

Shalom has quoted R. Yakov Kaminetsky as saying: R' Yaakov Kaminetsky pointed to the Gemara about the "guest bed" in Sodom, where if you were too short they stretched you; too tall, they cut off ...
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49 views

Our bodies aren't here for the long haul?

I seem to have learnt something a long time ago. In basic terms that after the coming of Moshiach and the resurrection of the dead there will be a time where we won't need our bodies and we will live ...
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48 views

Loshon hora and Torah lectures

Where in hilchos loshon hora, does the chofetz chaim say that ridiculing Torah lectures is a form of loshon hora?
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15 views

Maftir for a mourner [duplicate]

I have seen the minhag for a mourner during his year of aveilus to get maftir every week. Does anyone know of the source for this?
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45 views

Zohar and the Yetzer Hara

I saw an unsourced advice to a general audience about reading the Zohar Ha-Kodesh as a segula in fighting the yetzer hara. I am wondering if there is a legitimate source for this, beyond the fact ...
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23 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 ...
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36 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 ...
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24 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?
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33 views

Time, Place and Speak

I heard from someone that מזל stands for מקום זמן לשון, (there is a) place (and) time (to) speak. Do you where this idea comes from?
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109 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. ...
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44 views

Source for split between דיני ממונות and דיני נפשות

There's a fairly commonly quoted idea in נזיקין masechtos, that a difference exists between דיני ממונות (monetary cases) and דיני נפשות (capital cases); that by דיני ממונות the חייב [whoever is חייב] ...
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94 views

Why is the name of the first Hebrew letter also the word for 1000?

I find it interesting the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet is "Aleph", which shares the letters and is pronounced nearly identically to the word for one thousand - "Eleph". Why might this be? ...
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49 views

Shulchan Aruch HaRav Signs Omens Location?

Does anyone know where the Alter Rebbe of Lubavitch speaks about halachos of signs and omens in Shulchan Aruch HaRav? I think the Rema speaks about it in Yoreh Deah 179:4, but does anyone know if the ...
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73 views

Seeking help constructing Purim Torah about EH"'E 22:13 [closed]

A friend drew my attention to this direct quote from the (very real) שלחן ערוך:‎ תקנו חכמים שיהיו הנשים מספרות זו עם זו בבית הכסא, כדי שלא יכנס שם איש ויתייחד עמהן. (וי"א דוקא בימיהם שהיו בתי ...
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41 views

God issuing prophecy in the name of idols

I once read somewhere in the Gemara that a Rabbi asked how come idolaters claim that, as they walked by an idol, the god made a prediction (or gave advice) that came true. The answer was that God ...
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79 views

“The local rabbi is in charge” — what's the pithy Hebrew? [closed]

I am failing to recall a pithy phrase involving the word דין to indicate that one should respect the decisions of one's local Rabbi. Something like, 'the decisor of the place is the decisor.' Is there ...
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50 views

Is this analogy in Reisheis Chokmah?

I've heard of a analogy that may or may not be in the sefer Reisheis Chokmah, that in a part of gehennom, "sinners" cut, in a forest where they see ghosts, wood for a burning fire. Does anyone have ...
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60 views

Looking for the source of the statement: עבודה צורך גבוה

I've seen the statement עבודה צורך גבוה used in different places. I assume it probably has an original context in חז"ל. Could you point me to the location(s) of its original use? Here's one text that ...
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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 ...
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1answer
62 views

Does anyone hold that בֵּית לָחֶם is also a person's name?

In Divrei Hayamim I 4:4 Hur is listed as the father of בֵּית לָחֶם. אֵלֶּה בְנֵי-חוּר בְּכוֹר אֶפְרָתָה, אֲבִי בֵּית לָחֶם The commentaries I have seen read this as he fathered people who lived ...
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100 views

looking for a source that free choice is only prior to our decission

I have heard in the name of the chazon ish "לפני מעשה - בידי אדם, לאחר מעשה - בידי שמים". would be grateful if someone can tell me the most reliable source for this.