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

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142 views

Four cups of wine by the Pesach Seder — From the Torah?

I've heard there is an opinion that the daled cosos by the Pesach Seder are m'doraisa. What is the source for this (if there is one? I vaguely remember a source being in the Yerushalmi?) What Seforim ...
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1answer
109 views

Looking for more information on the bridal virginity blessing

The blessing on bridal virginity is recorded in the Halakhot Gedolot but dismissed by the Rambam in Teshuvot Harambam, II:364-365, #207. What is the original source for this blessing? Do other ...
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1answer
133 views

Story with Rav Safra — halacha l'maseh?

The following story is brought down in Rashi in Makkos Daf 24a (Found in Sha'iltas D'Rav Ahai Gaon) והכי הוה עובדא דרב ספרא היה לו חפץ אחד למכור ובא אדם אחד לפניו בשעה שהיה קורא ק"ש ואמר לו תן ...
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116 views

The Chofeitz Chayim on World War Three

I read the following: בְּשֵׁם הֶ'חָפֵץ חַיִּים' כָּךְ בִּשְׁנַת תשע"ה 75 שָׁנָה אַחֲרֵי פְּרוֹץ הַשְּׁנִיָּה צְפוּיָה לִפְרֹץ הַמִּלְחָמָה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵהגה"צ ר' צְבִי מֵאִיר ...
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20 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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65 views

Who wrote the Toldos Aharon on Chumash?

Most Chumashim contain a commentary, called Toldos Aharon, which cites which gemara cites each verse (kind of like a reverse Torah Ohr). Who wrote it?
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46 views

Shir HaShirim on Sabbath Eve

What are the earliest sources that reference the recitation of Shir HaShirim on Erev Shabbos? (Bearing in mind the dates of redaction of various Midrashim).
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1answer
21 views

“Echad mi yodeya” describing merits for Exodus — source?

The Artscroll Family Hagadah explains that Echad Mi Yodeya is asking "in what merit were the Jews redeemed from Egypt?" Well, they believed in one God, they would receive two tablets, they had great ...
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37 views

Taking off tefillin for Mussaf on Rosh Chodesh [duplicate]

On Rosh Chodesh we take off our tefillin before Mussaf. 1) What's the source this? 2) Why do we do it?
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1answer
47 views

Zohar and Maharal on the soul and face

1) I heard from someone say in the name Zohar haKadosh that the eyes are the "mirror to the soul" - that to those who are able to read such things a person's eyes are very revealing. Does anyone know ...
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67 views

Parents teaching children or children teaching parents?

Regarding והגדת לבנך, and you shall tell to your children (Shemos 13:8), on Pesach night: 1) What is the mitzvah of והגדת לבנך and how does one fulfill it according to halacha? 2a) Why do yeshivos ...
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1answer
36 views

Mekor for R' Haim on Tannaim vs Amoraim

I've heard there is a R' Chaim Soloveitchik saying that although there is no law stating Tannaim may not argue with Amoraim nevertheless it isn't customary for an Amora to contradict a Tanna. Does ...
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1answer
50 views

Eliyahu HaNavi and bris

Someone once told me that when Eliyahu HaNavi comes to a baby's bris, everyone who is presently there is forgiven for their sins. Does anyone know the source for this?
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1answer
60 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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1answer
80 views

Sources for the halachos of medical emergencies on Shabbos

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm currently preparing a chabura (presentation) on the laws of medical emergencies on Shabbos. What sources discuss the halachos of medicine on Shabbos?
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74 views

Stealing from a non-Jew is worse than stealing from a Jew

Rav Shimon Schwab zt"l (in an audio shiur titled "Jews in Golus - How High A Profile") quoted a tosefta in perek hagozel which says that to steal from a non-Jew is worse than stealing from a Jew for ...
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42 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?
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1answer
85 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?
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1answer
95 views

Pointing the pinky at the torah

By Hagbahos HaTorah people point at the Torah with the pinky of their right hand. I have seen others point with the pinky of both hands. Someone told me this is brought down in the Me’am Lo’ez. Where ...
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95 views

Origin of wearing tallit with two corners in front and two in back?

As referenced here, the earliest source I've found for wearing one's tallit with two corners/tzitziyot in front and two back is Ba'al HaItur (c. mid-1100s). But, I'm left wondering where Ba'al HaItur ...
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1answer
48 views

Source for praying and repentance on Fast days?

What is the source for the idea that fast days are not only for fasting and remorse on the past, but also for prayer and repentance for the future?
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219 views

Source of the “remove his teeth” gematria

In the Hagadah (page 8 of here), there is a line by the wicked son that says you should "remove his teeth" (hakeih et shinav). A common explanation is that the gematria of "rasha" (reish shin ein: ...
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131 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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245 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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1answer
124 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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1answer
71 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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1answer
46 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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2answers
291 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
60 views

Talking in shul and churban Europe

HaRav Yitzchok Sorotzkin said the following story: The debitzener himself was present by the Second World War - r"l the holocaust: “He was standing on the last transport going to Auschwitz. All of ...
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2answers
67 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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1answer
68 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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1answer
34 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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1answer
50 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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1answer
75 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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1answer
33 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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2answers
73 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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1answer
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
72 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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1answer
85 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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2answers
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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1answer
315 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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24 views

PreRishonic sources against the tekhelet half-string

What are the classical (pre-rishonic) sources explicitly or implicitly against the view of the Rambam that the tekheleth string is only half-dyed?
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45 views

The pre-Maimonidean half-tekheleth string

Are there any sources prior to the Rambam that suggest (even implicitly) that the tekheleth string is only half-dyed?
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41 views

Maimonides' 13 Principles

What are the earliest sources who state that the thirteen principles of Maimonides are authoritative?
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29 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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32 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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61 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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34 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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37 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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53 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 ...