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

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What is the source that an accused criminal must have been warned?

What are the Biblical and rabbinic sources that say that someone accused of a crime, especially a capital crime, must be proved to have had a prior warning or instruction that the activity was a sin ...
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120 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 ...
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105 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 ...
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48 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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63 views

Washing After Leaving Cemetary

What are the earliest sources (i.e. Chazal or Rishonim) for washing one's hands after visiting a cemetery? Is this mentioned by the Rambam?
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85 views

Hallel before chatzos at seder

I was reading Rav Schwab On Prayer (page 541) where he says the following about the timing of parts of the Seder: According to some poskim, even the recitation of Hallel should be completed before ...
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1answer
133 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 ...
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101 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 ...
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88 views

Kissing Tefillin during Davening

I have been doing some rudimentary research into kissing the tefillin while davening. This question discusses some of the traditions about when to kiss and provides some late sources (the Shulchan ...
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88 views

Omitting the second half of bentching

I need some help finding sources for great people who left out the second half of bentching (i.e. everything from the harachamans and on, after the four blessings). Most people seem to have the custom ...
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64 views

Origin of Hadran

What is the origin of the hadran? I'm referring to the whole extended multi-paragraphed "prayer", not to the words "Hadran alach."
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88 views

Source for Taanis Esther as a tikkun for the Eitz Hadaas?

In this article the author asserts in the name of Rav Chaim Vital that The three-day fast that Mordechai and Esther ordered for the Jewish people, says Rav Chaim Vital, was a tikkun for the ...
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French and Italian are Related: Linguistic Knowledge in the 12th-14th Centuries

In this answer to a question that concerned the ways in which languages change and evolve, @SethJ made reference to a sugya that discusses the differences between different dialects of Aramaic, and a ...
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153 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?
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88 views

Chasam Sofer on innovation

There is a famous quote of the Chasam Sofer, in which he applies the principle stated in Mishna 'Orlah 3:9 (החדש אסור מן התורה בכל מקום) to the question of innovation within Judaism. Rather than ...
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2answers
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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135 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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88 views

Not responding to insult

Someone told me that one who is insulted but does not respond, has the ability to give berachos to people. Is there a source to this?
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54 views

Maharal on Avodas Hashem

The Maharal (in Gur Aryeh in the beginning of Bereishis) says, "Our avodas Hashem through Torah and Tefillah that's how we bring forth the kavod Hashem." That's the purpose of creation is to increase ...
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117 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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23 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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66 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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71 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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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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39 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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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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38 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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52 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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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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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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75 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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1answer
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
89 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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98 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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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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1answer
220 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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135 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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246 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
125 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
72 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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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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292 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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62 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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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
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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52 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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77 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?