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

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3answers
113 views

What is Rambam's opinion on Demons

In Mishne Torah A.Z (11:16) he says that sorcery and mysticism in general does not exist but doesn't refer to demons explicitly. Does the Rambam speak about demons specifically anywhere else?
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0answers
78 views

Jews wearing a hat, jacket or cap during davening [duplicate]

Some Jews wear a hat, cap or jacket during davening. However, is there any halacha that says a Jew must wear and a hat and jacket during davening?
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1answer
43 views

Source of “Koteret”

I have heard Rambam's presentation of the mitzvos at the beginning of each set of halachos referred to as the כותרת (koteret). What is the source for this usage?
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3answers
2k views

Are there any sources that prohibit childhood vaccinations?

The consequences of depressed childhood vaccination rates in some American communities, in the form of a building measles outbreak, have been in the news lately. All public schools and most private ...
2
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1answer
106 views

Soul of convert ( Jew in non-Jewish body) [duplicate]

I would like to know espescially from a kabbalistic viewpoint: Is it possible that a Jew gets born into the body of a non-Jew because of reasons connected to previous lifetimes and has to find his ...
2
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0answers
35 views

Saying “emes toraseinu ha'kedosha vehatehora”

There is a minhag of the tzibur saying the above phrase while the one who is oleh la'Torah says the second brocho. This was the minhag of my father z"l who was born in Satmar. I have been asking ...
3
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2answers
222 views

What was the earliest use of the Rambam's language in Shmita V'Yovel in support of kollel study?

Here's the Rambam, waxing poetic at the end of Laws of Shmita and Yovel (and his entire volume of Zeraim): ולא שבט לוי בלבד, אלא כל איש ואיש מכל באי העולם אשר נדבה רוחו אותו והבינו מדעו להיבדל ...
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1answer
61 views

Is the war of Gog and Magog a spiritual war?

I read somewhere that, "That the war of Gog and Magog will be an internal, spiritual war, when everyone will have to battle to remain strong with his emunah, but it will not be a war fought with guns ...
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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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3answers
83 views

Acronym of Iyar

I read the following on page 141, in The Wisdom In The Hebrew Months: The first letters of the last three words of this verse, אני י-ה-ו-ה רפאך, I am Hashem, your Healer, are an acronym for Iyar. Is ...
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0answers
35 views

Early Sources that Charity Should Optimally Support Torah

What are the earliest sources that state that charity ought to optimally be used to support Torah study. I.e. if one can choose various charitable causes to support, that s/he should choose to donate ...
4
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2answers
76 views

What were the Rambam's sources?

In the introduction to the Mishneh Torah, the Rambam indicates that his compilation of the entire Oral Torah is derived from a few key Jewish texts: ואין צריך לומר הגמרא עצמה הבבלית והירושלמית ...
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1answer
102 views

man is greater than an angel

I heard from someone, that man is greater than an angel. For an angel can never reach higher levels in spirituality, while man can. In addition, man struggles with his evil inclination and an angel ...
3
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0answers
34 views

Are there any responsa that encourage or require maintaining health insurance?

Are there any responsa in the literature that either encourage or require people to maintain health insurance, perhaps as a fulfillment of the obligation to guard one's health, or in line with any ...
1
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1answer
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Original Sources for Ideas about Hidden Path to Moshiach

I sat in a class recently and listened to an Orthodox rabbi expound on the convoluted path that had to be taken in the past and will presumably be taken in the future to get to Moshiach. I may not ...
2
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1answer
32 views

Kidushin with food from someone else's banquet

I heard that a person can perform kidushin with the food of someone else's banquet, when he's been invited as a guest. Is this true? If so, why? (Do the owners of the banquet relinquish ownership ...
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1answer
49 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?
1
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1answer
44 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).
12
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4answers
2k views

Basic laws, why is milk with meat not kosher?

I've recently read (again) the verse "לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו", meaning, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk". How did anyone get from that, to "Don't eat meat with milk at all"? I've always ...
9
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1answer
214 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 ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Individual Life Mission

What are the earliest sources that support or contradict the view of Sfas Emes and Chiddushei HaRim that each person (or Jew) has a unique mission in the world? Specifically looking for sources ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Rambam's statement about a blessing from the Ri Migash

The Artscroll Rishonim history book, in the section about the Rambam, records a "tradition" that the Rambam, as a young child, received a blessing from the Ri Migash, and that he (the Rambam) later ...
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6answers
758 views

Where does the concept of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism come from?

What is the source of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism? Are there people who disagree with its existence? Who was the first to mention it? What I am asking essentially is what is the historical ...
4
votes
1answer
468 views

Can one play computer games on Chol Hamoed

I know that there is a debate among the poskim as to whether one can type on Chol Hamoed. Does anyone discuss whether one can play computer games on Chol Hamoed?
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1answer
19 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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0answers
35 views

Maimonides' 13 Principles

What are the earliest sources who state that the thirteen principles of Maimonides are authoritative?
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1answer
49 views

Shabbos sustaining the world

I heard from someone that “G-d created the world to last for six days plus the Shabbos. Then the Shabbos gives the world the spiritual energy to exist for another week and the cycle goes on ...
3
votes
2answers
46 views

Why isn't Shabat haGadol held on the 10th of Nissan?

Why is Shabat haGadol celebrated based on day of the week (Shabat) and not day of the month, if it happened on the 10th of Nissan? Most other days of commemoration in Judaism are celebrated by a day ...
1
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2answers
102 views

Nothing stands in the way of desire

I saw on page 15 of this pdf the following statement quoted in the name of the Chida: "אין דבר העומד בפני הרצון, Nothing that stands in the way of desire." Does anyone know where the source for this ...
4
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2answers
131 views

sources that neatness brings brocho/mazal

I heard in a daf yomi shiur on the end of Moed Katan (27a ‘Couch of Fortune’) that Jews kept an extra neat bed for brocho/mazal. One of the reasons that he gave was that in general neatness brings ...
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1answer
96 views

Why do we say pesukim from Hoshea after donning tefillin?

In the standard Artscroll Ashkenazik siddur, after wrapping the tefillin around one's fingers it says to say the following pesukim from Hoshea 2:21-22 וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי, לְעוֹלָם; ...
0
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1answer
32 views

the tzaddik decrees it and HaKadosh Baruch Hu fulfills it

Someone mentioned that the Gemara in Mo'ed Katan (16b) says: צדיק גוזר והקב"ה מקים, the tzaddik decrees it and HaKadosh Baruch Hu fulfills it. I looked in Mo'ed Katan and could not find צדיק גוזר ...
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2answers
52 views

Earliest ban issued by a sage in the torah

What is the earliest source in the Torah where a leader/sage made a ban against something and people ignored what he said?
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1answer
56 views

Olive oil compared to Torah

Is there any source that makes a reference or compares olive oil to torah?
2
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0answers
59 views

Maror- common lettuce

Rav Dovid Feinstein in Kol Dodi perek 15:18 writes that the common custom is to use romaine lettuce for maror.However, he mentions that he heard that a renowned Gaon of recent times who permitted ...
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7answers
1k views

Does Jewish tradition indicate that Jewish people tend to be rude?

From what I've seen many non-Jews have a stereotype of Jewish people as being rude and greedy. Is there a Jewish source (from the bible,talmud, midrash, zohar, or classic torah commentators) that ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Singing shoshanas yaakov on Pesach

I have seen that some sing Shoshanas Yaakov on Pesach to commemorate the death of Haman. Can someone please direct me to an authoritative source for this custom? See references to it here: ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Source for the story about the Satmar Rebbe

I remember a story about a maskil who approached the Satmar Rebbe, and who lamented the fact that Hungarian Jews don't differentiate between the samekh (ס), the sin (שׂ) and the sav (ת). The Satmar ...
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0answers
42 views

Jews and makkas choshech

I heard someone say that the Jews who didn't want to leave Egypt died during makkos choshech. 1) Does anyone know where the source for this can be found? 2) Did four-fifths our people die during ...
1
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1answer
69 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?
2
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1answer
95 views

Historical documentation that the Rambam was supported by his brother

I have heard quoted many times that the Rambam wrote his Mishneh Torah while he was being supported entirely by his brother. It was only after his brother died at sea that the Rambam, needing to ...
3
votes
1answer
504 views

Victim of an Accidental Killing - Source

I recall learning (many years ago) that in a case of accidental killing that qualifies the "killer" to go to an Ir Miklat, the victim in the case was someone who deserved a death penalty but the human ...
3
votes
2answers
45 views

Are there any Torah sections dealing with frustration and anger management?

I'm often frustrated throughout the day by people who either have no regard for anybody except for themself or who are simply too negligent or incompetent to act in a reasonable fashion. I'm in a ...
3
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1answer
393 views

Sources for the world being round in the Gemara

Can anyone bring me proofs from the Gemara that proves the world was round-and that this was known 2000+ years ago? I have looked around and I can't seem to find any sources which prove this.
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0answers
48 views

Ramban's perception on death

I read Rav Gifter's biography, where he states the following: The Ramban, in his introduction to Iyov, asks a question: “Why do we cry at a moment of death? “Why do we shed tears? This is the natural ...
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0answers
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 ...
11
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2answers
341 views

Would Adam and Chava have been permitted the tree of knowledge if they'd waited?

I've long been somewhat troubled by the episode with the tree in the garden, because it seems like it was necessary for man to acquire knowledge (how else could we enter a covenant and accept the yoke ...
4
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0answers
47 views

Reward for not talking during davening

The Sefer HaPanim (Daf 11) says, “One who is careful not to converse during prayers is bound to live a long life and have a pleasant old age." 1) Is there anywhere in the Torah, Gemara or Sefarim ...
1
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1answer
84 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 ...