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

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4
votes
3answers
126 views

Is Rambam's opinion about Nidda and Zava cycle rejected?

There's a famous minority opinion of Rambam that, Biblically, the nidda and zava cycle is continuous--7-11-7-11-7 days ad infinitum, and that most Rishonim argue on him and hold the cycle is 7-11 days ...
3
votes
2answers
51 views

What is the source of the expression מנהג ישראל תורה?

The earliest source I found is the Ramban who says in Pesachim 7b: ועוד נ"ל שסדר ברכות הללו של שחרית ברכות שבח הן על נוהג העולם ואפי' לא שמע שכוי מברך עליו וכן בכולן, וכן נהגו ומנהג ישראל תורה ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Where is this Radvaz?

Simcha LeIsh quotes the Radvaz siman 21 saying ואם באמת חש לסכנה הי צריך לחוש למה שכתב בשערי רחמים (דף יא) שלנתק קשר תנאים הוא סכנה גדולה, וטוב יותר לנתק קשר נישואין ע״י גט מלנתק קשר תנאים. ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

What's the source that יונתן בן עוזיאל passed away 26 sivan?

The tomb of ben Uzziel is located in Amuka, Galilee near Safed, Israel. It is customary to visit ben Uzziel's tomb on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the lunar month, and on 26 Sivan (the day on ...
6
votes
4answers
105 views

History of Shabbat: how (or) did they count to align with 7th day of creation?

The Torah (Exodus 20:8-11) commands: ח: זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ: ט: שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל מְלַאכְתֶּךָ: י: וְיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבָּת לַה' אֱלֹקיךָ לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Source for Kissing Dropped Sefer

Is there any source for the common practice of kissing a dropped sefer?
7
votes
1answer
234 views

Why does one have to put on Tefillin every day?

Technically, one should wear Tefillin all day. We don't, since we can't keep ourselves clean the whole day. But we still put it on once a day during Shacharis, since we can presumably keep ourselves ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Authorship of Summarized Sefer Hamitzvos

Are there any sources that claim that Rambam didnt author the summarized sefer hamitzvos (מנין מצות הקצר)?
-2
votes
4answers
79 views

Torah atones for all sins

I once read a quote that said, "Learning Torah atones for all sins." Does anyone know where this Menachos, Kesubos or Eruvin?
6
votes
1answer
134 views

What is the source for Rav Soloveitchik's assertion that 1st Century Christians introduced mixed seating for prayers?

In the collection of Rav Soloveitchik’s responsa Community, Covenant and Commitment, there is a series of letters railing against mixed seating in the synagogue. Amongst the points raised there is a ...
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
65 views

The blessing for not talking in shul

I read in תוכחת חיים that , "One who is careful not to speak in shul during davening will he blessed to see children, long life, great success, and will NOT suffer the pains of Gehinnom. He will never ...
9
votes
1answer
262 views

What is the origin of the claim that they played games to hide Torah learning prior to Chanuka

This question makes a very commonly heard claim: "Before the miracle of Hanukkah, when those who controlled the land severely restricted Torah study, Jewish children would gather to study Torah in ...
0
votes
5answers
104 views

Rabbi Nosson Finkel and angels

I read in Something To Say on page 31, the following: Rabbi Nosson Finkel of Slobodkah once chided a student for being chronically late to the morning prayers "Rebbi," the student defended himself, ...
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Wrapping tefillin to create letters

When we wrap, there seems to be a prevalent custom to incorporate the shapes Dalet, Yod and Shin in the strap on the hand/arm (depending on one's custom (discussed in Sefer Ta'amei Haminhagim page 13 ...
30
votes
24answers
2k views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X ...
2
votes
0answers
56 views

When did the custom of using 2 people for hagbah and gelilah begin?

Megillah 32a says: עשרה שקראו בתורה הגולל ספר תורה קיבל שכר כולן If ten have read from the Torah (meaning that at least ten verses have been read; not that there was a minyan of at least 10 ...
1
vote
2answers
74 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
119 views

What does Judaism say about meditation?

According to recent scientific studies, it has been found that regular meditation has various benefits such as better focus, reduced levels of stress, etc. Knowing that the roots of meditation comes ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

Length of time for waiting for hard cheese proportionate to the length of time it was aged

In a Halachic pamphlet I saw before Shavuos this year, it mentioned an opinion that one must wait after eating hard cheese one hour for every month it is aged (so if it was aged three months, three ...
4
votes
3answers
106 views

Sources about the Kosher status of Royal Jelly

Royal Jelly ("a glandular secretion and its color is a whitish yellow. Its consistency is creamier and less viscous than honey. Its taste is bitter, although not offensively so.") according to this OU ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Errors in Bais hamikdosh administration

am interested in locating as many clear places in Mishnayas and gemorro that refers to administrative problems in the bais hamikdash and how handled Eg yoma and error in determining time for the ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Memorization of the Talmud by Tosafists

I have heard a story (referenced here for example) about R. Isaac of Dampierre making sure that each tractate of the talmud be memorized by one of his students. What are the earliest sources for this ...
6
votes
3answers
424 views

Color meanings in Judaism

Do colors have a specific symbolic meaning in the Torah? (For ex. is it brought down anywhere that blue is holy?)
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Multiple brochos for one food type?

It has come to my attention (from a local Rabbi) that one is required to say a brocho on each and every bit of food he/she eats, unless he/she was thinking about that particular food at the time of ...
1
vote
2answers
379 views

The level of the man is determined by his wife Talmud

I remember learning something like the following in Gemara shiur. That if the man is not good and his wife is good, he will be good And that if the man is good and his wife is not good, he ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

Earliest source for the words Daas Torah

In this question Bruce James ponders "How can I know a Rav has Daas Torah". I am wondering what is the earliest source that gave this concept its name?
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Where is the Medrash about natural disasters showing Hashem is boss?

I recall coming across a Medrash that said, in passing, every couple of years Hashem brings about a disaster to show that he controls the world (or perhaps that we don't). This idea, I've seen in אור ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Ki Ein by Yonatan Shlagbaum

I was listening to song called Ki Ein by Yonatan Shlagbaum. Here are the words to his song: He כי אין הקב"ה אוהב אלא למי שאוהב את ישראל וכל מה שאדם מגדיל אהבתו לישראל, גם הקב"ה מגדיל עליו Where does ...
1
vote
2answers
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?
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Was there grass or flowers on Har Sinai?

Did Hashem make grass grow on Har Sinai or was it flowers?
4
votes
1answer
215 views

Midrash About God Repeating Words of Torah

I am drawing a blank as to the source of this midrash, that when a person learns Torah, at the same time God is learning that same section, or that He repeats what the person said? (Hopefully I am ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

Vilna Gaon on Yom HaAtzmaut?

I've heard repeatedly the claim that there is a specific prediction by the Vilna Gaon regarding the dates of Yom HaAtzma'ut (5 Iyar) and Yom Yerushalayim (28 Iyar). What is the source for this claim? ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Things to do on one's Hebrew birthday

The Ohr Yisrael says that on one’s birthday, it is proper to engage in introspection and seek ways to improve himself(1), Daven for the amud (2), and to give extra money to tzedaka(3)" 1) Ohr Yisroel ...
6
votes
2answers
63 views

Can the Mishnah be interpreted according to both peshat and drash?

There's a statement attributed to the Vilna Gaon (quoted in the introduction to Binas Mikra and in several other places) that the Mishnah can be interpreted through 'derash' and 'peshat', just like ...
7
votes
5answers
293 views

Why do we say Vhu Rachum before Maariv?

Before Maariv, we say the pasuk "Vhu rachum yichaper avon..." (Psalms 78:38). Why?
2
votes
2answers
259 views

Exactly how should the shaliach bow for Barachu?

In every synagogue I have been in, the shaliach zibur has bowed in some way at Barachu. I presume there must be a foundation for this. If so, there should be a correct way to bow. I am seeking clarity ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Birchas hatorah from the Torah?

I've heard many times that saying birchas hatorah is most likely from the torah (as apposed to mi-dirabanan). How could we not know? If it's from the torah, then it's from the torah!
1
vote
1answer
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?
2
votes
0answers
88 views

Who came up with this story?

It says in Mekor Baruch (of Rabbi Baruch Epstein) The Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, the Netziv, was once sitting down surrounded by several high-caliber students – avrechim versed in Torah, wise, and ...
2
votes
3answers
186 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
0answers
72 views

Game theory in the Tanaim

I read an article a while back (maybe over a year ago?) in the Mishpacha English Magazine (I'm pretty sure, although it may have been in the Ami) that discussed a certain machlokes Tanaim about how to ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

What's the source that Rabbi Akiva's students stopped passing away on Lag BaOmer?

The source of Rabbi Akiva's students passing away during Sefira is from the Gemara in Yevamos 62b רבי יהושע אומר נשא אדם אשה בילדותו ישא אשה בזקנותו היו לו בנים בילדותו יהיו לו בנים בזקנותו שנא' ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

The Gra finished the Torah?

I heard from a friend that he read that the Vilna Gaon did a Sium on the Torah. Not just the חמישה חומשי תורה, but that he basically claimed that he finished all there is to learn in Jewish studies. ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Shaving on Friday when Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday

This year (2011) Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday. I've heard from a few people that the halacha is that you can shave (and take a haircut) on the Friday beforehand l'kavod Shabbos. Are there any ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is whisky matured in a sherry cask Kosher?

Is whisky matured in a sherry cask Kosher? I know there is a Machlokes about this. Who holds what?
7
votes
4answers
562 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?