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

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2
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0answers
86 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
2answers
258 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
0answers
71 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
72 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' ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Where is “no Tachanun” on Pessach Sheni documented? [duplicate]

In almost every Siddur I have checked - as well as all the Luach's around, it says not to say Tachnun on Pessach Sheini - 14 Iyar. Yet I cannot find a source for it, nor in Shulchan Aruch neither in ...
-1
votes
1answer
77 views

Authorship of Mishna

The Gemara in Yevamos 5oa clearly assumes that R. Yehuda Hanassi authored the Mishna: אמר רב יוסף כאן שנה רבי משנה שאינה צריכה Are there any tannaic sources that also state that he authored the ...
1
vote
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

Origin of “May God Avenge His Blood” (הי"ד)

What is the origin (i.e earliest usages) of appending הי"ד ("May God Avenge His Blood") after the name of a murder victim.
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Why Does the Torah Cycle start/end on Simchat Torah?

If the Torah was given on Shavu'ot, wouldn't it be logical to make that day the time to start the reading cycle (or, at least, line up the yearly cycle so I am up to the narrative of matan torah ...
-2
votes
4answers
60 views

Achieving greatness through torah study

Is there any source that says when one lowers himself (i.e. his dignity) or suffers embarrassment to learn Torah, he achieves greatness?
0
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0answers
59 views

The Vilna Gaon's distinction between the Rambam and the Ramban

I heard quoted in the name of the Vilna Gaon that (one of) the differences between the Rambam and the Ramban is that that Rambam held reality to be an 'Objective Reality' while the Ramban held that ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Divine Names for Judgement and Mercy

I have been told that the name of God אלוקים‏, Elokim represents the מידת הדין‏ or aspect of judgement, and that the name יקוק‏, the ineffable name represents the מידת הרחמים or aspect of ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

Rebbe Akiva's Name

I heard from someone that the name עקיבא stands for "יש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת." 1) Why is that? 2) What's the source for it?
1
vote
2answers
99 views

Rebbe Akivah's background

I heard from someone that Rabbi Akiva was a shepherd, a laborer, an am ha’aretz – religious in observance, but ignorant of Torah knowledge. At age 40, he didn’t even know how to read the aleph-beis. ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Source for the Usage of “Kabbalah”

What are the earliest sources that refer to Jewish mysticism in particular as "kabblah". (Preferably the answer should include an indication that the word was associated with this in particular, ...
0
votes
1answer
44 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?
4
votes
1answer
84 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? ...
0
votes
0answers
84 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?
5
votes
1answer
91 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. ...
2
votes
0answers
36 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
0answers
36 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
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).
1
vote
1answer
58 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?
3
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
474 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?
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Maimonides' 13 Principles

What are the earliest sources who state that the thirteen principles of Maimonides are authoritative?
-2
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
110 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
49 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
33 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
125 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
98 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; ...
2
votes
0answers
60 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
63 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
93 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
43 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
505 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
96 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
2answers
46 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 ...
0
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0answers
52 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 ...