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

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0
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1answer
60 views

What are all the Mekorot for Matan Torah

I would like to get a complete list of the mekorot for har sinai or matan torah in the Talmud Bavli/Yerushalmi and Tanach where the events at har sinai are discussed even tangentially. What are they? ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Sixth Bracha of Sheva Brachos

In the 6th Bracha of Sheva Brachos, we read the line of גילה רינה, דיצה וחדווה, אהבה ואחווה, ושלום ורעות. I have heard that the first four words are referring to the relationship between a couple when ...
1
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2answers
131 views

Cairo Geniza Controversy

What are the arguments against using manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza? Are there any Seforim / articles that discuss this debate?
1
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1answer
51 views

Where does Rashi say that Jews will be revered for knowledge of astronomy?

I remember reading a Rashi that says that the Jews will be revered for their knowledge of the stars. What's the location of this Rashi?
0
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0answers
35 views

Doros Rishonim on Shmuel writing tanach

I was hoping someone could point me in a more precise direction as to where the work Doros Rishonim (by Rav Yitzchak Issacc HaLevi) speaks about the opinion of some Bible scholars that Shmuel ...
6
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2answers
199 views

What is Ruach Rah

Right in the beginning of Shulchan Aruch we see this idea of "Ruach Rah". In regards to washing ones hands and all that comes before that -- not walking more than 4 amos without washing one's hands, ...
0
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0answers
36 views

Who said we're not ready for the third Temple?

I think I heard a story once that someone asked a rav (maybe Rav Kook's grandson?) after Jerusalem was unified whether we should build a third Temple and he said that Klal Yisrael was not ready for it ...
0
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0answers
25 views

Translation of Rebbi Nachman's “Tale of Bread”?

Does an English translation of Rebbi Nachman's "Tale of Bread" exist anywhere either in print, online, or as an audio file?
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Not eating chametz in Eretz Yisrael on “Achron shel Pesach”

I heard that there is a letter from the Rebbe Rashab (Chabad) that one shouldn't eat chametz on Achron Shel Pesach when they are in Eretz Yisrael (even if they are keeping only one-day Yom Tov.) I ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Can one allow lashon hara to be said about oneself?

Somewhat similar to the question of saying lashon hara (negative speech) about oneself: can a person forgo his right to privacy (if that has anything to with lashon hara) and allow other to speak ...
1
vote
1answer
64 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 ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Source for Arizal sweating while learning nigleh?

I recall learning that the Arizal would sweat profusely when learning nigleh and that this was related to removing the klipot. I cannot recall the source for this; does anyone know?
6
votes
1answer
136 views

May one propose with an engagement ring?

Are there any Halachic issues with giving a girl a ring while asking her to marry him? Are there any sources that discuss the sha'alah of safek Kiddushin, etc?
4
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1answer
63 views

Source for Immersion after Biblical Niddah

Unlike other ritual impurities, which explicitly list various immersion or washing requirements, biblical niddah has no such explicit requirement in the written Torah ( to the best of my knowledge ) ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Who suggests that Creation Ex nihilo was only a small point and light?

If this is a simple minded question, please forgive me, but I'm not Jewish and so most of my information is via naive study and second hand. I've been told by a Jewish friend in my physics class ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

The Chozeh Mi'Lublin prioritizing dveikus over kriyas shema

I heard someone quote from the Chozeh (parshas Pinchas) that if one is in a state of dveikus with Hashem and zman kriyas shemah is arriving (or passing?) the yetzer harah says to stop for kriyas ...
1
vote
1answer
43 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?
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Why is the name of the first Hebrew letter also the word for 1000?

I find it interesting the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet is "Aleph", which shares the letters and is pronounced nearly identically to the word for one thousand - "Eleph". Why might this be? ...
4
votes
1answer
272 views

What is the original source that a soul is split in half before conception?

Does anyone knew of the original source (from a sefer) for the idea in this quote: "According to Jewish thought, a husband and wife were originally one soul before birth, split into two halves when ...
4
votes
1answer
44 views

No longer prostrating after tefillah - sources?

Inspired by this question, this question and this answer, what I am looking for is an early source that makes reference to people no longer prostrating themselves after tefillah. If the source gives a ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

Segulah of saying 13 times perek 13 of tehillim

I have heard a number of times of a segulah to say perek 13 of tehillim 13 times. Does anyone know the source of such a segulah?
8
votes
5answers
298 views

Do any Rishonim discuss how to approach Rashi's commentary on gemara?

I heard a quote once how carefully a person needs to analyze every drop of ink in Rashi, but I don't remember who said it. Does any Rishon (medieval scholar) ever discuss their approach to Rashi's ...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

Muktzeh as a means to encourage cessation of labor

In his work on the laws of shabas called Kalkalas Shabas (at the beginning of the 3rd chapter), the author of Tif'eres Yisra'el introduces the topic of muktzeh by saying that the reason the sages ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Source for dying upon reaching a set number of words spoken [duplicate]

If I recall correctly, it says somewhere that we each have a predefined number of words to speak, after which we die. (The idea being that one should be careful not to speak unnecessarily.) Assuming ...
1
vote
2answers
120 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

Where does the proverb “as you teach you learn” come from?

I ran across the proverb "As you teach, you learn" on a list of Jewish proverbs. (Here is an example of it online.) Does anyone know its source? I saw a few cites attribute it to "Midrash Tehilim", ...
9
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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 ...
3
votes
2answers
435 views

Stealing from a non-Jew

I'm looking for the place in Mishneh Torah, I believe in Hilchot Avoda Zara V'Chukot Goyim, where it lists the prohibition on stealing ( genivah ) from a non-Jew, but I can't seem find it.
19
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16answers
873 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

Is the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly mentioned anywhere in Rabbinic literature?

My late great grandfather was a torah scholar, but with all his learning, he never knew that a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly. He was amazed when someone told him about the common ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Does anyone hold that בֵּית לָחֶם is also a person's name?

In Divrei Hayamim I 4:4 Hur is listed as the father of בֵּית לָחֶם. אֵלֶּה בְנֵי-חוּר בְּכוֹר אֶפְרָתָה, אֲבִי בֵּית לָחֶם The commentaries I have seen read this as he fathered people who lived ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

How similar is orthodoxy practiced today to ancient times?

As an orthodox Ashkanazi Jew, I hear all the time that the way we practice is the same as we've been doing it for thousands of years (albeit with influences by the Ba'al Shem Tov, the mussar movement, ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

Let's play Name that Gadol - women wearing Tallis story

There is a story that I have heard with multiple names being used as the Rabbi in the story. It goes like this: A woman came to [insert name of Torah Sage here] and said that it would enhance her ...
1
vote
3answers
74 views

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 ...
11
votes
3answers
381 views

Killing Civilians in a defensive war

In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, many Palestinian civillians were killed by Israeli air-strikes (the Palestines claim the number is as high as 158, while according to the IDF ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

Is the Tower of Babel discussed in other Jewish texts?

Genesis Chapter 11 includes a few short verses about the Tower of Babel: 1 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they ...
8
votes
2answers
144 views

Why does the Chazzan bow when saying “Gadlu” holding the Torah?

There's a widespread custom for the Chazzan to bow, facing the ark, when reciting "Gadlu" with the Torah before carrying it away. The Aruch Hashulach (282:1) says that one should do this, but doesn't ...
3
votes
4answers
82 views

Is Earth a gift from Hakadosh Baruch Hu?

I have always been confused by the entrustment of the earth to Adam. Is the earth a gift, or do we merely have stewardship? Do any rabbbanim state an opinion, particularly whether any Acharonim weigh ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

Source for Quote about the cost of bread in the times before Moshiach?

Does anyone know where it says that in the times before moshiach, it will cost a barrel of money to buy a loaf of bread? I remember hearing that, but can't find the source. The reason I ask that is ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Rav Hirsch and Black Slavery

I once saw Rav Hirsch make a passing reference to black slavery in America in his Collected Writings, but no longer remember where. Does anyone know where this might be?
4
votes
0answers
66 views

what is the source for the artscroll sidur?

what is the mesorah for the artscoll ashkenaz siddur? Is this the same nusach ashkenaz that was used in previous generations?
2
votes
5answers
347 views

Is getting angry a biblical prohibition

Is getting angry a biblical prohibition? If so, what is the source in the Torah (five books of Moses) prohibiting getting angry (preferably something explicit)?
3
votes
0answers
102 views

Looking for Source for explanation in Chafetz Chaim

R' Moshe Sherer brings an interesting explanation from the Chafetz Chaim: The reason for the Torah's double expression of my Shabbos's in ויקרא יט:ג - ואת שבתותי תשמורו is to teach us that our Shabbos ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Avraham, Av Hamon, Av ha'am

Avraham seems to mean a father of a multitude or exalted father. But is there any scripture that calls him Av Ha'am? A father of nations or our nation? I read an article which wrote that Avraham was ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Sefer Tefillah L'Moshe online

I was speaking with a sofer today and he suggested for tying tefillin knots to use a sefer entitled Tefillah L'Moshe. However, upon searching the title, I came across no fewer than three seperate ...
-3
votes
1answer
40 views

Where else in the Talmud can we find a discussion of natural disasters?

We read a passage relating to natural disasters in Taanit 5a in which Rabbi Nachman asks Rav Yitzchak to explain a passage from Kings II 8:1 in which the people are told that they will suffer through ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Seligman Baer tikkun

Does anyone know where to get a scan of R' Seligman Baer's tikkun korim, or other older Western European tikkunim? A complete scan of a Western Ashkenazi sefer Torah would also work.
4
votes
0answers
149 views

Source for Chazon Ish on What defines a Lamdan

I recently read an article and the author wrote the following: "The Chazon Ish described the true lamdan as “someone who spends three hours preparing to deliver a five-minute shiur, and when he is ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Any sources that discuss חזרה (review) programs in detail?

What sources provide details of in what frequency one should review one's material? For me, two come to mind. The Gemara (where?) that a student would review all his learning every 30 days, which ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

What is the Source for Peyos? [duplicate]

There is a custom to let the area of hair above one's ear grow long this is manifest in varying degrees, from small, barely noticeable locks behind the ears, to long, curled locks that come down below ...