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

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10
votes
1answer
73 views

Trying to understand Kol Hanearim

Where does the custom of Kol Hanearim, were all children stand near the person getting an aliah and are covered with a tallis-canopy, come from? What, if anything, is it a segulah for? Why is it done ...
10
votes
1answer
143 views

We're not supposed to point at stars?

I'm an Israeli Jew living in Israel. I often give "sky tours" where I show children and adults different stars and a view through a powerful binocular at objects of interest. Recently a young boy ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Big-picture commentary on the siddur

There are many commentaries on the siddur. However, most of them focus in detail on the words of the prayers. I'm looking for a commentary which looks at the "big picture" of each prayer. That is, ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

Why is driving on Chol Hamo'ed allowed?

Meleches Uman, skilled labor, is not permitted on Chol Hamo'ed even for the needs of the mo'ed (M.B. 540:1). Common practice indicates that driving on Chol Hamo'ed is allowed. However, driving is a ...
4
votes
2answers
78 views

Kiddush, Learning and Mitzvos for dead/niftar neshamos

I seek an early source that giving Kiddush (so others will make a bracha for the zchus of the neshama) or other such actions that can positively affect the neshamos of those who have departed.
4
votes
1answer
38 views

Which Tzemach Tzedek?

When the Pitchei Teshuva (on the daf of Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah) quotes teshuvot of the Tzemach Tzedek, who is he quoting? Is he quoting Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Tzemach Tzedek of ...
4
votes
3answers
971 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?
5
votes
0answers
79 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Don't be ashamed of people

I heard someone mention a posuk that says "Don't be ashamed of people who may laugh at us." Where does this posuk come from?
-1
votes
2answers
69 views

Where does it say that Sotah never happened?

My Chumash teacher says that the Talmud says Sotah never actually happened. Can anyone verify this?
0
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Source for Gemara about Gedalia

Where can I find the Gemara which this speaker is talking about ? In short, he quotes a Gemara which talks about Gedalia. Gedalia heard that Yishmael was coming to murder the people of the town but ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Why does Chazan (“seer”) mean prayer leader?

The leader of the Tefillah is referred to as a חַזַּן. The word חַזַּן, although translated as a cantor, actually comes from the word חֲזוֹן which means vision. Is there a source for this?
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Do bangles have a Jewish origin?

Do the bangle bracelets often worn by as a custom of Jewish Syrian girls and women have any Jewish source?
5
votes
2answers
98 views

Call and response in Sephardic communal prayers

Why does there tend to be more call and response in Sephardi communal prayer in comparison with Ashkenazi minyanim e.g. saying pesukei d'zimra in unison. Also, during the repetition of the shemoneh ...
20
votes
2answers
214 views

Source of non-verse in Selichot

In Ashkenazi Selichot, the following set of verses from Tanach (patterned around the opening verb ז.כ.ר.‏ to remember) appears towards the end of the Selichot service (there may be some slight ...
4
votes
4answers
148 views

Bitahon and Hishtadlut for livelihood

The Sefarim discuss (see Hobot Halevavot, Michtav MeEliyahu etc.) the idea of being Mishtadel (making an effort) for one's livelihood but believing that the Hishtadlut (effort) has absolutely nothing ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

The history behind the composition and inclusion of V'lo N'tato

I'm curious about the composition and inclusion in the shabbat shacharit of the paragraph beginning ולא נתתו (v'lo n'tato). I understand the talmudic basis for the underlying idea, and how it fits in ...
7
votes
2answers
222 views

Is there any reason to deny aliens?

Is there any reason that we couldn't believe in life on another planet somewhere? Is there any source that indicates to the contrary?
11
votes
4answers
889 views

Sources For Listening To/Not Listening to Non-Jewish Music

What are sources for it being allowed to listen to non-Jewish music and sources for it being prohibited?
3
votes
1answer
159 views

Pray to G-d in feminine (leshon nekeva)

For some reason I remember there were sources strictly prohibiting turning to G-d as a woman. Of cause there are may be prophets metaphores etc. But I think it is at least not encouraged to describe ...
1
vote
1answer
40 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?
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Why wine for kiddush

Why do we use wine (or grape juice - fruit of the vine) when sanctifying Shabbat? How was it first determined that wine was holy and that it is used to satisfy and make holy the coming holiday or ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

From where do we know that Yaakov has the spirit of prophecy when referred to as Yisroel?

The Torah frequently shifts in references to Yaakov. I have heard that it refers to him as Yisroel when he is experiencing prophecy, and as Yaakov when his prophetic abilities are lacking, as they ...
5
votes
2answers
189 views

Laws regarding excessive conversation while dating

In speaking with a friend regarding conversation between men and women who are dating, this is what they said: So I asked someone who knows about these things and she said that it originates from ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

From whence do we learn that the Torah does not mince words? [duplicate]

I have oft heard it stated that "the Torah does not mince words" (example 1, example 2, example 3). While it seems natural/logical that the Creator of the World would use words precisely, from whence ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Rav Ovadia Yosef's Books Online

Are any of Rav Ovadia Yosef's books available online? I had run across his son's Yalkut Yosef online at one point, but forgot to bookmark it and was wondering if someone could point me to either one. ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

A source for the claim that the Satmar Ruv (R' Yoel Teitelbaum) said to VP Hubert Humphrey “Sell weapons to Israel!”

There is a commonly quoted anecdote that when Vice President Hubert Humphrey came to the Satmar Rav for votes in 1968 and asked him what he could do for him the Satmar Rav replied "Sell weapons to ...
3
votes
3answers
278 views

Modern nations and Umos Haolam

Where can I find a discussion about the roots of modern nations, in the Umos Haolam mentioned in the Torah and Chazal?
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Where does Chassam Soffer say Hillel needed a job

I recall seeing a Chassam Soffer who explained that Hillel Hazakein was allowed to lead a life of poverty for Torah only as long as he had no children. Up untill then it was a lifestyle that his wife ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Wanting to do a Mitzvah, getting paid for intent AND accomplishent

I heard from someone that whoever wants to do a mitzvah, Hashem gives him reward before he does the mitzvah, and after he does the mitzvah Hashem doubles it. Where is the source for this?
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Chida's statement about shabbat violators

I heard Rabbi Yitzhack Yosef Shelita (Rishon LeTzion and son of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef, Z"L) who says that the Chida writes that in all the places that he was never saw a Sephardic Jew that wasn't ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Source for story of rabbi's claiming land said “you're both mine”

I heard the following story recently (though I paraphrase, and may have some details wrong): When Rabbi M'nachem Perr lived in Queens, New York, he had an Italian, non-Jewish neighbor who, during ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

swaying and bowing

In the Aryeh Kaplan Reader (page 192) Rabbi Kaplan zt"l says, "Many people - during Shemonah Esrei - have the habit of swaying and bowing. However, the Shelah HaKadosh writes, such movements may ...
6
votes
3answers
79 views

Why is Techiyas HaMeisim not explicitly mentioned in the Torah?

Since believing that Techiyas HaMeisim is part of the Torah is a fundamental of Judaism (Mishna Sanhedrin Perek HaChelek, although the Rambam Hilchos Teshuva Chapter 3 doesn't emphasize the believing ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

War, Pray and Learn

The Medrash Rabbah and the Yalkut relate that during the war against Midyon, for every one that went out to battle there was a designated person whose task it was to pray and learn for him. Where in ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

Halachik source for wearing stockings

What is the Halachik source for women covering their lower legs (past the knee)? And why would sheer stockings be acceptable if the point is to cover the lower leg?
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Chofetz Chayim, Sheim Olam and Suffering

Someone quoted the Chofetz Chayim in Sheim Olam, where he says, "When Hashem - in the future – will show each and every one of us, how our periods of suffering helped us achieve the growth that we ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Source for Bless you

I've heard that the custom of saying tzu gezunt, bless you etc. When someone sneezes is because until Ya'akov, people used to sneeze and die, but Ya'akov was the first one to first get sick. What is ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

ראש וראשון לכל דבר שבקדושה

The phrase "ראש וראשון לכל דבר שבקדושה" is used quite often in haskamos and introductions to describe people who devote their life to Torah study or supporting Torah study or other important Jewish ...
7
votes
1answer
47 views

Does anyone have any resources on voluntary prayer/tefillah n'dava?

I was recently learning Rambam's hilchot tefilah from Mishneh Torah. After outlining the five kinds of statutory recitiations of the Amidah, he states that just as an individual (but not the tzibur) ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Prophecies of the Maccabees uprising are foretold in which ancient book?

I read on the internet somewhere about an ancient prophesy in which the Lord having horns on His head and using them to fight back against the Dragon and the horns on the Dragons head. One of the ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Ba'al Shem Tov, King and Nation

Rabbi David Aaron said that the Ba’al Shem Tov says in Parshas Yisro, והעולם הזה צורך גבוהה - This world is of great heavenly need.” כי אין מלך בלא עם - “For there is no King without a Nation. Go ...
7
votes
2answers
370 views

Walking around the house after shiva

I'd heard something about how some people, when getting up after the week of "sitting shiva" (mourning), take a walk around the outside of their house before going back to "normal" life. Has anyone ...
5
votes
0answers
177 views

Source for not referring to Chanuka lights as a “menora”

Following up on this question about the use of the words "menora" or "chanukiya" to refer to Chanuka lights: I find it interesting that the use of "chanukiya," popularized in 1897 through a secular ...
10
votes
2answers
183 views

“m'nora” on Chanuka

My kid came home from school one day insisting that the thing we light on Chanuka is not a m'nora but a chanukiya. I replied that that's the word most Israelis use now but that m'nora is a perfectly ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Ben Sorer U'moreh - is anyones future doomed?

the Gemara (Sanhedrin 71a) writes that a Ben Sorer U'moreh never took place. I would like to suggest that the Gemoro is teaching us that it never happened that a Jewish child - however bad he may be - ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Is there a Jewish tradition of God reviving Israel at Sinai?

I once heard that according to "Jewish tradition", though it could be mere hearsay, that there was a story or legend that when the Israelites saw God's presence upon Mt. Sinai (or heard His audible ...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

Rambam's responsum about treating depression with music

I remember reading a tashubho from the Rambam where he clearly states that music can treat depression and therefore it is ok to listen to if you are depressed. However, I can't seem to find it at the ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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?