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

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-4
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1answer
68 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
263 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
54 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
121 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
32 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
111 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
25 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
47 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
428 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
59 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
380 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
126 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
120 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
32 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
27 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
37 views

Was there grass or flowers on Har Sinai?

Did Hashem make grass grow on Har Sinai or was it flowers?
4
votes
1answer
219 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
87 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
68 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
110 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
298 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
263 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
111 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
92 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
187 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
97 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
567 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?
4
votes
3answers
172 views

Study of Written Law Without Comprehension

What are the earliest sources that confirm or contradict the assertion that recitation of Torah Shebiksav fulfills the obligation to study Torah even without understanding of the words? Preferred: ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
56 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.
-1
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
64 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?
2
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Time, Place and Speak

I heard from someone that מזל stands for מקום זמן לשון, (there is a) place (and) time (to) speak. Do you where this idea comes from?
2
votes
1answer
68 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
77 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
67 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
383 views

How do we know that we have free will?

Where in the torah does it state that humans have, and are entitled to in perpetuity, free will?