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

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8
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2answers
198 views

Mental Telepathy

In Rabbi Immanuel Schochet's introduction to the fundamentals to proving religion. He mentions mental telepathy as a phenomenon that although uncommon does exist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
8
votes
2answers
172 views

The concept of the “Tzadik” in Chasidut

I've recently started to learn about Breslev Chasidut and was amazed by many great advices of Rabbi Nachman zt'l but I am very confused to read things about the so called Tzadik of the Generation e.g. ...
8
votes
2answers
147 views

Earliest halakhic sources for wearing both Rashi and Rabbenu Tam tefillin simultaneously?

Orach Chayim brings that pious men should wear both Rashi and R. Tam tefillin at once when davening (34:2-3). Do we know what the earliest halakhic sources recommending this are, and their reasoning? ...
8
votes
2answers
249 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
193 views

Singing part of kidush with the leader

Some people, although listening to another's kidush (Friday night), sing part of it along with him: specifically (in my experience), the lines starting "ki vanu vacharta" when recited with this tune. ...
8
votes
1answer
181 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?
8
votes
1answer
153 views

Beer at a Shalom Zachor

There is a common custom I have observed to serve beer at a Shalom Zachor. This is also mentioned here with some speculation about the source. What is the source for this practice?
8
votes
2answers
167 views

If two separate studies intersect, is it a good sign?

There is an expression that I have always heard, which is that when two separate Torah studies one is learning happen to reference each other, it is a good sign. A variant of this that I've heard is ...
8
votes
0answers
161 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Cleaning blood from the temple

According to the Mosaic Law, blood was to be sprinkled on the alters, before the curtains and other places in the temple. This would result in many places, especially the curtains, being blood ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the source of Shomer Negiah?

What is the mekor for the very well known restriction of physical contact between men and women? Is it a biblical or rabbinical prohibition?
7
votes
2answers
449 views

Fulltext search across sources: Gemara, Zohars, Rishonim and Aharonim

I know about Hebrewbooks.org for searching for sources in books, but the problem is you have to get to let's say every Masechta to look for a phrase. Is there a program (doesn't have to be free) that ...
7
votes
4answers
619 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?
7
votes
6answers
529 views

Where is it taught that Hashem doesn't give a person test that he can't overcome?

I heard various rabbonim say that Hashem doesn't give a person test that he can't overcome. Where is the source for this?
7
votes
2answers
198 views

Metzudat Tzion on the Torah

Was there a Metzudat Tzion written on the Torah? If so, does anyone know if it is available online or for sale? I always loved this commentary as it explained the hard words on the Nach.
7
votes
2answers
706 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
188 views

Animals sixth sense

It seems that there is evidence that animals possess a sixth sense, such as in their fleeing from the area struck by the huge tsunami of 2005 well before the earthquake which triggered it occurred. Is ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

Where does the Maharsha mention the Bermuda Triangle?

Someone once told me that the Maharsha talks about Bermuda Triangle in meseches berachos. Does anyone know where the Maharsha speaks about it?
7
votes
1answer
316 views

Where does the Tiferes Yisroel discuss Edward Jenner and smallpox?

I've heard repeatedly that the Tiferes Yisroel describes Dr. Edward Jenner as a righteous gentile for developing the smallpox inoculation -- where is that quote, please?
7
votes
5answers
277 views

Meforashim and Poskim on Mas. 'Avodah Zarah and forming a curriculum

A friend and I have decided to start learning Mas. 'Avodah Zarah. Our goal, however, is not to just pick a random Masechta of Gemara and learn it with the commentaries on the Daf. Our actual goal is ...
7
votes
3answers
111 views

Which commentators commend Yosef for noticing his fellow prisoners' sadness?

Toward the end of Parashat Vayeishev, Yosef is imprisoned along with two of Par'oh's chief servants. Starting in Gen. 40:6, the Torah tells us that he notices that they look sad, asks why, and ...
7
votes
3answers
181 views

Why do many boys begin learning Gemara with Elu Metzios?

There is a popular custom for boys to start their Gemara studies with Elu Metzios (the 2nd Perek in Bava Metzia). The Gemara (Bava Basra 175b) does say that financial laws are conducive to becoming ...
7
votes
2answers
692 views

What's the source for naming children after Alexander the Great?

I know many Jews whose actual bris-given name is Alexander, and this has been a popular name even among great tzaddikim of the past (such as R. Alexander Ziskind). I've heard a legend (mentioned on ...
7
votes
2answers
475 views

Traditional review of Heschel's “Torah min HaShamayim”

"Torah min Hashamayim B'aspaklariya shel Hadorot" (תורה מן השמים באספקלריה של הדורות) was written by R' Abraham Joshua Heschel and published by Soncino Press and JTS Press in 1962. It was translated ...
7
votes
6answers
565 views

Sources for/about breaking a plate at a wedding

Are you aware of any literature that either provides a source for or discusses the significance of the two mothers breaking a plate at the "Tisch" at a wedding? It's not hard to find mentions of this ...
7
votes
3answers
445 views

What's the deal with all the washings?

Sometimes we wash with a cup, sometimes not; sometimes we wash twice, sometimes thrice; and not everyone agrees on method or pattern in all cases. Who says which ways we are supposed to wash, in ...
7
votes
1answer
263 views

Where does our blessing for daughters come from?

In many Jewish homes on Shabbat, the head of the household would bless his sons to be like Ephraim and Menasheh but would bless his daughters to be like the matriarchs . What is the source, if any, ...
7
votes
3answers
216 views

Tachanun on Yahrtzeit

Where does the custom not to say Tachanun on a Yahrtzeit come from?
7
votes
2answers
72 views

Tu b'Shvat Prayers by R' Yehuda Halevi (Gaon)

A number of years ago, they discovered in the Cairo Geniza a number of Piyutim and Prayers for Shemonah Esrei, to be included on Tu b'Shvat. I found this item listed on a Cairo Geniza database, but I'...
7
votes
1answer
241 views

Ring and kiddushin

Where did the concept of the chosson (groom) giving the kallah (bride) a ring, specifically, for kiddushin (i.e. under the chuppah) come from?
7
votes
3answers
231 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
374 views

Concept that time is a spiral

I've heard that there is a concept in Judaism of time in a spiral, but I'm not sure where that idea originally comes from (specifically, which Rabbi originally said it). The earliest I've found is Rav ...
7
votes
1answer
230 views

Where does the custom to spill off from a drink come from?

I had a Lubavitcher classmate in high school who used to spill off from his cup whenever he would drink anything. He claimed it was a minhag. What is the reason/source for this practice?
7
votes
2answers
325 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
374 views

Did the Men of the Great Assembly Canonize Tanach?

Many Jewish websites, (Aish, Jewish History, Ou), state that the the Men of the Great Assembly finalized the contents of Tanach in the early Second Temple Period. No source is brought to support this ...
7
votes
1answer
239 views

Explanation for couple not seeing each other before the wedding?

What is the source and reason for a couple not to see one another before the wedding?
7
votes
1answer
60 views

Hakhel: Source for leader of generation replacing king

As this is (or would be) a hakhel year I was doing some reading up on Hakhel and came across the following statement in a chabad.org article: If there is no king – as was the case in the hundreds ...
7
votes
2answers
195 views

What is the valley of deep darkness (or shadow of death) in Psalm 23?

In Tehillim 23, David says "Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for You are with me". Someone asked me if this "valley of darkness" is metaphorical or physical and, either ...
7
votes
3answers
169 views

What is the source for untying things before going under the chuppah?

At a wedding recently I saw that the grooms shoes were untied, someone explained to me that there is a custom to make sure there are no knots under the chuppah. Where does this come from?
7
votes
2answers
132 views

Halachot of IVF

Does anyone know of any good teshuvas or sefers giving an overview of the halacha of in-vitro fertilization IVF? (Feel free to also give overviews in your answers, but I'd appreciate links to the ...
7
votes
2answers
184 views

Shechting non-Kosher animals

The question was asked: If someone for example is sick and must eat from a non-kosher animal. Must it be shechted (slaughtered) first like a kosher animal? I don't see any reason why it should, since ...
7
votes
2answers
273 views

Rubbing the Havdalah wine

Is there any source for the practice of not only dipping one's fingers into the Havdalah wine that was used to extinguish the fire and rubbing the eyes with it, but also spreading it around onto other ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

A Convert taking on customs of ashkanazim or sephardim

When someone converts is there any determining factor on what minhagim (customs) they will take upon themselves in terms of Ashkanazim or Sephardim? Should it be dependent on the Beis Din they ...
7
votes
1answer
399 views

Jews were on 49th level of Tumah. Says who?

There is a well known idea that when the Jews left Egypt during the Exodus, they were on the "forty-ninth level of tumah". Many explanations are given for this and it is expounded upon at length by a ...
7
votes
2answers
225 views

The Split Between Sefardim and Ashkenazim

How did this split happen historically and halachically before Shulchan Aruch, and why is not like having two Torahs? Where is the source for the split?
7
votes
1answer
120 views

Do any Gedolim forbid attending a sporting event

Does a male violate any halacha in the torah by watching a ball game at a sports stadium? Are there any Gedolim that oppose going?
7
votes
1answer
209 views

Why do the mothers break the plate?

At a wedding [or by the engagement], a plate is customarily broken at the "tena'im." This has already been discussed over here. As I have seen at weddings, and as is brought over here the custom is ...
7
votes
1answer
119 views

Whose minhag does a Kalla follow in neiros shabbos and mikvah?

I was told by my mother-in-law that my wife should follow all of my minhagim except for shabbat candle lighting and mikveh, for which she will follow her mother's. Is there any halachic authority who ...
7
votes
1answer
389 views

Why are wedding invitation abbreviated b'rachos different for males and females?

Many wedding invitations written in Hebrew that I've seen have the abbreviations נ"י - after the groom's name - and תחי'‏ - after the bride's name. (Example) Sometimes they are slight alterations ...