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

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28
votes
21answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
291 views

What is the source of the expression המבין יבין?

The Forward writer Philologos in his most recent column claimed that the earliest uses of the expression והמבין יבין are found in the Ra'avad and in the Radak. Based on the fact that both these ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

What happened to Moshe's Mateh (stick)

I once heard that Moshe's stick was used as the middle pole that held the beams together in the Mishkan that miraculously bent twice (Rashi, Shabbos 98b). Does anyone know a source for this?
-5
votes
1answer
44 views

Where in Avnei Nezer can I find this statement about Shabbos?

The Avnei Nezer writes that we the read the following posuk in the haftarah on Yom Kippur morning:.אם תשיב משבת רגלך. The superficial meaning of these words are, “If you restrain your foot because it ...
-3
votes
1answer
39 views

Zohar and Shabbos Yoma D’Nishmasa

The Zohar calls Shabbos Yoma D’Nishmasa, because it is the day of the soul, not the day of the body. Do anyone know where the source for this zohar is located?
6
votes
1answer
134 views

“Nahhat Ruahh l'Yotzro” source

At the end of מוסף לשבת in דרכי אבות השלם (p. 375), a quotation is written in the name of רבי יהודה: אמר רבי יהודה: אשרי מי שעמלו בתורה ועושה נחת רוח ליוצרו Can anyone help me find the exact ...
0
votes
2answers
146 views

baby crying at the time of mila is an עת רצון

Someone once told me that when the baby cries at the time of mila it's an עת רצון, a time of will. Does anyone know the source for this?
8
votes
2answers
130 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Blessings on Birthdays

There is apparently a practice among contemporary Jews of giving out blessings on one's birthday. Is there any source for this in the Jewish tradition?
-3
votes
1answer
102 views

“There is no question in the world whose answer cannot be found in Torah”

Rabbi Yitzchak of Volozhin says, "There is no question in the world whose answer cannot be found in Torah." Does anyone know where the source for Rabbi Yitzchak of Volozhin's statement can be found?
-3
votes
1answer
69 views

Everything is in the Torah

Someone mentioned that, "There is nothing on earth that is not hinted at in the Torah."* Does anyone know where is statement can be found?
0
votes
0answers
69 views

Maharal Diskin on Sefer Devarim

I heard someone mention that the Maharal Diskin say the following explanation on this posuk: וּבָאוּוּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל־הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וּרְדָפוּךָ וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ כָּל־הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וּרְדָפוּךָ ...
-3
votes
1answer
49 views

Who Is Rabbi Eliezer Yosef ben Rabbi Yitzchak HaLevi Letterberg לטרברג?

Someone told me that's it's written on the tombstone of רבי אליעזר יוסף בן רבי יצחק הלוי לטרברג: "הרבץ תורה ברבים ולמד וחזיר בעל פה למעלה מארבעת אלפים פעם מסכת ביצה וראש השנה" Who is רבי אליעזר יוסף ...
4
votes
2answers
127 views

If one gives a food gift on Shabbos, does the one who receives it need to use it on Shabbos?

The Halacha is that one may give a food gift to another on Shabbos. (See Dose of Halacha for more details). If I give a bottle of wine, do they need to open it on Shabbos, or can they choose to keep ...
-3
votes
1answer
50 views

Elazar ben durdayah and the Metaphors

The Gemara in Avodah Zarah (17a) says: “When Elazar ben durdayah was at the moment of the onset of cohabitation, [the harlot] blew with her mouth and said to Elazar, “Just as this current of air ...
6
votes
3answers
544 views

From where do we know that sexual intercourse with a non-jewish woman is forbidden?

From where do we know that a jewish man cannot have sexuel intercourse with a non-jewish woman? What say the Kabbala about this ? Is it related to dark forces, "qelipoth"?
-1
votes
1answer
70 views

Rav Chaim Friedlander and Avos

In Avos (1:14) it says, If I don’t reprove myself and push myself to do mitzvos, who will do it for me? Who will admonish me and encourage me to do what is right? Someone mentioned that Rav Chaim ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Source for statement that we don't know how to rebuke today

I recall hearing that someone, perhaps R' Yisroel Salanter, said that today we do not know how to respectfully give rebuke, and therefore we are all in the category of onus regarding the mitzvah of ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

The Alshich HaKodosh and temporal

I heard someone mention the following: The Alshich HaKodosh says, "How great is folly of those people that involve themselves in the physical, material and temporal. Because we have seen a generation ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Ramban and the generations

I heard someone mention the folowing: The Ramban in the writings on sefer koheles make an interesting diyuk. Koheles (1:4) tell us, “A generation goes and a generation comes.” The Ramban tell us that ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Sefas Emes and your mission

Someone mentioned that the Sefas Emes quotes in the name of the Chiddushei HaRim on that Mishnah (Avos 1:14), אם אין אני לי מי לי, וכשאני לעצמי מה אני, ואם... The Sefas Emes says, Every yid has ...
6
votes
0answers
35 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
298 views

Sherlock Holmes-ian deduction in the Talmud

I remember learning a story in the Talmud (I think) and am trying to find the source. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but this is what I remember. There was a Talmudic Rabbi who was sold into ...
4
votes
2answers
92 views

Prishus in Jewish Marriage

I know that there is a concept of prishus (going beyond the letter of the law, and abstaining from things that are really allowed) within Jewish marriage, but what exactly does this constitute, and ...
2
votes
3answers
94 views

What's the source for the line “Nebach an Apikoirus”?

I've heard that R' Chaim Brisker said that "Nebach An Apikorus is Oichet an Apikorus" (A "poor" heretic is still a heretic). What's the source and what does it mean? Does it mean that, for example, ...
5
votes
1answer
155 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?
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Should single men not sit at corner of the table?

I heard that there some say that single men should not sit at the corner of the table, because it could lead to someone staying single forever. Is there a source for this idea?
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Eliyahu HaNavi and bris

Someone once told me that when Eliyahu HaNavi comes to a baby's bris, everyone who is presently there is forgiven for their sins. Does anyone know the source for this?
7
votes
1answer
103 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?
13
votes
2answers
248 views

Do we have any proof (Biblical or other Judaic) that current-day Arabs have lineage from Yishma'el?

I am relating my question to Hashem and Arabs. Offhand, I thought that Islam claims ties to Yisma'el. If true, I don't know how or why it makes that claim. If it's all Arabs, even non-Muslims, how do ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

reading secular lecture or knowledge [duplicate]

Is one allowed to read secular lecture/ knowledge (i.e. technology, science or history etc.) for pleasure reading? Does the Torah or halacha explicitly tell us what one should distance himself from ...
2
votes
2answers
49 views

Fruit Leather in Gemara Sukkah

It's been a while since I learned Sukkah.... Does anyone know where the Gemara talks about where the wine from נסכים goes; through an אמה (canal) to a container, where it sat and congealed until it ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Why is the Miracle of Oil mentioned so much later than records of Chanukah celebrations?

The miracle of oil isn't really mentioned until the Talmud, and is absent from all earlier sources for Chanukah like the Books of Maccabees, Josephus, and others. I have seen historians claim that ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Sources about learning to defend oneself

Does the Torah require one to know how to defend one's self if attacked?
3
votes
3answers
739 views

Where is it taught that you can't sleep with socks

I remember hearing that you can't sleep with socks. I think Rambam stated this (correct me if i am wrong), but where in Rambam was it said and why do we do it?
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Rambam (Maimonides), talks about different kinds of people

I have heard in school from our teacher that Rambam talks about different kinds of people, one that sees things he does not understand and disregards them as nonsense, another who when faced with ...
8
votes
1answer
142 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?
6
votes
2answers
86 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Kashrus Explained

A close friend of mine asked me to fire this question at the mi.yodeya community so here goes: "I came across this rather interesting rendition of "kashrus Explained", not sure who authored it, but I ...
7
votes
3answers
106 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What side is a newborn supposed to nurse from first?

I have heard that there is a gemara that discusses what side a newborn is supposed to breastfeed from first. If this is true, where is this gemara and what's the idea behind it?
4
votes
2answers
134 views

Whence the minhag to light in shul by day?

In pretty much every shul and yeshiva I've been in has lit Chanukah candles by shacharis, the same number of candles that were lit the night before. What is the source for this custom, and why is it ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

Could the minhag of lighting menorah in Shuls have developed from when guests would stay in Shul?

Could the minhag (=custom) of lighting menorah in synagogues have developed from when guests would stay in the synagogue? Does anyone bring this as a source for the minhag? If so, would it not apply ...
3
votes
4answers
737 views

Are Jews allowed to listen to music that is performed by non-Jew?

I am machmir on only listening to music that was performed by a Jew, but i don't really understand it. Does anyone know what is the source for this? Does Matisyahu perform with only Jews?
3
votes
3answers
270 views

Which Talmudic source for Ḥanukah is the real source?

What is the Talmudic source for Ḥanukah? In discussing candles for Shabbath, the Talmud (Shab. 21b) goes into a discussion about candles generally, touching upon Ḥanukah candles, and ultimately asks, ...
6
votes
0answers
44 views

Did Prof. Rabbi Umberto Cassuto have any insight behind the biblical character Yehudah?

I am the great grandson of Umberto Cassuto, Benyamin Enzo Rocca, and 5 days ago my wife and I were blessed with a son (3rd child). With his upcoming bris in a few days I would like to know if anyone ...
5
votes
0answers
35 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
8
votes
1answer
161 views

Source for Categorization of Matter

What is the source for the idea that all matter is either domem (lifeless), tzomeach (plant), chai (animal), or medaber (speaker)? I sometimes find this quoted places (in articles and divrei Torah), ...
2
votes
3answers
179 views

Mashiach arriving upon the observance of Shabbat

Does anyone have a source for the suggestion that: If all Israel respected the Sabbath if only one single day, the Messiah would come immediately, for it is written: “Today if you were to listen ...
3
votes
1answer
230 views

Drinking medicine with a straw on shabbas

I saw on Revach.net questions about drinking with a straw and it mentioned that the Mahrsham held that drinking medicine from a straw might be considered a shinui and permitted on shabbas. Does anyone ...