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

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6
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1answer
108 views

Rambam claiming some of Hazal were superstitious

I forgot where, but I remember reading the Rambam z"l saying that some Hazal believed in superstitions, ideas such as ayeen haro because they lived in small villages with lack of science, and ...
6
votes
0answers
143 views

Rishonim saying Ester took place during the second bayis

Elsewhere on this site, avi cited sources to the effect that, contrary to the Bavli (M'gila), the events recounted in the book of Ester took place after the second bes hamikdash was built. Do any ...
6
votes
0answers
271 views

Origin of the allegory of the long spoons

A common version of the allegory of the long spoons tells how Rabbi Hayim Elhanan ben Yehudah Leyb Tsedek or Tzadikov (*1813, ✡1883) of Rumšiškės went to see the difference between Heaven and Hell. ...
6
votes
0answers
106 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
103 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

Is there any source for saying the first possuk of Shema quietly?

The Rema in OC 61(26) says the custom is to say the first possuk of the shema aloud. In this question Sh'ma aloud but amida quietly Gershon Gold said that Shema is said aloud in unison and msh210 ...
5
votes
3answers
446 views

Source of Burning Lulav with Chometz

What is the source of the custom to keep the Lulav untill Erev Pesach and burn it with the Chometz?
5
votes
2answers
246 views

Source of shabbat evening kiddush text?

The beginning of the shabbat evening kiddush (vayehi erev, vayehi boker, yom hashishi...) is from Bereshit, 1:31 ff. Where does the second part (khi hu yom tehilah lemikraei kodesh...) come from? Is ...
5
votes
1answer
168 views

Did the Terumas haDeshen write a challah recipe?

Reading this article about challah-making, I noticed the following: Using the starter, I tried the Rich Sourdough Barches recipe from Inside the Jewish Bakery, which the authors say is adapted ...
5
votes
1answer
307 views

Source for eulogy of lost bookcases

I recall learning a gemarah (Bavli) where a certain scholar passed away and when another scholar was asked to eulogize him he responded with something akin to, "What should I say? We lost our ...
5
votes
3answers
474 views

Source for the prohibition against Nivul Peh (foul mouth)

What is the source for the prohibition against Nivul Peh (using foul language)? Is it Biblical? Rabbinic? "Asmachta" (based on a principle derived from the Torah but ultimately not considered a ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

When is the Halacha like Raba and when like Abaye?

I've run across variations of the following: קיימא לן דהלכתא כרבא בכל מקום פרט ליע"ל קג"ם That the halacha is like Raba in every place in the Talmud except six place where it is like Abaye. The ...
5
votes
2answers
158 views

What is a source that allows one to treat one's house as all within four amos?

I am after a source that allows one to treat one's house as all within four amos l'chatchila, with respect to nagel vasser (hand washing in the morning).
5
votes
2answers
621 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
250 views

Do a mitzva for mashiach?

I recently saw in The Moshiach Times, a popular Chabad-Lubavitch publication for children, an exhortation to "do a mitzvah for moshiach": to do a mitzva with the specific purpose of hastening the ...
5
votes
3answers
233 views

Why is Moshe (mostly) absent from the haggadah?

Somebody asked at my seder this year why Moshe is largely absent from the magid. I have heard that the reason is because we're supposed to focus on God, and also that Moshe was very humble and there ...
5
votes
2answers
131 views

Ari Zal and Sefira

Many people do not take a hair cut until the end of Sefira (including Lag B'Omer) because of a position of the Ari Zal. Where is the Ari Zal? What is the source for this? Did the strigency of the Ari ...
5
votes
1answer
55 views

What is the source for Mesirath Nefesh being a virtue?

Mesirath Nefesh is widely considered a virtue. It is treated by Musar-givers throughout the world as though it is the most important virtue after fear of Heaven. But what is it based on? There are ...
5
votes
3answers
392 views

Source that Avraham's tent was open on all sides?

What is the source for the idea (I recall learning as a child) that Avraham's tent was open on all 4 directions to welcome guests?
5
votes
3answers
113 views

Source of Midrash regarding Yaakov's saying Shema

There is a famous Rashi in Parashat Vayigash (46:29) where Rashi explains that Yaakov didn't cry on Yosef's shoulders because he was reciting Shema. He cryptically quotes this in the name of ...
5
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5answers
260 views

Do Animals Have an Afterlife

What does Torah say about an afterlife for animals? Is there somewhere animals go after they die? Please include the sources of your answers.
5
votes
1answer
82 views

Is there any concept of “troubling” G-d?

Is there any idea mentioned on Judaism of not wanting to "trouble" G-d with something too trivial? Obviously, G-d is infinite, and it's no more trouble for Him to do a thousand things than it is to do ...
5
votes
7answers
298 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
188 views

Jews vs gentiles: disputes

Recently I got a pleasureful reading of the Ramban's dispute. I think it a great source for "דע מה להשיב" (know what to answer to heretics). I'm sure there were similar disputes by other great ...
5
votes
3answers
321 views

The Western wall (Kotel Hamaravi) forever

What is the source that the western wall of har habayis will never be destroyed? I remember learning it somewhere and heard it numerous times but forgot the source.
5
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
345 views

Whence is the idea that the deceased is a meilitz yosher?

At funerals I have often heard it said that the deceased should be a meilitz yosher (one who relates rectitude). Where does this idea come from?
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Was the tana Rebbi Meir blind?

I have heard that the name Meir (lit:enlightening) is actually a "lashon naki" because he was actually blind. Similar to "sagi nahor". Is there any source for this notion that Rebbi Meir was blind?
5
votes
1answer
140 views

Why do we sit in the sukkah in the autumn?

I remember hearing at some point that there's a disagreement between the Ashkenazi and Sefardi rishonim regarding why we sit in the sukkah in the autumn: Ashkenaz - Because we love God, so we go out ...
5
votes
2answers
109 views

Should the shaliach tzibbur wear a talis to say the 13 middos ?

The Gemoro in Rosh Hashono 17b says that HKB”H put on a talis like a shaliach tzibbur and taught Moshe the 13 middos and said whenever Israel sins they should perform before Me according to this ...
5
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Shechita for chicken

What is the halachic source requiring us to ritually slaughter chicken specifically, and was there ever a time in history that Halachic Jews ate chicken without first performing ritual slaughter?
5
votes
1answer
116 views

Source for how Agag had a child after being captured

Many years ago when I learned the story of King Shaul and Agag I recall learning that the Amalekites were master sorcerers and that the way King Agag was able to perpetuate his line was by cohabiting ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Aristotle eating Aiver Min HaChai

I heard there is a Rambam that mentions that Aristotle ate Aiver Min HaChai. I am looking for both the source in the Rambam and any earlier sources that could have been the basis for this.
5
votes
1answer
76 views

From where do we learn that strangulation is the default execution method?

I've seen mention in various places, including a quick search of Bavli Sanhedrin, that when the torah doesn't specify a method of execution in a capital case, the method is strangulation. I see a lot ...
5
votes
3answers
242 views

Are there forms of Jewish mysticism outside of kabbalah?

Is kabbalah the one and only form (source?) of Jewish mysticism?
5
votes
1answer
58 views

Chafez Chayim checked copies of (which) books?

I've heard that the Chafetz Chayim inspected each page of each printed copy of the Mishna B'rura to be sure that it was printed correctly (with no large ink splotches or the like). Is there a ...
5
votes
2answers
172 views

Science of the Rishonim on “celestial spheres”

In the writings of the Rishonim, it is not uncommon to see explanations of pesukim or of aggadic concepts using the "celestial spheres" model of the universe. The Rambam in particular uses the idea ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the source for a Bar Mitzva seuda?

What sources are there for our minhag of doing a Bar Mitzva Seuda (meal), and do the sources state that the seuda must specifically be done on the day of the Bar Mitzva (or the night of)? And is this ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Where is the Rabbinic prohibition of tattoos discussed?

According to the gemara in Makkos 21a, it seems that the biblical prohibition of tattoos only extends to tattoos made for religious purpose. However, the vast majority of poskim all seem to imply that ...
5
votes
1answer
221 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
113 views

Amailut (trying hard/ toiling) to learn Torah

What's the source for amailut (trying hard/ toiling) to learn Torah? Is there any benefit to try learning Torah on your own without help, when you can learn Torah through asking others and looking ...
5
votes
2answers
303 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?)
5
votes
1answer
62 views

“For Zion's sake” - Where in the liturgy?

Is Isaiah 62:1 found anywhere in the liturgy? I seem to remember a reference or two in Selichot, but I can't find it there now, nor can I find it anywhere else.
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Customs surrounding fasting when a sefer torah falls to the floor?

Based on this question I would like to know what the earliest source for fasting when a sefer torah falls comes from? Is is true that if a person is in the room but turns away so as not to see it ...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

Does anyone have a proof text that animals *don't* have spirits?

I've heard it said that animals don't possess a רוח However, Ecclesiastes 3:21 uses the phrase רוּחַ הַבְּהֵמָה. Is there any text that indicates that animals don't possess a spirit? Edit: Upon ...
5
votes
2answers
288 views

Is there a source that the Messiah can die and return?

Is there a source in Judaism that indicates that Moshiach (Ben David, not Ben Yosef) will die before having fulfilled his role and then return to posthumously achieve it?
5
votes
1answer
36 views

Comprehensive treatments of the prohibition of bribery

I would like to educate myself about the nature and scope of the Biblical prohibition of "bribery" ("Shochad") and any associated Rabbinic prohibitions, as well as any derived ethical principles. I am ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Alternative Approaches to Prophetic Follow Through

This question discusses differences between positive and negative prophecy. The mentioned idea states that, while positive prophecy will always occur, negative prophecy may be negated by repentance. ...