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

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Looking for torah from Harry Houdini's father

According to Wikipedia Harry Houdini's father, Rabbi Mayer Sámuel Weisz, was an reform Rabbi in Wisconsin and elsewhere. I am curoius if there are any known sermons or other divrei torah that are ...
2
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0answers
25 views

Codifying in a variant-text based machlokes

The בית חדש in O.C. 168 writes the following: אלא דלהלכה ודאי במידי דתליא בגירסאות אזלינן לחומרא הכי והכי In something which is dependent on variant texts we are stringent in both directions. ...
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1answer
43 views

Origin of Hadran

What is the origin of the hadran? I'm referring to the whole extended multi-paragraphed "prayer", not to the words "Hadran alach."
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1answer
91 views

Bowing during kedusha

Today at Mincha, the Shaliach tzibbur bowed for each word of Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh, to the left, right, and then center, as we do at the end of Shemoneh Esrei. I have never seen that before. Is there ...
2
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1answer
54 views

Making a tanoim/vort for a zivug sheini (2nd marriage)

I have heard from many that there is a minhag (custom) not to make what many call a "tanoim" or a "vort" (the celebration when a couple gets engaged) for 2 people that were once divorced. They base it ...
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3answers
202 views

Are there any Jewish sources which discuss the existence of auras or energy fields?

Are there any Jewish sources which discuss the existence of auras or energy fields? Is it permissible to learn about them and be involved with them for healing purposes?
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1answer
73 views

Source for Taanis Esther as a tikkun for the Eitz Hadaas?

In this article the author asserts in the name of Rav Chaim Vital that The three-day fast that Mordechai and Esther ordered for the Jewish people, says Rav Chaim Vital, was a tikkun for the ...
3
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1answer
94 views

No Musicians for a Schochet

I was told that the Aruch Hashulchan says that a Musicians may not be a Schochet does anyone know where it says this and if it is true and why that is?
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1answer
83 views

Source for book of Tehillim out of order?

I recall learning a midrash (shochar tov?) that the book of Tehillim is out of order and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi wanted to put it back in order but was not allowed to do so. Where is this statement ...
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3answers
190 views

Custom of Rov speaking before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos

I've been in a number of shuls where the Rov of the shul will get up before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos and say some sort of "drasha". Sometimes it was connected to the parsha or inyunei d'yoma (i.e. ...
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0answers
74 views

“The local rabbi is in charge” — what's the pithy Hebrew? [closed]

I am failing to recall a pithy phrase involving the word דין to indicate that one should respect the decisions of one's local Rabbi. Something like, 'the decisor of the place is the decisor.' Is there ...
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0answers
64 views

Was Kever Rachel temporary?

I remember hearing that Rachel Imeinu was buried in kever Rachel, but was only there for one night and then she went to Mearas Hamachpaila. I can't remember in whose name it was said. Does anyone ...
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1answer
128 views

Where does the Talmud discuss the reason for Onan's death?

Genesis 38 says that instead of impregnating Tamar, Onan let his seed go to waste, and that this angered God, and therefore God killed Onan. I have a vague memory of reading somewhere in the Talmud ...
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2answers
130 views

Sources for free will of angels

I want to define free-will for this question as a moral right and wrong decision, not an arbitrary decision or a true/false decision. I am familiar with sources that say that angels do not have free ...
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0answers
37 views

Tosefta vs. Toras Cohanim

This past Shabbos someone said over to me a particular sugia they were learning in Taharas and a maklokes Rishonim (an argument between Rishonim, medieval rabbis) in a particular analysis. One Rishon ...
4
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1answer
70 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 ...
5
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1answer
211 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 ...
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0answers
150 views

Source for Chazon Ish on What defines a Lamdan

I recently read an article and the author wrote the following: "The Chazon Ish described the true lamdan as “someone who spends three hours preparing to deliver a five-minute shiur, and when he is ...
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2answers
155 views

Are there any early mentions of the concept of “l'iluy nishmas”?

On his Rationalist Judaism blog, R' Natan Slifkin posed this question: I am very interested to know if there are any early mentions of the phrase "l'iluy nishmas" or the concept thereof. (I am not ...
4
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1answer
65 views

Counting years according to the solar calendar

I once heard there is an opinion in Rishonim (maybe Gaonim?) that says we count ones years of life according to the solar calender. So for example a boy would become bar mitzvah when he would turn 13 ...
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1answer
82 views

Omnipotence and Omniscience

Where was it first claimed that God is omnipotent or omniscient? Did God or an authorized prophet ever actually make this claim?
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140 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 ...
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2answers
101 views

Why is Sefer Yetzirah attributed to Avraham?

It seems fairly widely accepted that Sefer Yetzirah, one of the primary books of Kabbalah, is attributed to Avraham Avinu. Why is that?
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47 views

Is this analogy in Reisheis Chokmah?

I've heard of a analogy that may or may not be in the sefer Reisheis Chokmah, that in a part of gehennom, "sinners" cut, in a forest where they see ghosts, wood for a burning fire. Does anyone have ...
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1answer
142 views

source for obligation to recite the shema

The talmud in berachos 2a asserts that the verse ודברת בם בשבתך בביתך ובלכתך בדרך ובשכבך ובקומך is the source for the mitzva of reciting shema twice daily. Yet later on in daf 13, the talmud says ...
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1answer
56 views

Understanding Maaseh Avos Siman L'banim

To the best of my knowledge the earliest source for the concept of maaseh avos siman l'banim is Ramban on Bereshis 12:6. I would like to know if there is an earlier source and what the parameters of ...
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1answer
58 views

Scraping fish with a finger nail?

I heard that a kosher type fish bought from a grocer that has also non-kosher fish, that scraping it with a finger nail where the blade cut makes it good to eat. What is the source for this idea?
0
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1answer
69 views

Talmud's statement concerning people who believe G-d did not command all 613 mitzvos

I recall learning in the Talmud (Kesuvos, I think), that if someone believes that G-d gave all of the commandments in the Torah except one, and that one he thinks is nonsense, that shows that the ...
2
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0answers
37 views

End Time For Sacrificial Offerings

The verse states, in Exodus 12:10, regarding the eating of the Paschal Offering: וְלֹֽא־תוֹתִ֥ירוּ מִמֶּ֖נּוּ עַד־בֹּ֑קֶר וְהַנֹּתָ֥ר מִמֶּ֛נּוּ עַד־בֹּ֖קֶר בָּאֵ֥שׁ תִּשְׂרֹֽפוּ׃ Do not ...
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2answers
74 views

Where can I find the Rav's hesped for R Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky?

I am looking for the text (in Hebrew) of R' JB Soloveitchik's hesped for R' Chaim Ozer Grozhinsky, unofficially titled "HaTzitz vehaChoshen" which was written before RJBS broke away from Agudah.
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1answer
110 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

What were Naomi's sins?

According to the commentary at the bottom of the Artscroll TaNa"Ch, in the beginning of the book of Ruth, Na'omi attempted to dissuade her daughters-in-law from following and staying connected to her ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Sources for saying “Al HaNissim” at the end of Shemoneh Esrei

The Eliyahu Rabba (Siman 682 Ois 2) and the Mamar Mordechai (Siman 682 Ois 3) both write that if someone forgets to say Al HaNissim in Shemoneh Esrei and are holding by the end in Elokei Notzer then ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Source for Osnat's Locket

I've heard that the reason Joseph knew he could marry Osnat was because he saw her wearing a locket / pendant with a Hebrew inscription on it so he knew she was a Hebrew. Has anyone heard this story ...
3
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2answers
114 views

Source for saying Aramaic parts of davening quietly?

I remember reading somewhere that there is a kabbalistic tradition to say the parts of davening that are in Aramaic (e.g. the targum in Uva Letziyon) quietly. What is the source for this?
5
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1answer
130 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.
3
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2answers
180 views

How similar is orthodoxy practiced today to ancient times?

As an orthodox Ashkanazi Jew, I hear all the time that the way we practice is the same as we've been doing it for thousands of years (albeit with influences by the Ba'al Shem Tov, the mussar movement, ...
7
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1answer
143 views

Sources for Jewish Education system today

The western educational system (to the definition of western that includes Japan) today, especially in the United States, but also in other western industrialized countries is an adaptation of the ...
6
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1answer
96 views

Why recite the fourth Berachah of Bentching in a case of doubt?

If someone is in doubt whether or not to Bentch, we take the strict approach and require the person to Bentch, as it is a Biblical requirement (see here), unlike most Berachoth, for which the rule is ...
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1answer
80 views

Insulting a widow (almana) and apologizing

In short, I'm looking for sources from anywhere that speaks about the severity of insulting an almana and all that surrounds this topic, what the "punishment" might be, what teshuva can be done, etc. ...
4
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1answer
152 views

Source of “Legitimate pleasures” quote

A quote that sometimes appears on the internet is the following: "Everyone will be called to account for all the legitimate pleasures which he or she has failed to enjoy." It is usually attributed ...
4
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2answers
112 views

Source for Quote about the cost of bread in the times before Moshiach?

Does anyone know where it says that in the times before moshiach, it will cost a barrel of money to buy a loaf of bread? I remember hearing that, but can't find the source. The reason I ask that is ...
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3answers
162 views

Earliest source for “Baruch Hu U'Baruch Sh'mo”

What is the earliest source for saying "Baruch Hu U'Baruch Shmo" when hearing someone say the Name of HaShem in a blessing?
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57 views

Looking for the source of the statement: עבודה צורך גבוה

I've seen the statement עבודה צורך גבוה used in different places. I assume it probably has an original context in חז"ל. Could you point me to the location(s) of its original use? Here's one text that ...
6
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0answers
256 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. ...
4
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3answers
97 views

Interpreting divine messages

It is an article of faith that Hashem directs our lives individually (hashgacha pratit), and part of that guidance includes instructions about what each person should or shouldn't be doing. If we had ...
4
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0answers
83 views

Biblical prediction for Ashkenazi-Sephardi split

Is there any prediction in the Torah for the split between Ashkenazim and Sephardim? I was told that there is but can't think of anywhere to look. Thanks.
2
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1answer
99 views

Story of a Great Rabbi who becomes an Apikores

The following story appears in the Talmud ( I think ), but I don't know where: There was a Rabbi who saw a man and his son come along, and the father sent his son up a tree to do shiluach haKen. The ...
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3answers
110 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 ...
2
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0answers
65 views

Is there any source for throwing bread during tashlich? [duplicate]

Is there a reliable Jewish source that encourages throwing bread when performing tashlich?