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

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2
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8answers
3k views

Does Jewish tradition indicate that Jewish people tend to be rude?

From what I've seen many non-Jews have a stereotype of Jewish people as being rude and greedy. Is there a Jewish source (from the bible,talmud, midrash, zohar, or classic torah commentators) that ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

The Machzeh Einayim on crying

In the book With Hearts Full of Love on page 300, Rabbi Mattisyahu Salomon states the following: In Machzeh Einayim the sefer asks, "Why is that the Creator constructed people in such a way that no ...
0
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1answer
45 views

A Novi is the spokesperson of G-d

I read in Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers on page 291, the following: The primary function of a נביא, prophet, was to serve as the spokesperson of G-d. This title, derived from the phrase נִיב ...
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votes
1answer
36 views

Sha’arei HaKedushah on Middos

The Sha’arei HaKedushah writes, "One must exert greater caution in exercising proper middos than in observance of the mitzvos." Does anyone know where the Sha’arei HaKedushah says this?
4
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1answer
122 views

Kalam Cosmological Argument

Wikipedia writes: The Kalām cosmological argument is a variation of the cosmological argument that argues for the existence of a first cause for the universe, and the existence of a god. Its ...
2
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1answer
51 views

Not saying shir shel yom on Rosh Chodesh?

This morning (Rosh Chodesh), i davened at the Ohel Yitzchak shul on Washington St., Jerusalem (no, not that Ohel Yitzchak). After aleinu but before shir shel yom the gabbai announced that because it ...
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2answers
79 views

In Hilkhot Teshuvah 3:7 the Rambam says one who believes in more than one ruler is a heretic. What is the basis for this?

In Hil. Teshuvah 3:7 of the Mishneh Torah (in his listing of heretics - minim), the Rambam makes the following statement: והאומר שיש שם מנהיג אבל הן שנים או יותר "The one who says there is indeed a [...
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0answers
51 views

Moshiach and three meals

The Gemara Shabbos 118a says, "Whoever has three meals on Shabbos... will saved on from the birth-pangs of Moshiach." Why specifically 3 meals? Is the Gemara saying that one who specifically eats ...
4
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1answer
95 views

Washing After Leaving Cemetary

What are the earliest sources (i.e. Chazal or Rishonim) for washing one's hands after visiting a cemetery? Is this mentioned by the Rambam?
0
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2answers
111 views

Was Cyrus really Queen Esther's son?

Are there any Talmudic sources that back up the claim that Cyrus was really the son of Queen Esther?
2
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0answers
36 views

What is the source of this story about suffering and having a dream about it..?

I remember a story about a person that suffered very much and went to see a certain rebbe to help him. While waiting he feel asleep and had a dream where he saw his mitzvos and aveiros and the ...
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1answer
79 views

When a tzaddik dies, does he leave his positive traits in this world?

I heard it said once that, when a righteous person (tzaddik) passes away, they somehow leave their positive character traits in this world to be used by others. Does anyone know the source for this ...
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0answers
44 views

The Chidah on Guarding One's Tongue

The Chidah says, “Whoever wants to get Olam Haba cheaply, guard your tongue from evil...” Does anyone know where the Chidah states this?
0
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1answer
50 views

The Chofetz Chaim on a meis mitzvah

In Ginzei Hakodesh on page 333 it says the following: "'The wise man buys mitzvos - particularly when we are speaking of 'meis mitzvah,' one that is neglected as if it were dead. It is well known ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Why Was Benjamin Almost Destroyed?

What do classic sources / commentaries say on why the tribes went to war against Benjamin, Shoftim 19-21, and what the Benjaminites sins were? On the face of it, the rape and murder of a single ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

Mitzvah and Connection

Heard from someone that מצוה, commandment, is associated with the Aramaic word צוותא, connection or togetherness. In addition, Rabbi Moshe Zeldman says, "The word Mitzvah is often translated as ...
0
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2answers
101 views

what is the source that Shadchan is an acronym of Sheker Dover Kesef Notel

what is the source that שדכן is an acronym of שקר דובר כסף נוטל (translation "marriage broker" is an acronym of "says" "lies" "takes" "money" (in a different order)) someone told me it is from the ...
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2answers
39 views

connection between “connection” and “torah”

I have seen qouted in the name of Rebbi Avrohom son of Rambam that קשורה has the same numerical value as תורה [an idea also quoted in Bal Haturim Vayigash 44 30]. I'd appreciate if anyone could direct ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

Jewish saying: “To be lenient when you should be firm is to be cruel when you could be kind.”?

I heard today there is an old Jewish saying that goes something like this: "To be lenient when you should be firm is to be cruel when you could be kind." This, as so many Jewish sayings do, ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

The Zohar on Morning

I read in The Wisdom In The Hebrew Alphabet on page 226, the following: The Zohar describes קרדנותא דצפרא, the deep darkness from which daylight emanates. For this reason, the word for שחר, morning, ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Chazal and Rain Clouds

I was read in Torah Tavlin the following: "Chazal tell us that the darkest clouds contain the most rain." Does anyone know where the source for this Chazal is located?
0
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1answer
81 views

Eliyahu HaNovi and Moshiach

The Midrash says that Eliyahu HaNovi will come three days beforehand to announce the Mashiach's arrival. Does anyone know where this Medrash is located?
7
votes
1answer
147 views

Massacre of Baalei Tosafos

There is a famous story about the Baalei Tosafos using their own blood to write their pirush on the chapter Merubah in Bava Kamma before they were massacred. Is there a source for this?
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Source in Hazal for holding sisith during qiryath shema`?

Is there a source in Hazal specifically for grasping the (front) two ssissith during the recitation of the shema`? If not, where does it stem from and what is the purpose? Thanks. Kol tuv.
7
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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 ...
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1answer
81 views

Which Rabbi claimed he was metaphorically born at the top of a mountain?

I once heard that a rebbe claimed that his great levels were compared to a child born at the top of a mountain. Does anyone know where this is recorded?
1
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1answer
94 views

Rav Yaakov Emden and the Survival of the Jewish people

Rav Yaakov Emden says, "By my life, the survival of the Jewish people in this golus is a greater miracle than the Splitting of the Sea" Where does he says this?
2
votes
1answer
200 views

References in the Talmud or Rishonim to marijuana or any non-alcoholic drug use?

Are there any references in the Talmud, Rishonim, or earlier sources that discuss marijuana or any non-alcoholic drug-use? Specifically drug-use for recreation, i.e. not specifically for medical use. ...
5
votes
2answers
160 views

Source For Ahavat Chinam; Unwaranted Love

I have often heard the term Ahavat Chinam unwarranted love referenced as the antidote to sinat chinam unwarranted hate. What are the earliest sources for this (first) expression, particularly in the ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

Did Rav Saadiah Gaon really phrase the bracha as “Sim shalom b'olam . . .”?

In Or Hadash, the commentary on Siddur Sim Shalom (the American Conservative siddur), it states that the nineteenth bracha of the Amidah was intentionally reworded from the the standard ...שׂים ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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
vote
3answers
192 views

I saw someone claim that, “In Zohar of Pinchos, that an Eishes Ish is לזר מותרת if her husband allows.”?

I saw someone claim that, "In Zohar of Pinchos, that an Eishes Ish is מותרת לזר if her husband allows.", while I doubt this, and have not seen this inside, has anyone seen this inside? (Parshas ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

What is the source for lighting a candle for the whole year after the death of a close relative?

I am familiar with the idea of a yahrzeit candle. I have observed a custom of keeping a flame alight for the whole year (or maybe 11 months) after the death of a close relative. (When one goes out, ...
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?
2
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0answers
51 views

Location of source for a midrash of Zipporah on Har Sinai?

A friend was expounding a midrash to me about Zipporah but was unaware of the provenance. The story involves Zipporah, prior to meeting Moshe, searching for her lost flocks near Har Sinai. She ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

Source in the Torah that the entire Torah is immutable [duplicate]

The title pretty much says it all. But I am looking for a posuk that states that all contained in the Torah applies forever and for all generations, and cannot be changed, etc. I am pretty sure that ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Source for Striking Self during Viduy

What is the earliest source for striking one's chest while reciting Vidduy?
7
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Feeling compassion for re'shaim and the mitzvah to hate

There are certain (specific) cases where it is correct or even a mitzvah to hate someone else. [See The following sources: Tehillim 97:10 and 139:21, Amos 5:15, Mishlei 8:13, Pesachim 113b, Sefer ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Where can the Phoenix be found in Jewish Sources?

What are the earliest sources that refer to the mythological Phoenix in Judaism? No need for the name to "phoenix" or "עוף החול" (the modern Hebrew name), but I'm looking for an immortal bird which ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Maharal on Avodas Hashem

The Maharal (in Gur Aryeh in the beginning of Bereishis) says, "Our avodas Hashem through Torah and Tefillah that's how we bring forth the kavod Hashem." That's the purpose of creation is to increase ...
4
votes
2answers
151 views

Salvation of Hashem

I read on Rabbi Wein's website the following: With the absence of wishful thinking and of recognition of the true facts of the reality of our situation there must also be a sense of a better future. ...
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0answers
45 views

History of ḥalāqah/Upsherin (אפשערן/חאלאקה) [duplicate]

What are the earliest sources for these customs? i found mention of the custom amongst Sephardim of Eretz Yisrael in the Kether Shem Tob. But that only mentions it for Eretz Yisrael, and doesn't ...
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2answers
176 views

Where does Rav Dessler mention that root word of אהבה is הב?

I read in one of Rav Dessler's books where he says that the root word of אהבה is הב, which means "give" in Aramaic. Does anyone know where he mentions this?
2
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2answers
67 views

Quote from Chazal

I read in Real Power on page 47, the following: “If you are not going upward then you are automatically falling downward.” —Chazal Does anyone know if this is a Gemara or Medrash etc.?
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

Where does the Taz say that beer gives us life?

There is a Taz on the topic of yoshon (old grain) that says something to the effect of: כי עיקר חיינו תלוי בשכר While it's an awesome quote out of context, the basic pretense is that since the ...
1
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1answer
91 views

Not responding to insult

Someone told me that one who is insulted but does not respond, has the ability to give berachos to people. Is there a source to this?
8
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1answer
412 views

Is the Gemara (Shabbos 116b) quoting the New Testament?

The Gemara in Shabbos (116b) seems to have two quotes from the New Testament, but I'm not sure. ברא וברתא כחדא ירתון - sons and daughters should inherit together and אנא לא למיפחת מן ...
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?