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

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3
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1answer
226 views

Ana B'Koach authorship and the 42 letter name of Hashem

In my Artscroll siddur it tells me that the hymn Ana B'Koach was written by the tanna, Rebbi Nechunia ben HaKana and that the first letter of each word can be used to form the 42 letter name of ...
1
vote
0answers
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
261 views

Connecting Shas and Halacha

What resources are available to trace the connections from the Gemara to the Halachic codifications and the reverse? For example, how can someone learning Daf Yomi find the related Halachic rulings ...
6
votes
0answers
216 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Communities where men didn't put their טליתות over their heads?

I heard that the Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna mentioned cases where the custom of the place was different, one such place being יָוָן, where men didn't cover their heads with their tallitot, ...
4
votes
3answers
96 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
votes
0answers
81 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
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
108 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Is there any source for throwing bread during tashlich?

Is there a reliable Jewish source that encourages throwing bread when performing tashlich?
6
votes
1answer
105 views

Decorative food plating on Shabbath

This question asks about using an ice cream scoop on Shabbath, and an internet forum linked in the question has a discussion about the permissibility of decorative plating of food generally. According ...
3
votes
0answers
36 views

Did Rabbenu Nissim also write the long “Ashamnu” in the Chazarah of Shacharit in the Sephardic Yom Kippur Machzor?

Who wrote the long vidui in the Chazarah of Shacharit in Sephardic Yom Kippur Machzorim, i.e. the one that starts "Ashamnu, Achalnu ma'achalot assurot" and has a whole paragraph for each letter of the ...
5
votes
1answer
45 views

Who wrote the “Seder Vehilchos Korban pesach rishon beketzarah”

In Pesachim 57b (right before the 5th chapter) there is a page containing a summery of laws pertaining to the Korban Pesach. Who wrote it?
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Origin of the Escalator analogy

What is the origin of the escalator analogy of always striving for growth? I'm referring to the analogy that, in life, like a person climbing a downward escalator, if one is not constantly striving ...
6
votes
0answers
95 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

Bitahon and Hishtadlut for livelihood

The Sefarim discuss (see Hobot Halevavot, Michtav MeEliyahu etc.) the idea of being Mishtadel (making an effort) for one's livelihood but believing that the Hishtadlut (effort) has absolutely nothing ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

(Seeking Original Source in Yechave Daas ) Limiting instances of doing something 3 times becoming a neder

According to Harav Musafi Shelit"a (Q&A 74259) (and I'm sure earlier sources), if you do a "Hanhaga Tova - good deed" three times you need Hatarat Nedarim. I believe Harav Ovadia Shelit"a in his ...
5
votes
2answers
241 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?)
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Advantages of converts (in spiritual terms)

I've heard before that the Ari Zal says the neshemas ("souls") of gerim (converts) comes from the highest places. Is there any source for this? Where is this brought down? As well what other ...
13
votes
5answers
496 views

“Silk-Screened” Sifrei Torah

What are the halachic issues with Silk-screened sifrei torah? I am interested in a summary of concise halakhic rulings of multiple authorities on the prohibition or permissibility of HaRav Yitzchak ...
7
votes
1answer
167 views

Origin of the nine days

I just learned a gemara (taanit 30a) that seems to pretty clearly state that the mourning for tisha b'av starts the beginning of the week that tisha b'av falls out on, and ends with tisha b'av itself. ...
7
votes
3answers
147 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
47 views

Collection of poems by Yehuda HaLevi

Where can I find a printed book with a collection of poems by Yehuda HaLevi? Ideally this book should (in order of importance): Be available to an American consumer Include the original Hebrew ...
4
votes
1answer
111 views

Is the idea that there is always at least one illness with an unknown cure - a Jewish idea?

I have heard many times that there will always be at least one illness that is uncurable. Is this a Jewish idea? What is its source?
3
votes
1answer
155 views

A source for the claim that the Satmar Ruv (R' Yoel Teitelbaum) said to VP Hubert Humphrey “Sell weapons to Israel!”

There is a commonly quoted anecdote that when Vice President Hubert Humphrey came to the Satmar Rav for votes in 1968 and asked him what he could do for him the Satmar Rav replied "Sell weapons to ...
16
votes
4answers
613 views

Gezeira of Rabbeinu Gershom text

Does anyone know where I can find the actual text of the Gezeira of Rabbeinu Gershom? It keeps popping up in my learning, but only as being referenced, I would like to read that actual text.
6
votes
2answers
326 views

What is the source for the Kallah's circling the Chasan 7 times?

What is the source for a Kallah (bride) to circle her Chasan (bridegroom) seven times at their wedding?
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Source for the bride's circling the groom [duplicate]

I understand that there are ways of deriving a scriptural basis for the tradition of circling one's groom three times or seven times, etc - but what is the earliest (written) source for this being a ...
4
votes
2answers
121 views

Story about “simple Teshuva” via never telling a lie

I read a story over shabbas from Tales of Tzaddikim, Bamidbar pg 251-252, Published by Mesorah Publications, and it quoted it from Sefer Chassidim, Siman 6407. I opened up my Sefer Chassidim and the ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Kalam Cosmological Argument

Wikepedia 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
204 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Is there a stated freedom to contract?

In the United States (and other countries), there is the notion of the freedom to contract. This is the idea that two people of sound mind have the right to enter into any contract with one another ...
4
votes
1answer
382 views

Reciting a Posuk representing your name at end of Shemona Esrei - source?

Many Sidurim mention in the name of the Shela that one should say a Posuk at the end of Shemona Esrei that begins and ends with the same letter as ones name. Does anyone know where in the Shela this ...
4
votes
0answers
93 views

What sources did people use to support Shabbtai Tsvi's messianism after he died?

I can understand the appeal of a messiah in 1600s Eastern Europe. I can understand that we want a messiah and we're willing to accept one, whether it be Bar Kochva or Shabbtai Tsvi. But on what ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

What is the basis for the ruling that adding to a tent is permissible on Shabbath?

The Gemara in 'Eruving 102a quotes Rav as telling Rav Huna that in order to provide shade for his flock in the daytime on Shabbath yet roll back the cover in the evening for ventilation, all he has to ...
2
votes
2answers
364 views

Taking a shower after mikveh for men - where is the Ari source that one shouldn't?

A previous question discusses whether men should avoid showering after using the Mikveh. I have heard specifically that the Ari Z"l frowned upon this. Can anyone please quote the source, if one does ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

A woman's singing voice when there are other singing voices

There is a famous Teshuva of the Sridei Aish, Rabbi Yaakov Yechiel Weinberg, that permits one to hear kol isha (a women's singing voice) when there are other people singing. Where is this Teshuva ...
8
votes
0answers
142 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
229 views

Source for the Baal Shem Tov's idea of seeing one's own flaw in others?

I recently heard the following story a few times and was wondering if anyone had a source for the story. The story is that the Baal Shem Tov said that if you see a fellow Jew breaking Shabbos it ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Which 20th century rabbi said “G-d normally doesn't stop the ill-intentioned”?

I recall hearing the following story: There was a non-observant Israeli Jew who kept having visions of his deceased father telling him he should do more religiously. Finally he was about to turn on ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Examining the Zav

Does anyone know of any rabbinic sources (Talmudic/midrashic) that indicate that a Zav would go to a halakhic authority to be examined regarding his Zivah?
1
vote
1answer
191 views

The Parameters of Hakaras HaTov?

Hakaras HaTov is generally translated as, or equated with, gratitude. Insofar as it literally means "recognizing the good",are there any sources which explicitly include recognizing good that we do ...
5
votes
4answers
241 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
1answer
71 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
225 views

Why do we say Vhu Rachum before Maariv?

Before Maariv, we say the pasuk "Vhu rachum yichaper avon..." (Psalms 78:38). Why?
6
votes
1answer
382 views

Waiting after using the bathroom before having relations

Where is it brought down that one should wait after going to the bathroom and before having relations. I have heard this before and 2 reasons given. One is that because of the "ruach rah" in the ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

French and Italian are Related: Linguistic Knowledge in the 12th-14th Centuries

In this answer to a question that concerned the ways in which languages change and evolve, @SethJ made reference to a sugya that discusses the differences between different dialects of Aramaic, and a ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Source for washing by your bed

What is the source in the Halachic literature outside of the Mishnah Berurah who says it is a requirement to place a washing cup by your bed instead of going to the sink to wash your hands upon ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

chassan/kallah signing the kesubah or tenaaim

I have seen bridegrooms and brides sign their names on their kesuba or tenaaim (prenup) before the chuppah (wedding ceremony). It seems maybe to be a chassidish custom, though I'm not sure. Is there ...
1
vote
2answers
343 views

What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?

What is the source that a woman's (singing) voice is considered ervah?