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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
1answer
155 views

Which kind of relations are considered incestous in Judaism?

Specifically what kind of relationships are defined as incestuous in Judaism? I am guessing that it is forbidden to marry one's parents/children or siblings but what about other relations like first ...
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
148 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
603 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
312 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
59 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
118 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
81 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
362 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
91 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
354 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
99 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
130 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
224 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
45 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
183 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
236 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
69 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
217 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
354 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
74 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
313 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?
4
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
422 views

May one walk under the Arch of Titus?

I have heard that it is prohibited (or at least that the custom is not) to walk under the Arch of Titus in Rome. Is this accurate? If so, what is the source? Would it make a difference if a large ...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

What is the source for Rambam's “physician's oath”?

A physician friend pointed out to me the Rambam's "physician's oath" (it doesn't look like an oath per se, but that's what it's called), which begins (in English): The eternal providence has ...
4
votes
1answer
247 views

Where does it say that one must wear two layers on their head(one of the reasons for the black hat)?

I know that a reason for wearing a black hat is because one must wear two layers covering their head (Mishna Brurah 91:5) but am wondering if that Din is based in Kabbalah?
5
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

What is the origin of the dispute on which way to wrap tefilin shel yad?

Non-Chasidic Ashkenazim wrap their tefilin shel yad inward toward the body when coming over the top of the arm, while Sefardim and Chasidim wrap outward away from the body when coming over the top of ...
8
votes
1answer
95 views

Source for shuls flying in yemos hamoshiach?

My son mentioned to me that he learned in school that when Moshiach comes all the shuls (and schools?) will miraculously fly to Eretz Yisroel. What is the source of this idea?
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Source for “Ben Adam Lemakom” and “Ben Adam Lechavero”

Where does the concept of Ben Adam Lemakom and Ben Adam Lechavero come from? I know there is a concept of the first five of the ten commandments being between 'man and his friend' and the second ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Location in Ohr Sameach of discussion of the nature of a messenger for a get

I've heard there is a discussion in the Ohr Sameach regarding when someone appoints a shliach (messenger) to divorce his wife, whether the person must use his own klaf (parchment) to write the get on ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

A reference to the soul of a Tzaddik like an eyelash in milk

I know that somewhere in something I have read there is a comment that someone (Yaakov avinu?) was so spiritually pure/holy that his soul did not cling to the earthly shell that was his body but came ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Source for story about R' Yishmael ben Elisha's mother?

This article tells us the following story about R' Yishmael ben Elisha and his mother: Rabbi Ishmael's mother was a very pious woman, and she worshipped her son. But one day she astonished the ...
2
votes
2answers
500 views

Pleasure of woman at the end of relations (source in Chazal?)

I heard that it says in chazal the woman only has pleasure at the end ("gamar bia") of tashmish (relations). Is there any source/citation for this?
2
votes
2answers
125 views

What does the word “Karpas” mean?

That which by the Seder on Pesach we eat "karpas", what does this word actually mean and where does it come from?
10
votes
2answers
257 views

Would Adam and Chava have been permitted the tree of knowledge if they'd waited?

I've long been somewhat troubled by the episode with the tree in the garden, because it seems like it was necessary for man to acquire knowledge (how else could we enter a covenant and accept the yoke ...
21
votes
2answers
260 views

Matza on 14 Iyar

I have seen a custom (it seems to me primarily among Chassidim) to eat matza on 14 Iyar (known as Pesach Sheni). What is the earliest source for this custom? What are the reasons given for following ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Ashkenazi unsure whether he or she counted the 'Omer one night

According to the Daily Halacha website: If a person is unsure whether or not he counted a day of the Omer, and cannot determine conclusively if he had counted or if he had missed that day, he ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Satmar Rebbe's opinion on Mechitza

Where could I find the opinion of the Satmar Rebbe (Rav Yoel) zt'l on the height and laws pertaining to the Mechitzah?
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Chasam Sofer on innovation

There is a famous quote of the Chasam Sofer, in which he applies the principle stated in Mishna 'Orlah 3:9 (החדש אסור מן התורה בכל מקום) to the question of innovation within Judaism. Rather than ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
2
votes
0answers
83 views

Origin of using priestly blessing on Friday night

I know why we use Ephraim and Menashe when blessing the children on Friday nights, (see: Why Does Hashem Bless Us Like Efraim And Menashe?) but why do we use Birkat Kohanim? Is there any specific ...
8
votes
2answers
753 views

Origin of myth about the hole in the sheet?

There is a widespread myth (as far as I know it is a myth) that orthodox Jews must have marital relations through a hole in a sheet. What is the origin of this myth and does it have any actual basis ...