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

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4
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2answers
161 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
143 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
votes
0answers
48 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
26 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
93 views

Source for Striking Self during Viduy

What is the earliest source for striking one's chest while reciting Vidduy?
7
votes
1answer
239 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
77 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
66 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
139 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
43 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
162 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
votes
2answers
66 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
166 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
207 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
vote
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
votes
1answer
404 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
228 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?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Converts to be treated as if they were born Jewish

There is a scripture in the Tanakh where G-d clearly says a convert to Judaism is to be treated,as if he were born a Jew. I've seen it but can't seem to find it. Perhaps one more knowledgeable then I ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Does the Torah predict anti-semitism?

Are there verses in the torah (preferably 5 books of Moses) which predict the phenomena of anti-semitism, ie the irrational hatred of jews throughout history.
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Source for Chuppa Poem

What are the earliest sources for the מי בן שיח שושן חוחים poem commonly recited at chuppot?
2
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Hashem testing a person

The Chofetz Chaim al Torah says, Chazal teach in bereishis rabbah, "Hashem does not elevate a person to greatness until He first tests him." Where in bereishis rabbah do chazal say this?
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Loshon hora and Torah lectures

Where in hilchos loshon hora, does the chofetz chaim say that ridiculing Torah lectures is a form of loshon hora?
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Is Havdalah Mideoraita or Mideraban?

Is saying "אתה חננתנו"/הבדלה on מוצ''ש is it מן התורה or not? On one hand I remember hearing it is מן התורה as it part of "זכור" but on the other hand I've heard its only מדרבנן Please provide ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Ein Halakha K'niflag

This article cites a principle in the name of R. Saadya Gaon and Rambam that אין הלכה כנפלג. He cites כתבים לגר"י קאפח, ח"ב עמ' 557. Where can this be found in the writings of the Geonim or Rambam? ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Kollel avreichim who are not learning (properly) are rodfim?

I was told that Rav Amnon Yitzchak quoted the Chazon Ish saying that men in kollel who are not learning properly (or something to that effect) are considered rodfim. Can anyone source this Chazon ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Giving money to a shul

Someone told me that giving money towards a shul in order to enhance and beautify the physical structure of the building is a mitzvah. Is there source for this?
1
vote
0answers
32 views

PreRishonic sources against the tekhelet half-string

What are the classical (pre-rishonic) sources explicitly or implicitly against the view of the Rambam that the tekheleth string is only half-dyed?
1
vote
0answers
54 views

The pre-Maimonidean half-tekheleth string

Are there any sources prior to the Rambam that suggest (even implicitly) that the tekheleth string is only half-dyed?
1
vote
4answers
157 views

Did the Torah Sages discuss evolution

Are there examples in chazal of the sages discussing the phenomena of micro-evolution (or macro), i.e. adaptive changes in creatures.
-2
votes
1answer
44 views

Disciplining one's mouth

Where do the words: כל רגע ורגע שאדם חוסם את פיו, זוכה לאור הגנוז שאין כל מלאך ובריה יכולים לשער, originate from?
5
votes
1answer
69 views

What's the source that worldwide acceptance of psak makes it binding forever?

The Rambam writes in the introduction to Mishna Torah נמצא רבינא ורב אשי וחבריהם, סוף גדולי חכמי ישראל המעתיקים תורה שבעל פה, ושגזרו גזירות והתקינו תקנות והנהיגו מנהגות ופשטו גזירותם ותקנותם ...
4
votes
3answers
163 views

Is Rambam's opinion about Nidda and Zava cycle rejected?

There's a famous minority opinion of Rambam that, Biblically, the nidda and zava cycle is continuous--7-11-7-11-7 days ad infinitum, and that most Rishonim argue on him and hold the cycle is 7-11 days ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Where is this Radvaz?

Simcha LeIsh quotes the Radvaz siman 21 saying ואם באמת חש לסכנה הי צריך לחוש למה שכתב בשערי רחמים (דף יא) שלנתק קשר תנאים הוא סכנה גדולה, וטוב יותר לנתק קשר נישואין ע״י גט מלנתק קשר תנאים. ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

What's the source that יונתן בן עוזיאל passed away 26 sivan?

The tomb of ben Uzziel is located in Amuka, Galilee near Safed, Israel. It is customary to visit ben Uzziel's tomb on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the lunar month, and on 26 Sivan (the day on ...
6
votes
4answers
135 views

History of Shabbat: how (or) did they count to align with 7th day of creation?

The Torah (Exodus 20:8-11) commands: ח: זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ: ט: שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל מְלַאכְתֶּךָ: י: וְיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבָּת לַה' אֱלֹקיךָ לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Source for Kissing Dropped Sefer

Is there any source for the common practice of kissing a dropped sefer?
7
votes
1answer
283 views

Why does one have to put on Tefillin every day?

Technically, one should wear Tefillin all day. We don't, since we can't keep ourselves clean the whole day. But we still put it on once a day during Shacharis, since we can presumably keep ourselves ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Authorship of Summarized Sefer Hamitzvos

Are there any sources that claim that Rambam didnt author the summarized sefer hamitzvos (מנין מצות הקצר)?
-2
votes
4answers
99 views

Torah atones for all sins

I once read a quote that said, "Learning Torah atones for all sins." Does anyone know where this Menachos, Kesubos or Eruvin?
6
votes
1answer
145 views

What is the source for Rav Soloveitchik's assertion that 1st Century Christians introduced mixed seating for prayers?

In the collection of Rav Soloveitchik’s responsa Community, Covenant and Commitment, there is a series of letters railing against mixed seating in the synagogue. Amongst the points raised there is a ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Words of Torah Need Not Be Enunciated

Ritva (commentary to Brachos 15b) writes that Torah need not be enunciated out loud during study. Which other Rishonim espouse this view? I am not asking regarding side issues such as verbal ...
-4
votes
1answer
150 views

The blessing for not talking in shul

I read in תוכחת חיים that , "One who is careful not to speak in shul during davening will he blessed to see children, long life, great success, and will NOT suffer the pains of Gehinnom. He will never ...
11
votes
1answer
283 views

What is the origin of the claim that they played games to hide Torah learning prior to Chanuka

This question makes a very commonly heard claim: "Before the miracle of Hanukkah, when those who controlled the land severely restricted Torah study, Jewish children would gather to study Torah in ...
0
votes
5answers
118 views

Rabbi Nosson Finkel and angels

I read in Something To Say on page 31, the following: Rabbi Nosson Finkel of Slobodkah once chided a student for being chronically late to the morning prayers "Rebbi," the student defended himself, ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Talking in shul and churban Europe

HaRav Yitzchok Sorotzkin said the following story: The debitzener himself was present by the Second World War - r"l the holocaust: “He was standing on the last transport going to Auschwitz. All of ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Wrapping tefillin to create letters

When we wrap, there seems to be a prevalent custom to incorporate the shapes Dalet, Yod and Shin in the strap on the hand/arm (depending on one's custom (discussed in Sefer Ta'amei Haminhagim page 13 ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

When did the custom of using 2 people for hagbah and gelilah begin?

Megillah 32a says: עשרה שקראו בתורה הגולל ספר תורה קיבל שכר כולן If ten have read from the Torah (meaning that at least ten verses have been read; not that there was a minyan of at least 10 ...