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

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1answer
219 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
153 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 ...
2
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2answers
161 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
votes
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
83 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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0answers
143 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 ...
3
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2answers
103 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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0answers
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 ...
4
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1answer
144 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 ...
3
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1answer
72 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
61 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?
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1answer
73 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 ...
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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
76 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.
5
votes
1answer
116 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
108 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 ...
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vote
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
votes
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
votes
2answers
115 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
134 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
182 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, ...
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1answer
145 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 ...
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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
81 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
votes
1answer
161 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
116 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
167 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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0answers
58 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
votes
0answers
268 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
votes
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 ...
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0answers
85 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
100 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
111 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 ...
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0answers
66 views

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

Is there a reliable Jewish source that encourages throwing bread when performing tashlich?
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0answers
46 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
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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?
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0answers
105 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 ...
5
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2answers
297 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?)
4
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4answers
146 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 ...
3
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1answer
182 views

Which kind of relations are considered incestuous 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
48 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
200 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 ...
2
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1answer
307 views

Source for the Mitzvah Tanz

At a Chassidishe Wedding, there is a special dance done, known as the Mitzvah Tanz. Where is the source for this dance and what is the meaning behind it? Also, why is it not done at Litvish Weddings? ...
3
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
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1answer
63 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
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3answers
152 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 ...
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2answers
135 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 ...
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1answer
49 views

Discussions about Healthy Diet

Do any early Posekim (from around 200 years ago and earlier) other than the Rambam discuss a good diet and healthy lifestyle?
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96 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 ...