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

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123 views

What is the source for singing zemirot on Shabbat?

Who and when did the custom of singing zemirot at the Shabbat table, and what was the basis (halacha, verse, etc.) for instituting it? What was the 1st zemirah?
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1answer
278 views

Rambam's responsum about treating depression with music

I remember reading a tashubho from the Rambam where he clearly states that music can treat depression and therefore it is ok to listen to if you are depressed. However, I can't seem to find it at the ...
4
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2answers
112 views

Source for Immersion after Biblical Niddah

Unlike other ritual impurities, which explicitly list various immersion or washing requirements, biblical niddah has no such explicit requirement in the written Torah ( to the best of my knowledge ) ...
4
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2answers
486 views

Stealing from a non-Jew

I'm looking for the place in Mishneh Torah, I believe in Hilchot Avoda Zara V'Chukot Goyim, where it lists the prohibition on stealing ( genivah ) from a non-Jew, but I can't seem find it.
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1answer
227 views

Where is the source not to walk over someone because it stops him growing?

I have been brought up with the belief not to walk over someone because it can stunt their growth. Can anyone else here say where they have also heard of this? If yeah, where is the source?
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2answers
325 views

Will we follow Beis Shammai in times of Moshiach?

I've heard a few times that in the times of Moshiach the Halacha will follow the opinion of Beis Shammai. What is the source and reasoning for this? Is it true? We will no longer follow Beis Hillel ...
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2answers
134 views

Whence the minhag to light in shul by day?

In pretty much every shul and yeshiva I've been in has lit Chanukah candles by shacharis, the same number of candles that were lit the night before. What is the source for this custom, and why is it ...
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1answer
95 views

source for a story: man who went to milk a lion

When I was a kid I heard the following story at least a few times in grade school from the school headmaster (probably around Rosh Hashanah time). It's based on a Jewish legend or midrash, and I'd ...
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1answer
507 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 ...
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2answers
161 views

Eruv around towns for the purpose of carrying

I was learning the first few chapters of Eyruvin, and I wondering which of the mishnas are the source (or inspiration more likely) for the idea of a string around an area that allows one to carry ...
4
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2answers
101 views

Palm-reading in Judaism

Are there Jewish sources which affirm the validity of the art of palm-reading? If yes, how does this work. i.e. what is the underlying idea behind it. (the reason I ask, is because I actually met ...
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2answers
79 views

Prishus in Jewish Marriage

I know that there is a concept of prishus (going beyond the letter of the law, and abstaining from things that are really allowed) within Jewish marriage, but what exactly does this constitute, and ...
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1answer
317 views

Zohar's knowledge about Earth's shape

I recently heard from a rabbi that people (in the Zohar's view) were standing on the Earth's sphere both above and below, and while it was day for some, it was night for others and vice versa. If its ...
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1answer
72 views

Source for Gemara about Gedalia

Where can I find the Gemara which this speaker is talking about ? In short, he quotes a Gemara which talks about Gedalia. Gedalia heard that Yishmael was coming to murder the people of the town but ...
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2answers
109 views

Naming a child after two relatives

I once heard Rabbi Shmuel Niman, Mashgiach Ruchani of the Chafeitz Chaim Yeshiva, say that he had "recently learned" that it is improper to give a child parts of the names of two relatives. For ...
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1answer
86 views

Prohibition on paskening halacha when one is drunk

The Gemorah in Beitzah 4a says that Rav wouldn't give a drasha on Yom Tov after eating the seudah because when he would give a drasha he would be moreh halacha (give over halachic rulings) and this is ...
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2answers
164 views

What is the halachic source for the minhagim of mourning during Sefira?

What is the earliest halachic source for the minhagim of mourning during sefira? Note that this does not mean the story of R' Akiva, I'm talking about halachic references to prohibitions such as not ...
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1answer
95 views

Rashi's biography sources

I know that Rashi had daughters — either two or three — and no sons. I also know he was a vintner — meaning he made wine. I know he was a student of or student of a student of Rabenu Gershom. I guess ...
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3answers
121 views

Where and when is the earliest attestation of the word “mohel”?

Where is the earliest attestation of the word mohel for one who performs the act associated with a ritual circumcision? When was it written? What language is it? [Inspired by Why is there a ה in ...
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2answers
192 views

Is Gematria accepted by all?

It is widely accepted that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a Gematria (numerical value) attached to it. These numerical values often provide insight when comparing one Gematria to either ...
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2answers
141 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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2answers
123 views

Did HaShem “regret” creating someone/something

I heard once that it says somewhere in Chazal that there were certain things or people that HaShem "regretted" (had "charatah") in creating. Although I don't remember which examples were given or if a ...
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1answer
275 views

Do Jews believe the content of Maccabees (I-IV) is true?

This related question touches on the book of Maccabees. I was wondering if Jews believe the content of Maccabees (I-IV) is true, even though it is outside the canon. If any of the Rishonim or ...
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1answer
83 views

Source and reason for throwing the Hoshanos on top of the Aron Kodesh

I have seen in many Shuls on Hoshana Raba after using the Hoshanos people throw the used Hoshanos on top of the Aron Kodesh. What is the reason and source for this Minhag?
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1answer
115 views

Midrash on children and the letter shapes?

I've heard about a midrash that discusses a day when little children took over the study hall and, by interpreting the shapes of the Hebrew letters, articulated many of Judaism's most powerful ...
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1answer
897 views

What is the source of the Birkat Habayit?

What is the source of the text of the Birkat Habayit: May this house be a place of happiness and health, of contentment, generosity and hope, a home of creativity and kindness. May those ...
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1answer
39 views

Which Tzemach Tzedek?

When the Pitchei Teshuva (on the daf of Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah) quotes teshuvot of the Tzemach Tzedek, who is he quoting? Is he quoting Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Tzemach Tzedek of ...
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3answers
1k views

Is whisky matured in a sherry cask Kosher?

Is whisky matured in a sherry cask Kosher? I know there is a Machlokes about this. Who holds what?
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1answer
66 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
180 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 ...
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4answers
422 views

How do we know that God does not take human form?

Christianity believes that God takes human shape in the form of Jesus, and comes down to earth as a man. Of course, Jews do not believe that God ever takes the shape of a human, but how do we know ...
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1answer
287 views

What is the origin on metziztah b'peh?

Is metzitzah b'peh of biblical origin or was it instituted by the rabbis? What is the source for this practice?
4
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1answer
101 views

Source in Tosafos for playing ball on Yom Tov

I know there is a Tosafos in Beitza 12a that discusses playing ball on Yom Tov, but I remember learning another Tosafos which said something like "for children under nine it would be permitted on ...
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3answers
268 views

Source in Jewish writings for Moshiach?

What is the source in Jewish writings (Pre-Rambam) that there is a concept of a Moshiach, and his nature?
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3answers
1k views

Eating at a shiva house

What is the basis for some people's practice not to eat the food at a shiva house; is there a halachik basis for this, is it a minhag or perhaps just superstition?
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1answer
51 views

Source for statement that we don't know how to rebuke today

I recall hearing that someone, perhaps R' Yisroel Salanter, said that today we do not know how to respectfully give rebuke, and therefore we are all in the category of onus regarding the mitzvah of ...
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1answer
87 views

Why did R. Zera want to forget the Talmud Bavli?

I read that R. Zera fasted one hundred days to forget the Babylonian Talmud before he left Babylon to live in the Land of Israel. Why would he do this when I've understood that the Babylonian Talmud ...
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2answers
151 views

דע לפני מי אתה עומד on the ark

In some shuls it says on the ark, "Da Lifnei Mi Atah Omeid." Is there any source from which that comes?
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3answers
100 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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4answers
155 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 ...
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votes
1answer
268 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?
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1answer
92 views

What is a “migu”

A popular topic discussed sometimes at length in Yeshivas I would like to pose the question here with a few additional points: What is a "migu"? How is it used in Shas? What is a "classic" (or the ...
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1answer
56 views

Gemara on volunteering?

I heard that there was a Gemara to the effect of "volunteers cost more than employees because their motivation is not as good" -- or somesuch. Any ideas? Thanks.
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1answer
449 views

Tzitzit tying: the real way

1)There are two authentic ways to tie the Sisit (Tzitzis) that have sources. Maran writes to make 7-9-11-13. First question: why does he write this is he then says Gimtarya Hashem is One, when in fact ...
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1answer
58 views

Can an autopsy be performed on a Jewish body?

Halachically can one perform an autopsy on a Jewish body? One one hand, the Talmud Sanhedrin 47a explains that the verses in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 we can learn that one must not delay a burial and ...
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1answer
117 views

Should single men not sit at corner of the table?

I heard that there some say that single men should not sit at the corner of the table, because it could lead to someone staying single forever. Is there a source for this idea?
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1answer
231 views

What is the source for taanit dibur?

I recall meeting someone on Yom Kippur once who would not respond when I spoke to him. Instead he handed me a piece of paper which said that he was engaged in a taanit dibur, a 'fast' where that which ...
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2answers
287 views

Is praising non-Jews actually prohibited?

The gemara Avodah Zara (20) explains that praising a non-Jew is a violation of "lo sechaneim", and this is quoted in the Rambam (Hil. Avodah Zara 10:6) and the Shulchan Aruch (Y"D 151, and Shach s.k. ...
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1answer
88 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 ...
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2answers
79 views

Kiddush, Learning and Mitzvos for dead/niftar neshamos

I seek an early source that giving Kiddush (so others will make a bracha for the zchus of the neshama) or other such actions that can positively affect the neshamos of those who have departed.