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

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84 views

'Agunoth and Mamzerim after the Holocaust

What have Posekim decided regarding families that were torn apart as a result of the Holocaust, particularly with respect to marriages where the husband was taken and never seen again (but not ...
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0answers
36 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
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72 views

Verses indicating that each person has an equal entitlement to a land-plot

In Numbers 26:53–54 (JPS), the Israelites are commanded: Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To the more thou shalt give the more ...
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0answers
165 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 ...
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0answers
96 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.
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0answers
178 views

Source for not referring to Chanuka lights as a “menora”

Following up on this question about the use of the words "menora" or "chanukiya" to refer to Chanuka lights: I find it interesting that the use of "chanukiya," popularized in 1897 through a secular ...
5
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0answers
137 views

Which rabbi said “if a horse had the mind of Kant …”?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...
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1answer
106 views

Source for this Remez expansion of יד שחט דם

There is an acronym for the liquids that make things able to be made ritually impure. The Halacha is in order for fruit and the like to be made ritually impure it has to be made wet with these ...
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2answers
234 views

Cairo Geniza Controversy

What are the arguments against using manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza? Are there any Seforim / articles that discuss this debate?
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3answers
117 views

“Think about love for fellow Jews before praying” - source?

At the risk of being a guessing-game, I thought I'd read that before starting prayers (the beginning? The Amida?), one should take a minute to think about love for fellow Jews. Any source for this?
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5answers
274 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 ...
4
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1answer
223 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 ...
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4answers
272 views

Looking for Toldos Yeshu (1705 version). Does anyone have?

I'm researching the story that the Christian Apostle Simon -- later Saint Peter -- was actually a Jewish plant who was instructed by the rabbis to change Christian observances and beliefs to make it ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Is there a Jewish tradition of God reviving Israel at Sinai?

I once heard that according to "Jewish tradition", though it could be mere hearsay, that there was a story or legend that when the Israelites saw God's presence upon Mt. Sinai (or heard His audible ...
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votes
3answers
191 views

Can a person decide the Halacha (pasken) for him\herself?

Request for sources: Assuming one does not have semicha, (ordination) but is learned: Can one decide the Halacha for him\herself (after analyzing the issue and investigating the sources), or is one ...
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1answer
215 views

Midrash About God Repeating Words of Torah

I am drawing a blank as to the source of this midrash, that when a person learns Torah, at the same time God is learning that same section, or that He repeats what the person said? (Hopefully I am ...
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3answers
276 views

Are there any Jewish sources which discuss the existence of auras or energy fields?

Are there any Jewish sources which discuss the existence of auras or energy fields? Is it permissible to learn about them and be involved with them for healing purposes?
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3answers
121 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
137 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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votes
1answer
393 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
votes
1answer
135 views

Did Yael Sleep with Sisra?

I've read that Yael slept with Sisra, but this obviously isn't directly in the text. What is the source for this and the reasoning behind it. Wasn't Yael married?
4
votes
2answers
119 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
535 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
246 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?
4
votes
2answers
379 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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3answers
105 views

Sources about the Kosher status of Royal Jelly

Royal Jelly ("a glandular secretion and its color is a whitish yellow. Its consistency is creamier and less viscous than honey. Its taste is bitter, although not offensively so.") according to this OU ...
4
votes
2answers
135 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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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votes
1answer
579 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
165 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
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
98 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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votes
2answers
219 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
327 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
147 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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votes
2answers
121 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
87 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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votes
2answers
195 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
98 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
130 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 ...
4
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3answers
164 views

Study of Written Law Without Comprehension

What are the earliest sources that confirm or contradict the assertion that recitation of Torah Shebiksav fulfills the obligation to study Torah even without understanding of the words? Preferred: ...
4
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
86 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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votes
1answer
118 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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votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
474 views

Can one play computer games on Chol Hamoed

I know that there is a debate among the poskim as to whether one can type on Chol Hamoed. Does anyone discuss whether one can play computer games on Chol Hamoed?
4
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
4
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1answer
68 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 ...