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

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5
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3answers
167 views

What does Judaism say about meditation?

According to recent scientific studies, it has been found that regular meditation has various benefits such as better focus, reduced levels of stress, etc. Knowing that the roots of meditation comes ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

Length of time for waiting for hard cheese proportionate to the length of time it was aged

In a Halachic pamphlet I saw before Shavuos this year, it mentioned an opinion that one must wait after eating hard cheese one hour for every month it is aged (so if it was aged three months, three ...
4
votes
3answers
178 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Memorization of the Talmud by Tosafists

I have heard a story (referenced here for example) about R. Isaac of Dampierre making sure that each tractate of the talmud be memorized by one of his students. What are the earliest sources for this ...
6
votes
3answers
482 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?)
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Multiple brochos for one food type?

It has come to my attention (from a local Rabbi) that one is required to say a brocho on each and every bit of food he/she eats, unless he/she was thinking about that particular food at the time of ...
1
vote
2answers
390 views

The level of the man is determined by his wife Talmud

I remember learning something like the following in Gemara shiur. That if the man is not good and his wife is good, he will be good And that if the man is good and his wife is not good, he ...
3
votes
2answers
155 views

Earliest source for the words Daas Torah

In this question Bruce James ponders "How can I know a Rav has Daas Torah". I am wondering what is the earliest source that gave this concept its name?
1
vote
1answer
142 views

The Chofeitz Chayim on World War Three

I read the following: בְּשֵׁם הֶ'חָפֵץ חַיִּים' כָּךְ בִּשְׁנַת תשע"ה 75 שָׁנָה אַחֲרֵי פְּרוֹץ הַשְּׁנִיָּה צְפוּיָה לִפְרֹץ הַמִּלְחָמָה הַשְּׁלִישִׁית שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵהגה"צ ר' צְבִי מֵאִיר ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Where is the Medrash about natural disasters showing Hashem is boss?

I recall coming across a Medrash that said, in passing, every couple of years Hashem brings about a disaster to show that he controls the world (or perhaps that we don't). This idea, I've seen in אור ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Ki Ein by Yonatan Shlagbaum

I was listening to song called Ki Ein by Yonatan Shlagbaum. Here are the words to his song: He כי אין הקב"ה אוהב אלא למי שאוהב את ישראל וכל מה שאדם מגדיל אהבתו לישראל, גם הקב"ה מגדיל עליו Where does ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Source for Maaser Money

Several questions on this site Ask about 'maaser money', giving a tithe of one's income to charity. What is the source for this practice?
4
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Vilna Gaon on Yom HaAtzmaut?

I've heard repeatedly the claim that there is a specific prediction by the Vilna Gaon regarding the dates of Yom HaAtzma'ut (5 Iyar) and Yom Yerushalayim (28 Iyar). What is the source for this claim? ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Help with finding a Pirkei Avot Citation

Hebrew Wikipedia writes, commenting on the well known quote "אבות אכלו בוסר, ושיני בנים תקהינה:" אבות אכלו בוסר ושיני בנים תקהינה הינה סוגיה דתית-פילוסופית מרכזית ביהדות ובדתות אחרות. פסוק ...
1
vote
2answers
134 views

Things to do on one's Hebrew birthday

The Ohr Yisrael says that on one’s birthday, it is proper to engage in introspection and seek ways to improve himself(1), Daven for the amud (2), and to give extra money to tzedaka(3)" 1) Ohr Yisroel ...
6
votes
2answers
73 views

Can the Mishnah be interpreted according to both peshat and drash?

There's a statement attributed to the Vilna Gaon (quoted in the introduction to Binas Mikra and in several other places) that the Mishnah can be interpreted through 'derash' and 'peshat', just like ...
8
votes
5answers
355 views

Why do we say Vhu Rachum before Maariv?

Before Maariv, we say the pasuk "Vhu rachum yichaper avon..." (Psalms 78:38). Why?
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Exactly how should the shaliach bow for Barachu?

In every synagogue I have been in, the shaliach zibur has bowed in some way at Barachu. I presume there must be a foundation for this. If so, there should be a correct way to bow. I am seeking clarity ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Birchas hatorah from the Torah?

I've heard many times that saying birchas hatorah is most likely from the torah (as apposed to mi-dirabanan). How could we not know? If it's from the torah, then it's from the torah!
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Who wrote the Toldos Aharon on Chumash?

Most Chumashim contain a commentary, called Toldos Aharon, which cites which gemara cites each verse (kind of like a reverse Torah Ohr). Who wrote it?
3
votes
0answers
108 views

Who came up with this story?

It says in Mekor Baruch (of Rabbi Baruch Epstein) The Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, the Netziv, was once sitting down surrounded by several high-caliber students – avrechim versed in Torah, wise, and ...
2
votes
3answers
197 views

Go out to receive the Torah then come back to convert Egypt

I just heard from my uncle a novel idea about the Exodus. Apparently, the original intention was for the Jews to go out of Egypt to receive the Torah, and then come back to convert the Egyptians. ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

Game theory in the Tanaim

I read an article a while back (maybe over a year ago?) in the Mishpacha English Magazine (I'm pretty sure, although it may have been in the Ami) that discussed a certain machlokes Tanaim about how to ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

What's the source that Rabbi Akiva's students stopped passing away on Lag BaOmer?

The source of Rabbi Akiva's students passing away during Sefira is from the Gemara in Yevamos 62b רבי יהושע אומר נשא אדם אשה בילדותו ישא אשה בזקנותו היו לו בנים בילדותו יהיו לו בנים בזקנותו שנא' ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

The Gra finished the Torah?

I heard from a friend that he read that the Vilna Gaon did a Sium on the Torah. Not just the חמישה חומשי תורה, but that he basically claimed that he finished all there is to learn in Jewish studies. ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Shaving on Friday when Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday

This year (2011) Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday. I've heard from a few people that the halacha is that you can shave (and take a haircut) on the Friday beforehand l'kavod Shabbos. Are there any ...
6
votes
3answers
3k 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?
7
votes
4answers
614 views

Why a human Messiah?

I understand that Mashiach is going to be a human. What is the source for this, and are there any explanations why it must be so? Can't G-d Himself redeem us?
4
votes
3answers
176 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: ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Where is “no Tachanun” on Pessach Sheni documented? [duplicate]

In almost every Siddur I have checked - as well as all the Luach's around, it says not to say Tachnun on Pessach Sheini - 14 Iyar. Yet I cannot find a source for it, nor in Shulchan Aruch neither in ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Origin of “May God Avenge His Blood” (הי"ד)

What is the origin (i.e earliest usages) of appending הי"ד ("May God Avenge His Blood") after the name of a murder victim.
-1
votes
4answers
71 views

Achieving greatness through torah study

Is there any source that says when one lowers himself (i.e. his dignity) or suffers embarrassment to learn Torah, he achieves greatness?
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Why Does the Torah Cycle start/end on Simchat Torah?

If the Torah was given on Shavu'ot, wouldn't it be logical to make that day the time to start the reading cycle (or, at least, line up the yearly cycle so I am up to the narrative of matan torah ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Time, Place and Speak

I heard from someone that מזל stands for מקום זמן לשון, (there is a) place (and) time (to) speak. Do you where this idea comes from?
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Divine Names for Judgement and Mercy

I have been told that the name of God אלוקים‏, Elokim represents the מידת הדין‏ or aspect of judgement, and that the name יקוק‏, the ineffable name represents the מידת הרחמים or aspect of ...
13
votes
3answers
418 views

How do we know that we have free will?

Where in the torah does it state that humans have, and are entitled to in perpetuity, free will?
-1
votes
1answer
69 views

Rebbe Akiva's Name

I heard from someone that the name עקיבא stands for "יש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת." 1) Why is that? 2) What's the source for it?
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Rebbe Akivah's background

I heard from someone that Rabbi Akiva was a shepherd, a laborer, an am ha’aretz – religious in observance, but ignorant of Torah knowledge. At age 40, he didn’t even know how to read the aleph-beis. ...
2
votes
3answers
204 views

What is Rambam's opinion on Demons

In Mishne Torah A.Z (11:16) he says that sorcery and mysticism in general does not exist but doesn't refer to demons explicitly. Does the Rambam speak about demons specifically anywhere else?
0
votes
0answers
142 views

Jews wearing a hat, jacket or cap during davening [duplicate]

Some Jews wear a hat, cap or jacket during davening. However, is there any halacha that says a Jew must wear and a hat and jacket during davening?
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Source of “Koteret”

I have heard Rambam's presentation of the mitzvos at the beginning of each set of halachos referred to as the כותרת (koteret). What is the source for this usage?
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any sources that prohibit childhood vaccinations?

The consequences of depressed childhood vaccination rates in some American communities, in the form of a building measles outbreak, have been in the news lately. All public schools and most private ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

Soul of convert ( Jew in non-Jewish body) [duplicate]

I would like to know espescially from a kabbalistic viewpoint: Is it possible that a Jew gets born into the body of a non-Jew because of reasons connected to previous lifetimes and has to find his ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Saying “emes toraseinu ha'kedosha vehatehora”

There is a minhag of the tzibur saying the above phrase while the one who is oleh la'Torah says the second brocho. This was the minhag of my father z"l who was born in Satmar. I have been asking ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

What was the earliest use of the Rambam's language in Shmita V'Yovel in support of kollel study?

Here's the Rambam, waxing poetic at the end of Laws of Shmita and Yovel (and his entire volume of Zeraim): ולא שבט לוי בלבד, אלא כל איש ואיש מכל באי העולם אשר נדבה רוחו אותו והבינו מדעו להיבדל ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Is the war of Gog and Magog a spiritual war?

I read somewhere that, "That the war of Gog and Magog will be an internal, spiritual war, when everyone will have to battle to remain strong with his emunah, but it will not be a war fought with guns ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Chol HaMo'ed and wearing dignified clothing

It says in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (104:2), "One who disgraces Chol Hamo'ed, even though he has to his credit Torah and good deeds, has no share in the World to Come." Disgracing Chol Hamoed implies ...
1
vote
3answers
99 views

Acronym of Iyar

I read the following on page 141, in The Wisdom In The Hebrew Months: The first letters of the last three words of this verse, אני י-ה-ו-ה רפאך, I am Hashem, your Healer, are an acronym for Iyar. Is ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Early Sources that Charity Should Optimally Support Torah

What are the earliest sources that state that charity ought to optimally be used to support Torah study. I.e. if one can choose various charitable causes to support, that s/he should choose to donate ...