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

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10
votes
2answers
257 views

Would Adam and Chava have been permitted the tree of knowledge if they'd waited?

I've long been somewhat troubled by the episode with the tree in the garden, because it seems like it was necessary for man to acquire knowledge (how else could we enter a covenant and accept the yoke ...
21
votes
2answers
261 views

Matza on 14 Iyar

I have seen a custom (it seems to me primarily among Chassidim) to eat matza on 14 Iyar (known as Pesach Sheni). What is the earliest source for this custom? What are the reasons given for following ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Ashkenazi unsure whether he or she counted the 'Omer one night

According to the Daily Halacha website: If a person is unsure whether or not he counted a day of the Omer, and cannot determine conclusively if he had counted or if he had missed that day, he ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Satmar Rebbe's opinion on Mechitza

Where could I find the opinion of the Satmar Rebbe (Rav Yoel) zt'l on the height and laws pertaining to the Mechitzah?
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Chasam Sofer on innovation

There is a famous quote of the Chasam Sofer, in which he applies the principle stated in Mishna 'Orlah 3:9 (החדש אסור מן התורה בכל מקום) to the question of innovation within Judaism. Rather than ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
2
votes
0answers
83 views

Origin of using priestly blessing on Friday night

I know why we use Ephraim and Menashe when blessing the children on Friday nights, (see: Why Does Hashem Bless Us Like Efraim And Menashe?) but why do we use Birkat Kohanim? Is there any specific ...
10
votes
2answers
770 views

Origin of myth about the hole in the sheet?

There is a widespread myth (as far as I know it is a myth) that orthodox Jews must have marital relations through a hole in a sheet. What is the origin of this myth and does it have any actual basis ...
2
votes
3answers
117 views

Pasuk about community service

I'm looking for a pasuk to pay tribute to a couple being honored for their service to both my local community and the greater Jewish community. Does anyone have one I can use?
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Question on Mordechai — Chiyuv m'drabbanan being motzei chiyuv m'doraisa

The Mordechai in Megillah Siman 798 has a case if a blind person can make kiddush for his family since (according to Rebbe Yehuda) a blind person is patur from mitzvas, then his obligation in making ...
2
votes
0answers
128 views

How did the modern day Beis Hora'ah phenomenon develop?

Here in Eretz Yisrael, we find Batei Hora'ah in many cities - places where a moreh hora'ah sits either during special times or perhaps the whole day or different rabbonim throughout the day answering ...
6
votes
3answers
195 views

Sources discussing paying for Torah education

I am looking for sources that discuss the idea of paying tuition money ("schar limud") towards obtaining a Torah education. Topics of interest include: The importance of paying tuition for Torah; ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Learning Torah without understanding

The Magen Avraham in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 50 Sif-Katan 2 writes that learning (Torah) is only called "learning" if one understands what they learn (see there for the context in which he ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Trees l'asid lavo

I recall learning that la'asid lavo the trees themselves will be edible (ta'm ha'etz k'tam hapri) as in gan eden. I cannot find the source for this though.
2
votes
1answer
83 views

A quote of Shlomo ibn Gabirol

A co-worker posted this as her "Quote of the Day" in an e-mail message. It's attributed to Shlomo ibn Gabirol: The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the ...
9
votes
1answer
146 views

A year with eight Sh'minis is plenteous?

I've heard an idea that a year (like 5772) in which parashas Sh'mini is read eight times[1] is a particularly auspicious one: the wording of the maxim is something like "sh'mona Sh'mini sh'mena" ([a ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Whence “בלי עין הרע”?

What is the source, or earliest reference, I guess, of using the phrase, "בלי עין הרע"?
2
votes
2answers
205 views

Source? The day you were born was the day Gd decided the universe could no longer exist without you

I am looking for the source for the following quote The day you were born was the day Gd decided the universe could no longer exist without you The greeting card I saw it on said the quote was ...
9
votes
3answers
203 views

What is the source for the mitzvah of kiruv?

Is kiruv a mitzvah? Is it biblical or rabbinic? Is there any reason it should supersede other mitzvot? what are the sources in chazal and halacha relating to kiruv? related: Kiruv and halachik ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Custom of not eating by other people on Pesach

There is a custom that many have to not eat by other peoples houses on Pesach. Seemingly it's even if they have the same chumras or perhaps even more chumras (what I've learned over time is not ...
6
votes
2answers
768 views

A Convert taking on customs of ashkanazim or sephardim

When someone converts is there any determining factor on what minhagim (customs) they will take upon themselves in terms of Ashkanazim or Sephardim? Should it be dependent on the Beis Din they ...
14
votes
1answer
219 views

What sources, prior to the 19th century, support or refute the existence of the Council of Jamnia/Yavneh?

Multiple questions on Christianity.SE1 refer to the Council of Jamnia/Yavneh in reference to the canonization of the Bible (Tanakh). Wikipedia states: In 1871 Heinrich Graetz, drawing on Mishnaic ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Segulah for having a boy

I have heard before that a segulah for having a boy is to have relations with one's wife twice in one night. I remember hearing this in the name of Chazal. Does anyone know the makor for it?
9
votes
3answers
242 views
18
votes
3answers
630 views

Premature birth contradicting science

I am a teacher at a private all-girls Jewish high school. There are two science teachers in the school, and both of us are Christian. I was talking with my fellow science teacher recently, and she ...
8
votes
1answer
156 views

Where does Ramban discuss OCD and the mikvah?

I was told that the Ramban writes regarding women who have awful problems using the mikvah because they keep worrying they're not clean enough -- in today's terms, we call that obsessive-compulsive ...
4
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Chazzon Ish and Parshas Parah being D'Oraisa

I heard today that the Chazzon Ish says that the reason Parshas Parah is m'doraisa (See here) is because of the pasuk: והזהרתם את בני ישראל מטמאותם "And you shall separate the children of ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

“Lo Plog” in Shas

In a case of a gezera or any other issur that might not apply to a particular person (for whatever reason) we often still say it does because of a "lo plog". In order that we shouldn't make ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

The order of the wording of the Ben Sorrer U'Moreh source Mishnah

In Mishna 1 of of the Eighth Perek of Masechet Sanhedrin it states that we know the ages in which the halachot of ben sorrer u'moreh apply from the fact that the Torah says "ben" (boy) and not "ish" ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Source that a woman is considered to have a bris milah

I recall learning, I think in mesechtas kiddushin, that a woman is the (halachic?) equivalent of a man who has had a bris milah performed. In other words, since she does not have the same organ she is ...
3
votes
3answers
108 views

Seeking sources about the necessity for finding a מנין

I am looking for sources about the necessity for finding a מנין. More specifically, whether or not one has to always be in close range of a מנין, or if he can intentionally put himself in a position ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Charging interest to “your brother”

A deleted post from a long time ago made the claim that [W]e are [allowed to charge interest to other Jews] but not from immediate family. Even from another Jew, if he or she is not a member ...
8
votes
2answers
156 views

If two separate studies intersect, is it a good sign?

There is an expression that I have always heard, which is that when two separate Torah studies one is learning happen to reference each other, it is a good sign. A variant of this that I've heard is ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Is the name of God associated with bris milah?

I recall learning, but have no source for, the fact that part of what is achieved by the bris milah process is a form of etching (part of?) the name of God into the makom ha'milah. What is the ...
4
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

Vashti was never Killed

I was told that the Chacmie Tzarfas said that Vashti was never Killed Does anyone have a source for this view in a shiur or inside? Rashi (Esther 1:19) says that she was executed.
3
votes
2answers
116 views

What route did Bnei Yisrael take through the Midbar? Seeking sources

The question of which route the Israelites took from Egypt to the Holy Land has been asked for centuries and discussed by pseudo-historians and pop-sci documentarians in the History Channel age, and ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Where was it first said that “The generation is diminishing and diminishing”? (הדור הולך ופוחת)

in Hebrew we have an adage that says “הדור הולך ופוחת” ("Hador holekh wepocheth"), meaning “the generation is getting more and more diminished", which may have meant that there are fewer and fewer new ...
-5
votes
4answers
334 views

Seeking Clear Definition of God in Judaism as Presented in Tanakh [closed]

I am curious to know if/how God is crisply defined in the Torah: What is God and what is God not? For example, here is what can be considered a crisp definition of God in the Quran (necessary ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Which of Moshe Chaim Luzzatto's works influenced Chassidut, Mussar, and Haskalah?

In Dovid Cohen (known as Rav Ha-Nazir)'s Wikipedia page, the following idea is attributed to him: He saw in Moses Hayyim Luzzatto the harbinger of this redemption, pointing out that the three ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Water from the Kohanim washing their hands by nei'lah

I heard about a minhag the other day (for the first time) and was wondering if there is any makor for it. I was told that people ran out to "catch" the water that was used to wash the Kohanim's hands ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

Which Talmudic source for Ḥanukah is the real source?

What is the Talmudic source for Ḥanukah? In discussing candles for Shabbath, the Talmud (Shab. 21b) goes into a discussion about candles generally, touching upon Ḥanukah candles, and ultimately asks, ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Rashi: Caleb married Miriam

I remember reading a rashi on Chumash that quoted a Chazal (I believe sota 12) that says that Caleb married Miriam. Anyone know where this rashi is
2
votes
3answers
176 views

Midrashic sources regarding the Sea splitting into twelve paths

Tehilim 136:13 says: לְגֹזֵר יַם סוּף לִגְזָרִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ To Him Who cut the Sea of Reeds asunder, for His kindness is eternal. Rashi's commentary indicates that this is ...
7
votes
3answers
430 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
118 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

Explanation for couple not seeing each other before the wedding?

What is the source and reason for a couple not to see one another before the wedding?
10
votes
1answer
443 views

Kissing and Hugging one's wife

What does it say about chibuk and nishuk (kissing and hugging) shelo b'shas tashmish (not during relations) with one's wife in Sifrei Halacha or Hashkafa? Among madrichei chassanim (those that teach ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Looking for more information on the bridal virginity blessing

The blessing on bridal virginity is recorded in the Halakhot Gedolot but dismissed by the Rambam in Teshuvot Harambam, II:364-365, #207. What is the original source for this blessing? Do other ...