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

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10
votes
2answers
814 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
104 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
182 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
1answer
139 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?
1
vote
1answer
104 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
188 views

Berachot in Kriat Shema

I'm sorry if the question is too general, but I was just wondering about Berachot Kriat Shema. What exactly are they? What kind of relationship do they have with the Shema? We need to make a Beracha ...
11
votes
1answer
457 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Which Rabbinic source claimed that the Rambam “killed” the demons?

I've heard many times that the Rambam "killed" the demons rather than simply denying that they ever existed. Which Rabbinic source claims as much? Because the Rambam himself seems to have said that ...
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.
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Wearing wool Tzitzis on Shabbos

Is it better to wear wool tzitzis? indicates that it is better Halachically to wear a woolen Beged with woolen Tzitzis. Recently I met a fellow who the entire week wears cotton Tzitzis, yet on Shabbos ...
7
votes
5answers
212 views

Meforashim and Poskim on Mas. 'Avodah Zarah and forming a curriculum

A friend and I have decided to start learning Mas. 'Avodah Zarah. Our goal, however, is not to just pick a random Masechta of Gemara and learn it with the commentaries on the Daf. Our actual goal is ...
0
votes
0answers
93 views

Learning Hilchos Chalev and Seder Kodshim as segulah for Refuah

A friend of mine was recently in Eretz Yisrael. When he was here he visited many Gedolim to get brachas for his son who was born with a number of birth defects. He was by R' Chaim Kanevsky to a get a ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Story with Rav Safra — halacha l'maseh?

The following story is brought down in Rashi in Makkos Daf 24a (Found in Sha'iltas D'Rav Ahai Gaon) והכי הוה עובדא דרב ספרא היה לו חפץ אחד למכור ובא אדם אחד לפניו בשעה שהיה קורא ק"ש ואמר לו תן ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

The source to be Dan L'Caf Zechut

From where do we know that one must be "dan" someone "l'caf zechut"? (that we must judge someone favorably even though from a certain act it might seem they are doing something?
4
votes
2answers
119 views

Shechting non-Kosher animals

The question was asked: If someone for example is sick and must eat from a non-kosher animal. Must it be shechted (slaughtered) first like a kosher animal? I don't see any reason why it should, since ...
1
vote
1answer
248 views

Going to a wedding of a gentile

It says in SA YD Siman 152 Sif 1 that it's ossur to go to a wedding (seudah) that a gentile is making for his son. The Shach and Taz both discuss over there if for reasons of "aiveh" if one is allowed ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Referring to parent in third person

I have seen some homes where the children refer to the parent in third person as a sign of respect (Would Abba like to...). I'm curious to know if this practice is brought down in any sefer and if in ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Removing Yarmulka last when undressing (source)

I have noticed that some people remove their Yarmulka last when undressing and wear it first when dressing. Is this custom mentioned anywhere?
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Saying names of angels

I've heard you shouldn't say the names of angels, except for the four that surround us at night. What's the source and reason for this? Is it halacha or kaballah?
3
votes
4answers
217 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
2answers
94 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
101 views

Where Does the Talmud Teach Not to Learn Halacha From Observation of Teachers?

Back when I was learning Daf Yomi, I ran into an interesting lesson I'm finding difficult to find again. It was a teaching that one should learn halacha from your rebbe's teachings and not through ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Which 20th century rabbi said “G-d normally doesn't stop the ill-intentioned”?

I recall hearing the following story: There was a non-observant Israeli Jew who kept having visions of his deceased father telling him he should do more religiously. Finally he was about to turn on ...
7
votes
1answer
223 views

Where does our blessing for daughters come from?

In many Jewish homes on Shabbat, the head of the household would bless his sons to be like Ephraim and Menasheh but would bless his daughters to be like the matriarchs . What is the source, if any, ...
9
votes
3answers
462 views

A woman with dreadlocks going to the mikveh

In regards to the dinim of chatzitza by the tevillah of a Niddah the SA (Rema) in YD Siman 198 Sif 6 speaks about an interesting situation where a woman's hair was tied together by a Shin-Daled ...
6
votes
2answers
232 views

Exact model of the Beis Hamikdash?

There is a "classic" model of the Beis Hamikdash (I think it's from the HolyLand model). Are there any sources for the decisions taken in the model (for example, what components were done based on ...
5
votes
3answers
103 views

Source of Midrash regarding Yaakov's saying Shema

There is a famous Rashi in Parashat Vayigash (46:29) where Rashi explains that Yaakov didn't cry on Yosef's shoulders because he was reciting Shema. He cryptically quotes this in the name of ...
3
votes
1answer
260 views

Minhag not to learn Torah on the night of Nitel (Who and where)

This related question explains what this minhag is and a couple of reasons for it. I was wondering to what extent is this minhag practiced today apart from Chabad (see Hayom Yom - 17 Tevet)? Do all ...
3
votes
1answer
254 views

Who wrote Tohar HaYichud?

Who wrote the anonymous rationalist debunking of kabbalah entitled Tohar HaYichud?
4
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
834 views

High School Math in the Talmud

I'm currently tutoring someone in math that has an atitude of "what's the point of all this... why would I ever need this..." (which is typical of many high-schoolers). To try to pique his interest, I ...
10
votes
2answers
122 views

Tehilim divided into five sections?

According to Wikipedia, Jewish tradition divides the book of Tehilim into five sections (1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150). This is unsourced there; the references at the bottom of the page ...
19
votes
16answers
878 views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X ...
2
votes
0answers
92 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
131 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Aveilus for an adoptive parent

Are there any dinim of aveilus for a child that was adopted when his adoptive parents pass away? Are there any poskim that spoke about this?
5
votes
1answer
62 views

“For Zion's sake” - Where in the liturgy?

Is Isaiah 62:1 found anywhere in the liturgy? I seem to remember a reference or two in Selichot, but I can't find it there now, nor can I find it anywhere else.
5
votes
1answer
225 views

What is the source for Rambam's “physician's oath”?

A physician friend pointed out to me the Rambam's "physician's oath" (it doesn't look like an oath per se, but that's what it's called), which begins (in English): The eternal providence has ...
3
votes
0answers
101 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" apparently originated in 1897 through a ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Communities where men didn't put their טליתות over their heads?

I heard that the Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna mentioned cases where the custom of the place was different, one such place being יָוָן, where men didn't cover their heads with their tallitot, ...
1
vote
2answers
345 views

What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?

What is the source that a woman's (singing) voice is considered ervah?
5
votes
1answer
285 views

Whence is the idea that the deceased is a meilitz yosher?

At funerals I have often heard it said that the deceased should be a meilitz yosher (one who relates rectitude). Where does this idea come from?
6
votes
3answers
204 views

List of people in Tanach

Can I find anywhere a comprehensive list of every single person that is mentioned in Tanach. Including somewhat "biographical" information, who they were, family, what they did, how they fit into ...
11
votes
3answers
387 views

Killing Civilians in a defensive war

In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, many Palestinian civillians were killed by Israeli air-strikes (the Palestines claim the number is as high as 158, while according to the IDF ...
-1
votes
2answers
145 views

When to go out to fight the enemy?

I'm sure everyone knows what's going on right now in Eretz Yisrael with the rockets being fired at the Israeli population from Gaza and the response of the IDF. I have heard many people say ...
4
votes
1answer
195 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?
7
votes
3answers
438 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?
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Sources for Pidyon HaBen Ceremony

Where can I find the original sources for the pidyon haben ceremony? I don't mean the verses in Torah that gives us the halakha, rather something on the rituals of the ceremony itself (much like ...