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

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Kalam Cosmological Argument

Wikepedia writes: The Kalām cosmological argument is a variation of the cosmological argument that argues for the existence of a first cause for the universe, and the existence of a god. Its ...
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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 ...
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254 views

Who wrote Tohar HaYichud?

Who wrote the anonymous rationalist debunking of kabbalah entitled Tohar HaYichud?
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101 views

What is the source for lighting a candle for the whole year after the death of a close relative?

I am familiar with the idea of a yahrzeit candle. I have observed a custom of keeping a flame alight for the whole year (or maybe 11 months) after the death of a close relative. (When one goes out, ...
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68 views

Which Tana said the shem hafemorash and why?

I remember learning a gemarah (midrash?) that one of the tanaim (possibly R' Chanina [ben Dosa]) said the shem hameforash explicitly. Can you source this story and explain why the shem hameforash was ...
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60 views

Are there any ma'amrei chazal on תּוֹלָע בֶּן-פּוּאָה?

תּוֹלָע בֶּן-פּוּאָה was the shofet from Yissachar (Shoftim 10:1-2). I have not been able to find any information on him anywhere. Do chazal or any later commentators mention anything about him?
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118 views

Kashrus Explained

A close friend of mine asked me to fire this question at the mi.yodeya community so here goes: "I came across this rather interesting rendition of "kashrus Explained", not sure who authored it, but I ...
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2answers
79 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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77 views

Happiness for a Bar Mitzvah

I heard in the name of the Chasam Sofer that the first mitzvah of a bar mitzvah boy is that of simcha (happiness). Does anyone know where I could find the original source of this? I searched Google ...
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100 views

Sixth Bracha of Sheva Brachos

In the 6th Bracha of Sheva Brachos, we read the line of גילה רינה, דיצה וחדווה, אהבה ואחווה, ושלום ורעות. I have heard that the first four words are referring to the relationship between a couple when ...
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1answer
57 views

Who suggests that Creation Ex nihilo was only a small point and light?

If this is a simple minded question, please forgive me, but I'm not Jewish and so most of my information is via naive study and second hand. I've been told by a Jewish friend in my physics class ...
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2answers
132 views

Where does the proverb “as you teach you learn” come from?

I ran across the proverb "As you teach, you learn" on a list of Jewish proverbs. (Here is an example of it online.) Does anyone know its source? I saw a few cites attribute it to "Midrash Tehilim", ...
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56 views

Source to make noise when Haman's name is mentioned?

Where is the source to make noise when Haman's name is read from the Megillah?
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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 ...
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2answers
216 views

what's the source for Bar Mitzvah being at 13?

How do we know that a person is not obligated in Mitzvos before the age of 13, and is obligated from that point forward?
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1answer
123 views

Source for checking talis over shoulder

What is the source for checking one's tzitzis while the talis is over one's right shoulder: isn't the halacha just to check the knots and strings? Can't the checking be done on a table?
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1answer
182 views

A new knife for Rosh Hashanah?

There is a custom to buy a knife for Rosh Hashanah: the qualifier is that the knife not be serrated. What is the source for this custom and what is the significance of the knife not having edges?
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111 views

Source for Haman's hat

As a little kid, I was always told that a Hamantasch is representative of Haman's three cornered hat. Is there an actual source that says Haman wore a three cornered hat or is it just Folklore?
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46 views

Understanding Maaseh Avos Siman L'banim

To the best of my knowledge the earliest source for the concept of maaseh avos siman l'banim is Ramban on Bereshis 12:6. I would like to know if there is an earlier source and what the parameters of ...
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2answers
112 views

Source for saying Aramaic parts of davening quietly?

I remember reading somewhere that there is a kabbalistic tradition to say the parts of davening that are in Aramaic (e.g. the targum in Uva Letziyon) quietly. What is the source for this?
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113 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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210 views

Source for “Ben Adam Lemakom” and “Ben Adam Lechavero”

Where does the concept of Ben Adam Lemakom and Ben Adam Lechavero come from? I know there is a concept of the first five of the ten commandments being between 'man and his friend' and the second ...
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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.
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173 views

One day yom tov for someone who spends every chag in Israel?

I met someone who lives outside of Israel almost full-time and who told me that, because he's in Israel for each of the shalosh r'galim every year, he keeps only one day yom tov. Is this (the ...
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46 views

Source for meaning of parasha break in Numbers 26:1

Bamidbar 26:1 is written: וַיְהִי, אַחֲרֵי הַמַּגֵּפָה; {פ} וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, וְאֶל אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן לֵאמֹר The {פ} indicates a line break - in the middle of the ...
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3answers
77 views

Correct version of pasuk about wisdom

An old teacher of mine is about to turn 90 and I'm trying to locate a pasuk, which, I think, says: "Treasure the words of a wise man for they are..." or "Heed the words of a wise man, for they are ...
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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, ...
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266 views

Source for segula of baking challah

I am looking for sources for the segula of baking challah on behalf of a sick person, a shidduch, a baby or even a World Series victory. Where does this come from? Why can men not be part of it? Why ...
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1answer
27 views

Was the rock the Moshe hit in Shemos 17 the be'er miriam

Rashi in Bamidbar 20:2 notes that until Miriam died the be'er [literally well] gave water. Was this be'er the rock which Moshe hit in Shemos 17? Or was it a well, and if so where is the first source ...
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114 views

Are there any sources for parents respecting children

BSD Are there any sources in any Torah literature of the importance of a parent respecting their child. I am referring to a parent understanding their child. For example a parent not caring about his ...
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1answer
56 views

Can one allow lashon hara to be said about oneself?

Somewhat similar to the question of saying lashon hara (negative speech) about oneself: can a person forgo his right to privacy (if that has anything to with lashon hara) and allow other to speak ...
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1answer
63 views

Any sources that discuss חזרה (review) programs in detail?

What sources provide details of in what frequency one should review one's material? For me, two come to mind. The Gemara (where?) that a student would review all his learning every 30 days, which ...
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1answer
83 views

Bowing during kedusha

Today at Mincha, the Shaliach tzibbur bowed for each word of Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh, to the left, right, and then center, as we do at the end of Shemoneh Esrei. I have never seen that before. Is there ...
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1answer
100 views

What were Naomi's sins?

According to the commentary at the bottom of the Artscroll TaNa"Ch, in the beginning of the book of Ruth, Na'omi attempted to dissuade her daughters-in-law from following and staying connected to her ...
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1answer
226 views

Ana B'Koach authorship and the 42 letter name of Hashem

In my Artscroll siddur it tells me that the hymn Ana B'Koach was written by the tanna, Rebbi Nechunia ben HaKana and that the first letter of each word can be used to form the 42 letter name of ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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98 views

Jacob's Dual Names and Wives

The third Patriarch's birth name was Jacob. He is given another name, Israel, in Genesis 32. Jacob had two primary wives; Leah and Rachel. I have heard the idea that the Rachel was the betrothed ...
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28 views

What is the blessing on dough?

Shulchan Aruch discusses the blessing on baked dough (various places - Hamotzi), fried dough (O.C. 168:10), raw grain kernels (Ha'adama - O.C. 208:4), flour (shehakol - 208:5), and various cooked ...
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122 views

Pray to G-d in feminine (leshon nekeva)

For some reason I remember there were sources strictly prohibiting turning to G-d as a woman. Of cause there are may be prophets metaphores etc. But I think it is at least not encouraged to describe ...
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102 views

Looking for Source for explanation in Chafetz Chaim

R' Moshe Sherer brings an interesting explanation from the Chafetz Chaim: The reason for the Torah's double expression of my Shabbos's in ויקרא יט:ג - ואת שבתותי תשמורו is to teach us that our Shabbos ...
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37 views

Tosefta vs. Toras Cohanim

This past Shabbos someone said over to me a particular sugia they were learning in Taharas and a maklokes Rishonim (an argument between Rishonim, medieval rabbis) in a particular analysis. One Rishon ...
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36 views

Did Rabbenu Nissim also write the long “Ashamnu” in the Chazarah of Shacharit in the Sephardic Yom Kippur Machzor?

Who wrote the long vidui in the Chazarah of Shacharit in Sephardic Yom Kippur Machzorim, i.e. the one that starts "Ashamnu, Achalnu ma'achalot assurot" and has a whole paragraph for each letter of the ...
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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 ...
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161 views

Maimonides on Circumcision

These are not questions about circumcision. They are about what Maimonides said about the practice. I would to know if the following things do, or do not, in fact represent things Maimonides said ...
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62 views

The history behind the composition and inclusion of V'lo N'tato

I'm curious about the composition and inclusion in the shabbat shacharit of the paragraph beginning ולא נתתו (v'lo n'tato). I understand the talmudic basis for the underlying idea, and how it fits in ...
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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?
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2answers
142 views

what is the source for “Ein Melech B'Lo Am”?

There is a seemingly well known chazal "Ein Melech B'Lo Am" there is no king without a people. Which is supposed to indicate that God cannot truly be king without subjects. Where is this chazal found ...
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133 views

Babies in the field Midrash

What is the source for the Midrash that says that in Egypt some babies were put into fields and saved by Malachim who looked like their fathers? Also, what is the context in which the Midrash is ...