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

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3
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1answer
278 views

Story of Rabbi Who Burned Out His Eyes

I once heard a story about a rabbi who was given a test by God, in which the Satan was sent in the form of a beautiful woman to entice him. He would not look at the Satan, and when pressed, he had one ...
3
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2answers
441 views

Source for long payos

Where is there a source for having long payos ,and if there are sources what is the oldest source.? I am talking about the extra length besides for the halachic necessity. Like behind the ears or ...
3
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1answer
150 views

Advantages of converts (in spiritual terms)

I've heard before that the Ari Zal says the neshemas ("souls") of gerim (converts) comes from the highest places. Is there any source for this? Where is this brought down? As well what other ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Seeking source of explanation of ולא יכל יוסף להתאפק

וְלֹא יָכֹל יוֹסֵף לְהִתְאַפֵּק — Yosef could not forbear (Gen. 45:1) — but had he done so, had he completed the brothers' reconciliation that he had started, then the kingdom would ...
3
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3answers
276 views

Modern nations and Umos Haolam

Where can I find a discussion about the roots of modern nations, in the Umos Haolam mentioned in the Torah and Chazal?
3
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1answer
80 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 ...
3
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2answers
95 views

ראש וראשון לכל דבר שבקדושה

The phrase "ראש וראשון לכל דבר שבקדושה" is used quite often in haskamos and introductions to describe people who devote their life to Torah study or supporting Torah study or other important Jewish ...
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1answer
48 views

Source for the order of the aleph-beis?

What is the source for the Hebrew alphabet being in the order that it is? Meaning I realize that there are perhaps several sources that Aleph is the first letter, beis is the second etc, but is there ...
3
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1answer
86 views

What is the earliest source of rhymes in Jewish texts?

Many (most?) piyyutim have some sort of rhyme to them. Unlike alphabetic acrostics, for example, rhyming does not appear in Tanach. What is the earliest source of rhymes in Jewish texts? (If R' ...
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1answer
86 views

Source for book of Tehillim out of order?

I recall learning a midrash (shochar tov?) that the book of Tehillim is out of order and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi wanted to put it back in order but was not allowed to do so. Where is this statement ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Source for Osnat's Locket

I've heard that the reason Joseph knew he could marry Osnat was because he saw her wearing a locket / pendant with a Hebrew inscription on it so he knew she was a Hebrew. Has anyone heard this story ...
3
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1answer
107 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
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2answers
143 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 ...
3
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1answer
132 views

Seared Sushi Bishul Yisroel

Certain Sushi require the searing of the fish on the outside. Does this process require a Jew light the torch used to do the searing or is it not required? I have seen that some stores do and some do ...
3
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2answers
57 views

Source for the quotation, “More than Jews have kept the sabbath…”

I have heard and seen in print many times the quotation attributed to Achad Ha'am that "more than Jews have kept the sabbath, the sabbath has kept the Jews" (exemplified in all its unattributed ...
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3answers
805 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?
3
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1answer
94 views

No Musicians for a Schochet

I was told that the Aruch Hashulchan says that a Musicians may not be a Schochet does anyone know where it says this and if it is true and why that is?
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2answers
48 views

Collection of poems by Yehuda HaLevi

Where can I find a printed book with a collection of poems by Yehuda HaLevi? Ideally this book should (in order of importance): Be available to an American consumer Include the original Hebrew ...
3
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2answers
158 views

Origin of the Escalator analogy

What is the origin of the escalator analogy of always striving for growth? I'm referring to the analogy that, in life, like a person climbing a downward escalator, if one is not constantly striving ...
3
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
3
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1answer
96 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?
3
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1answer
61 views

Splitting up Shacharis between two Chiyuvim

I have Davened in a few Shuls where they have split up Shacharis between two Chiyuvim. (One Davens until Ashrei after Tachanun / One davens from Ashrei until the end.) What is the source for doing so? ...
3
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1answer
183 views

Is it permissible to play with cards?

Someone told me the other day, that playing cards (with ace, jack king and queen...) contain Tumah and therefor should not be played with. Did anyone hear of this? If yes, do you have a source?
3
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1answer
95 views

Source for story of rabbi's claiming land said “you're both mine”

I heard the following story recently (though I paraphrase, and may have some details wrong): When Rabbi M'nachem Perr lived in Queens, New York, he had an Italian, non-Jewish neighbor who, during ...
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4answers
85 views

Is Earth a gift from Hakadosh Baruch Hu?

I have always been confused by the entrustment of the earth to Adam. Is the earth a gift, or do we merely have stewardship? Do any rabbbanim state an opinion, particularly whether any Acharonim weigh ...
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2answers
103 views

Why is Sefer Yetzirah attributed to Avraham?

It seems fairly widely accepted that Sefer Yetzirah, one of the primary books of Kabbalah, is attributed to Avraham Avinu. Why is that?
3
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1answer
76 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
95 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 ...
3
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1answer
266 views

Who wrote Tohar HaYichud?

Who wrote the anonymous rationalist debunking of kabbalah entitled Tohar HaYichud?
3
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2answers
109 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
70 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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2answers
62 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?
3
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1answer
122 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 ...
3
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3answers
91 views

Is there a source where Emuna and Bitachon are described as separate ideas?

In the sefer Emuna UBitachon, the Chazon Ish popularized the idea that Emuna and Bitachon are really two parts of one idea, one being the belief in the idea, and one being the idea believed in. Is ...
3
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2answers
108 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?
3
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1answer
84 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 ...
3
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1answer
110 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 ...
3
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1answer
59 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
167 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", ...
3
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1answer
57 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?
3
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2answers
119 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 ...
3
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2answers
250 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?
3
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1answer
126 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?
3
votes
1answer
187 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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1answer
239 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?
3
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2answers
60 views

Why is driving on Chol Hamo'ed allowed?

Meleches Uman, skilled labor, is not permitted on Chol Hamo'ed even for the needs of the mo'ed (M.B. 540:1). Common practice indicates that driving on Chol Hamo'ed is allowed. However, driving is a ...
3
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1answer
55 views

From whence do we learn that the Torah does not mince words? [duplicate]

I have oft heard it stated that "the Torah does not mince words" (example 1, example 2, example 3). While it seems natural/logical that the Creator of the World would use words precisely, from whence ...
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1answer
138 views

Halachik source for wearing stockings

What is the Halachik source for women covering their lower legs (past the knee)? And why would sheer stockings be acceptable if the point is to cover the lower leg?
3
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1answer
112 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?
3
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1answer
72 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 ...