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

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1
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1answer
145 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?
3
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1answer
243 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 ...
1
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1answer
78 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
92 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 ...
2
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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?
0
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1answer
90 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
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1answer
141 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 ...
3
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3answers
117 views

Shiur of “Miut Hamatzui”

A "miut hamatzui" is a phrased used to express a case where because of a small concern that something exists, or might happened, or does happen that the halacha is affected by this. An example is if ...
6
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3answers
211 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
84 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 ...
4
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2answers
114 views

Did HaShem “regret” creating someone/something

I heard once that it says somewhere in Chazal that there were certain things or people that HaShem "regretted" (had "charatah") in creating. Although I don't remember which examples were given or if a ...
3
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0answers
36 views

Whence “בלי עין הרע”?

What is the source, or earliest reference, I guess, of using the phrase, "בלי עין הרע"?
5
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1answer
84 views

Not eating chametz in Eretz Yisrael on “Achron shel Pesach”

I heard that there is a letter from the Rebbe Rashab (Chabad) that one shouldn't eat chametz on Achron Shel Pesach when they are in Eretz Yisrael (even if they are keeping only one-day Yom Tov.) I ...
2
votes
2answers
238 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

Why is Moshe (mostly) absent from the haggadah?

Somebody asked at my seder this year why Moshe is largely absent from the magid. I have heard that the reason is because we're supposed to focus on God, and also that Moshe was very humble and there ...
1
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2answers
122 views

Four cups of wine by the Pesach Seder — From the Torah?

I've heard there is an opinion that the daled cosos by the Pesach Seder are m'doraisa. What is the source for this (if there is one? I vaguely remember a source being in the Yerushalmi?) What Seforim ...
6
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
2
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2answers
134 views

What does the word “Karpas” mean?

That which by the Seder on Pesach we eat "karpas", what does this word actually mean and where does it come from?
7
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1answer
179 views

Taanis Bechoros for a first born from a C-section

Does someone who was a first born, but was born from a C-section have to fast on Ta'anis Bechoros? The only source I know which addresses this is the Kaf HaChaim on Shulchan Aruch (470:3), who says ...
2
votes
2answers
202 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?
2
votes
2answers
150 views

The Rif and the Rosh on Nazir and Sotah

Where can I find the commentaries of the Rif and of the Rosh on Tractates Nazir and Sotah? They're not in my gemara (Oz v'Hadar), and I was wondering if they were appended to a different tractate?
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3answers
741 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 ...
6
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2answers
219 views

What is Ruach Rah

Right in the beginning of Shulchan Aruch we see this idea of "Ruach Rah". In regards to washing ones hands and all that comes before that -- not walking more than 4 amos without washing one's hands, ...
8
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1answer
177 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 ...
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
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
2
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0answers
43 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 ...
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2answers
72 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
261 views

Have poskim written about partnership minyanim?

Are there any contemporary responsa regarding partnership minyanim, such as Shira Hadasha and Darkei Noam? Various rabbis have written against it (e.g., R. Student, R. Rothstein, R. Firmer) and it ...
3
votes
1answer
74 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
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1answer
91 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 ...
1
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1answer
209 views

The Parameters of Hakaras HaTov?

Hakaras HaTov is generally translated as, or equated with, gratitude. Insofar as it literally means "recognizing the good",are there any sources which explicitly include recognizing good that we do ...
3
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2answers
122 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.
2
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1answer
134 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" ...
14
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1answer
232 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
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3answers
120 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?
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 ...
5
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1answer
105 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 ...
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4answers
352 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 ...
10
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2answers
1k 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
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1answer
107 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
201 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
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1answer
164 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
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1answer
106 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
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2answers
228 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
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1answer
521 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
196 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
84 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
100 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 ...