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

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4
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2answers
128 views

Graphology - sources that permit or forbid it

I saw a orthodox Jewish newspaper that has a column on graphology. Are there any sources that discuss graphology, pro or con? Is it hocus pocus? Is it similar to palm reading?
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Which Tzemach Tzedek?

When the Pitchei Teshuva (on the daf of Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah) quotes teshuvot of the Tzemach Tzedek, who is he quoting? Is he quoting Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Tzemach Tzedek of ...
4
votes
2answers
413 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", ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Counting years according to the solar calendar

I once heard there is an opinion in Rishonim (maybe Gaonim?) that says we count ones years of life according to the solar calender. So for example a boy would become bar mitzvah when he would turn 13 ...
4
votes
1answer
141 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
161 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

What is the origin on metziztah b'peh?

Is metzitzah b'peh of biblical origin or was it instituted by the rabbis? What is the source for this practice?
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Source in Tosafos for playing ball on Yom Tov

I know there is a Tosafos in Beitza 12a that discusses playing ball on Yom Tov, but I remember learning another Tosafos which said something like "for children under nine it would be permitted on ...
4
votes
3answers
375 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
302 views

Source in Jewish writings for Moshiach?

What is the source in Jewish writings (Pre-Rambam) that there is a concept of a Moshiach, and his nature?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Eating at a shiva house

What is the basis for some people's practice not to eat the food at a shiva house; is there a halachik basis for this, is it a minhag or perhaps just superstition?
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Washing After Leaving Cemetary

What are the earliest sources (i.e. Chazal or Rishonim) for washing one's hands after visiting a cemetery? Is this mentioned by the Rambam?
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Who first said “You're being machmir on pikuach nefesh”?

I've been hearing the phrase "This is not being meikil1 on Shabbos, this is being machmir2 on pikuach nefesh3" for a long time. I've heard it quoted from R' Chaim, from the Gra, and from various and ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Source for statement that we don't know how to rebuke today

I recall hearing that someone, perhaps R' Yisroel Salanter, said that today we do not know how to respectfully give rebuke, and therefore we are all in the category of onus regarding the mitzvah of ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Why did R. Zera want to forget the Talmud Bavli?

I read that R. Zera fasted one hundred days to forget the Babylonian Talmud before he left Babylon to live in the Land of Israel. Why would he do this when I've understood that the Babylonian Talmud ...
4
votes
2answers
372 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?
4
votes
3answers
113 views

Interpreting divine messages

It is an article of faith that Hashem directs our lives individually (hashgacha pratit), and part of that guidance includes instructions about what each person should or shouldn't be doing. If we had ...
4
votes
4answers
188 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
294 views

Where does it say that one must wear two layers on their head(one of the reasons for the black hat)?

I know that a reason for wearing a black hat is because one must wear two layers covering their head (Mishna Brurah 91:5) but am wondering if that Din is based in Kabbalah?
4
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

Gemara on volunteering?

I heard that there was a Gemara to the effect of "volunteers cost more than employees because their motivation is not as good" -- or somesuch. Any ideas? Thanks.
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Source for the description of Mashiach in MBD's “Some Day”

Mordechai Ben David's classic song "Some Day" gives a description of what will happen in Yemot HaMashiach (the days of Mashiach). It seems to be a very popular song, and has doubtlessly influenced ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Feeling compassion for re'shaim and the mitzvah to hate

There are certain (specific) cases where it is correct or even a mitzvah to hate someone else. [See The following sources: Tehillim 97:10 and 139:21, Amos 5:15, Mishlei 8:13, Pesachim 113b, Sefer ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Vilna Gaon on Yom HaAtzmaut?

I've heard repeatedly the claim that there is a specific prediction by the Vilna Gaon regarding the dates of Yom HaAtzma'ut (5 Iyar) and Yom Yerushalayim (28 Iyar). What is the source for this claim? ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

What were the Rambam's sources?

In the introduction to the Mishneh Torah, the Rambam indicates that his compilation of the entire Oral Torah is derived from a few key Jewish texts: ואין צריך לומר הגמרא עצמה הבבלית והירושלמית ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Can an autopsy be performed on a Jewish body?

Halachically can one perform an autopsy on a Jewish body? One one hand, the Talmud Sanhedrin 47a explains that the verses in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 we can learn that one must not delay a burial and ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

Should single men not sit at corner of the table?

I heard that there some say that single men should not sit at the corner of the table, because it could lead to someone staying single forever. Is there a source for this idea?
4
votes
3answers
357 views

text for Rav Kook's positive viduy?

It was quoted in a class that I was in once that Rav Kook has a text for a positive viduy where he takes the normal expression of sin and inverts it to talk about what we have done right. What is the ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

Different aspects of married relationship described in the last of the Sheva Brachos?

In the 6th (at a meal) or 7th (under the Chuppah) 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

A woman's singing voice when there are other singing voices

There is a famous Teshuva of the Sridei Aish, Rabbi Yaakov Yechiel Weinberg, that permits one to hear kol isha (a women's singing voice) when there are other people singing. Where is this Teshuva ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Is there a stated freedom to contract?

In the United States (and other countries), there is the notion of the freedom to contract. This is the idea that two people of sound mind have the right to enter into any contract with one another ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Shabbat Mincha 2 Nuschaoth

I wondering what is the source of the difference between Sepharadi and Ashkenazi nussach:Sepharadiוּמִי כְעַמְּךָ כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל גוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ שמואל ב, ז, כא Ashkenaziוּמִי כְּעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל ...
4
votes
2answers
90 views

Family purity by degree

I have the opportunity to reach out to someone who will be getting married soon, to discuss the laws of family purity. He has no real connections to any religious community at this point in life so ...
4
votes
2answers
67 views

What happened with G-d's promise?

In Bereshit 15:18 G-d makes a covenant with Abraham in which He says that He has given certain land to Abraham's descendants. בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כָּרַת יְהֹוָה אֶת אַבְרָם בְּרִית לֵאמֹר לְזַרְעֲךָ ...
4
votes
2answers
62 views

source for Potiphar not believing his wife

I mentioned to someone a vort I once heard pointing out a difficulty in the story of Potiphar's wife. Why did Potiphar not have Yosef killed, which would be the expected punishment for attacking the ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Origin of “May God Avenge His Blood” (הי"ד)

What is the origin (i.e earliest usages) of appending הי"ד ("May God Avenge His Blood") after the name of a murder victim.
4
votes
1answer
72 views

What's the source for the phrase in Krias Shema al HaMitah: : …בְּשֵׁם יְיָ אֱלֹקֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל and to recite it 3x?

What's the source for the actual phrase that is cited in Krias Shema al HaMitah: בְּשֵׁם יְיָ אֱלֹקֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: מִימִינִי מִיכָאֵל וּמִשְּׂמֹאלִי גַבְרִיאֵל וּמִלְּפָנַי אוּרִיאֵל וּמֵאֲחוֹרַי ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

sources that neatness brings brocho/mazal

I heard in a daf yomi shiur on the end of Moed Katan (27a ‘Couch of Fortune’) that Jews kept an extra neat bed for brocho/mazal. One of the reasons that he gave was that in general neatness brings ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

Kiddush, Learning and Mitzvos for dead/niftar neshamos

I seek an early source that giving Kiddush (so others will make a bracha for the zchus of the neshama) or other such actions that can positively affect the neshamos of those who have departed.
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Source for exemption of hekdesh by nizkei adam

What is the source of the פטור (exemption) of הקדש by נזקי אדם (damage to property done by a person)? Tosfos on Bava Kama 7a (continued from 6b sv שור רעהו; on 7a, beginning of narrow lines) teaches ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

Where does the Talmud discuss the reason for Onan's death?

Genesis 38 says that instead of impregnating Tamar, Onan let his seed go to waste, and that this angered God, and therefore God killed Onan. I have a vague memory of reading somewhere in the Talmud ...
4
votes
2answers
232 views

Source for Quote about the cost of bread in the times before Moshiach?

Does anyone know where it says that in the times before moshiach, it will cost a barrel of money to buy a loaf of bread? I remember hearing that, but can't find the source. The reason I ask that is ...
4
votes
1answer
337 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
287 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
377 views

Source for story of Rashi, the King, and the Four Horsemen

There is a story (you can read the details here) about Rashi telling a King that he will conquer Yerushalaim for 3 days and return with 3 horses and 3 riders. The King returned with 4, but as they ...
4
votes
1answer
83 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Is the idea that there is always at least one illness with an unknown cure - a Jewish idea?

I have heard many times that there will always be at least one illness that is uncurable. Is this a Jewish idea? What is its source?
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Matzah the entire week

Is it the Vilna Gaon who maintains that it is a mitzvah to eat matzah (to eat matzah, in addition to abstaining from chametz) every day and night during the week of Passover, or somebody else? The ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

g'mara about David's conception

Where's the g'mara about Yishay's divorce (or was it separation?) and David's conception, please?