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

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12
votes
3answers
353 views

How do we know that we have free will?

Where in the torah does it state that humans have, and are entitled to in perpetuity, free will?
0
votes
1answer
16 views

Divine Names for Judgement and Mercy

I have been told that certain names of God represent certain aspects of His Providence. אלוקים‏, Elokim represents the מידת הדין‏, or aspect of judgement. יקוק‏, the ineffable name ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Source for the Usage of “Kabbalah”

What are the earliest sources that refer to Jewish mysticism in particular as "kabblah". (Preferably the answer should include an indication that the word was associated with this in particular, ...
-1
votes
1answer
56 views

Rebbe Akiva's Name

I heard from someone that the name עקיבא stands for "יש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת." 1) Why is that? 2) What's the source for it?
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Rebbe Akivah's background

I heard from someone that Rabbi Akiva was a shepherd, a laborer, an am ha’aretz – religious in observance, but ignorant of Torah knowledge. At age 40, he didn’t even know how to read the aleph-beis. ...
1
vote
3answers
110 views

What is Rambam's opinion on Demons

In Mishne Torah A.Z (11:16) he says that sorcery and mysticism in general does not exist but doesn't refer to demons explicitly. Does the Rambam speak about demons specifically anywhere else?
0
votes
0answers
67 views

Jews wearing a hat, jacket or cap during davening [duplicate]

Some Jews wear a hat, cap or jacket during davening. However, is there any halacha that says a Jew must wear and a hat and jacket during davening?
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Source of “Koteret”

I have heard Rambam's presentation of the mitzvos at the beginning of each set of halachos referred to as the כותרת (koteret). What is the source for this usage?
4
votes
0answers
40 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? ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

The Gra finished the Torah?

I heard from a friend that he read that the Vilna Gaon did a Sium on the Torah. Not just the חמישה חומשי תורה, but that he basically claimed that he finished all there is too learn in Jewish studies. ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any sources that prohibit childhood vaccinations?

The consequences of depressed childhood vaccination rates in some American communities, in the form of a building measles outbreak, have been in the news lately. All public schools and most private ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Soul of convert ( Jew in non-Jewish body) [duplicate]

I would like to know espescially from a kabbalistic viewpoint: Is it possible that a Jew gets born into the body of a non-Jew because of reasons connected to previous lifetimes and has to find his ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

Rambam claiming some of Hazal were superstitious

I forgot where, but I remember reading the Rambam z"l saying that some Hazal believed in superstitions, ideas such as ayeen haro because they lived in small villages with lack of science, and ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Saying “emes toraseinu ha'kedosha vehatehora”

There is a minhag of the tzibur saying the above phrase while the one who is oleh la'Torah says the second brocho. This was the minhag of my father z"l who was born in Satmar. I have been asking ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

What was the earliest use of the Rambam's language in Shmita V'Yovel in support of kollel study?

Here's the Rambam, waxing poetic at the end of Laws of Shmita and Yovel (and his entire volume of Zeraim): ולא שבט לוי בלבד, אלא כל איש ואיש מכל באי העולם אשר נדבה רוחו אותו והבינו מדעו להיבדל ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Is the war of Gog and Magog a spiritual war?

I read somewhere that, "That the war of Gog and Magog will be an internal, spiritual war, when everyone will have to battle to remain strong with his emunah, but it will not be a war fought with guns ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Chol HaMo'ed and wearing dignified clothing

It says in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (104:2), "One who disgraces Chol Hamo'ed, even though he has to his credit Torah and good deeds, has no share in the World to Come." Disgracing Chol Hamoed implies ...
1
vote
3answers
77 views

Acronym of Iyar

I read the following on page 141, in The Wisdom In The Hebrew Months: The first letters of the last three words of this verse, אני י-ה-ו-ה רפאך, I am Hashem, your Healer, are an acronym for Iyar. Is ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Early Sources that Charity Should Optimally Support Torah

What are the earliest sources that state that charity ought to optimally be used to support Torah study. I.e. if one can choose various charitable causes to support, that s/he should choose to donate ...
4
votes
2answers
76 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

man is greater than an angel

I heard from someone, that man is greater than an angel. For an angel can never reach higher levels in spirituality, while man can. In addition, man struggles with his evil inclination and an angel ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

Are there any responsa that encourage or require maintaining health insurance?

Are there any responsa in the literature that either encourage or require people to maintain health insurance, perhaps as a fulfillment of the obligation to guard one's health, or in line with any ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Why is Pesach called זמן חירותנו, when we did not have the Torah yet?

Our sages tell us, "there is no free man except one that involves himself in Torah learning" (see Avos 6:2). If that's the case, why is Pesach called זמן חירותנו, a time of our freedom, when we did ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Original Sources for Ideas about Hidden Path to Moshiach

I sat in a class recently and listened to an Orthodox rabbi expound on the convoluted path that had to be taken in the past and will presumably be taken in the future to get to Moshiach. I may not ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Kidushin with food from someone else's banquet

I heard that a person can perform kidushin with the food of someone else's banquet, when he's been invited as a guest. Is this true? If so, why? (Do the owners of the banquet relinquish ownership ...
1
vote
1answer
44 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?
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Shir HaShirim on Sabbath Eve

What are the earliest sources that reference the recitation of Shir HaShirim on Erev Shabbos? (Bearing in mind the dates of redaction of various Midrashim).
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Basic laws, why is milk with meat not kosher?

I've recently read (again) the verse "לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו", meaning, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk". How did anyone get from that, to "Don't eat meat with milk at all"? I've always ...
9
votes
1answer
205 views

Where does the concept of “shirayim” come from?

Please explain the concept of shirayim (literally, leftovers) wherein the followers of a chassidic Rebbe will receive portions of his food to it, these leftovers are considered holy or special in some ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Individual Life Mission

What are the earliest sources that support or contradict the view of Sfas Emes and Chiddushei HaRim that each person (or Jew) has a unique mission in the world? Specifically looking for sources ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Rambam's statement about a blessing from the Ri Migash

The Artscroll Rishonim history book, in the section about the Rambam, records a "tradition" that the Rambam, as a young child, received a blessing from the Ri Migash, and that he (the Rambam) later ...
26
votes
6answers
739 views

Where does the concept of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism come from?

What is the source of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism? Are there people who disagree with its existence? Who was the first to mention it? What I am asking essentially is what is the historical ...
4
votes
1answer
463 views

Can one play computer games on Chol Hamoed

I know that there is a debate among the poskim as to whether one can type on Chol Hamoed. Does anyone discuss whether one can play computer games on Chol Hamoed?
1
vote
1answer
19 views

“Echad mi yodeya” describing merits for Exodus — source?

The Artscroll Family Hagadah explains that Echad Mi Yodeya is asking "in what merit were the Jews redeemed from Egypt?" Well, they believed in one God, they would receive two tablets, they had great ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Maimonides' 13 Principles

What are the earliest sources who state that the thirteen principles of Maimonides are authoritative?
4
votes
2answers
136 views

Study of Written Law Without Comprehension

What are the earliest sources that confirm or contradict the assertion that recitation of Torah Shebiksav fulfills the obligation to study Torah even without understanding of the words? Preferred: ...
8
votes
1answer
230 views

Rishonim saying Ester took place during the second bayis

Elsewhere on this site, avi cited sources to the effect that, contrary to the Bavli (M'gila), the events recounted in the book of Ester took place after the second bes hamikdash was built. Do any ...
-2
votes
1answer
48 views

Shabbos sustaining the world

I heard from someone that “G-d created the world to last for six days plus the Shabbos. Then the Shabbos gives the world the spiritual energy to exist for another week and the cycle goes on ...
3
votes
2answers
45 views

Why isn't Shabat haGadol held on the 10th of Nissan?

Why is Shabat haGadol celebrated based on day of the week (Shabat) and not day of the month, if it happened on the 10th of Nissan? Most other days of commemoration in Judaism are celebrated by a day ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Nothing stands in the way of desire

I saw on page 15 of this pdf the following statement quoted in the name of the Chida: "אין דבר העומד בפני הרצון, Nothing that stands in the way of desire." Does anyone know where the source for this ...
4
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
92 views

Why do we say pesukim from Hoshea after donning tefillin?

In the standard Artscroll Ashkenazik siddur, after wrapping the tefillin around one's fingers it says to say the following pesukim from Hoshea 2:21-22 וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי, לְעוֹלָם; ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

the tzaddik decrees it and HaKadosh Baruch Hu fulfills it

Someone mentioned that the Gemara in Mo'ed Katan (16b) says: צדיק גוזר והקב"ה מקים, the tzaddik decrees it and HaKadosh Baruch Hu fulfills it. I looked in Mo'ed Katan and could not find צדיק גוזר ...
-5
votes
0answers
44 views

Non-Jews wearing as little clothing as possible

Someone mentioned that before Moshiach comes the non-Jews will try to wear as little clothing as possible. Is there any source for this?
0
votes
2answers
52 views

Earliest ban issued by a sage in the torah

What is the earliest source in the Torah where a leader/sage made a ban against something and people ignored what he said?
-2
votes
1answer
56 views

Olive oil compared to Torah

Is there any source that makes a reference or compares olive oil to torah?
2
votes
0answers
59 views

Maror- common lettuce

Rav Dovid Feinstein in Kol Dodi perek 15:18 writes that the common custom is to use romaine lettuce for maror.However, he mentions that he heard that a renowned Gaon of recent times who permitted ...
1
vote
7answers
1k views

Does Jewish tradition indicate that Jewish people tend to be rude?

From what I've seen many non-Jews have a stereotype of Jewish people as being rude and greedy. Is there a Jewish source (from the bible,talmud, midrash, zohar, or classic torah commentators) that ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Singing shoshanas yaakov on Pesach

I have seen that some sing Shoshanas Yaakov on Pesach to commemorate the death of Haman. Can someone please direct me to an authoritative source for this custom? See references to it here: ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Source for the story about the Satmar Rebbe

I remember a story about a maskil who approached the Satmar Rebbe, and who lamented the fact that Hungarian Jews don't differentiate between the samekh (ס), the sin (שׂ) and the sav (ת). The Satmar ...