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

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7
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124 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
6
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71 views

Mental Telepathy

In Rabbi Immanuel Schochet's introduction to the fundamentals to proving religion. He mentions mental telepathy as a phenomenon that although uncommon does exist. ...
6
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52 views

Did Prof. Rabbi Umberto Cassuto have any insight behind the biblical character Yehudah?

I am the great grandson of Umberto Cassuto, Benyamin Enzo Rocca, and 5 days ago my wife and I were blessed with a son (3rd child). With his upcoming bris in a few days I would like to know if anyone ...
6
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0answers
315 views

Origin of the allegory of the long spoons

A common version of the allegory of the long spoons tells how Rabbi Hayim Elhanan ben Yehudah Leyb Tsedek or Tzadikov (*1813, ✡1883) of Rumšiškės went to see the difference between Heaven and Hell. ...
5
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0answers
86 views

'Agunoth and Mamzerim after the Holocaust

What have Posekim decided regarding families that were torn apart as a result of the Holocaust, particularly with respect to marriages where the husband was taken and never seen again (but not ...
5
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0answers
37 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
5
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74 views

Verses indicating that each person has an equal entitlement to a land-plot

In Numbers 26:53–54 (JPS), the Israelites are commanded: Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To the more thou shalt give the more ...
5
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168 views

Source for Chazon Ish on What defines a Lamdan

I recently read an article and the author wrote the following: "The Chazon Ish described the true lamdan as “someone who spends three hours preparing to deliver a five-minute shiur, and when he is ...
5
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179 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," popularized in 1897 through a secular ...
5
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142 views

Which rabbi said “if a horse had the mind of Kant …”?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...
4
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68 views

Convert without accepting mitzvos?

Conversion is always a hot topic, especially here in Israel. Many times conversions take place where the Ger (convert) didn't have the intention to be m'kabel (accept) the mitzvos. People scream and ...
4
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47 views

Earliest Sources To Avoid Pronouncing the Name 'Samael'

What are the earliest explicit sources that reference the practice of not pronouncing the name 'Samael'? I ask since I have heard many people doing this. It is referenced here: ...
4
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0answers
52 views

Reward for not talking during davening

The Sefer HaPanim (Daf 11) says, “One who is careful not to converse during prayers is bound to live a long life and have a pleasant old age." 1) Is there anywhere in the Torah, Gemara or Sefarim ...
4
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0answers
75 views

Different endings of Yishtabach

I have heard at least four nuschaos (liturgies) for the very end of Yishtabach between habocheir b'shirei zimrah (who chooses musical songs of praise) and chai/chei* haolamim (life/life-giver of the ...
4
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0answers
60 views

Choreography of Kaddish

I have seen a number of different customs of when people bow or sway or bob or whatnot during Kaddish. Some of the people I have witnessed have been very knowledgeable, and I assume they weren't just ...
4
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0answers
117 views

Height of havdalah candle = height of spouse?

I have seen havdalah ceremonies where a unmarried person is charged with holding the havdalah candle and is told to hold it at the height that s/he would want their spouse to be. What is the source ...
4
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0answers
44 views

Source for medrash that Klal Yisroel counted the omer when they came out of Mitzraim

The sefer Tur Bareket (OC 489 1) brought here quotes a medrash that Moshe Rabbeinu told Klal Yisroel to count 50 days towards matan torah. Do any of our readers know the exact source in the medrash of ...
4
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0answers
65 views

Can you take and post pictures of people online without their permission?

Realizing that there is some concern with having one's picture taken in the first place; according to those who allow pictures of people to be taken, is there any halachic reason which would prevent ...
4
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0answers
103 views

What sources did people use to support Shabbtai Tsvi's messianism after he died?

I can understand the appeal of a messiah in 1600s Eastern Europe. I can understand that we want a messiah and we're willing to accept one, whether it be Bar Kochva or Shabbtai Tsvi. But on what ...
4
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0answers
269 views

Why is wine poured by a non-Jew forbidden?

The S"A 125:1 (YD) states that a non-Jew pouring non-Mevushal wine makes (at least) that wine unfit, but other than citing earlier authorities (maybe, I can't figure that part out) he doesn't give a ...
4
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0answers
128 views

Young boys returning Chumashim after Torah reading

I often see young boys going around shul after the Shabbos/Yom Tov morning Torah reading to collect Chumashim and return them to their shelves. Is this an actual 'minhag' with a history behind it? If ...
4
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0answers
107 views

Sources for Hamsa

I know from Ben Ish Hai Shana Bet Parashat Pinehas siman 13 where he writes to make a Hamsa from wood. However, I am wondering if there any earlier sources to solidify the fact that this would ...
3
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0answers
38 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
28 views

Is there any significance in the 10th of Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith quoting a Passuk?

If you read Rambam's 13 Ani Maamin's, 13 Principles of Faith, you'll note that only the 10th one makes reference to Tanach. Is there a reason for that? (Looking for sourced answer, rather than ...
3
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0answers
32 views

Origin of Reciting Psalms

What is the origin of reciting Tehillim as a form of prayer? More specifically, of reciting even passages of Tehillim which do not contain requests for the issue one is facing but rather of praise of ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

The opinion that microwaves don't need to be kashered

So I remember hearing this opinion that followed like this: "Microwaves do not need to be kashered because the means of cooking in a microwave are different than those spoken about in the Gemara." ...
3
votes
0answers
83 views

Chida's statement about shabbat violators

I heard Rabbi Yitzhack Yosef Shelita (Rishon LeTzion and son of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef, Z"L) who says that the Chida writes that in all the places that he was never saw a Sephardic Jew that wasn't ...
3
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0answers
112 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 ...
3
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0answers
59 views

'Removal of the evil inclination is like removal of the soul'

I saw recently (here) in the name of the Chazon Ish that 'removal of the evil inclination removes the soul'. Is there a written source for this (either in the writings of the Chazon Ish or elsewhere)? ...
3
votes
0answers
51 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 ...
3
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0answers
131 views

Let's play Name that Gadol - women wearing Tallis story

There is a story that I have heard with multiple names being used as the Rabbi in the story. It goes like this: A woman came to [insert name of Torah Sage here] and said that it would enhance her ...
3
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0answers
114 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
46 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 ...
3
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0answers
50 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
220 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Location of source for a midrash of Zipporah on Har Sinai?

A friend was expounding a midrash to me about Zipporah but was unaware of the provenance. The story involves Zipporah, prior to meeting Moshe, searching for her lost flocks near Har Sinai. She ...
2
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0answers
56 views

When did the custom of using 2 people for hagbah and gelilah begin?

Megillah 32a says: עשרה שקראו בתורה הגולל ספר תורה קיבל שכר כולן If ten have read from the Torah (meaning that at least ten verses have been read; not that there was a minyan of at least 10 ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Length of time for waiting for hard cheese proportionate to the length of time it was aged

In a Halachic pamphlet I saw before Shavuos this year, it mentioned an opinion that one must wait after eating hard cheese one hour for every month it is aged (so if it was aged three months, three ...
2
votes
0answers
92 views

Who came up with this story?

It says in Mekor Baruch (of Rabbi Baruch Epstein) The Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, the Netziv, was once sitting down surrounded by several high-caliber students – avrechim versed in Torah, wise, and ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Game theory in the Tanaim

I read an article a while back (maybe over a year ago?) in the Mishpacha English Magazine (I'm pretty sure, although it may have been in the Ami) that discussed a certain machlokes Tanaim about how to ...
2
votes
0answers
36 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
60 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 ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Where does the Zohar mention challenges?

The Artscroll Stone Chumash on page 80, note 11, says the following: באים בימים - Coming with [their] days. The Zohar says, "Each day in a person's life carries with it it's own challenge and ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Reading Tehillim on Klaf

Anyone know of a source to read Tehillim from Klaf? I have heard it's something more special than reading from a regular sefer.
2
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0answers
170 views

Siyum Mishnayos on Erev Pesach

Today I learned of the minhag to make a siyum bechorim only on gemara. I understand the logic, but is there a source for it? This came up because I'm scheduled to make a siyum on the Mishna (first ...
2
votes
0answers
26 views

Codifying in a variant-text based machlokes

The בית חדש in O.C. 168 writes the following: אלא דלהלכה ודאי במידי דתליא בגירסאות אזלינן לחומרא הכי והכי In something which is dependent on variant texts we are stringent in both directions. ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

End Time For Sacrificial Offerings

The verse states, in Exodus 12:10, regarding the eating of the Paschal Offering: וְלֹֽא־תוֹתִ֥ירוּ מִמֶּ֖נּוּ עַד־בֹּ֑קֶר וְהַנֹּתָ֥ר מִמֶּ֛נּוּ עַד־בֹּ֖קֶר בָּאֵ֥שׁ תִּשְׂרֹֽפוּ׃ Do not ...
2
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0answers
106 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
votes
0answers
36 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?
2
votes
0answers
46 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 ...