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

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9
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86 views

Post mortem Tahara

I'm looking for sources discussing the religious aspect of the Tahara done on deceased Jews. I recall someone mentioning that the religious aspect of it was a practice we picked up from the Muslims ...
9
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399 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. ...
8
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161 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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0answers
50 views

Source for the Beit Yosef's צ

In most forms of k'tav stam (Sephardi, Ari, Jeckisch, et c.) the righthand yud of the letter צ is reversed (see fig. 1). On the other hand, the Beit Yosef's צ uses a regular י shape in the righthand ...
6
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0answers
61 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
44 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
votes
0answers
93 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
158 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 ...
5
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79 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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0answers
182 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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0answers
183 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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155 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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66 views

Rule of first occurrence?

Searching online I came across a nice article which wrote: link It is a teaching of Chassidic thought (the only source I have for this is Shlomo Carlebach!) that the first occurrence of a ...
4
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0answers
62 views

Why is it called “Kiddush Lavana”

Every month we make a bracha on the new moon. In many siddurim where the bracha and nusach is featured it's called "Kiddush Lavana". If one looks in the poskim (See Rema Orach Chaim SIman 426 Sif 1, 2,...
4
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0answers
93 views

Is there a chazakah (halachic presumption) that an Eruv is down after a blizzard?

I remember, I was once at shul Friday night, and it was just starting to snow and it was predicted to be a huge blizzard. The Rabbi got up and announced that tomorrow people should work under the ...
4
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0answers
66 views

Should we ask a non-Jew to wear a kippa for a burial?

Should we ask a non-Jew to wear a kippa for a burial? He likely doesn't have an obligation to do so. We often ask them in a synagogue (and this answer discusses the reasons) but what about a cemetery?
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35 views

Looking for a Chazon Ish about developement of Minhagim

It has stuck in my head for a while now - roughly quoted as saying that one shouldn't mock minhagim that have developed in klal yisroel even if the origin seems dubious - as Hashem wouldn't allow ...
4
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86 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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0answers
66 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
91 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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81 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." ...
4
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0answers
84 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
votes
0answers
50 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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83 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
298 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
136 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
121 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
36 views

Why do some siddurim switch the order of the angels?

I've noticed that in some siddurim in the prayer "El Adon" the last line has the order of the angels switched; that is, they say: "seraphim, chayot, v'ophanei hakodesh" instead of "seraphim, ...
3
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0answers
40 views

Talmud source that the righteous can create worlds with their words

Looking for a source in the talmud which says that the righteous can create worlds with their words - I saw this and I can't remember in which tractate/where exactly, google isn't helping.
3
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0answers
27 views

Shamor and Zachor beyond Shabbat

Much is written about the relationship of Shamor and Zachor in relation to Shabbat but Shamor and Zachor are also used for Pesach (at least the first day) - Shmot 13:3 Moses said to the people, "...
3
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0answers
22 views

Gerah as a coin and cud (and more)

Is anyone familiar with any exposition on the connection between gerah גֵּרָה as cud (ma'aleh gerah) and as a measure of 1/20th of a shekel? Is there any connection drawn to the root for the word ...
3
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0answers
50 views

Shavuah Tov or A Gutte Vuch on Motzai Shabbos

What is the earliest reference or source for wishing Shavuah Tov or A Gutte Vuch on Motzai Shabbos?
3
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0answers
41 views

Source for story about the Maskilim's play mocking what the “orchei hamilchama” would look like according to chazal

Does anyone know of a reliable source for the story about how the Maskilim made a play to mock what a milchama would look like according to the torah/chazal, in which they depicted only the Chofetz ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Is there a public domain floorplan of the Beis Hamikdash

Is there a public domain floorplan of the Beis Hamikdash? I'm looking for something like
3
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0answers
30 views

Reincarnation in the Hechalot Texts

This answer claims that the idea of reincarnation is found in the Hechalot texts. Is this indeed the case, and if so, where? According to R. Aryeh Kaplan in Meditation and Kabbalah reincarnation is ...
3
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0answers
68 views

Proof that calling upon deceased righteous people is polythiesm

My assumption is that in the Jewish faith, if someone were to call upon a righteous person who is not alive for help, that would be considered polytheism. Are there any explicit verses in the Torah ...
3
votes
0answers
45 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 ...
3
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0answers
109 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 ...
3
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0answers
48 views

Location for medrash cited by the Chizkuni

The Chizkuni in Parshas Achrei Mos 16:22 writes that the ish iti (the person who would take the goat to har azazel) would not live through the year. He cites from a medrash that the person knew he was ...
3
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0answers
57 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
45 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
89 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
votes
0answers
117 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
votes
0answers
72 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
votes
0answers
155 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
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0answers
53 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
59 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
58 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 ...
3
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0answers
162 views

How did the modern day Beis Hora'ah phenomenon develop?

Here in Eretz Yisrael, we find Batei Hora'ah in many cities - places where a moreh hora'ah sits either during special times or perhaps the whole day or different rabbonim throughout the day answering ...