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

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10
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217 views

What is the source of the expression המבין יבין?

The Forward writer Philologos in his most recent column claimed that the earliest uses of the expression והמבין יבין are found in the Ra'avad and in the Radak. Based on the fact that both these ...
7
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0answers
124 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 ...
6
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0answers
143 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 ...
6
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0answers
271 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. ...
6
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0answers
106 views

“Nahhat Ruahh l'Yotzro” source

At the end of מוסף לשבת in דרכי אבות השלם (p. 375), a quotation is written in the name of רבי יהודה: אמר רבי יהודה: אשרי מי שעמלו בתורה ועושה נחת רוח ליוצרו Can anyone help me find the exact ...
6
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0answers
102 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 ...
5
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0answers
31 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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78 views

What is the source for Rav Soloveitchik's assertion that 1st Century Christians introduced mixed seating for prayers?

In the collection of Rav Soloveitchik’s responsa Community, Covenant and Commitment, there is a series of letters railing against mixed seating in the synagogue. Amongst the points raised there is a ...
5
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82 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 ...
5
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68 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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171 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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0answers
132 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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43 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
99 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
39 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
60 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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155 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 ...
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87 views

Biblical prediction for Ashkenazi-Sephardi split

Is there any prediction in the Torah for the split between Ashkenazim and Sephardim? I was told that there is but can't think of anywhere to look. Thanks.
4
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96 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
214 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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122 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
94 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
57 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
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0answers
62 views

Source for story about Chazon Ish and mischief

I once heard a story along the lines of the following: A man brought his 7 or 8 year old son to meet the Chazon Ish. He wanted to show him what a masmid his son was. The Chazon Ish, after asking ...
3
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0answers
71 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
105 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
49 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
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0answers
31 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
104 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
38 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
46 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
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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"?
3
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0answers
179 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
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0answers
28 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
60 views

Blessings on Birthdays

There is apparently a practice among contemporary Jews of giving out blessings on one's birthday. Is there any source for this in the Jewish tradition?
2
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0answers
91 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 ...
2
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0answers
122 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
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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
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0answers
37 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
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?
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
92 views

Water from the Kohanim washing their hands by nei'lah

I heard about a minhag the other day (for the first time) and was wondering if there is any makor for it. I was told that people ran out to "catch" the water that was used to wash the Kohanim's hands ...
2
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0answers
135 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 ...
2
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0answers
71 views

Are there mystical underpinnings to Maccabi?

One of the explanations I have heard for the title מכבי is that it is an acronym for the pasuk 'מִי-כָמֹכָה בָּאֵלִם ה (Shemos 15:11). Is there any reason, mystical or otherwise that that pasuk (or ...
2
votes
0answers
92 views

Rambam (Maimonides), talks about different kinds of people

I have heard in school from our teacher that Rambam talks about different kinds of people, one that sees things he does not understand and disregards them as nonsense, another who when faced with ...
2
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0answers
194 views

Two-letter shorashim and phonetic shorashim?

I have heard many times in the name of Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch that every Hebrew shoresh (usually defined with three letters) has a more basic root of two letters. I also heard in his name that ...
2
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0answers
165 views

Text for birchat habayit

I'd like to write a couple birchos habayis and get them illuminated as gifts. Does anyone know of a good existing text? I'm looking for something five or six lines long, preferably not the usual one ...
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vote
0answers
34 views

What side is a newborn supposed to nurse from first?

I have heard that there is a gemara that discusses what side a newborn is supposed to breastfeed from first. If this is true, where is this gemara and what's the idea behind it?
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Sources about learning to defend oneself

Are there any Torah sources that talk about the need to learn self-defense?