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16

The (rarely-seen) commentary of Rabbeinu Ephraim ben Shimshon on the Torah states that Benjamin was a werewolf; the fear that he would die should he leave his father Jacob is that he would turn back into a werewolf and be killed in self-defense by some person. Make of it what you will. Hat tip to Yitzhak of Bein Din L'Din. (See link for more.)


16

As part of the extensive research behind my RASHI'S DAUGHTERS, no subject intrigued me more than the elusive [and ubiquitous] legend that they wore tefillin. Indeed, when I first started studying Talmud and was introduced to Rashi, I was told that legend held that they were learned and wore tefillin. I actually tracked the earliest mention of this back to ...


15

According to this article by Rabbi Dr. Ari Z. Zivotofsky (published in the Orthodox Union's Jewish Action Journal, Summer 2011), such a source does not exist. Apparently, this idea appeared in the late 20th century, and never before then.


13

Sanhedrin 68a These were some of the final words of R' Eliezer, as he lay on his deathbed. 'Moreover, I have studied three hundred, (or, as others state, three thousand laws) about the planting of cucumbers [by magic] and no man, excepting Akiba b. Joseph, ever questioned me thereon. For it once happened that he and I were walking together on a road, ...


12

R. Eitam Henkin (R. Y.H. Henkin's son) wrote an essay on the curious Rashi. He claims there that the text attributed to Rashi was a later interpolation by an errant student, since it is not referred to by any of the subsequent commentaries for centuries. His argument is not the usual "must have been an errant student" type, but rather is quite convincingly ...


11

See the sefer Pardes Yosef on parshat Teruma chapter 25 sub ubb"b d"y [= ubibava batra daf yod] where it is described how the Besh"t was asked about a Talmudic source which says that every Torah prohibition has a permitted aspect to it, so where is heresy permitted? His answer was that in performing the mitzvah of charity, one should help the poor man as if ...


11

Shemos Rabbah (29:4) says: דבר אחר "אָנֹכִי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ" רבי אחא ברבי חנינא פתח בו (תהלים נ, ז) שמעה עמי ואדברה (כמ"ש בעשרת הדברות (פסיקתא רבתי, יב) עד) א"ר שמעון בן יוחאי אמר להם הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל אלוה אני על כל באי עולם אבל לא יחדתי שמי אלא עליכם איני נקרא אלהי עובדי כוכבים ומזלות אלא אלהי ישראל א"ר לוי שני דברים שאלו ישראל מלפני הקדוש ...


11

Megillah 28b (English) ההוא דהוי תני הלכתא סיפרא וסיפרי ותוספתא ושכיב אתו ואמרו ליה לרב נחמן ליספדיה מר אמר היכי נספדיה הי צנא דמלי סיפרי דחסר there was a certain man who used to repeat halachoth, Sifra and Sifre and Tosefta, and when he died they came and said to R. Nahman, Sir, will you deliver a funeral oration for him, and he said, How are ...


10

Sanhedrin 104, from the last line of the first amud to perhaps a quarter of the way down the second. Soncino Translation: Our Rabbis taught: It once happened that two men [Jews] were taken captive on Mount Carmel, and their captor was walking behind them. One of them said to the other, ‘The camel walking in front of us is blind in one eye, and is ...


10

Despite this being an old question, it recently came up in conversation, so I'll take a stab at it. Three of these sources (the exception being the Chizkuni, which I found myself) come from a footnote to Eliezer Brodt's article on ברכות הראייה printed in Yeshurun vol. 26 There are indeed a few commentaries that mention werewolves: Rashi, in his commentary ...


10

I've heard various versions of the larger-than-life tale you're referencing (including one in which the antagonist dies simultaneously of stoning, burning, decapitation, and strangulation). Gershon referenced one such version in print, which is translated below. As to the Shavuot connection, Akdamut is about the greatness of G-d and the heavenly spheres; it ...


10

The story is a well-known piece of Jewish folklore, and it is hard to know if the story is true at all, and if it is, how much it may have changed over the generations. The story can be found in the sefer Michtavei Chofetz Chaim (p.262) at the beginning of an essay written in honor the shloshim of the Chofetz Chaim. It was originally published in the ...


9

This story, sounds like an adaptation of the writings of Rav Kook. Rav Kook wrote extensively on the spiritual good that came from many of the "troubles" of his time. The rise of Atheism was one of those topics. He writes in many places that Atheism helps cleanse religion of Man's false beliefs, and Heresy helps shine light on the darkness of falsehood. ...


9

You seem to be looking for the Bar Yuchnei. Talmud Bechoros 56b: פעם אחת נפלה ביצת בר יוכני וטבעה ששים כרכים ושברה שלש מאות ארזים Once the Bar Yuchnei's egg fell and it flooded sixty cities and destroyed three hundred cedars. The gemara there says that normally this wouldn't happen, but this particular egg was rotten so the bird threw it away. It ...


9

I heard once in a recording from R. Y.S. Schorr that Shamai represented a middas hadin, an exacting attitude of strict justice (as is evidenced by those very stories). His measuring stick was a display of just that point - everything had to be measured and exactly according to what was deserved.


9

The Babylonian Talmud (M'gila, page 3 column 1) relates in the name of Ravina: One who is afraid [for no apparent reason] — although he doesn't see [anything], his mazal sees [something]. The commentary of Rashi explains that "mazal" here refers to the person's angel. And the commentary Ben Y'hoyada explains that what his mazal sees (and he's afraid ...


8

This story is mentioned in the name of the Munkatcher Rebbe in the Wagschal edition of the Alshich's Toras Moshe to Bereishis (pg. 15) and in Toldos HaAri HaQadosh (pg. 27, last paragraph). I can't find earlier sources for this.


8

This story is told in Talmud Menachos (44a) about one of R' Chiya's students. The story ends up with them both doing teshuva and subsequently marrying each other. http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/530129/jewish/In-the-Words-of-the-Sages.htm


8

Rashi in Rosh Hashanah 33a holds that women may not perform mitzvot in which they are not obligated because of "bal tosif." ד"ה הא נשים מעכבין. דפטורות לגמרי דמצות עשה שהזמן גרמא הוא וכי תקעי איכא בל תוסיף Although Rashi's opinion rejected by most Rishonim, it does seem to make the story that his daughters wore tefillin more unlikely. (Tosafot in Eiruvin ...


8

Pshat At the simplest level, he was acting in a manner akin to the zaken mamre or "rebellious elder" (Deuteronomy 17:12). As the Gemara in Sanhedrin explains, a member of the Sanhedrin is allowed, and encouraged, to express a dissenting opinion. However, once the Sanhedrin votes and his opinion is determined to be the minority, he may still: Personally ...


8

The story is found in מדרש שוחר טוב to Tehillim (39:2). (Menachem's comment [now deleted]) This is probably the earliest source. It is also quoted in the אורחות צדיקים (in שער כ"ה, שער לשון הרע) [on that page, toward the bottom in blue text] (from Menachem, in another deleted comment) According to he.Wikipedia, this story is also quoted in אגדות המלך שלמה ...


8

There are two advantages of a pearl over a house full of wealth: it can be locked in a place (sewn into his hat) that only he has access to (presumably he wouldn't share his hat) while he will have people in his house it is with him 24 hours a day as opposed to his house which he must leave.


8

The medrash tanchuma on parshas Shmini #7 takes the opinion that at that great feast of Beheimos and Leviason, the mitzvos which until now were only to purify/smelt the people with will no longer apply. The proof is that the Beheimos will not have a proper slaughtering, but will rather be killed by the Liviason. The medrash goes on to prove that Liviason is ...


7

The Mishnah about Magic cucumbers appears in Sanhedrin. It discusses the case of whether a person used an actual maseh or just "achizas enayim" to raise cucumbers: ז,יא המכשף--העושה מעשה, ולא האוחז את העיניים. רבי עקיבה אומר משום רבי יהושוע, שניים לוקטין קישואים--אחד לוקט ופטור, ואחד לוקט וחייב; העושה מעשה חייב, והאוחז את העיניים פטור.


7

This primary source for this story is actually it's own book, The Book of Judith (English Translation, Chabad Summary). Chapter 13: So Judith was left alone in the tent , with Holofernes stretched out on his bed, for he was overcome with wine... She went up to the post at the end of the bed, above Holofernes' head, and took down his sword that hung ...


7

It was R' Masya ben Charash. The Tanchuma (Chukas) relates the story you mention, except it says that he burned his eyes (he didn't stab them). The story is related in the Hebrew Wikipedia article (fn. 14).


7

One source for the story you mentioned: http://yeranenyaakov.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/rav-wosner-asks-kallah-for-blessing.html In short, the author relates how a young woman received a wonderful shidduch. However, the chatan became ill and the local beit din advised that the couple not go forward. the kallah wrote to R' Wosner, who said that although he had ...


6

This article gives a pretty traditional rendering of the story, but it also gives a little bit of insight as to why the story is neither widely known, nor, or more accurately, widely known in some accurate and standard form. The latter point, in a nutshell, or so they claim, is because the only remaining text of the Book of Yehudith is an inaccurate Greek ...


6

I've always speculated that it came from the fact that at one time Chelm had a very wise rabbi, named R' Shlomo (d. 1717). He is famous for his book Mirkeves Hamishneh, a commentary on the Rambam's Yad Hachazakah; appended to it is a work called Kuntreis Breichos Becheshbon, which analyzes difficult mathematical problems in the Torah. (Parts of the latter ...



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