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12

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, ...


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

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 ...


10

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.


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

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.)


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


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

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 ...


8

The story is told about the Steipler zt"l who at his first shidduch meeting with the sister of the Chazon Ish promptly fell asleep. When the Chazon Ish asked him to explain his behaviour, the Steipler answered that he had stayed awake the night before learning, figuring that could he sleep on the long train ride to the meeting the next day. But when he ...


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

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 ...


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).


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 ...


6

Sounds like you're looking for the Gemara on Shabbos 104a. The Rabbis told R. Joshua b. Levi: Children have come to the Beth Hamidrash and said things the like of which was not said even in the days of Joshua the son of Nun. [Thus:] alef Beth [means] ‘learn wisdom [alef Binah];Gimmel Daleth, show kindness to the Poor [Gemol Dallim]. Why is the ...


6

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 ...


6

According to this article in Hamodia he left abruptly because another rabbi said something disparaging about the Ba'al Shem Tov, and he felt he couldn't live in the same city as that rabbi. The Baba Sali settled at first in Yavneh, but after a certain Rav there made a disrespectful statement about the Baal Shem Tov, he packed his bags the very same day ...


6

פרקי דרבי אליעזר לז See here: http://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A7%D7%99_%D7%93%D7%A8%D7%91%D7%99_%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%A2%D7%96%D7%A8_%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%A7_%D7%9C%D7%97 And a slightly different version cited by R' Kasher: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=51482&st=&pgnum=168


6

The context is as follows: ג' אין רואין פני גיהנם אלו הן דקדוקי עניות וחולי מעיין והרשות ויש אומרים אף מי שיש לו אשה רעה ואידך אשה רעה מצוה לגרשה ואידך זימנין דכתובתה מרובה אי נמי אית ליה בנים מינה ולא מצי מגרש לה למאי נפקא מינה לקבולי מאהבה Three kinds of person do not see the face of Gehenna, viz., [one who suffers from] oppressive poverty, one ...


5

Traditionally, the name Gavriel is translated as "Gd is my strength", or more literally, "My strength, Gd". Gavriel is first mentioned in the book of Daniel, where he speaks to Daniel to let him understand why the Jewish people were not being redeemed at that time. He appeases Daniel by letting him know that even though the people are not being saved now, ...


5

http://www.shemayisrael.com/parsha/feinhandler/archives/chayeisa.htm The Chofetz Chaim sighed deeply and said, "I too am a person who makes mistakes. You know that I sell my books. Sometimes the binder misplaces a page, or a page might be missing or have unclear print. Even though I am careful to check every book before it is sold, there still ...


5

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 ...


5

Straight out of the Yerushalmi Talmud: Pe'a 1:1 and repeated in Qiddushin 1:7. אמו של רבי ישמעאל באת ואמרה וקבלה עליו לרבותינו אמרה גערו בישמעאל בני שאינו נוהג בי כבוד באותה שעה נתכרכמו פניהן של רבותינו אמרין איפשר לית רבי ישמעאל נוהג בכבוד אבותיו אמרו לה מהו עביד ליך אמרה כד נפיק מבית וועדא אנא בעה משזנה ריגלוהי ומישתי מהן ולא שבק לי אמרין הואיל והוא ...


5

So I found that MhrSh"A and Eyun Jacob each offer answers. MhrS"A says that David saw her thigh from 3 parasangs away. So she did not do it in front of him, rather it was a more incidental occurence. Abigail probably thought that she was sufficiently secluded. E"J says that Abigail, sensing the tension between her husband Nabel and David, uncovered herself ...


4

I heard similar stories about the disciple asking the Rabbi about kindness and epikoros was by the Chofetz Chaim! That said, just because it's in a book of collected things people said he said, doesn't mean he really said it. A Rabbi from that same area in Eastern Europe once said a little bit of everything under the sun was attributed to the Choftez ...


4

There might be a few possible reasons: It might indeed be "plain old giving food and health advice" - maintaining proper health is important in being able to serve Hashem without disruption, after all. Indeed, Rambam begins his recommendations for a healthy lifestyle (Hil. De'os ch. 4) with exactly this point: "Since maintaining a healthy and sound body is ...


4

I Googled it and came up with this page (see top left). It says to look at Zohar Chadash Yisro 31a. In the Zohar, it is referred to as ארבעים ותשע חילי דמסאבותא



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