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14

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 ...


13

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.)


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

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 ...


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

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.


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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.


8

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 ...


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

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

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.


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).


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 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 ...


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

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

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

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 ...



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