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21

Although this is essentially a canard, it is possible that it is based on the Yerushalmi (Y'vamos 1:1): דרבי יוסי בן חלפתא ייבם את אשת אחיו חמש חרישות חרש וחמש נטיעות נטע ודרך סדין בעל The P'nei Moshe commentary (ad loc., s.v. ודרך סדין בעל) appears to interpret this as meaning that there was an opening in the sheet. The essential purpose of R' Yose ...


13

The main original source talking about the Golem was the Niflaos Maharal published in 1909. It claims to have been written by the son-in-law of the Maharal (R' Yitzchok Katz) and was kept in the library in Metz, until (after being in the hands of some middle-men) it was discovered by R' Yudel Rosenberg of Warsaw. R' Rosenberg claims that the Noda Biyehuda ...


13

This is the interpretation of the Shem Mishmuel on the Parsha (5671). His reasoning is that the three 'blessings' of Sarah's tent correspond to three miracles that occurred in the Mishkan, the third of which was that the showbread remained fresh for the entire week. Therefore, he says that the 'blessing in the dough' means the same thing.


13

There’s a plausible explanation for the origins of this myth (and it is purely a myth) at http://snopes.com/religion/sheet.asp. Snopes quotes the soc.culture.jewish FAQ: The myth derives from seeing Jews in religious neighborhoods hanging their “talitot katan” out to dry. This poncho-like garment is about two feet by four feet, has a fringe on each ...


5

A weird idea, based on a weird and not-very-authoritative midrash. To the best of my knowledge it's not in any mainstream source (Talmud, or even something like a Midrash Rabbah or even a Yalkut Shimoni). It first appears in some latter-day "collection of midrashim." The word "Lilith" appears in Isaiah (34:14) and Rashi there simply translates: "a female ...


5

The Tanya talks about this concept I do not remember them being ascribed a level. It is more that the world exists on their tzidkus or righteousness, The Source is A Gemara see the Wiki: As a mystical concept, the number 36 is even more intriguing. It is said that at all times there are 36 special people in the world, and that were it not for them, all of ...


4

No. The Gemara and Medrash are full of references of people seeing them and surviving to tell of it. For example, according to the Gemara (Gitin chap. 7), the way Shlomo Hamelech realized it was Ashmdai the King of Sheidim versus the actual king was by this indicator of birds feet (maybe calves feet), and concluded that the homeless man was the real king. ...


3

This is indeed conventional wisdom, though it is not a clear din in Shulchan Aruch. However, the Sefer Mishpitei HaTorah (page 324) does pasken like this, based on a din in Choshen Mishpat 155:39. The basic idea is that when people come to a public place, they are coming with the assumption that the conditions will be "normal". The definition of "normal" ...


2

This article briefly touches on this subject; the only real substantial additional source she sites is the Seforno to Vayikra 17:4 (though she probably means 17:7, who was prceeded by Rabbeinu Bachya [ben asher] on Dvarim 12:23). Unsourced are claims by Rabbi Menachem Zioni that vampires were associated with migdal bavel and a broad proclamation that ...


2

While in Yeshiva this question came up. The Rebbie of the class had the following answer. When in Winter, when most people would be cold, then if asked, you must close the window. In summer when most people would not, then it may remain open.


2

I would note that Ehud ben Gera the Shofet (Shoftim 3:15) was a lefty and this allowed him to save Am Yisrael by killing King Eglon of Moab. There is an idea that the right hand is superior to the left in various ways because of the references to G-d's 'right hand' in the Torah, but as far as I know in Halachah the approach is 'What should a lefty do?' ...


2

I remember having a friend who his father forced him to write with his right hand. It caused him to stutter, and his father regretted it.


2

Dr. Shnayer Leiman has a fascinating shiur on a related topic (the mysterious "fast of the 9th of Teves"), and one of the points he brings up is the complete unreliability of the December 25 date. It's worth a listen here, at the 33:00 mark.


1

Rashi brings the description of the Leviathan as unique sea creature that was not allowed to reproduce. There are many opinions that the meal served to the righteous will be a physical meal, so we are talking about a unique kind of fish that would not normally be seen. The Baal HaTanya describes the idea of the Leviathan (and the Shor HaBar) metaphorically. ...


1

1) No. 2) No, but there was a story of a guy who did trick and saw the supernatural world and then died, until the rabbis prayed around his bed and he was revived. 3) Yes.


1

Gehinom is usually meant in Hazal to be what Yirmiyahu said, I just want to add that occasionally Hazal will speak about an extremely infamous and wicked person who is "there" forever. "Gan Eden" is used to refer to the "place" in the spiritual dimension that one either goes to after Gehinom to enjoy "proximity" with Hashem, or if one is exceptionally ...


1

I don't have any sources at the moment but the general impression is that Gehenom is not punishment per se, but the difficult process of the neshama divesting itself of the gashmius/physicality it indulged in in a prohibited manner throughout life and being cleansed for transgressions which one did not do proper teshuvah (repentance) for. Only the most ...


1

It is said in the name of Rav Yisroel Salanter that a person's "right" to have a window opened or closed depends on whether his wishes correspond to what is normal for that season. (This is similar to AY's answer.) A friend of mine asked Rav Chaim Kanievsky about this many years ago, and he responded (IIRC) that Rav Yisroel Salanter deduced this principle ...



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