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Nesivei Yeshurun al HaTorah1 (פרשת תולדות) cites a story where the Sefas Emes implies that he started at a lofty spiritual level due to the greatness of his illustrious grandfather, the Chidushei HaRI"M. To convey this idea, the Sefas Emes employs the analogy of a small child born at the summit of a lofty mountain: ואלה תולדות יצחק בן אברהם אברהם הוליד ...
רמ"א, תורת העולה, ח"א פרק ו The Rema in תורת העולה, ח"א פרק ו says וכבר כתב חכם אחד שלא טעם טעם שמחה מי שלא טעם התרת הספיקות השכליות and a wise man said that someone who has not tasted the resolution of (intellectual?) doubt has not tasted joy, in connection with שמחת בית השואבה ! Metzudat David is from “18th century David Altschuler” and the ...
Taz Yoreh Deah 293 (s'if kattan 4): דחייו של אדם תלוי בשתית שכר
One place this is mentioned is the Chafetz Chaim's Toras HaBayis (ch. 10). The Chafetz Chaim notes the symbolism in how the angels on the ladder in Ya'akov's dream were either ascending or descending but could not remain static on the same level (B'reishis 28:12). The Chafetz Chaim generically cites "the holy sefarim" for this interpretation of the verse, ...
The answer seems to be most probably R. Chaim Soloveitchik. Besides for it being wholly consistent with his approach and tradition, this is recorded here here. The first quotes Ishim V'shitos of R. Zevin (p. 65) which ought to be a pretty reliable source.
According to Wiktionary.org the source is a Zohar 2:162 which says כל מילין דעלמא לא תליין אלא ברעותא - כל הדברים שבעולם אינם תלויים אלא ברצון.
Rashi over there says that the word Rav preceding the name means without Semicha, the word rabbi preceding the name means with Semicha. The question here is whether at the time he said this if he had Semicha or not. See Kevod Chachmim page 54 paragraph starting V'raiya.
Here's my guess from Maseches Avos. פרק א - משנה יג וּדְלָא מוֹסִיף, יָסֵיף The Bartenura explains ודלא מוסיף. מי שאינו מוסיף על לימודו: יסיף. יסוף מפיו מה שכבר למד וישכח תלמודו. Whoever doesn't add to his learning will forget what he already learnt.
Searching around I saw a lot of places quoting the Imrei Emes (again a 20th century source) as saying it is from the Chida, but no one actually knowing where in the Chida it is found. The exact terminology is credited by Wiktionary to Menachem Ussishkin, a Zionist who was a native of Russia. However, this is also a statement in the writings of the Previous ...
To add to Avrohom Yitzchok's answer: The B'nei Yissaschar (Sivan 5:13; cf. Kisleiv 3:19) attributes this statement to the Rambam: ואמר הרמב"ם מי שלא טעם טעם התרת הספיקות (בתורה) לא טעם שמחה מימיו Translation: And the Rambam said, "Whoever has not tasted the taste of resolving doubts (in Torah), has not tasted joy all his days." I don't know ...
Rav Meir Mazuz writes that the source is unknown. It seems that this is based on an version that we no longer have. The Noda Biyehuda quoted it, too.
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