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4

A Maskil (an early member of the Enlightenment movement who influenced the famous author Shalom Aleichem) Abraham Bar Gottlober wrote a book called תולדות הקבלה והחסידות which is basically an anti-Chassidic and Kabbalah polemic. On Page 98 he claims that the Zohar quoted by Danny Schoemann (specifically 220b) was used by the Shabttai Tzvi cult (I assume he ...


3

I once asked this question to Harav Moshe Shapiro Shlit"a, and he answered with the verse from Psalms 113: "והארץ נתן לבני אדם...and the Earth, He gave to people." Here's my understanding of what Rav Shapiro meant, based on Rabbi Luzzatto in Daas Tevunos. The world was given to us to bring to a state of perfection/completeness. Hashem doesn't just want to ...


2

The source of this contention seems to be on page 30 of this essay. (If nothing else, the bad grammar should alert one to something amiss.) I suspect this is deduced from the passage on דף ר''כ ע''ב אָמַר רִבִּי אַבָּא לְרִבִּי יוֹסֵי, הַהוּא מַרְגְּלָא קַדִּישָׁא דְּהֲוָה תְּחוֹת יְדָךְ, מִגּוֹ סִיַּעְתָּא דַּחֲסִידָא קַדִּישָׁא דְּאִיהוּ גַּבָּן, ...


5

The Gemara in Chagiga 16a mentions not staring at a rainbow (for too long). It represents (is similar to?) the glory of Hashem and (along with not staring at the king) is considered disrespectful to enjoy the view. כל שלא חס על כבוד קונו רתוי לו שלא בא לעולם: מאי היא ר' אבא אמר זה המסתכל בקשת רב יוסף אמר זה העובר עבירה בסתר מסתכל בקשת דכתיב {יחזקאל א-כח} ...


2

During Simchas Torah we have the minhag of giving everybody an aliyah. Most shuls will call up boys under bar mitzvah who are old enough to know what thay are doing/ The final aliyah is considered a zechus because the person says the bracha with all of the children around him to show that they too are included in the mitzvah. By this, I mean that he is ...


4

Rav Schwab on Prayer (compiled from taped lectures under the editorship of his eldest son Rav Moses L. Schwab) Iyun Tefilla, Hebrew version of "Rav Schwab on Prayer" Rabbi Shimon Schwab was officially "retired," but his mind and conscience never rested. Always a great thinker and teacher, he turned his attention to the Siddur.


4

As for me, My Prayer by Rabbi Dr. Nissan Mindel is such a book. It doesn't have quite the academic bent that your question implies, but it does give the history of the prayers and why they are placed where they are. It does not much touch on the variety of customs in different communities.


0

An explanation I heard from a local rav says that since children and parents are both not working during the week, this becomes an opportune time for families to go on outings somewhere. Driving to these destinations is necessary, and thus, the use of the car, is for simchat Yom Tov. I don't deride the practice - I like going to public places that are ...


4

The story is found in מדרש שוחר טוב to Tehillim (39:2). (h/t Menachem) 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] (h/t Menachem) According to he.Wikipedia, this story is also quoted in אגדות המלך שלמה by רוני אורן, and "ויהי היום" by Bialik. (at this ...


2

It's mentioned in the Medrash Raba - Metzora 17:6 that the Girgashi went to Afriki (sic) instead of fighting with Yehoshua. גִּרְגָּשִׁי עָמַד [ופנה] מֵאֵלָיו, לְפִיכָךְ נִתְּנָה לוֹ אֶרֶץ יָפָה כְּאַרְצוֹ, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (ישעיה לו, יז): עַד בֹּאִי וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם אֶל אֶרֶץ כְּאַרְצְכֶם, זוֹ אַפְרִיקֵי. ‏ In the Medrash Raba in Shelach ...


4

It seems that Rambam anticipated certain aspects of Einstien's General Relativity. The traditional view was that time is absolute and constant: "Absolute, true, and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature, flows equably without relation to anything external." Issac Newton However, in the Guide to the Perplexed, Rambam sees time ...


5

The first print of the Tzemach Tzedek from Lubavitch was in 1871. The Pischei Teshuva passed away in 1868. Therefore it can be assumed that he never saw the Shu"t Tzemach Tzedek from Lubavitch.


1

The seffer Ashrei Ha'ish vol. 3 chapter 8 siff 44 quotes Reb Elyashev that driving a car is muttar on chol hamoed as it is not considered maaseh uman. No further explenation is given.


0

Citing Sefer Hasidim (450), HaRav Eliyahu Mansour explains that: [...] The soul of a deceased person experiences great pleasure when his or her loved ones come to pray at [his or her] gravesite. These prayers provide immense benefit for the soul in the next world, thus prompting them to pray to G-d on behalf of the living. Sefer Hasidim's Wikipedia ...


2

Qitzur Shulhhan Arukh, Yalqut Yosef (Orahh Hayim 619:18), citing Midrash Sifrei on Parashat Shoftim, states (my translation): יש נוהגים לומר אזכרה למתים, וקרוביהם נודרים לצדקה לעילוי נשמתם, כי אף המתים צריכים כפרה, וכמו שאמרו בספרי, כפר לעמך ישראל אלו החיים, אשר פדית אלו המתים, מלמד שאף המתים צריכים כפרה Some are accustomed to recite a memorial ...


4

I suspect this is a rabbinic aphorism commonly formulated as: "אל יבוש מן המלעיגים" "Al yevosh min hamal'igim." Don't be embarrassed of those making fun of you for doing the right thing. I don't have a Bar-Ilan DVD handy so I can't comprehensively source it. But here's Rabbi Google: Metzudat David's commentary to Psalms 25:3 : אז גם כל המקוים לך ...


4

Apparently Rambam said: בבוקר אכול כמלך, בצהריים כבן מלך ובערב כאביון eat breakfast like a king, lunch like the son of a king and dinner like a pauper. among his other advice for health which seems to have stood the test of time. I read about this study last year which seems to confirm the wisdom of the above advice: High caloric intake at ...


2

Presumably he's referring to Tosefta Nezikin 10:8: הגוזל את הנכרי חייב להחזיר לנכרי חמור גזל הנכרי מגזל ישראל מפני חילול השם. הגוזל את הנכרי ונשבע לו ומת אינו מתכפר לו מפני חילול השם.‏ One who steals from a non-Jew is obligated to return [the object] to the non-Jew. Stealing from non-Jews is more stringent than stealing from Jews because of ...


5

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 71a lists 3 items that apparently never happened, according to Rabbi Shimon: Ben Sorer Umoreh Ir Hanidachas Tzora'at on a house (As opposed to Rabban Yochanan who claimed to have sat on the ruins of an Ir Hanidachas, and on the grave of a Ben Sorer uMoreh, and אליעזר בר' צדוק and רבי שמעון איש כפר who knew of places with ruins of ...


0

I can confidently say that it never says this in Sotah.


0

I have no evidence to support this theory, but I believe that it is in order to ensure that the prayers are articulated carefully and correctly. Muttering ("watermelon, watermelon, watermelon,...") is discouraged.


0

Perhaps it's meant to be based on "Al naharot bavel" which is about remembering/not forgetting Jerusalem/Zion


1

The Sabba of Novardok in his sefer madregas haadom has a lengthy chapter on the idea of bitachon. He brings it down as a machlokes between the ramban and the chovos halevavos regarding what hitadlus a person should take. The ramban is of the opinion that no hishtadlus is necessary, so long as a person has bitachon even zero hishtadlus will yeild results. ...


2

According to Yerach L'Moadim - footnote 27 the composer was from Arab lands. The author of the Sefer Hayovlim was the one who made this Tefila known.


-1

Chazal knew that metal utensils can absorb the taste of food, despite being seemingly perfect. Modern engineers also discovered that micro-fissures are created in metal by expanding and contracting, letting the taste of food enter it. See Dave's answer to "Blias" in today's pots and pans.


3

An excerpt from Alei Shur (Shaar Rishon Ch. 12 p. 56): והנה בערך בזמנו של רבנו הקדוש היה חי באלכסנדריא האסארונום הגדול פטולימייוס מחבר ספר האלמגסט שמתוכו למדו אסטרונומיא עד הזמן החדש. כאשר נודע לפטולימייוס זה על מחזור הי"ט שנה והידיעות הברורות בחשבון סיבוב הלבנה וכו' עליהן הוא מתבסס - השתומם מאד, כיצד היתה בידי חכמי ישראל ידיעה שחכמי האומות טרם עמדו ...


0

As shared with us earlier today by Rabbi Joseph B. Meszler:


-2

This answer was given through the rabbis of the Central Conference of American Rabbis: Ahavnu - We have loved, Bachinu - we have cried, Gamalnu - we have given back, Dibarnu Yofi - we have spoken great things! He’emanu - We have believed, V’hishtadalnu - and we have given our best effort, Zacharnu - we have remembered, Chibaknu - we have embraced, Ta’amnu ...



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