Questions tagged [books-generally]

Books, generically, as related to by Judaism

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31
votes
2answers
4k views

Abbreviations before/after names

What are the more common abbreviations one might see printed before or after a person's name, and what do they mean? Please include honorifics (R'=Rabbi) as well as memorial - or prayerful - suffixes ...
13
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8answers
3k views

Good books for non-Jews who are interested in understanding Judaism, especially branches of Orthodox judaism

I have found that the first thing to do when you want to learn something about a subject, is to start with the idea that you know absolutely nothing. I understand, for example, that Judaism has ...
16
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4answers
1k views

Why was Torah SheBe'Al Peh not allowed to be written?

The Gemara states that it is forbidden to write down the Oral Torah ("Torah SheBe'Al Peh") [1]: דרש רבי יהודה בר נחמני מתורגמניה דרבי שמעון בן לקיש, כתיב: +שמות ל"ד+ כתוב לך את הדברים האלה, וכתיב: +...
11
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3answers
2k views

Reading secular books on shabbat?

Which prominent halakhic authorities permit (or forbid) the reading of secular books, magazines, and newspapers from Friday evening until Saturday nightfall? Why? Is it uvda dechol? What if it is ...
7
votes
2answers
422 views

Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays?

This is a follow up to: Why was Torah SheBe'Al Peh not allowed to be written?. The Gemara in Temurah 14b states that one may not write Torah sheBal Peh. It then states an exception that was made ...
15
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11answers
4k views

Where can I buy inexpensive seforim online?

Where can I buy seforim online for inexpensive prices? I mean real seforim.....not digital ones. I'm willing to buy seforim either new or second-hand.
8
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5answers
479 views

Learning History on Shabbos

Is there a Halachic problem to read and or learn the topic of History on Shabbos for enjoyment purposes? and why?
13
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2answers
4k views

Citation format for G'mara

If one is citing a g'mara in a scholarly article, what is the proper publication information to use, including title, etc.? I can't seem to find reliable examples in either English or Hebrew. This ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Is the book of Enoch part of judaism?

The book (or books) of Enoch is a collection of works purportedly made by Enoch, the great grandfather of Noach, before the flood. I read that they are not part of the Tanach, even though it contains ...
15
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2answers
508 views

Can a book with ancient text really be copyright?

Pick up your local chumash, siddur or gemara. Open it to the front page. There it is, the dreaded ©. But to me that seems quite odd. Can the text of the actual davening or talmud really be ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Source of Dzikov customs

Does anyone know of a book of minhagim (practices) or a sidur (prayer book) of the chasidim of Dzikov (דזיקוב, sometimes דז׳יקוב)? (Or anything that would show their minhagim.) Hebrewbooks.org doesn'...
4
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2answers
293 views

Learning Hebrew

If I have a decent Hebrew knowledge, but not great, what books (i.e. dictionaries, lexicons, etc.) should I have at hand when I'm learning a sefer, such as the Mishneh Torah?
9
votes
1answer
388 views

Is it forbidden for a Jew to read the writings of Baruch Spinoza?

The cherem against Spinoza says the following: The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza... We order that no one should communicate with him ...
9
votes
2answers
697 views

Reading books about Avodah Zarah

Is it permissible to read books about Avodah Zarah? Is it permissible to read Greek mythology for informational purposes, seeing as it's not particularly tempting to anyone nowadays? Is it ...
3
votes
4answers
271 views

Book on Biblical Archeology

I'm looking to increase my knowledge of biblical archeology. As an orthodox jew, I'd prefer a book which takes a more traditional view with regards to the historicity of tanach. Any suggestions?
16
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2answers
1k views

How does Orthodox Judaism view the Book of Jubillees

How is the Book of Jubilees regarded by Orthodox Jewry (I'm not asking if we believe it existed, but if we hold any of the information in it to be accurate). Is it ever quoted by any of the ...
10
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7answers
398 views

Beginning a comprehensive study of Moreh N'vuchim

A friend of mine would like to begin learning Moreh N'vuchim seriously and is unsure of exactly where/with what to start. What is the best version out there of the book itself? Are there any ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

Gentile Biography which Inspires

What is the jewish view on reading biographies of remarkable gentiles which one finds inspirational provided there is no apikorsus in the content. Have come across a website about a certain person ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

what are Sifrei Minim today?

in Sanhedrin 100b: Rabbi Akivah says "Even one who reads foreign Seforim (has no chelek in Olam Haba)". Beraitha there "He refers to Sifrei Tzedukim" (or "Sifrei Minim" according to all of the old, ...
3
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1answer
95 views

Sefer of Unanswered questions

I heard of a Sefer or page that someone published of a bunch of unanswered questions (either just on Gemara or in general). I don't remember the amount of questions but it's between 50-100 I believe. ...
10
votes
3answers
699 views

Fulltext search across sources: Gemara, Zohars, Rishonim and Aharonim

I know about Hebrewbooks.org for searching for sources in books, but the problem is you have to get to let's say every Masechta to look for a phrase. Is there a program (doesn't have to be free) that ...
9
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2answers
237 views

Publisher prohibiting purchaser from sharing

Tradition articles are downloadable from the Tradition Online website, which prohibits further distribution of the materials. On each download page there is the following warning: It is strictly ...
9
votes
2answers
574 views

How historically accurate is Josephus?

How accurate is the writing of Josephus? Can we rely on any of his writings to establish authentic Jewish practices or in areas of halacha?
7
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2answers
288 views

Is using a book with letters stamped on the sides melacha (erasing) if the book wasn't closed in the first place?

A comment on this question points to the following from OU: Likewise, when words are stamped on the edge of a book (as is the case with most library books), these letters are separated when the ...
7
votes
1answer
206 views

Changing “shlit”a“s to ”za“l”s?

The name of living Torah scholar mentioned or quoted in another's book is often followed by an abbreviation of blessing such as שליט"א or נר"ו. The name of a past scholar, no longer living, is ...
6
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1answer
1k views

What is the font with points in the middle of the letters called? [closed]

What is this [type of] font called - the kind that makes it look like every leg of every letter is a snake that swallowed a block? Where can I download such a font?
3
votes
0answers
282 views

What is the stance on reading and writing non-Jewish literature?

So, I'm guessing that secular study books (e.g. Biology, Math, etc) are fine and I've heard that reading something like Fantasy is not. What genres of literature are allowed and not allowed to be read ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

Jewish Archaeology

I'm looking for a good read which discusses archaeology and the Tanach, Chazal, etc. Could anyone point me to some resources? I would prefer that the book be in English, and have pictures throughout. ...
0
votes
2answers
366 views

Reading foreign literature: perspectives and experiences

I'd like to hear how people make their decisions about reading, watching, and listening to materials that express non-Jewish ideas and imagery... both in your study and in your entertainment. There ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Origins of איל משולש and Vilna Ga'on's bathroom math

There is a well-known fact that the Vilna Ga'on studied math while in the bathroom since Torah was out of the question in an unclean place. It is also somewhat well-known that he produced the material ...
8
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2answers
217 views

Shakespeare in Classic Jewish Sources

Does anyone know of any references to Shakespeare, translations of his works, or anything related to Shakespeare in classic Rabbinic sources?
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Sefas Emes and your mission

Someone mentioned that the Sefas Emes quotes in the name of the Chiddushei HaRim on that Mishnah (Avos 1:14), אם אין אני לי מי לי, וכשאני לעצמי מה אני, ואם... The Sefas Emes says, Every yid has ...
7
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6answers
352 views

Dealing with anger

What is a good sefer or even book that helps people with a problem with getting angry?
5
votes
3answers
479 views

Books on Tefillah

Can you tell me of some books/seforim about Jewish prayer (in terms of nusach, development of tefillah, etc.). A good example would be "Netiv Binah". They can be either online or in print.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Looking for a good version of Maimonides Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishna available online

I while ago, I read through most of an English translation Rambam's Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishnah. I think it was an earlier edition of this one, but I'm not sure. I'm looking for a ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Why did Chizkiyahu Hide the book of Refuos

...and he shall provide for healing" (Mishpatim 21:19) nitna reshus larofeh lerapos (Bava Kama 85a) - so why did Chizkiyahu Hamelech hide the Sefer Herefuos (Brachos 10b)
3
votes
3answers
170 views

Recommend Book on Jewish Philosophy contrasting Secular philosophies

BSD I am looking for a contemporary book with Jewish philosophies and how it relates to other philosophies throughout history whether comparing or contrasting. Not comparative religion books but ...
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Secular books for Torah study

If one is reading a secular book about electricity in order to understand how it works so that I can learn the halachos of using electricity on Shabbos, would the studying of the secular book be ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

What are good grammars to help me understand the language of Rabbinic Literature?

I have recently finished my grammar book on Biblical Hebrew, and I would like to get a grammar that would help me start to read rabbinic literature, specifically, the Talmud, and the commentaries of ...
12
votes
3answers
730 views

How Kabbalistically accurate is the golem-making procedure described in “Niflaos Maharal”?

There's been plenty of discussion about the historic authenticity of "Niflaos Maharal", a book that appeared in the early 1900s describing how the Maharal made a Golem to defend the Jews against blood ...
10
votes
2answers
364 views

Pronunciation guide by a Gerer Rebbe?

I heard from a friend years ago that one of the Rebbes from Gur (the S'fas Emes) wrote a book describing the proper pronunciation of Hebrew letters and words. I am not able to find any trace of such a ...
10
votes
3answers
525 views

Can anyone help me find resources for the content and organization of a shul library?

Our shul library has been neglected for many, many years, and b'h' we are finally cleaning and organizing it. I am used to using a library, not organizing it! So I wonder if anyone can give me some ...
8
votes
2answers
342 views

How to pronounce the name of the sefer “Bnei Yso(s)cher”

How does one pronounce the name of the sefer בני יששכר ? I've heard people pronounce both sins -- so it is Ysoscher. (There is also a common custom to pronounce the name יששכר with both sins the ...
7
votes
2answers
123 views

“Hagahos MaimoniYOS”?

Is the correct title for the work abbreviated "ה"מ" "Hagahos Maimoni" or "Hagahos Maimoniyos"?
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Are you allowed to study (not Torah) on Tisha Bi'Av

For example if someone has a big math test on Yud Av, is he allowed to study math (my question was applied to math but goes to learning anything besides Torah) on Tisha Bi'Av?
4
votes
1answer
350 views

Returning a Library Book on Shabbat

When I return a book I put it in a bin, and a (non-Jewish) worker later takes it from the bin, and scans it into the computer as "returned." As such, can I return a library book on Shabbat?
4
votes
4answers
98 views

Recomendation for Good Books To Read to a 2-Year-Old Child

Any recommendations on books I can read with my 2 year old to help introduce her to Torah or other Judaism concepts? She can't read, but she copies everything I say and shows me things so I think ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

“The Romans' Book” in Ramba"n

The commentary of Ramba"n on Vayikra 26:16 explains a large swath of parashas B'chukosai as an allegory to the two batei Mikdash and the corresponding exiles. Included therein, he elaborates on the ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Closing abbreviation ושכמ"ה

Every [anonymous] question asked in the responsum Torah Lishmah ends with an address to the answerer and the abbreviation ושכמ"ה (e.g.). The Otzar Rashei Teivos had only one entry for this ...
4
votes
3answers
233 views

What are the major ancient literature on Judaic mysticism and spiritual development?

What are the major ancient literature on Judaic mysticism and spiritual development? By ancient I mean B.C.E. I also would appreciate if you can also provide links to online English translations if ...