Questions tagged [jewish-books]

Books about or of Judaism

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11
votes
1answer
1k views

Deleting files containing G-d's Name / taking the host device into the bathroom

Is there any issue regarding deleting electronic files with G-d's Name in them? Also, is there any issue with taking such a device into the bathroom?
8
votes
2answers
687 views

Halacha of Shechita

Which Sefer or Sefarim is/are used in practical application of Shechita? General Halacha follows the שלחן ערוך, but does it in all areas?
20
votes
4answers
595 views

Anonymous glosses in the Shulchan Aruch

The Rama wrote a series of glosses to the Shulchan Aruch to reflect standard Ashkenazi practice, as the Shulchan Aruch was weighted towards the Sephardim. These glosses have been reprinted in almost ...
58
votes
7answers
2k views

Did any Achronim comment on the American Revolutionary or Civil Wars?

I've heard that for instance, in the 1800s, the American rabbis in the South were pro-slavery, and the American rabbis in the North opposed to it. But what were the views towards America of the more-...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Which masechtot don't really have Rashi?

I often hear that the printed "Rashi" commentary in certain masechtot of the Talmud Bavli (first that come to mind are Moed Katan and Nedarim) is not actually written by Rashi. Does anyone have a full ...
11
votes
3answers
397 views

Halachic authority of books

To what extent do books on Halachah have authority? I was taught that the Gemara was "closed" and may no longer be challenged in terms of its Halachic authority. To what extent is this authority ...
16
votes
3answers
964 views

Stacking Seforim

Are we allowed to place less holy seforim on top of more holy seforim? I believe that the consensus is that you are only allowed to stack seforim in chronological order from top to bottom (e.g., ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos so “controversial”?

I have heard that Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos is controversial, and that one needs a rebbe in order to learn it. What does the author say that is so difficult to understand?
21
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the essential books which every religious Jew should own? [closed]

What Jewish religious books should one consider when starting a Jewish Library in their home? A set of Shas (Talmud) and the Shulchan Orech (Code of Jewish Law) are the obvious ones, What else should ...
22
votes
2answers
318 views

Why the custom to switch around negative-sounding numbers, such as שד?

Often in sefarim we find that if the number of the siman spells out something negative, such as siman 304 which has a letter value of שד, we switch it around so it no longer reads as a "bad" word. ...
11
votes
2answers
293 views

What is the provenance of Maseches Sofrim

Who wrote Maseches Sofrim and when did he live. Is it accepted by everyone? The Rashba in Brachos 34a writes that is one of the minor masechtes that were authored by the early sages. He reiterates in ...
8
votes
2answers
729 views

Can a chumash be used for a public torah reading?

I recently attended a weekday morning minyan where the Torah reader was reading simultaneously from a sefer Torah and a printed Chumash. It appeared that the person was mostly reading from Chumash and ...
7
votes
8answers
662 views

Sefarim to learn in Elul

Which sefarim are traditionally learned in Elul*, because they have a special significance to the mood and message of the month? *Or even without a tradition, which sefarim are good to learn during ...
15
votes
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.
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Which books help one acquire a systematic understanding of Biblical Hebrew grammar?

A question for the grammar experts. How can I learn Hebrew grammar in a systematic way? Especially a book that would help me understand how to layn properly. Something that covers rules of nikkud, ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Resources for teaching chassan classes

I am looking for books that deal primarily with the halachos in Orach Chaim siman 240 and Even HaEzer siman 25. Due to the nature of the content it seems that the world has been reluctant to put out ...
5
votes
2answers
416 views

Cairo Geniza Controversy

What are the arguments against using manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza? Are there any Seforim / articles that discuss this debate?
18
votes
1answer
329 views

When did usage of “Hashem” to refer to G-d gain traction?

It seems as though virtually all seforim (especially those written by Acharonim and earlier) refer to G-d as either Hakodosh Boruch Hu or Ribono Shel Olom, and never as "Hashem." Similarly, I don't ...
12
votes
2answers
320 views

Why is the Tetragrammaton vowelized in Siddurim and in Sefarim?

I've often found that the Tetragrammaton (Shem Havayah) is often vowelized in siddurim and sefarim. Since we b'davkah don't say the Shem Havayah how it is spelled, why are the vowels included? Also, ...
16
votes
2answers
492 views

Bringing wallet with benscher into bathroom

If someone has one of the small "pocket benschers" that slide into his wallet, is it a problem for him to walk into the bathroom with his wallet in his pocket?
10
votes
1answer
266 views

Interrupting in the middle of Shmona esrei

Am I allowed to interrupt in the middle of Shmona esrei in order to pick up a Siddur (or any other holy book) that has fallen to the floor? Same question, if I have to make some steps in order to pick ...
7
votes
2answers
192 views

Dictionary of symbology in Kodshim and Taharot

I'm wondering if anyone has ever put together a book that lists all the different elements that can come up in the realms of Kodshim and Taharot (e.g. bulls, the number seven, water, slaughtering, etc....
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Which sections of Igros Moshe are in which volumes?

In Igros Moshe, the classic compilation of responsa by R' Moshe Feinstein, each of the published volumes contains one or more collections of numbered responsa, each concerning a specific area of ...
13
votes
1answer
367 views

Can one follow the Mishnah Berurah without asking a shaila?

When one has a question in halacha and finds an answer in the Mishneh Berurah (or Aruch HaShulchan, or similar work), why can he follow the answer provided? Why doesn't he need to ask his rabbi first? ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

What are some good resources for deciphering a Tosfos comment that I can't figure out?

What are some good resources for deciphering a Tosfos comment that I can't figure out? Here is what I am looking for in a resource: When Tosfos brings another gemoro this resource should provide an ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

Where can I find indexes to the classic Torah works?

I want indexes (indices) to the classic Torah works, so that I can quickly find the pages that hold the information I need. Where can I find such indexes?
15
votes
6answers
601 views

Is there a good visual companion to Tanach?

I'm looking for a visual companion to Tanach, i.e. maps, charts, and timelines. So when I'm learning Sefer Yehoshua, for example, I can see maps that chart the various battles and such. Are there any ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the authoritative Jewish documents?

When I'm reading through answers on this site I often see users make references like - Baba Batra 75A Or Chagiga 12A I don't understand what these mean. What are the documents that Judaism ...
8
votes
2answers
502 views

Good Talmudic Grammar resource for one unfamiliar with grammar in general?

Inspired by: How to say Adonainu Moreinu VeRabeinu in Aramaic I'd like to understand Talmudic/Aramaic Grammar a little better and am looking for a good resource that will break it down for me. ...
3
votes
3answers
460 views

What does R' Feinstein say about eating kosher food in a non-kosher restaurant?

The last paragraph of Igros Moshe O.C. 2:40 discusses when you may order kosher food [such as a banana] in a non-kosher restaurant. R' Moshe Feinstein begins: ובדבר אם מותר לאכול ברעסטאראנט ...
7
votes
7answers
342 views

English books for better understanding of Jewish thought?

I consider myself a "Christian" (as in a "follower of 'Christ'"), and I am interested in learning more about Judaism, so that I can better understand the Jewish roots of Christianity. I've gotten ...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

Is there anything like a “Tikun Korim” for Nach?

Is there a printed text like a תיקון קוראים for learning נ"ך, where one side has the כתיב without נקודות or טעמים?
5
votes
5answers
507 views

Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places

Hanging signs saying the above was not enough to make people in my synagogue put back the s'farim they have used into the bookcases. What other mitzvos could I bring on my next edition of the signs?
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Halachot of Shul Mechitzot

What are some good books, articles, websites, or seforim for learning about the Halachot of constructing and maintaining a Shul Mechitza (the barrier between the men and women sections)? Issues ...
8
votes
1answer
185 views

Who is the author of the Pirush on the first four chapters of Rambam's Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah?

The first four chapters of Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah have a lengthy commentary that is titled simply "פירוש". In standard editions of the Rambam, it wraps around the text, facing the "כסף משנה" (see ...
7
votes
1answer
397 views

Sefer Besamim Rosh

Who wrote the Sefer Besamim Rosh?
7
votes
1answer
197 views

On What Subjects Does One Say Birchas HaTorah?

Must one say Birchas Hatorah before learning Aggadata in the Gemara? Biographies like Shem Hagedolim (a biography of various Rabbonim written by the Chida)? Artscroll biographies?
6
votes
2answers
631 views

Siddur & chumash — which gets stacked on top?

I've seen this one asked over and over again, and always heard different things. Do you stack a chumash on top of a siddur, or the other way around?
5
votes
2answers
732 views

Is one allowed to learn a book written by a rabbi who was accused and convicted of impropriety? [duplicate]

What is the status of books from rabbis who were accused of impropriety? The question would also likely also apply to online shiurim. For example, here is is a very good book from a rav who admitted ...
2
votes
1answer
380 views

What's controversial about Chemdat HaYamim?

This answer from @Oliver mentions The controversial book Hemdat Ha-yamim... What is Chemdat HaYamim, and what is controversial about it? I know this is a very simple question but I wasn't ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

List of all the Seforim Software [closed]

I'd like to compile a list of all the computer programs out there that people can use for learning/reading seforim with. There are many of them now a days (and perhaps were some in the past that are ...
22
votes
9answers
1k views

After chumashim with notes and Rashi, what's the next torah commentary I should acquire and study?

When I read the torah text (parsha or otherwise) I currently use a couple of chumashim with notes, and Rashi. I know some Hebrew but am not fluent. I'm ready to stretch beyond what I'm reading now ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I respond to challenges to the Kuzari argument for the transmission of Torah from Sinai?

The Kuzari's argument for the transmission of Torah from Sinai was extremely convincing when I heard it, and I've read different summaries of it by Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb and Rabbi Leib Keleman (I must ...
6
votes
3answers
674 views

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English?

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English? I am interested in learning Meforshim on Chumash, and I wanted to know if there were any online or in a store.
6
votes
2answers
453 views

How many halachot are detailed in the Mishneh Torah?

How many halachot are detailed in the Mishneh Torah? To clarify, I am interested in the counting of the author's (i.e. if the Mishneh Torah details two rules under one halacha that counts as one and ...
11
votes
1answer
215 views

layout of the Gemara

When was the current pagination of the Gemara finalized? It seems that it was before the Vilna print, though it seems from different Acharonim (the Rama, etc.) quoting the Mordechai that the Mordechai ...
10
votes
4answers
980 views

Why is the Mesillas Yesharim so popular and accepted?

To overgeneralize, I bet there is a copy of the mesillas yesharim in almost every orthodox home, shul and beis medrash. I'm wondering why this work is so popular and accepted. My wondering is ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Which seforim did you use when learning for Rabbinic Semicha

Which sforim and topics are commonly learned by students who are studying to receive Rabbinic ordination? ie: Yoreh De'ah Melicha - Tur V'Shulchan Aruch Different groups within Orthodox Judaism ...
6
votes
2answers
547 views

Who wrote Tohar HaYichud?

Who wrote the anonymous rationalist debunking of kabbalah entitled Tohar HaYichud?
4
votes
3answers
168 views

Leaving Sefarim Open and forgetfulness

I heard that there is an idea of not leaving a Sefer open because it can cause forgetfulness. Is this idea written about anywhere in Halachic literature? If so where is it located?