Questions tagged [sources-mekorot]

Questions seeking sources for a given practice in general or in specific Jewish communities, alternatively seeking the location of a specific source of a teaching/idea/philosophy based on Torah writings.

318 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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Finding a source for a statement attributed to Ibn Ezra

There is a phrase that is popularly attributed to Rabbi Avraham ibn Ezra. Apparently, it relates to a sugya in Hullin that concerns the permissibility of eating honey in which the legs of bees might ...
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174 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
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2answers
153 views

What is the source for Neilas Hachag?

Neilas Hachag (as I understand it since there doesn't appear to be any real rules about it) is a tradition to eat some level of special meal as yom tov ends, typically associated with Sukkos, Pesach, ...
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Source for Geonic division of mitzvos

The Rambam and those who follow suit divide the 613 mitzvos into two groups, 248 positive mitzvos and 365 negative mitzvos. This is sourced from Makkos 23b. However, most of the Geonim (for example: ...
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Source of opinion that Talmud Yerushalmi was corrupted by Karaites

In the entry for Talmud Bavli/Yerushalmi in Chida's Shem Hagedolim Hashalem (c.1800, the older versions do not have this paragraph), he references a theory from maskilim of his time that the Rabbis ...
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128 views

Half Jew half Gentile

I always thought it was a misconception to be "half-Jewish". Usually the speaker means one of their parents are Jewish, making them either fully Jewish or fully Gentile. However, I saw today that the ...
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78 views

Rejected hermeneutics doubtfully true

The gemarra often employs the different types of derashos/hermeneutics such as kal vachomer/a fortiori arguments and hekesh/juxtaposition of phrases or terms. Also often, is these derashos are ...
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Mitzvos from the 613 that are not included in the Ten Commandments

The Chasam Sofer to parshas Nasso says (Toras Moshe I, ד"ה ושמו שמי) that it is known that even though the Ten Commandments contain all the 613 mitzvos (see Rashi and here), the three mitzvos that ...
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78 views

Source that Og told Sarah about the Akeidah, and thus she died

Someone recently told me that they were taught as a child that Og was the one who told Sarah about the Akeidah, causing her death. I always understood it as the Satan. Indeed, that's what Midrash ...
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200 views

How do I know my unanswered questions will be revealed [to me] when I die?

Many times as a Jew I think in the back of my head that certain question’s answers I greatly ponder will be revealed to me when I die. I’ll give an example. A few distant relatives of mine were ...
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Where does Rabbeinu Tam discuss the “aspaklaria ha-meira”?

In Bernard-Henri Levy's book, "The Genius of Judaism", on p222-3, the author describes what appears to be the discussion in the gemara in Yevamot 49b about Moshe's level of prophecy. He says that ...
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56 views

Earliest source for teaching Torah in secret to hide from the Romans

A number of online sources (such as this article by Rabbi Ari Enkin, or this article by Rabbi Yair Hoffman) mention the tradition that rabbonim used to go out into the woods and teach Torah while ...
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149 views

Are relations permitted with one's wife who does not safeguard Shabbos?

One who transgresses Shabbos publicly has the status of a Gentile (Shulchan Aruch Y"D 2:5 and Shulchan Aruch Harav on it). Furthermore, Jews are forbidden from having relations with Gentiles. That ...
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Gad and Reuven exiled eight years before everyone else

Bamidbar Rabbah 22:7, Eichah Rabbah Pesikta 5, Midrash Tanchumah Mattos 4, Tanchumah Yashan Mattos 8 all point out that the tribes of Gad and Reuven, because they chose to live outside the land of ...
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Acronym for ישראל (original source)

Where was this insight originally brought down from? י = יצחק, יעקב ש = שרה ר = רבקה, רחל א = אברהם ל = לאה The earliest work I could find was שני לוחות הברית But I'm not sure if it ...
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Can one engrave on a utensil bought from a non jew to avoid the need for tevilla?

Yahu made the following comment in the discussion on "Electric Appliances and Mikva" "Breaking does not mean that it can not work. As long as what you are doing affects the vessel in a 3 dimensional ...
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496 views

Is there any opinion that permits davening Maariv before plag

I davened at a shul this morning that announced mincha at 5:30pm with maariv following immediately after. Plag mincha is around 6:45pm today. I pointed this out to the gabbai and he said that there is ...
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Source for the Beit Yosef's צ

In most forms of k'tav stam (Sephardi, Ari, Jeckisch, et c.) the righthand yud of the letter צ is reversed (see fig. 1). On the other hand, the Beit Yosef's צ uses a regular י shape in the righthand ...
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319 views

Height of havdalah candle = height of spouse?

I have seen havdalah ceremonies where a unmarried person is charged with holding the havdalah candle and is told to hold it at the height that s/he would want their spouse to be. What is the source ...
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231 views

Source for Chazon Ish on What defines a Lamdan

I recently read an article and the author wrote the following: "The Chazon Ish described the true lamdan as “someone who spends three hours preparing to deliver a five-minute shiur, and when he is ...
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246 views

Source for not referring to Chanuka lights as a “menora”

Following up on this question about the use of the words "menora" or "chanukiya" to refer to Chanuka lights: I find it interesting that the use of "chanukiya," popularized in 1897 through a secular ...
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129 views

Source for forgiveness at a Bris Milah for those who share the baby's name

I have heard many times that if one is present at a Bris Milah and the baby receives the same name as them, they receive forgiveness for all of their sins and/or some sort of special Beracha. Is ...
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No Shema' at the end of Shirat haYam?

Over the last several years, I have noticed that most schuls in the US do not recite the pasuk of שמע ישרﭏ at the end of Shirat haYam in Pesukei deZimrah, while every Nusach Ashkenaz siddur I've seen (...
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1answer
119 views

Judges Chapter 9 and Aesop's Fable

In the book of Judges 9:8-15 we have the following fable: 8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree: Reign thou over us. 9 But the olive-...
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161 views

Source for this Remez expansion of יד שחט דם

There is an acronym for the liquids that make things able to be made ritually impure. The Halacha is in order for fruit and the like to be made ritually impure it has to be made wet with these ...
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Is it Better to Buy a Pitom-less Esrog?

Although the Rema (648:7) says a grown pitom-less esrog is valid אם לא היה לו דד מעולם כשר וכן הם רוב האתרוגים שמביאים במדינות אלו are there any Jewish sources which encourage purchasing a pitom-...
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54 views

Does anyone comment on the name Reu'el for Eisav's son?

In Vayishlach (Ber. 36:10) Eisav has a son named Reu'el. While the meanings of/reasons for the names of those in Eisav's line are not provided, it seems to me that this name sticks out because it ...
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King Saul was able to fight the Yetzer Hara head on

I heard a wonderful drasha on the verse II Samuel 1:18 but I can't find the source: ויאמר ללמד בני־יהודה קשת הנה כתובה על־ספר הישר He instructed to teach the Children of Yehudah the bow. ...
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Where is this Orchos Chaim and Ramban?

The Tur writes in OC Siman 219 ("sif 6" in the newer prints) that if one didn't make the bracha of hagomel at the proper time, then they are still able to make the bracha whenever they'd like. The ...
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203 views

Vilna Gaon — mini nevuah after six hours of study?

In Aish Moharan1, Rav Berland cites the Vilna Gaon as having said that after six hours of uninterrupted Torah study, the first thoughts a person has are a form of mini nevuah (prophecy). כמו שמובא ...
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Origin of diagonal holes for tzitzit

The Chabad practice is to make diagonal holes for the tzitzit in a tallit katan (from here). The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote in his Igrot Kodesh saying it was the practice of his father-in-law. On the ...
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1answer
134 views

Requesting forgiveness when in doubt

Rambam writes in Teshuva 2,9 that one must ask a person for forgiveness when he has wronged him and personal Teshuva is not enough. I have seen people (and I myself have often done this) asking for ...
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159 views

How to determine a trespasser's intent from a Halachic Perspective?

How do we determine a trespasser's intent from a Halachic Perspective? The Rambam writes: If it is clear to the house-owner that the thief who breaks in will not kill him and instead is only ...
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Using Torah as a punishment

I remember hearing or seeing somewhere that a Rebbi who uses the Torah for a punsihment can make a student hate Torah. For example,a boy speaks in class ,then the Rebbi makes the boy write over a ...
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138 views

Is there a chazakah (halachic presumption) that an Eruv is down after a blizzard?

I remember, I was once at shul Friday night, and it was just starting to snow and it was predicted to be a huge blizzard. The Rabbi got up and announced that tomorrow people should work under the ...
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226 views

Should we ask a non-Jew to wear a kippa for a burial?

Should we ask a non-Jew to wear a kippa for a burial? He likely doesn't have an obligation to do so. We often ask them in a synagogue (and this answer discusses the reasons) but what about a cemetery?
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Maror- common lettuce

Rav Dovid Feinstein in Kol Dodi perek 15:18 writes that the common custom is to use romaine lettuce for maror.However, he mentions that he heard that a renowned Gaon of recent times who permitted ...
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Verses indicating that each person has an equal entitlement to a land-plot

In Numbers 26:53–54 (JPS), the Israelites are commanded: Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To the more thou shalt give the more ...
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Which rabbi said “if a horse had the mind of Kant …”?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...
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205 views

Sources for Hamsa

I know from Ben Ish Hai Shana Bet Parashat Pinehas siman 13 where he writes to make a Hamsa from wood. However, I am wondering if there any earlier sources to solidify the fact that this would ...
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83 views

Is there a need to to know the deceased's name when studying in his merit?

I have been asked many times by friends to study (usually Mishanyos) as a merit for their recently deceased relative. In most such occasions, I was given the deceased's name, in order to have them in ...
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151 views

Sources for Milchemet Mitzvah at this time

I heard recently a certain rabbi say that "nobody disagrees that [our "war" to conquer Israel] is a milchemet mitzvah." What sources are there, either way, for conquering Israel today being milchemet ...
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680 views

If one gives a food gift on Shabbos, does the one who receives it need to use it on Shabbos?

The Halacha is that one may give a food gift to another on Shabbos. (See Dose of Halacha for more details). If I give a bottle of wine, do they need to open it on Shabbos, or can they choose to keep ...
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R' Meir of Rotenburg responsum cited by Mahari Bruna

At the end of Mahari Bruna responsum 111 (שו"ת מהר"י מברונא סימן קיא) he refers to a responsum by R' Meir of Rotenburg in which it was held that anyone could demand, on pain of cherem, a copy of any ...
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42 views

Looking for a Chasam Sofer

Where is the Chasam Sofer cited as saying that if one "chances upon" connections across various sugyas he is learning, it is a sign of special siyata dshmaya?
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What is the source for Beis Din's obligation to enforce mitzvos

The Gemarra in Kesubos 86a and Chullin 132b teaches the following: במצות עשה כגון שאומרין לו עשה סוכה ואינו עושה לולב ואינו עושה מכין אותו עד שתצא נפשו With regard to positive mitzvot, for ...
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The 62 Years of Darius/Cyrus, and the 62 Weeks of Daniel

Has ancient or medieval Jewish tradition, spanning from the Talmud to the Shulchan Aruch, ever connected these two passages from the Book of Daniel ? Daniel 5:30-6:1  That very night, Belshazzar, ...
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59 views

Knife Becoming Unusable By Threatening Someone With It

I have heard that if a knife is used (even for pretend) to threaten someone it is treif to use unless Neitza is done to it (being stabbed in the ground 10 times). Does anybody know of a source for ...
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150 views

What is a source for this idea in Sefer HaYashar?

The following passage settled with me in an interesting way. Although the statements recorded are themselves quite eye opening, I am unfamiliar with such an idea at large. In that sense was the ...
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Birkas Hachodesh when Rosh Chodesh is Shabbat and Sunday

On Shabbat Mevarchim, Birkas Hachodesh, a prayer announcing when the Rosh Chodesh will be, is said after Kriat Hatorah before Mussaf, containing the following line (with some variations depending on ...