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Questions tagged [sources-mekorot]

Questions seeking sources for a given practice or idea, or seeking the location of a specific source.

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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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88 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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121 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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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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74 views

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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64 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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297 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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227 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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241 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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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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46 views

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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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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57 views

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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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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177 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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118 views

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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52 views

Why is it in the merit of flags that Klall Yisoel becomes worthy to be redeemed?

I saw in the Midrash Tanchuma on Parshas Bamidbar the following: (Source provided by Sefaria.org) אָמַר לָהֶם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה, נִתְאַוֵּיתֶם לִדְגָלִים, וּמִלֵּאתִי ...
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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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190 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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Looking for a Chazon Ish about developement of Minhagim

It has stuck in my head for a while now - roughly quoted as saying that one shouldn't mock minhagim that have developed in klal yisroel even if the origin seems dubious - as Hashem wouldn't allow ...
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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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63 views

Source for medrash that Klal Yisroel counted the omer when they came out of Mitzraim

The sefer Tur Bareket (OC 489, also brought here) quotes a medrash that Moshe Rabbeinu told Klal Yisroel to count 50 days towards matan torah. Do any of our readers know the exact source in the ...
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86 views

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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183 views

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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191 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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In what order were the works of the Rashba written?

Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Aderet wrote a huge number of responsa, as well as a commentary on much of the Talmud, and a couple of Halachic works. I would assume that the responsa were written over a long ...
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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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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 ...
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29 views

Source for preferring doing melacha which benefits sick person exclusively

I recently heard the following halacha from a talmid Chacham. He said "I remember that this is the halacha, but I do not remember the source". If one has to do a melacha on shabbos for a choleh ...
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70 views

Source for Arizal’s teaching

I’m reading a book by Rabbi Shlomo Arush and he says the following: "According to our master, the Arizal, whoever wants to receive the light of Ein Sof in its entirety has to change its own nature ...
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Weird Weather Before Mashiach

With Harvey and Irma and the Mexican earthquakes and the recent solar eclipse, it’s often been quoted recently that there will be weird weather before Mashiach comes. This is nothing new for me - I’ve ...
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64 views

Reason for Ein Onshim Min HaDin

There's a concept that אין עונשים מן הדין that appears a bunch of times throughout Shas (Makkos 5b for example). It basically means we don't learn out punishments the same way we learn out obligations....
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78 views

Vilna Gaon - Mitzvah Goreres Mitzvah

I once heard (I do not recall from who or where) that The Vilna Gaon once remarked that the way to determine if one's actions were in fact a good deed, one must look at the after effects. The Gr"a is ...
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Zilberman seforim

Does anybody know of seforim written by members of the Zilberman community in Yerushalayim? I'm looking primarily for halachic works about implementing the Vilna Gaon's shitahs today, but I'd be ...
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135 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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124 views

Convert without accepting mitzvos?

Conversion is always a hot topic, especially here in Israel. Many times conversions take place where the Ger (convert) didn't have the intention to be m'kabel (accept) the mitzvos. People scream and ...
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159 views

Who came up with this story?

It says in Mekor Baruch (of Rabbi Baruch Epstein) The Rosh Yeshiva of Volozhin, the Netziv, was once sitting down surrounded by several high-caliber students – avrechim versed in Torah, wise, and ...
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Location for medrash cited by the Chizkuni

The Chizkuni in Parshas Achrei Mos 16:22 writes that the ish iti (the person who would take the goat to har azazel) would not live through the year. He cites from a medrash that the person knew he was ...
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Are there any responsa that encourage or require maintaining health insurance?

Are there any responsa in the literature that either encourage or require people to maintain health insurance, perhaps as a fulfillment of the obligation to guard one's health, or in line with any ...
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128 views

Different endings of Yishtabach

I have heard at least four nuschaos (liturgies) for the very end of Yishtabach between habocheir b'shirei zimrah (who chooses musical songs of praise) and chai/chei* haolamim (life/life-giver of the ...
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The opinion that microwaves don't need to be kashered

So I remember hearing this opinion that followed like this: "Microwaves do not need to be kashered because the means of cooking in a microwave are different than those spoken about in the Gemara." ...
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Choreography of Kaddish

I have seen a number of different customs of when people bow or sway or bob or whatnot during Kaddish. Some of the people I have witnessed have been very knowledgeable, and I assume they weren't just ...
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131 views

Jacob's Dual Names and Wives

The third Patriarch's birth name was Jacob. He is given another name, Israel, in Genesis 32. Jacob had two primary wives; Leah and Rachel. I have heard the idea that the Rachel was the betrothed ...
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54 views

Source for Higher Infant Mortality Rates in the Winter of a Leap Year?

At the shiva for my infant son, someone said that the reason we say kaparat pesha in mussaf rosh chodesh, is that to atone for the sins that cause higher rates of stillbirth, miscarriages, and infant ...
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34 views

Source for Tehillim as remedies to specific problems

I have this (rather low-quality) "mini-siddur" e-book that I found long time ago. Among other things, it has a page called "Directory of Tehillim", which is a table where each Tehillim is assigned a ...
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48 views

Source for the Arizal identifying many unmarked graves of legendary Jewish figures?

I remember learning that many of the famous gravesites in Israel- the Rambam, Dan of the 12 tribes, Rav Shimon Bar Yochai, Ruth from Megillas Ruth (not necessarily these exact ones, just giving ...
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Where in the writings of the Vilna Gaon does he discuss how Rashi & Tosfot each explain a Talmudic “sugiya?”

Two days ago, I asked this question in the name of the Vilna Gaon. I was informed that the answer may be [also] found in the writings of Rav Chaim Volozhin. So, I re-phrased the question. My ...
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54 views

Source that the world was created for amalek

Numerous Midrashim list different things that the world was created for the purpose of such as Klal Yisrael, Bikkurim, Torah, Challah, and Maasros all of which are called "ראשית" (first). I remember ...
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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 ...