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.

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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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136 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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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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118 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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1answer
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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55 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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146 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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60 views

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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73 views

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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79 views

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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1answer
473 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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81 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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313 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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242 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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1answer
124 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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1answer
76 views

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
118 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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1answer
151 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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51 views

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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49 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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50 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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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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58 views

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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199 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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123 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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1answer
133 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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1answer
144 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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70 views

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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222 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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154 views

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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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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185 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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204 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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1answer
81 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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1answer
149 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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2answers
673 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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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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26 views

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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58 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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102 views

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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1answer
163 views

Was Nebuchadnezzar's statue an image of Daniel himself?

The third chapter of Daniel brings the story of how King Nebuchadnezzar erected a statue made of gold for the people of the land to worship. (Ultimately, this is the story of how Hananiah, Mishael, ...
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34 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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80 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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130 views

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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68 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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100 views

Where is the source of this Midrash/Agadita in the Ein Yaakov

I saw in the הקדמת הכותב of the Ein Yaakov the following midrash/agadita cited: בן זומה אומר מצינו פסוק כולל יותר והוא שמע ישראל וגו׳ בן ננס אומר מצינו פסוק כולל יותר והוא ואהבת לרעך כמוך ...
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81 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 ...