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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13
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4answers
388 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
12
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2answers
4k views

Origin of myth about the hole in the sheet?

There is a widespread myth (as far as I know it is a myth) that orthodox Jews must have marital relations through a hole in a sheet. What is the origin of this myth and does it have any actual basis ...
12
votes
3answers
344 views

Earliest source for “Baruch Hu U'Baruch Sh'mo”

What is the earliest source for saying "Baruch Hu U'Baruch Shmo" when hearing someone say the Name of HaShem in a blessing?
12
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8answers
1k views

Marrying a wife that is older than you?

What example is there in the Torah about (lichatchila i.e a priori according to halacha) marrying a wife that is years older than you?
12
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2answers
232 views

“m'nora” on Chanuka

My kid came home from school one day insisting that the thing we light on Chanuka is not a m'nora but a chanukiya. I replied that that's the word most Israelis use now but that m'nora is a perfectly ...
12
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2answers
660 views

Where are the magic cucumbers discussed in the Talmud?

Where are the magic cucumbers discussed in the Gemara by a Rabbi proud of his knowledge? Are magic cucumbers discussed elsewhere? Thanks.
12
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2answers
519 views

What is the origin of the custom to kiss a Mezuzah?

What is the source or origin of the custom to kiss a Mezuzah?
12
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4answers
1k views

Is there a source in the gemara for “Blei Gissen” (pouring lead)?

A recent article in the 5 Towns Jewish Times claims Blei gissen, the technique of pouring lead to nullify ayin ha’ra, the poisonous evil eye, has its source in the Gemara ... In his critique of ...
12
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2answers
225 views

What's up with Rabbi Shimon ben Nesanel in Avos 2:10?

In chapter 2 of Pirkei Avos (Ethics of Our Fathers) it says that: "Rabban Yochanan the son of Zakkai had five disciples" It goes on to list their names and qualities, and then it says that R' ...
12
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2answers
761 views

Would Adam and Chava have been permitted the tree of knowledge if they'd waited?

I've long been somewhat troubled by the episode with the tree in the garden, because it seems like it was necessary for man to acquire knowledge (how else could we enter a covenant and accept the yoke ...
12
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1answer
491 views

Embarrassing a Baal Teshuva

Be'er Hagolah at the end of Yoreh Deah 334 says that one of the things that are considered Cherem D'Rabeinu Gersom is not to embarrass a Baal Teshuva regarding his previous lifestyle. Yet when you ...
12
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3answers
8k views

Wearing clothes backwards or inside out?

As a kid, I was told that if you wear clothing backwards or inside-out then you will forget your Torah learning. What is the source for that claim, and why is that specific outcome tied to that ...
12
votes
1answer
203 views

Does a Mezuzah need to be rolled up?

It is almost universal that Mezuzot are affixed to doorposts by rolling it up tightly and inserting into some protective case. The Rambam writes in Hilchot Mezuzah 6:13 that encountering a Mezuzah ...
12
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2answers
145 views

Sources that clothes should be treated respectfully

I have developed a sensitivity towards treating clothes respectfully. An example is I try not to throw clothing all over the floor (cleanliness aside). I was wondering if there are any sources which ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What is Kishuf (“magic”)?

In order to avoid the prohibited, we must first know what it is. What is the halachic definition of Kishuf ("magic")? While I am mainly interested in sources, Svaras (reasonings) and thoughts are ...
12
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1answer
120 views

The addition to Refaeinu

In the artscroll siddur amongst others, there is a text to be added in to the bracha of refaeinu if one wants to daven for a specific choleh. The text seems to be rather standard (I.e. it is in some ...
12
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1answer
396 views

Rishonim saying Ester took place during the second bayis

Elsewhere on this site, avi cited sources to the effect that, contrary to the Bavli (M'gila), the events recounted in the book of Ester took place after the second bes hamikdash was built. Do any ...
11
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5answers
6k views

From where do we know that sexual intercourse with a non-jewish woman is forbidden?

From where do we know that a jewish man cannot have sexuel intercourse with a non-jewish woman? What say the Kabbala about this ? Is it related to dark forces, "qelipoth"?
11
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2answers
304 views

Mitzvah for fathers to buy things for dating-age daughters?

I heard that men whose daughters are dating have a mitzvah to supply them with things that will help them, i.e. dresses, jewelry, etc. Is there a source for this?
11
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4answers
677 views

What is the source for Pardes?

What is the source for expounding the torah according to remez, derush and sod (along with 'pshat' the group can be referred to by the acronym PaRDeS)? These forms of hermeneutics are not found in ...
11
votes
1answer
351 views

What is the origin of the claim that they played games to hide Torah learning prior to Chanuka

This question makes a very commonly heard claim: "Before the miracle of Hanukkah, when those who controlled the land severely restricted Torah study, Jewish children would gather to study Torah in ...
11
votes
3answers
361 views

How high was migdal Bavel?

How high was Migdal (the tower of) Bavel? From the Chumash we know that the tower was built in a valley which suggests that its purpose was more symbolic than pragmatic. To that effect I am wondering ...
11
votes
2answers
375 views

Why is the Miracle of Oil mentioned so much later than records of Chanukah celebrations?

The miracle of oil isn't really mentioned until the Talmud, and is absent from all earlier sources for Chanukah like the Books of Maccabees, Josephus, and others. I have seen historians claim that ...
11
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4answers
339 views

Does every woman have a destined match?

There is a Talmudic statement in Sotah 2a which is commonly used as the source that every person has their destined match (the parameters of "destined" is a separate discussion): והא אמר רב יהודה ...
11
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3answers
420 views

Earliest halakhic sources for wearing both Rashi and Rabbenu Tam tefillin simultaneously?

Orach Chayim brings that pious men should wear both Rashi and R. Tam tefillin at once when davening (34:2-3). Do we know what the earliest halakhic sources recommending this are, and their reasoning? ...
11
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1answer
729 views

Explanation for couple not seeing each other before the wedding?

What is the source and reason for a couple not to see one another before the wedding?
11
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2answers
296 views

Are these two urban legends about perceptions of God's help for Jews true?

The following story is told as an urban legend: I don't know if the following story is true, but I'll let you decide. Kenya's star soccer player used to offer a prayer for victory before every game....
11
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1answer
1k views

Halachic justification to not pray the amidah before zman t'filah?

Some Chassidic courts are not makpid (careful) to daven the morning Amidah before z'man tefilah, although this seems to be a clear halacha. Are there any opinions they are relying on? I was once told ...
11
votes
1answer
221 views

Source for shuls flying in yemos hamoshiach?

My son mentioned to me that he learned in school that when Moshiach comes all the shuls (and schools?) will miraculously fly to Eretz Yisroel. What is the source of this idea?
11
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4answers
1k views

A woman with dreadlocks going to the mikveh

In regards to the dinim of chatzitza by the tevillah of a Niddah the SA (Rema) in YD Siman 198 Sif 6 speaks about an interesting situation where a woman's hair was tied together by a Shin-Daled ("...
11
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2answers
240 views

Source for kissing an aron

I've seen people kiss an aron kodesh (cabinet holding Torah scrolls) when they approach it and, if they were standing near it, before they leave it. Does this have any written source; or, are there ...
11
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0answers
216 views

Source for the minhag of 'gebrokts' [duplicate]

There is a not-uncommon minhag, primarily in chassidic circles called 'gebrokts' where matza is not allowed to come into contact with water during Pesach. What is the earliest source for this custom ...
10
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2answers
246 views

Tehilim divided into five sections?

According to Wikipedia, Jewish tradition divides the book of Tehilim into five sections (1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150). This is unsourced there; the references at the bottom of the page ...
10
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2answers
663 views

Munn in the World to Come

The Rema in OC Simman 242 brings a minhag to eat "pashtidah" shabbos night in memory of the munn. The Beur Halacha is very bothered why one would do such a thing on shabbos, given that the munn ...
10
votes
2answers
359 views

Not to give a divorce (Get) in the month of Iyar

I heard today in Shul that there is a Minhag not to give a divorce in the month of Iyar. What is the source and reason for this Minhag?
10
votes
6answers
322 views

Do you have to know kol ha Torah kula?

Is there a requirement for a Jewish man to know the whole Torah (including every gemara, tosafot, Midrasch…) or is it OK to know the Halacha that is relevant to you and then to use the rest of ...
10
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5answers
586 views

Why do we say Vhu Rachum before Maariv?

Before Maariv, we say the pasuk "Vhu rachum yichaper avon..." (Psalms 78:38). Why?
10
votes
3answers
949 views

What is the kiss of death?

Chazal tell us (need help with the source) that at least 3 people died "b'neshika" with a 'kiss' from God, Moshe, Aron and Miriam. (Rashi on Bamidbar 20:1, 33:38; Devarim 34:5) What is exactly does ...
10
votes
2answers
223 views

Source for the Text of the Get (bill of divorce)

Where does the exact text come from? Is there a particular Rishon who writes it in full? The Talmud in Gittin discusses the text at length, but I don't think it lays down the exact text. I've seen the ...
10
votes
5answers
404 views

Are there specific behaviors that make someone a rasha?

What halachically constitutes a rasha- Wicked person? Are there parameters with which to determine someone's status in this area?
10
votes
1answer
992 views

Source that those without a genuine need soliciting charity is a good thing

Judaism 101 says (and I have heard it many times): Judaism acknowledges that many people who ask for charity have no genuine need. In fact, the Talmud suggests that this is a good thing: if all ...
10
votes
1answer
442 views

Sherlock Holmes-ian deduction in the Talmud

I remember learning a story in the Talmud (I think) and am trying to find the source. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but this is what I remember. There was a Talmudic Rabbi who was sold into ...
10
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6answers
605 views

Is there any reason to deny aliens according to Judaism?

Is there any reason that we couldn't believe in life on another planet somewhere? Is there any source that indicates to the contrary?
10
votes
2answers
223 views

Source for a story: Rambam paskening people out of heaven

I'm sorry to ask a source-seeking question (because I don't like seeing them myself), but I'm at a loss here in trying to find what I think is a theologically important Hassidic story. The story goes ...
10
votes
3answers
399 views

Why allowed on Yom Tov?

According to the Torah, melacha isn't permitted on Yom Tov days except for what is needed for food. I read that certain laws, like carrying, don't apply on these days because they are loosened for ...
10
votes
1answer
102 views

Where do we first see Cheshvan (as opposed to Marcheshvan)?

The correct name for the eighth month of the Hebrew calendar is Marcheshvan. (See here and here.) This is how the name of the month appears throughout the Talmud (to the best of my knowledge) see e.g. ...
10
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2answers
516 views

How do Chazal know that the descendants of a Mamzer may never marry into the general populace?

The passuk says (Devarim 23:3-4): לֹא־יָבֹ֥א מַמְזֵ֖ר בִּקְהַ֣ל יְהוָ֑ה גַּ֚ם דּ֣וֹר עֲשִׂירִ֔י לֹא־יָ֥בֹא ל֖וֹ בִּקְהַ֥ל יְהוָֽה׃ A Mamzer may not come into the congregation of Hashem; even ...
10
votes
2answers
855 views

The greatest prophet after Moses

R. Jacob Emden, in his comments to Eruvin 43a, refers to Elijah the Prophet as the greatest prophet after Moses: אליהו הנביא הגדול בנביאים אחרי משרע"ה That Moses was the greatest prophet is hardly ...
10
votes
1answer
139 views

Legend About Rashi

In the book "Rashi and Maimonides" (pg 302), I found the following (paraphrasing): Another story has it that Rashi sat fasting for 613 days to purify himself for the task of commenting on the Torah....
10
votes
4answers
352 views

Sources for free will of angels

I want to define free-will for this question as a moral right and wrong decision, not an arbitrary decision or a true/false decision. I am familiar with sources that say that angels do not have free ...