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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9
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3answers
103 views

Why didn't Paroh have Moshe killed?

Follow up to this question. Moshe shows up with his brother and makes a demand of Paroh -- give up a chunk of your labor, or else. Then time and time again, Hashem, through Moshe, effects a major ...
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1answer
1k views

Hand movements when lighting shabbat candles

When women light shabbat candles I often see them making hand gestures. These look like two or perhaps three circles around in the air. What is the source for this practice? Is it a law or custom? Is ...
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1answer
231 views

Origin of the nine days

I just learned a Gemara (Taanit 30a) that seems to pretty clearly state that the mourning for tisha b'av starts the beginning of the week that Tisha B'av falls out on, and ends with Tisha B'av itself. ...
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5k views

What is the source of Shomer Negiah?

What is the mekor for the very well known restriction of physical contact between men and women? Is it a biblical or rabbinical prohibition?
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6answers
461 views

Do any Rishonim discuss how to approach Rashi's commentary on gemara?

I heard a quote once how carefully a person needs to analyze every drop of ink in Rashi, but I don't remember who said it. Does any Rishon (medieval scholar) ever discuss their approach to Rashi's ...
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2answers
674 views

Fulltext search across sources: Gemara, Zohars, Rishonim and Aharonim

I know about Hebrewbooks.org for searching for sources in books, but the problem is you have to get to let's say every Masechta to look for a phrase. Is there a program (doesn't have to be free) that ...
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2answers
1k views

Source of Burning Lulav with Chometz

What is the source of the custom to keep the Lulav untill Erev Pesach and burn it with the Chometz?
8
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3answers
256 views

Animals sixth sense

It seems that there is evidence that animals possess a sixth sense, such as in their fleeing from the area struck by the huge tsunami of 2005 well before the earthquake which triggered it occurred. Is ...
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4answers
367 views

What is the source for the idea that only two mitzvot have a specific reward associated with them?

I have heard it said that only the mitzvot of kibbud av v'eim (honoring parents) and shiluach haken (sending away the mother bird before taking eggs) are given with an explicit reward (that your days ...
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3answers
123 views

Which commentators commend Yosef for noticing his fellow prisoners' sadness?

Toward the end of Parashat Vayeishev, Yosef is imprisoned along with two of Par'oh's chief servants. Starting in Gen. 40:6, the Torah tells us that he notices that they look sad, asks why, and ...
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2answers
211 views

Source that “Teiku” References Eliyahu?

What is the earliest source that indicates that "teiku" (תיקו) references Eliyahu? Any source earlier than the Tosafos Yom Tov who provides an alternative explanation?
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1answer
430 views

Where does the Tiferes Yisroel discuss Edward Jenner and smallpox?

I've heard repeatedly that the Tiferes Yisroel describes Dr. Edward Jenner as a righteous gentile for developing the smallpox inoculation -- where is that quote, please?
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880 views

What's the source for naming children after Alexander the Great?

I know many Jews whose actual bris-given name is Alexander, and this has been a popular name even among great tzaddikim of the past (such as R. Alexander Ziskind). I've heard a legend (mentioned on ...
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373 views

Who are the seven shepherds at the end of Maoz Tzur?

The song Maoz Tzur ends with the line raise up the Seven Shepherds Who are the seven shepherds referenced? Please cite sources.
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1answer
478 views

Ring and kiddushin

Where did the concept of the chosson (groom) giving the kallah (bride) a ring, specifically, for kiddushin (i.e. under the chuppah) come from?
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3answers
293 views

Rav Moshe and Giving Your Time for Charity

I recall hearing that Rav Moshe Feinstein rules that one should donate a tenth of his time to learn with other Jews, in addition to the more commonly accepted 'tithe' of money. The only source I was ...
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6answers
415 views

Meforashim and Poskim on Mas. 'Avodah Zarah and forming a curriculum

A friend and I have decided to start learning Mas. 'Avodah Zarah. Our goal, however, is not to just pick a random Masechta of Gemara and learn it with the commentaries on the Daf. Our actual goal is ...
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1answer
123 views

Honouring an older person

What sources are there for showing respect and honour to an old person who is not necessarily a talmid chochom or a parent?
8
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1answer
617 views

If I knew Him I would be Him

Anyone know the source of the phrase "If I knew Him I would be Him," and its meaning? (heard it a few times though don't recall where. rumors abound that the rambam said this though have never seen a ...
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6answers
2k views

Sources for/about breaking a plate at a wedding

Are you aware of any literature that either provides a source for or discusses the significance of the two mothers breaking a plate at the "Tisch" at a wedding? It's not hard to find mentions of this ...
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1answer
811 views

Making a kiddush for a woman that has hard time finding shidduch

There is a belief that if one did not make a kiddush for the birth of his daughter and that woman is having a hard time finding a shidduch, then they should make a kiddush and it will help. I know ...
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1answer
2k views

Jewish saying: “To be lenient when you should be firm is to be cruel when you could be kind.”?

I heard today there is an old Jewish saying that goes something like this: “To be lenient when you should be firm is to be cruel when you could be kind.” This, as so many Jewish ...
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4answers
488 views

Why is Techiyas HaMeisim not explicitly mentioned in the Torah?

Since believing that Techiyas HaMeisim is part of the Torah is a fundamental of Judaism (Mishna Sanhedrin Perek HaChelek, although the Rambam Hilchos Teshuva Chapter 3 doesn't emphasize the believing ...
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1answer
216 views

Source and reason for throwing the Hoshanos on top of the Aron Kodesh

I have seen in many Shuls on Hoshana Raba after using the Hoshanos people throw the used Hoshanos on top of the Aron Kodesh. What is the reason and source for this Minhag?
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571 views

What's the deal with all the washings?

Sometimes we wash with a cup, sometimes not; sometimes we wash twice, sometimes thrice; and not everyone agrees on method or pattern in all cases. Who says which ways we are supposed to wash, in ...
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1answer
219 views

Source that Gr“a finished the ”whole" Torah?

I heard from a friend that he read that the Vilna Gaon did a Sium on the Torah. Not just the חמישה חומשי תורה, but that he basically claimed that he finished all there is to learn in Jewish studies. ...
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1answer
696 views

What is the origin of the dispute on which way to wrap tefilin shel yad?

Non-Chasidic Ashkenazim wrap their tefilin shel yad inward toward the body when coming over the top of the arm, while Sefardim and Chasidim wrap outward away from the body when coming over the top of ...
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1answer
334 views

Source for Categorization of Matter

What is the source for the idea that all matter is either domem (lifeless), tzomeach (plant), chai (animal), or medaber (speaker)? I sometimes find this quoted places (in articles and divrei Torah), ...
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1answer
577 views

Origin of Spilling Wine by 10 Plagues

The custom among all Jews (as far as I know) is to spill a drip of wine for each of the plagues as they are mentioned in a list in the haggadah. This custom is not mentioned anywhere in the Talmud (as ...
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1answer
312 views

Where does the custom to spill off from a drink come from?

I had a Lubavitcher classmate in high school who used to spill off from his cup whenever he would drink anything. He claimed it was a minhag. What is the reason/source for this practice?
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182 views

Are there any sages who have written about experiencing a total solar eclipse?

This year, on August 21, 2017, many Americans will have a chance to experience a total solar eclipse. Total solar eclipses were rarely documented before the 10th century of the Common Era. But, I ...
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2answers
270 views

Did people who were not priests or Levites enter the Tabernacle for ritual purposes?

(Note: I am posting this more specific follow-up to a previous question based on the recommendation of Isaac Moses here.) Aaron and his descendants were designated as cohanim (priests) to do the ...
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1answer
261 views

'Agunoth and Mamzerim after the Holocaust

What have Posekim decided regarding families that were torn apart as a result of the Holocaust, particularly with respect to marriages where the husband was taken and never seen again (but not ...
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1answer
498 views

What's this about a magical spitting bird?

In Christopher Hitchens's memoir Hitch 22, this passage caught my eye: In her preface to his collection of essays The Non-Jewish Jew Tamara Deutscher, widow of the great Isaac, relates the story of ...
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2answers
427 views

Are there any scriptural sources that Hashem loves each Jew individually?

Are there any scriptural sources that Hashem loves each Jew individually? I know there are pesukim (verses) that deal with how Hashem treats or views Am Yisrael (the Jewish nation) as a whole, but ...
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2answers
317 views

Esrog with “gartel”

Esrogim can be found in the shuk (market) that have on them a sort of "gartel" shape around the middle. That is to say a sort of indentation that make the esrog appear as if it's wearing a "gartel" (...
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2answers
325 views

The order of Tehillim

Sefer Tehillim (Psalms) consists of 150 mizmorim, most likely compiled (and perhaps even entirely written) by King David. The mizmorim are not in chronological order following the events that inspired ...
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2answers
299 views

The Split Between Sefardim and Ashkenazim

How did this split happen historically and halachically before Shulchan Aruch, and why is not like having two Torahs? Where is the source for the split?
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2answers
250 views

Mental Telepathy

In Rabbi Immanuel Schochet's introduction to the fundamentals to proving religion. He mentions mental telepathy as a phenomenon that although uncommon does exist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
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1answer
1k views

Why do the mothers break the plate?

At a wedding [or by the engagement], a plate is customarily broken at the "tena'im." This has already been discussed over here. As I have seen at weddings, and as is brought over here the custom is ...
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2answers
413 views

Where does throwing apples comes from

There are some videos of chassidic rebbes throwing apples. I am aware of the concept of shirayim but I would like to know why the apples are thrown specifically instead of handed out. I'm also ...
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3answers
703 views

Is praising non-Jews actually prohibited?

The gemara Avodah Zara (20) explains that praising a non-Jew is a violation of "lo sechaneim", and this is quoted in the Rambam (Hil. Avodah Zara 10:6) and the Shulchan Aruch (Y"D 151, and Shach s.k. ...
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1answer
185 views

Source for Expression: “There is No Prophet For His Own Town”

There is an expression: אין נביא לעירו which apparently refers to the lack of control or respect wielded by local authorities over their own populace. The earliest source I know for this is the ...
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2answers
261 views

The concept of the “Tzadik” in Chasidut

I've recently started to learn about Breslev Chasidut and was amazed by many great advices of Rabbi Nachman zt'l but I am very confused to read things about the so called Tzadik of the Generation e.g. ...
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2answers
130 views

Know who the Tanna/Amora is before trying to understand what he said?

The Maharats Chiyus (or Chayos) writes in his Mavo HaAgados that not all of Chazal were born equal, so to speak. More specifically, that among Chazal, there are different levels of intelligence, ...
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1answer
111 views

Why don't we pray P'sukei D'Zimra before Mincha or Maariv?

EDITED for clarity/Specificity. It is my understanding that the halakhic basis for p'sukei d'zimra is primarily from the following sources: Shabbat 118b in which Rabbi Yosei says "let my portion ...
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2answers
362 views

Why does the Chazzan bow when saying “Gadlu” holding the Torah?

There's a widespread custom for the Chazzan to bow, facing the ark, when reciting "Gadlu" with the Torah before carrying it away. The Aruch Hashulach (282:1) says that one should do this, but doesn't ...
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1answer
115 views

Facing east by Barchu and Modim

I was never taught to do this one way or another, but as I got older I noticed that most people seem to be particular about facing eastward when answering/bowing for Barchu and Modim. Are there any ...
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1answer
357 views

Beer at a Shalom Zachor

There is a common custom I have observed to serve beer at a Shalom Zachor. This is also mentioned here with some speculation about the source. What is the source for this practice?
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2answers
194 views

If two separate studies intersect, is it a good sign?

There is an expression that I have always heard, which is that when two separate Torah studies one is learning happen to reference each other, it is a good sign. A variant of this that I've heard is ...