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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107 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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6answers
595 views

Tikkun Olam source

What is the source for the concept that Jews have to practice Tikkun Olam, and where in the classical Jewish sources is this concept defined? It seems people throw this term around a lot in the ...
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6answers
3k views

Is there a reason to cover your yawn?

My 9th grade Rebbi told us that we have to cover our mouths when we yawn to avoid evil spirits entering our bodies. Is there any source that says this? If not, is there any other Jewish reason, ...
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2answers
854 views

Sources for the world being round in the Gemara

Can anyone bring me proofs from the Gemara that proves the world was round-and that this was known 2000+ years ago? I have looked around and I can't seem to find any sources which prove this.
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261 views

Metzudat Tzion on the Torah

Was there a Metzudat Tzion written on the Torah? If so, does anyone know if it is available online or for sale? I always loved this commentary as it explained the hard words on the Nach.
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2answers
487 views

Things that come from the heart

There is an often-quoted saying that things that come from the heart enter the heart, i.e., if something is said sincerely, the listener knows, and if it is said insincerely, the listener knows ...
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2answers
277 views

Rav Hirsch and Black Slavery

I once saw Rav Hirsch make a passing reference to black slavery in America in his Collected Writings, but no longer remember where. Does anyone know where this might be?
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4answers
385 views

How/why does kaparot work?

The ritual of kaparot [lit. atonement], which is usually done just prior to Yom Kippur (usually the day before), where one waves a chicken or an [unspecified] amount of money over one's head in a ...
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1answer
500 views

Where does the Maharsha mention the Bermuda Triangle?

Someone once told me that the Maharsha talks about Bermuda Triangle in meseches berachos. Does anyone know where the Maharsha speaks about it?
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277 views

Source for not having picture taken

Is there any source, halachic or otherwise, for an aversion to having one's picture taken?
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2answers
890 views

what are the origins of the requirement for a minyan?

From what is the requirement for ten adult Jewish males for certain prayers derived? I kind of assumed this may be in some way related to Abraham's struggle to find the righteous males in the cities ...
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1answer
162 views

Source for Kissing Dropped Sefer

Is there any source for the common practice of kissing a dropped sefer?
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1answer
713 views

Waiting after using the bathroom before having relations

Where is it brought down that one should wait after going to the bathroom and before having relations. I have heard this before and 2 reasons given. One is that because of the "ruach rah" in the ...
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4answers
1k views

Source for the prohibition against Nivul Peh (foul mouth)

What is the source for the prohibition against Nivul Peh (using foul language)? Is it Biblical? Rabbinic? "Asmachta" (based on a principle derived from the Torah but ultimately not considered a ...
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1answer
217 views

Nature of restrictions on passing during niddah

I was taught before I got married that passing during niddah is strictly Assur. However, Upon looking into it I found that it's not mentioned in the gemara in berachos that is the source for most of ...
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3answers
522 views

Why do many boys begin learning Gemara with Elu Metzios?

There is a popular custom for boys to start their Gemara studies with Elu Metzios (the 2nd Perek in Bava Metzia). The Gemara (Bava Basra 175b) does say that financial laws are conducive to becoming ...
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969 views

What is the source for the Kallah's circling the Chasan 7 times?

What is the source for a Kallah (bride) to circle her Chasan (bridegroom) seven times at their wedding?
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5answers
254 views

History of Shabbat: how (or) did they count to align with 7th day of creation?

The Torah (Exodus 20:8-11) commands: ח: זָכוֹר אֶת יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת לְקַדְּשׁוֹ: ט: שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל מְלַאכְתֶּךָ: י: וְיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי שַׁבָּת לַה' אֱלֹקיךָ לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה ...
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2answers
177 views

Shavuos as a Marriage

There is an idea (which I initially became familiar with in my misspent youth from tamei sources but subsequently have seen it mentioned in tahor one's) that Shavuos is, as it were, a marriage between ...
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433 views

Why does the word milah mean both circumcision and word?

What is the rabbinic explanation why the word milah means both circumcision and word? To translate this into Hebrew is quite interesting, it would read like, Why does the milah milah mean both ...
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2answers
504 views

Is cultured meat Kosher?

This question claims that meat cultured from a kosher source is kosher too. However, a quick reading of sources seems to indicate the contrary: Tur (YD 62:1): וכן בשר הפורש מן החי אסור אע"פ שאין ...
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1answer
324 views

Where does our blessing for daughters come from?

In many Jewish homes on Shabbat, the head of the household would bless his sons to be like Ephraim and Menasheh but would bless his daughters to be like the matriarchs . What is the source, if any, ...
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112 views

Trying to find a quote of the Cheshek Shlomo

I'm trying to find the source of a quote I saw. I was reading an article about test tube beef and came across the following: [Rabbi Menachem] Genack noted another source for viewing cultured meat ...
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2answers
113 views

Lighting the first Chanukah candle after the first Brachah

There's an interesting way of lighting Chanukah candles that I've seen some people do. On the first night, the lighting is similar to the 'standard', wherein all three blessings are said before the ...
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2answers
126 views

Tu b'Shvat Prayers by R' Yehuda Halevi (Gaon)

A number of years ago, they discovered in the Cairo Geniza a number of Piyutim and Prayers for Shemonah Esrei, to be included on Tu b'Shvat. I found this item listed on a Cairo Geniza database, but I'...
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1answer
169 views

Is the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly mentioned anywhere in Rabbinic literature?

My late great grandfather was a torah scholar, but with all his learning, he never knew that a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly. He was amazed when someone told him about the common ...
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4answers
741 views

Concept that time is a spiral

I've heard that there is a concept in Judaism of time in a spiral, but I'm not sure where that idea originally comes from (specifically, which Rabbi originally said it). The earliest I've found is Rav ...
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1answer
3k views

Source of “Legitimate pleasures” quote

A quote that sometimes appears on the internet is the following: "Everyone will be called to account for all the legitimate pleasures which he or she has failed to enjoy." It is usually attributed ...
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7answers
205 views

Are there examples of Tanaim, Amoraim,Rishonim, Achronim using secular sources for Limud Torah?

For instance, although I cannot find the source-I do believe the Vilna Gaon told a Talmid of his to translate the Elements of Euclid (Geometric proofs, inter Alia) to Hebrew in order to augment ...
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157 views

Koren Siddur on Kal Atzmotai Tomarna

(Note: likely not relevant to those who Daven/read Hebrew with an Ashkenazi pronunciation.) This Shabbos I was asked to lead Pesukei Dezimrah at a shul I was visiting, and I was given a Koren Siddur ...
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105 views

What is the source for carrying candles down at a wedding?

I know that there are many explanations as to why many Jews have this custom (to commemorate the fire at har sinai, etc.), but where is the original source? Where originally did it come from? I have ...
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1answer
487 views

What is the source of the Friday night Shalom Aleichem and how did it become popular?

The basis of the song Shalom Aleichem sung Friday night seems to be the Gemara (Shabbat 119b) about the two angels who accompany a person home on Friday night. This question discusses why each stanza ...
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1answer
434 views

what is the source that a parent carries the sins of their children when the children are minors?

As a child I learned that a minor is not culpable for his or her sins and that any negative effect from those sins is borne by the parent (I don't recall if it was specifically the father). I would ...
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1answer
441 views

Who says that keneh bosem is cannabis?

R' Aryeh Kaplan in The Living Torah quotes four opinions as to the identity of keneh bosem (page pictured below, paragraph beginning "fragrant cane"): calamus (Septuagint, Rambam Peirush HaMishnayos, ...
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538 views

Source For Ahavat Chinam; Unwaranted Love

I have often heard the term Ahavat Chinam unwarranted love referenced as the antidote to sinat chinam unwarranted hate. What are the earliest sources for this (first) expression, particularly in the ...
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235 views

Shechting non-Kosher animals

The question was asked: If someone for example is sick and must eat from a non-kosher animal. Must it be shechted (slaughtered) first like a kosher animal? I don't see any reason why it should, since ...
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3answers
344 views

Tachanun on Yahrtzeit

Where does the custom not to say Tachanun on a Yahrtzeit come from?
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219 views

Judicial System During the First Temple period

The Sanhedrin was a Jewish high court that was the supreme authority for Jewish law during the second Temple period. There seem to be a references to a central group of Sages in Exodus 24 and ...
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67 views

Hakhel: Source for leader of generation replacing king

As this is (or would be) a hakhel year I was doing some reading up on Hakhel and came across the following statement in a chabad.org article: If there is no king – as was the case in the hundreds ...
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195 views

Earliest Sources To Avoid Pronouncing the Name 'Samael'

What are the earliest explicit sources that reference the practice of not pronouncing the name 'Samael'? I ask since I have heard many people doing this. It is referenced here: http://www.yeshiva.org....
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446 views

What is the valley of deep darkness (or shadow of death) in Psalm 23?

In Tehillim 23, David says "Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for You are with me". Someone asked me if this "valley of darkness" is metaphorical or physical and, either ...
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114 views

Did Prof. Rabbi Umberto Cassuto have any insight behind the biblical character Yehudah?

I am the great grandson of Umberto Cassuto, Benyamin Enzo Rocca, and 5 days ago my wife and I were blessed with a son (3rd child). With his upcoming bris in a few days I would like to know if anyone ...
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547 views

What is the source for untying things before going under the chuppah?

At a wedding recently I saw that the grooms shoes were untied, someone explained to me that there is a custom to make sure there are no knots under the chuppah. Where does this come from?
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484 views

What is the source for a Bar Mitzva seuda?

What sources are there for our minhag of doing a Bar Mitzva Seuda (meal), and do the sources state that the seuda must specifically be done on the day of the Bar Mitzva (or the night of)? And is this ...
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4k views

Is it forbidden for the Jews to Establish a Nation of Israel?

I keep on reading about a lot of Orthodox Jewish Rabbis opposed to the building of the nation of Israel as they deem it to be blasphemous and heresy in violation of God's commandment to the Jews. I ...
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596 views

What is the source for Rambam's “physician's oath”?

A physician friend pointed out to me the Rambam's "physician's oath" (it doesn't look like an oath per se, but that's what it's called), which begins (in English): The eternal providence has ...
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348 views

Are there forms of Jewish mysticism outside of kabbalah?

Is kabbalah the one and only form (source?) of Jewish mysticism?
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1answer
125 views

History of chattan & kallah classes

A common practice in some segments of today's Jewish world is for brides and grooms to attend "Chattan/kallah classes" where the attendees receive instruction and advice on relationship dynamics and ...
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1answer
303 views

Who added on the words לאלתר לחיים טובים ולשלום to the greeting לשנה טובה תכתב ותחתם?

Orach Chaim 582:9 - The Rama brings in the name of the Tur that on Rosh Hashana one should bless his friend & family לשנה טובה תכתב. Be'er Hataiv says that one should say לשנה טובה תכתב ותחתם. ...
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199 views

Game theory in the Tanaim

I read an article a while back (maybe over a year ago?) in the Mishpacha English Magazine (I'm pretty sure, although it may have been in the Ami) that discussed a certain machlokes Tanaim about how to ...