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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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 ...
robev's user avatar
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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, many of the Geonim (for example: ...
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Maharam Shiff’s Mnemonic indexes

The Wikipedia page (from Jewish encyclopedia) for Rabbi Meir Shiff states: A mnemonic index to the Bible and the Talmud by him is also extant. Where can I find such an index?
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
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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 ...
robev's user avatar
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Difference between רבון and אדון

In the Beracha of Elohai, we refer to God using a number of different descriptives. Towards the end, we give thanks to God as: רִבּוֹן כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים, אֲדוֹן כָּל הַנְּשָׁמוֹת. What are some ...
Chaim's user avatar
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8 votes
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Success of the Younger Brother

While the Torah appears to exemplify the status of a Bechor (first born) - there appears to be a pattern throughout the Tanach of the younger brother carrying on the legacy and success of their ...
user16508's user avatar
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Finding a chiddush of the Brisker Rov

This question has a bit of an introduction to it. Rav Shlomo Lorincz wrote a biography of the Chazon Ish, the Brisker Rov and Rav Shach, called במחיצתם (translated by Yonason Rosenblum as “In Their ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
ninamag's user avatar
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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 ...
Noach MiFrankfurt's user avatar
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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 ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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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 -- ...
Shalom's user avatar
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Source that Og told Sarah about the Akeidah, and thus she died

Someone recently told me that they were taught as a child that Og was the one who told Sarah about the Akeidah, causing her death. I always understood it as the Satan. Indeed, that's what Midrash ...
robev's user avatar
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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 ...
Antidisestablishmentarianism's user avatar
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An ancient text arguing that an assembly with no opposition should be dissolved

In Benjamin Aryeh Hakohen Weiss's "Even Yekarah” (Choshen Mishpat, sec. 20) it refers to an ancient gentile text which specifies that when the state government has no minority/opposition members, ...
Zarka's user avatar
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Recurring numbers by certain yomim tovim?

Does anyone know of any sources that talk about how each yom tov seems to have a special number attached? A number that seems to crop up several times? For example: Rosh Hashana - 3 3 sets of 3 shofar ...
Dov's user avatar
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Korach, Chukas, Balak - The mouth of the earth, well & donkey

I noticed something this week when reciting Pirkei Avos... In Perek 5, Mishna 6 - the mishna famously says: עֲשָׂרָה דְבָרִים נִבְרְאוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן, פִּי ...
Dov's user avatar
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Where does Rabbeinu Tam discuss the "aspaklaria ha-meira"?

In Bernard-Henri Levy's book, "The Genius of Judaism", on p222-3, the author describes what appears to be the discussion in the gemara in Yevamot 49b about Moshe's level of prophecy. He says that ...
bhlquestion's user avatar
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67 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 ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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218 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. ...
hazoriz's user avatar
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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 ...
code613's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
386 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 ...
Moshe Steinberg's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
501 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?
mbloch's user avatar
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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 ...
sam's user avatar
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571 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 ...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
6 votes
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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 ...
Erel Segal-Halevi's user avatar
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248 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 ...
Bochur613's user avatar
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278 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 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
226 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 ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
127 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 (...
Noach MiFrankfurt's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
227 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-...
Alex's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
108 views

R' Akiva visiting Syracuse

I have read a claim on various sites, including Wikipedia, that R' Akiva visited the city of Syracuse in current Sicily. However, I have failed to find its source in the Talmud. I have seen the ...
Kazi bácsi's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
117 views

Have all the Torah we saw, even if we didn't learn it

Someone told me in Yeshiva that in the next life, whatever Torah we saw will be available to us, even if we didn't actually learn it. He was advising to flick through the whole of shas just in case. ...
Rabbi Kaii's user avatar
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5 votes
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Comparison of different hashkafas

I'm curious whether anyone has published a (reasonably unbiased) comparison of different major hashkafas and the key differences between them. Has anyone come across such a thing? To clarify: I'm ...
Moses Supposes's user avatar
5 votes
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119 views

Minhag vs Halacha - 3 types of clashes

There are minhagim that seemingly go against halacha. I want to know essays or sources that cover this age-old debate. It is my view that these minhagim are of three types: Machlokes of major poskim ...
Yoreinu's user avatar
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Tefillin on Yom Tov - P'shat and source for quote by Mishna Berura

The Mishna Berura 31:3 explains why we do not wear Tefillin on Y"T as follows; ויו"ט ג"כ מיקרי אות דבפסח מצרים כתיב אות והוקשו כל מועדי ה' בפ' אמור The Rishonim all give different ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
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The Maggid of Mezeritch on jewels and straw

In his sermon on the ethics of controversy, R Norman Lamm says: The great Maggid of Mezeritch, the leading theoretician of Hasidism and one who knew only too well the life of controversy, told us ...
Zarka's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
129 views

Sources on adultery for a man

I haven't heard much discussion on adultery for a man. It seems the focus is on adultery of a woman, since she can't have more than one husband. A man however can have more than one wife. As well, ...
robev's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
102 views

Only Kohanim get reward for mitzvos in this world

There's a concept of שכר מצוות בהאי עלמא ליכא, there is no reward for mitzvos in this world (Kiddushin 39b). Much has been written on what this means and why it's true, but I found a innovative idea ...
robev's user avatar
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5 votes
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79 views

Looking for the origin of custom to decorate the Aron Hakodesh with 10 Commandments

Many synagogues have the custom to decorate the Peroches (curtain covering the Ark) with imagery of the 10 Commandments or Luchos in some form. When did this custom originate? Is there any source for ...
chortkov2's user avatar
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5 votes
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68 views

Why is there no makaf between “Ben” and “Yair”?

Second chapter, fifth passuk of Megillat Esther reads: אִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדִ֔י הָיָ֖ה בְּשׁוּשַׁ֣ן הַבִּירָ֑ה וּשְׁמ֣וֹ מָרְדֳּכַ֗י בֶּ֣ן יָאִ֧יר בֶּן־שִׁמְעִ֛י בֶּן־קִ֖ישׁ אִ֥ישׁ יְמִינִֽי׃ In the fortress ...
Yaakov Pinchas's user avatar
5 votes
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198 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-...
NJM's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
96 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 ...
mmc99's user avatar
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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 ...
rosends's user avatar
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5 votes
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75 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. ...
Michael Sandler's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
75 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 ...
Yehoshua's user avatar
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251 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 ...
ireadtoomuch's user avatar
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0 answers
215 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 ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
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5 votes
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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 ...
sam's user avatar
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5 votes
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215 views

Original Sources of Origin Claims of Hebrew's Pronunciations

I'm interested in finding out where the differences between Sephardic and Ashkenazic pronunciation of Hebrew come from. On wikipedia it says: "Leopold Zunz believed that the Ashkenazi pronunciation ...
Gabriel's user avatar
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0 answers
164 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 ...
Tzafnas Paneach's user avatar

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