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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81 views

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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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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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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180 views

Rejected hermeneutics doubtfully true

The gemarra often employs the different types of derashos/hermeneutics such as kal vachomer/a fortiori arguments and hekesh/juxtaposition of phrases or terms. Also often, is these derashos are ...
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141 views

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, the ...
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102 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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363 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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100 views

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 ...
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210 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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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 ...
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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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174 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. ...
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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 ...
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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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225 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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202 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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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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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 ...
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375 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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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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239 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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255 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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225 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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155 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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96 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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157 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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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 ...
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63 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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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191 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 ...
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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 ...
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262 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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201 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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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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278 views

Did the Talmudic rabbis know about America?

Is there any evidence in the ancient Sources that the Talmudic rabbis were aware of the existence of America?
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170 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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758 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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196 views

Source for statement of the Rabbis to abolish Shabbat?

In Sefer HaIkkarim the following quote appears: וזהו שאמרו שהנביא האומר לעבוד עבודה זרה אפילו לשעה אין שומעין לו. אבל אם יאמר שנחלל שבת או שנעבור על אחת מן המצות בהוראת שעה או בענין שלא יהרוס שרשי ...
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227 views

How can a Sukkah be used as a protection from “Storm and Rain”?

According to the last verse of "Yeshayahu - Isaiah - Chapter 4", a Sukkah is "for a shelter and for a covert from stream and from rain" (Chabad) or "for a refuge and for a ...
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66 views

Seeking a source for Keruvim as destructive angels vs saintly children

I was wondering if anyone could please help me - I am seeking the source for the following vort: The Keruvim in Bereishis are described as destructive angles guarding gan eden, but we know them also ...
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53 views

Where is the first time that Tehillim, Mishlei, Iyov are referred to as ספרי אמ"ת?

The books of Tehillim, Mishlei, Iyov are often referred as ספרי אמ"ת. Where is the first source making this reference?

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