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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55
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29answers
4k views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X (...
36
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7answers
3k views

Where does the concept of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism come from?

What is the source of Gilgulim (reincarnations) in Judaism? Are there people who disagree with its existence? Who was the first to mention it? What I am asking essentially is what is the historical ...
30
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2answers
894 views

Matza on 14 Iyar

I have seen a custom (it seems to me primarily among Chassidim) to eat matza on 14 Iyar (known as Pesach Sheni). What is the earliest source for this custom? What are the reasons given for following ...
29
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2answers
3k views

What happened to Zeresh (Haman's wife)?

Virtually all of the major characters (and some of the minor ones) in Megillas Esther have a clear ending for them. Mordechai and Esther live happily ever after (sort of). Haman and his ten songs are ...
28
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5answers
501 views

Source of non-verse in Selichot

In Ashkenazi Selichot, the following set of verses from Tanach (patterned around the opening verb ז.כ.ר.‏ to remember) appears towards the end of the Selichot service (there may be some slight ...
27
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3answers
2k views

Premature birth contradicting science

I am a teacher at a private all-girls Jewish high school. There are two science teachers in the school, and both of us are Christian. I was talking with my fellow science teacher recently, and she ...
23
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8answers
2k views

High School Math in the Talmud

I'm currently tutoring someone in math that has an atitude of "what's the point of all this... why would I ever need this..." (which is typical of many high-schoolers). To try to pique his interest, I ...
22
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3answers
3k views

Are there any sources that prohibit childhood vaccinations?

The consequences of depressed childhood vaccination rates in some American communities, in the form of a building measles outbreak, have been in the news lately. All public schools and most private ...
21
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4answers
529 views

What is the source that Parshas Parah is from the Torah?

I have read in many places that Parah could be a biblical requirement to read. Why is that? Zachor makes sense (as it says so in the Torah here). Why Parah?
21
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5answers
2k views

Gezeira of Rabbeinu Gershom text

Does anyone know where I can find the actual text of the Gezeira of Rabbeinu Gershom? It keeps popping up in my learning, but only as being referenced, I would like to read that actual text.
21
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4answers
3k views

What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?

What is the famous argument between the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al HaTanya in understanding the Sod HaTzimtzum? And what are some ma'areh mekomos in their works where this Machlokes is seen?
21
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1answer
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Blessing the Children on Friday Night

I have noticed that many families (including my own) have the custom for the father to bless all the children on Friday night before kiddush. When and where did this custom originate, and by whom, ...
21
votes
1answer
507 views

Non-Jews Tending to Abandoned Cemeteries

Those of you who may have read my profile know that I have been reading and transcribing information on tombstones in towns in the Spis Region of Slovakia, in which no Jews remain. My colleague is a ...
20
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4answers
6k views

If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?

If masturbation is, as stated in the Shulchan Oruch (Even HaEzer 23:1), "the worst sin in the Torah", then why is it not listed in any of the various lists of 613 Mitzvos and why is there no verse in ...
19
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2answers
2k views

Kissing and Hugging one's wife

What does it say about chibuk and nishuk (kissing and hugging) shelo b'shas tashmish (not during relations) with one's wife in Sifrei Halacha or Hashkafa? Among madrichei chassanim (those that teach ...
19
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5answers
649 views

What is the hetter for yeshivas to daven a Hoiche Kedusha?

I have seen many Yeshivas (and some not-so-yeshivas [day schools, etc.]) doing a Hoiche Kedusha for Mincha. They had the Chazzan start the first three Brachos of Shemoneh Esrei aloud and say Kedushah,...
19
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1answer
438 views

Finding a source for a palindrome attributed to Ibn Ezra

There is a phrase that is popularly attributed to Rabbi Avraham ibn Ezra. Apparently, it relates to a sugya in Hullin that concerns the permissibility of eating honey in which the legs of bees might ...
18
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5answers
806 views

Saying "Laberiut" "God bless you" or "Gesundheit"

Is there are source for saying "Laberiut" "God bless you" "Gesundheit" or any other response to a sneeze? In other words, are there posekim who mention it in Halacha?
18
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5answers
4k views

Sources For Listening To/Not Listening to Non-Jewish Music

What are sources for it being allowed to listen to non-Jewish music and sources for it being prohibited?
18
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4answers
6k views

Why is milk with meat not kosher?

I've recently read (again) the verse "לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו", meaning, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk". How did anyone get from that, to "Don't eat meat with milk at all"?
18
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2answers
520 views

Do we have any proof (Biblical or other Judaic) that current-day Arabs have lineage from Yishma'el?

I am relating my question to Hashem and Arabs. Offhand, I thought that Islam claims ties to Yisma'el. If true, I don't know how or why it makes that claim. If it's all Arabs, even non-Muslims, how do ...
18
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1answer
454 views

What sources, prior to the 19th century, support or refute the existence of the Council of Jamnia/Yavneh?

Multiple questions on Christianity.SE1 refer to the Council of Jamnia/Yavneh in reference to the canonization of the Bible (Tanakh). Wikipedia states: In 1871 Heinrich Graetz, drawing on Mishnaic ...
18
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1answer
433 views

Lechem Mishlesh?

(Based on Tosfot Pesachim 116a and Aruch haShulchan 274:5 I assume that the man did not fall on Yom Tov and double fell on Erev Yom Tov, and that this is why we have lechem mishne on Yom Tov.) When ...
17
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5answers
1k views

"Silk-Screened" Sifrei Torah

What are the halachic issues with Silk-screened sifrei torah? I am interested in a summary of concise halakhic rulings of multiple authorities on the prohibition or permissibility of HaRav Yitzchak ...
17
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1answer
347 views

Why do we open the ark for important prayers?

What is the origin of the custom of opening the ark for important prayers (not connected with the need to take out the Torah scroll)?
16
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2answers
930 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.
16
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4answers
1k views

Is there a source for not requiring Tevilah for the first use?

I have heard (as I'm sure many others have) that one can use a utensil one time before Tevilah. At the same time, I've heard that this is a common misconception. Is there anyone who holds that this ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Moshe and the Red-Hot Coals

A midrash that myself and I'm sure many others have heard in grade school is that when Moshe was a baby, still crawling, his "grandfather" Pharaoh, incited by an incident in which Moshe took off ...
16
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3answers
563 views

How do we know that we have free will?

Where in the torah does it state that humans have, and are entitled to in perpetuity, free will?
15
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3answers
520 views

Halachic Source for Women-Only Mikvaoth?

Some (actually many) Mikvaoth are designated for women's use only, generally for reasons of cleanliness. Is there Halachic literature supporting (or urging) this? (This question is not asking for ...
15
votes
4answers
770 views

What is the source for the mitzvah of kiruv?

Is kiruv a mitzvah? Is it biblical or rabbinic? Is there any reason it should supersede other mitzvot? what are the sources in chazal and halacha relating to kiruv? related: Kiruv and halachik ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Is there anything wrong with inviting friends to a bris?

I have a friend - let's call him 'A' - who's married; His wife gave birth to a boy. I asked another friend of mine, if 'A' invited him to the bris. He told me that one is not supposed to invite ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Forbidden to eat while standing up?

I heard that it was preferred, or perhaps even required, to avoid eating food while standing. For example, as people often do at a cocktail party or a shul kiddush. With the reason being that "...
15
votes
2answers
931 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 ...
15
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1answer
365 views

Where Rashi uses a Russian word in Nach?

I heard that Rashi uses a Russian word where he deals with the building of the Beis Hamikdash by King Shlomo. I also heard that he uses a Polish word. Does anyone know where it is?
15
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1answer
1k views

Lo Yilbash: necklaces and rings

Is there are prohibition for men to wear rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets or anything of the kind or would that go against the prohibition of "Lo Yilbash Gever Simlat Isha — a man shall not wear ...
15
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4answers
374 views

Can one have a favorite pasuk/parsha/masechta?

This closed question asks for a 'favorite pasuk', presupposing that such a thing is allowed. When it comes to sugyos or sections/topics of Torah, Chazal say on the one hand, (Eiruvin 64a) that a ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Origin of the allegory of the long spoons

A common version of the allegory of the long spoons tells how Rabbi Hayim Elhanan ben Yehudah Leyb Tsedek or Tzadikov (*1813, ✡1883) of Rumšiškės went to see the difference between Heaven and Hell. ...
14
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3answers
6k views

Shaving on Friday when Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday

This year (2011, 2017) Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday. I've heard from a few people that the halacha is that you can shave (and take a haircut) on the Friday beforehand l'kavod Shabbos. Are there ...
14
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1answer
511 views

Jewish source for giving Chanuka gifts

Is there a Jewish source for Chanuka gifts?
14
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4answers
1k 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?
14
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2answers
309 views

Story of love sick tree

I once heard a shiur which quoted a gemarah (I think) about two trees. One of the trees was uprooted and taken elsewhere and the other tree started to get sick. The explanation was that the trees were ...
14
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2answers
2k views

May one walk under the Arch of Titus?

I have heard that it is prohibited (or at least that the custom is not) to walk under the Arch of Titus in Rome. Is this accurate? If so, what is the source? Would it make a difference if a large ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Dipping fingers in Havdalah Wine

What is the source or origin of the custom to dip one's fingers in the wine poured over the candle to extinguish it at the conclusion of Havdalah? As a side note, and a reason I'm tagging it this way,...
14
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3answers
2k views

Does sorcery/black magic exist today?

The Torah She'bicsav and Torah She'ba'al Peh discuss sorcery/necromancy/witchcraft. Assuming that those activities were actually harnessing some sort of supernatural power in order to perform ...
14
votes
1answer
683 views

We're not supposed to point at stars?

I'm an Israeli Jew living in Israel. I often give "sky tours" where I show children and adults different stars and a view through a powerful binocular at objects of interest. Recently a young boy ...
14
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
13
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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 ...
13
votes
5answers
8k 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"?
13
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8answers
2k 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?

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