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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2answers
714 views

What is Rambam's opinion on demons?

In Mishne Torah A.Z (11:16) he says that sorcery and mysticism in general does not exist, but he does not refer to demons explicitly. Does the Rambam speak about demons specifically anywhere else?
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 ...
8
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2answers
317 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?
8
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1answer
352 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), ...
7
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1answer
268 views

Source for # times chai?

I often see donation requests with amounts in multiples of $18. I would like to know the source for giving charity of the numeric value of the Hebrew word chai (18) and its multiples.
7
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1answer
556 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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5answers
519 views

Do Animals Have an Afterlife

What does Torah say about an afterlife for animals? Is there somewhere animals go after they die? Please include the sources of your answers.
5
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2answers
161 views

Source for making a celebration (siyum) upon completing some learning?

What is the source for the common practice of making a celebration (siyum) upon completing a tractate of Talmud or another significant amount of learning?
5
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4answers
502 views

Is Gematria accepted by all?

It is widely accepted that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a Gematria (numerical value) attached to it. These numerical values often provide insight when comparing one Gematria to either ...
5
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1answer
546 views

Saying Hallel in Shul on Pesach Night

There is a minhag by some kehillas in chutz L'aretz and by almost all kehillas in Israel to say the complete version of Hallel in the shul during maariv on the first night of Pesach (and second in ...
5
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4answers
394 views

Do a mitzva for mashiach?

I recently saw in The Moshiach Times, a popular Chabad-Lubavitch publication for children, an exhortation to "do a mitzvah for moshiach": to do a mitzva with the specific purpose of hastening the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
9
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1answer
340 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?
4
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1answer
299 views

Learning Torah without understanding

The Magen Avraham in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 50 Sif-Katan 2 writes that learning (Torah) is only called "learning" if one understands what they learn (see there for the context in which he ...
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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1answer
1k views

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, ...
16
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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 ...
13
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2answers
459 views

Who didn't recite Kabbalas Shabbos?

In this article, R. Michael Broyde writes that: Indeed, there have been prominent halachic authorities of the last generation who did not recite Kabbalat Shabbat. Can anyone provide examples of ...
12
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1answer
525 views

Embarrassing a Baal Teshuva

Be'er Hagolah at the end of Yoreh Deah 334 says that one of the things that are considered Cherem D'Rabeinu Gersom is not to embarrass a Baal Teshuva regarding his previous lifestyle. Yet when you ...
8
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1answer
211 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....
7
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4answers
601 views

Is there a source that the Messiah can die and return?

Is there a source in Judaism that indicates that Moshiach (Ben David, not Ben Yosef) will die before having fulfilled his role and then return to posthumously achieve it?
7
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1answer
269 views

Which rishon allows women to appear without hair covering in front of less than three men in her own home?

I remember reading of an opinion that allows married women not to cover their hair when they are in their own home in the presence of three men or less. I cannot remember the source though and would ...
17
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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"?
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3answers
1k 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 ...
12
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3answers
8k views

Wearing clothes backwards or inside out?

As a kid, I was told that if you wear clothing backwards or inside-out then you will forget your Torah learning. What is the source for that claim, and why is that specific outcome tied to that ...
12
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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 ...
11
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1answer
360 views

What is the origin of the claim that they played games to hide Torah learning prior to Chanuka

This question makes a very commonly heard claim: "Before the miracle of Hanukkah, when those who controlled the land severely restricted Torah study, Jewish children would gather to study Torah in ...
10
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4answers
429 views

Sources for free will of angels

I want to define free-will for this question as a moral right and wrong decision, not an arbitrary decision or a true/false decision. I am familiar with sources that say that angels do not have free ...
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6answers
1k views

Where is it taught that Hashem doesn't give a person test that he can't overcome?

I heard various rabbonim say that Hashem doesn't give a person test that he can't overcome. Where is the source for this?
8
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2answers
247 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?
8
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2answers
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?
8
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4answers
546 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 ...
6
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2answers
222 views

Where is techiyas hameisim alluded to in the Torah?

I have heard it said (without a source) that one who does not believe that the concept of techiyas hameisim can be learned out of the Torah is a heretic. Where does this idea come from? Furthermore, ...
5
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3answers
202 views

Amailut (trying hard/ toiling) to learn Torah

What's the source for amailut (trying hard/ toiling) to learn Torah? Is there any benefit to try learning Torah on your own without help, when you can learn Torah through asking others and looking ...
4
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3answers
875 views

what's the source for Bar Mitzvah being at 13?

How do we know that a person is not obligated in Mitzvos before the age of 13, and is obligated from that point forward?
4
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2answers
281 views

Sources that discuss reasons for the prohibition on suicide

What are a few (as many as possible) sources in the Gemara and cases in Tanach that deal with why one is not allowed to take his/her own life?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Are Jews allowed to listen to music that is performed by non-Jew?

I am machmir on only listening to music that was performed by a Jew, but i don't really understand it. Does anyone know what is the source for this? Does Matisyahu perform with only Jews?
4
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1answer
310 views

Eliyahu HaNavi and bris

Someone once told me that when Eliyahu HaNavi comes to a baby's bris, everyone who is presently there is forgiven for their sins. Does anyone know the source for this?
3
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8answers
467 views

Torah response to epidemics

What advice can be found in Torah sources for what to do in cases of an epidemic or pandemic? Or what does the Torah say to prevent sickness, even if it weren't epidemic?
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5answers
410 views

Everything is in the Torah

Someone mentioned that there is a statement of our Rabbis, "There is nothing on earth that is not hinted at in the Torah."* Does anyone know where such a statement can be found?
14
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1answer
483 views

Jewish source for giving Chanuka gifts

Is there a Jewish source for Chanuka gifts?
12
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2answers
241 views

“m'nora” on Chanuka

My kid came home from school one day insisting that the thing we light on Chanuka is not a m'nora but a chanukiya. I replied that that's the word most Israelis use now but that m'nora is a perfectly ...
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6answers
719 views

Is there any reason to deny aliens according to Judaism?

Is there any reason that we couldn't believe in life on another planet somewhere? Is there any source that indicates to the contrary?
11
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4answers
738 views

What is the source for Pardes?

What is the source for expounding the torah according to remez, derush and sod (along with 'pshat' the group can be referred to by the acronym PaRDeS)? These forms of hermeneutics are not found in ...
9
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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 ...
9
votes
1answer
662 views

Customs surrounding fasting when a sefer torah falls to the floor?

Based on this question I would like to know what the earliest source for fasting when a sefer torah falls comes from? Is is true that if a person is in the room but turns away so as not to see it fall,...
9
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2answers
289 views

Singing part of kidush with the leader

Some people, although listening to another's kidush (Friday night), sing part of it along with him: specifically (in my experience), the lines starting "ki vanu vacharta" when recited with this tune. ...
8
votes
3answers
809 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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