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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13
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1answer
245 views

Did any classic rabbinic sources discuss static electricity?

Not much more to add here, I've just always wondered if static electricity was discussed in any Chazzal or Rishonim. Someone from those times must've gotten a good zap and I'm wondering what they had ...
13
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1answer
948 views

What is the source of the expression המבין יבין?

The Forward writer Philologos in his most recent column claimed that the earliest uses of the expression והמבין יבין are found in the Ra'avad and in the Radak. Based on the fact that both these ...
13
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1answer
1k 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. ...
13
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1answer
147 views

What is the origin of the naming of Shabbat Shira?

Related to this question (about the reason for the name), what is the source or origin of calling the Shabbat on which we read Shirat Hayam Shabbat Shira? We don't call the week on which we read the ...
13
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4answers
400 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
12
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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 ...
12
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3answers
362 views

Earliest source for “Baruch Hu U'Baruch Sh'mo”

What is the earliest source for saying "Baruch Hu U'Baruch Shmo" when hearing someone say the Name of HaShem in a blessing?
12
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8answers
1k 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?
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 ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Is there a source in the gemara for “Blei Gissen” (pouring lead)?

A recent article in the 5 Towns Jewish Times claims Blei gissen, the technique of pouring lead to nullify ayin ha’ra, the poisonous evil eye, has its source in the Gemara ... In his critique of ...
12
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2answers
233 views

What's up with Rabbi Shimon ben Nesanel in Avos 2:10?

In chapter 2 of Pirkei Avos (Ethics of Our Fathers) it says that: "Rabban Yochanan the son of Zakkai had five disciples" It goes on to list their names and qualities, and then it says that R' ...
12
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3answers
379 views

How high was migdal Bavel?

How high was Migdal (the tower of) Bavel? From the Chumash we know that the tower was built in a valley which suggests that its purpose was more symbolic than pragmatic. To that effect I am wondering ...
12
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1answer
515 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 ...
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

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 ...
12
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1answer
219 views

Does a Mezuzah need to be rolled up?

It is almost universal that Mezuzot are affixed to doorposts by rolling it up tightly and inserting into some protective case. The Rambam writes in Hilchot Mezuzah 6:13 that encountering a Mezuzah ...
12
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2answers
253 views

Source for kissing an aron

I've seen people kiss an aron kodesh (cabinet holding Torah scrolls) when they approach it and, if they were standing near it, before they leave it. Does this have any written source; or, are there ...
12
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2answers
147 views

Sources that clothes should be treated respectfully

I have developed a sensitivity towards treating clothes respectfully. An example is I try not to throw clothing all over the floor (cleanliness aside). I was wondering if there are any sources which ...
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 ...
12
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2answers
1k views

What is Kishuf (“magic”)?

In order to avoid the prohibited, we must first know what it is. What is the halachic definition of Kishuf ("magic")? While I am mainly interested in sources, Svaras (reasonings) and thoughts are ...
12
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1answer
125 views

The addition to Refaeinu

In the artscroll siddur amongst others, there is a text to be added in to the bracha of refaeinu if one wants to daven for a specific choleh. The text seems to be rather standard (I.e. it is in some ...
12
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1answer
398 views

Rishonim saying Ester took place during the second bayis

Elsewhere on this site, avi cited sources to the effect that, contrary to the Bavli (M'gila), the events recounted in the book of Ester took place after the second bes hamikdash was built. Do any ...
11
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2answers
307 views

Mitzvah for fathers to buy things for dating-age daughters?

I heard that men whose daughters are dating have a mitzvah to supply them with things that will help them, i.e. dresses, jewelry, etc. Is there a source for this?
11
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4answers
714 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 ...
11
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1answer
843 views

Is “Festival of Lights” our traditional term or borrowed from other cultures?

I keep seeing Chanukah being referred to as "the festival of lights". However I don't recall encountering this term in any of the classic religious texts (Talmud, Midrash, Maimonides, Shulchan Aruch, ...
11
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5answers
470 views

Are there specific behaviors that make someone a rasha?

What halachically constitutes a rasha- Wicked person? Are there parameters with which to determine someone's status in this area?
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 ...
11
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2answers
434 views

Why is the Miracle of Oil mentioned so much later than records of Chanukah celebrations?

The miracle of oil isn't really mentioned until the Talmud, and is absent from all earlier sources for Chanukah like the Books of Maccabees, Josephus, and others. I have seen historians claim that ...
11
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6answers
680 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
371 views

Does every woman have a destined match?

There is a Talmudic statement in Sotah 2a which is commonly used as the source that every person has their destined match (the parameters of "destined" is a separate discussion): והא אמר רב יהודה ...
11
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3answers
484 views

Earliest halakhic sources for wearing both Rashi and Rabbenu Tam tefillin simultaneously?

Orach Chayim brings that pious men should wear both Rashi and R. Tam tefillin at once when davening (34:2-3). Do we know what the earliest halakhic sources recommending this are, and their reasoning? ...
11
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1answer
926 views

Is part of the Mediterranean sea considered Eretz Israel?

I heard that the Gemmorah discusses some islands in the Mediterranean sea as belonging to the Biblical Eretz Israel. Is the sea considered a part of Eretz Israel and what are practical ramifications ...
11
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3answers
419 views

Why allowed on Yom Tov?

According to the Torah, melacha isn't permitted on Yom Tov days except for what is needed for food. I read that certain laws, like carrying, don't apply on these days because they are loosened for ...
11
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1answer
792 views

Explanation for couple not seeing each other before the wedding?

What is the source and reason for a couple not to see one another before the wedding?
11
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2answers
309 views

Are these two urban legends about perceptions of God's help for Jews true?

The following story is told as an urban legend: I don't know if the following story is true, but I'll let you decide. Kenya's star soccer player used to offer a prayer for victory before every game....
11
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1answer
1k views

May one propose with an engagement ring?

Are there any Halachic issues with giving a girl a ring while asking her to marry him? Are there any sources that discuss the sha'alah of safek Kiddushin, etc?
11
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1answer
235 views

Source for shuls flying in yemos hamoshiach?

My son mentioned to me that he learned in school that when Moshiach comes all the shuls (and schools?) will miraculously fly to Eretz Yisroel. What is the source of this idea?
11
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4answers
1k views

A woman with dreadlocks going to the mikveh

In regards to the dinim of chatzitza by the tevillah of a Niddah the SA (Rema) in YD Siman 198 Sif 6 speaks about an interesting situation where a woman's hair was tied together by a Shin-Daled ("...
11
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1answer
1k views

Trying to understand Kol Hanearim

Where does the custom of Kol Hanearim, were all children stand near the person getting an aliah and are covered with a tallis-canopy, come from? What, if anything, is it a segulah for? Why is it done ...
11
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3answers
427 views

Source for 3 and only 3 Temples

Is Yirmiyahu 7:4 the source for the idea that there won't be a 4th Temple? If not, what is? ד אַל-תִּבְטְחוּ לָכֶם, אֶל-דִּבְרֵי הַשֶּׁקֶר לֵאמֹר: הֵיכַל יְהוָה הֵיכַל יְהוָה, הֵיכַל יְהוָה ...
11
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0answers
216 views

Source for the minhag of 'gebrokts' [duplicate]

There is a not-uncommon minhag, primarily in chassidic circles called 'gebrokts' where matza is not allowed to come into contact with water during Pesach. What is the earliest source for this custom ...
10
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3answers
714 views

Fulltext search across sources: Gemara, Zohars, Rishonim and Aharonim

I know about Hebrewbooks.org for searching for sources in books, but the problem is you have to get to let's say every Masechta to look for a phrase. Is there a program (doesn't have to be free) that ...
10
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2answers
255 views

Tehilim divided into five sections?

According to Wikipedia, Jewish tradition divides the book of Tehilim into five sections (1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150). This is unsourced there; the references at the bottom of the page ...
10
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2answers
668 views

Munn in the World to Come

The Rema in OC Simman 242 brings a minhag to eat "pashtidah" shabbos night in memory of the munn. The Beur Halacha is very bothered why one would do such a thing on shabbos, given that the munn ...
10
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2answers
365 views

Not to give a divorce (Get) in the month of Iyar

I heard today in Shul that there is a Minhag not to give a divorce in the month of Iyar. What is the source and reason for this Minhag?
10
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6answers
345 views

Do you have to know kol ha Torah kula?

Is there a requirement for a Jewish man to know the whole Torah (including every gemara, tosafot, Midrasch…) or is it OK to know the Halacha that is relevant to you and then to use the rest of ...
10
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5answers
622 views

Why do we say Vhu Rachum before Maariv?

Before Maariv, we say the pasuk "Vhu rachum yichaper avon..." (Psalms 78:38). Why?
10
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3answers
1k views

What is the kiss of death?

Chazal tell us (need help with the source) that at least 3 people died "b'neshika" with a 'kiss' from God, Moshe, Aron and Miriam. (Rashi on Bamidbar 20:1, 33:38; Devarim 34:5) What is exactly does ...
10
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2answers
223 views

Source for the Text of the Get (bill of divorce)

Where does the exact text come from? Is there a particular Rishon who writes it in full? The Talmud in Gittin discusses the text at length, but I don't think it lays down the exact text. I've seen the ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Source that a married woman seduced by a “messianic figure” is still permitted to her husband

I've heard in the past that there is a responsum in regards to a married woman that was seduced by another man claiming to be the messiah, and the question arose about whether or not she was still ...