13 votes
Accepted

Would Harry Potter be killed as a sorcerer?

There are several factors to be considered to determine whether or not Harry Potter would be liable to prosecution under the witchcraft clause. Is he Jewish? Regarding his Jewishness, as noted the ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.5k
7 votes

Which came first the Mishnah Torah or the Pirush HaMishnayos

Rambam states explicitly in the first paragraph of his introduction to Sefer Hamitzvot that the Commentary to the Mishnah came first: After having completed our previous well-known work wherein we ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.2k
7 votes

Is the Book of Enoch part of Judaism?

3 Enoch is known in Jewish tradition under the name Sefer Hekhaloth. It is part of a wider body of texts known as Hekhaloth literature. This book is now considered one of the primary texts of kabbalah ...
Yoel Fievel Ben Avram's user avatar
7 votes
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What does תושׁלכ"ע mean?

Perhaps you saw תושלב״ע, rather than תושלכ״ע. As per this handy book of abbreviations, תושלב״ע stands for תם ונשלם, שבח לא-ל בורא עולם, “Whole and complete, praise to G-d, the Creator of the world.” (...
DonielF's user avatar
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6 votes
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Seeking a particular book on Science vs. Halacha

You are probably looking for Challenge: Torah Views on Science and Its Problems, edited by R' Aryeh Carmell and Dr. Cyril Domb in association with the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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6 votes
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Christian Bible Holiness?

A related question asks what to do with a sefer torah written by a heretic. An answer there quotes the Rambam (Laws of Tefilin, Mezuzah, and Sefer Torah 1:13) thus: יג ספר תורה תפילין ומזוזות שכתבן ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
6 votes
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Why was the Book of Genealogies hidden away?

Rashi to Pesachim 62b explains נגנז as נשתכח. So it sounds like he believes it was lost, rather than deliberately hidden (the question at the end of your final paragraph notwithstanding). Maharsha ad ...
Joel K's user avatar
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6 votes
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Halachicly sound ways to bookmark on Shabbat

As I wrote here, folding the corner of a page is permitted and a good way if you don't mind "damaging the page" a bit. Still your question goes beyond, and you note the issue of marking a ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 51k
5 votes

Beginning a comprehensive study of Moreh N'vuchim

The Pines translation is the best. Better than the ibn Tibbon translation by far. Unless you are history scholar, there is no reason to ever need to read this version. If you want to study it in ...
Yoel Fievel Ben Avram's user avatar
5 votes
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Sefer of Unanswered questions

R. David Cohen (of Cong. Gvul Yaavetz in Brooklyn) has a series of seforim consisting of unanswered questions titled ואם תאמר (I-IV, V, VI). The author of the Chelkas Yoav has a book of (103) ...
wfb's user avatar
  • 14.4k
5 votes

Books about business and Torah

I really liked the following books on the intersection of Torah and business life Naftali Horowitz's You Revealed: the author is a very successful banker who shares a Torah perspective on working for ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 51k
5 votes

Year of print of an edition of Torah

Although usually one would add up the letters that have a dot on top. However in this case that would put the year in the future. Therefore, it looks like you add up the letters, not counting the ones ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
  • 10.8k
4 votes

Good books for non-Jews who are interested in understanding Judaism, especially branches of Orthodox judaism

I highly suggest you read The Non-Orthodox Jew's Guide to Orthodox Jews by David Baum. It is exactly what it sounds like. You will understand a lot about traditional Judaism from this book.
ezra's user avatar
  • 18.6k
4 votes

Good books for non-Jews who are interested in understanding Judaism, especially branches of Orthodox judaism

Gateway to Judaism by Rabbi Mordechai Becher "Based on years of answering thousands of challenging inquiries, Becher's work blends elements of Jewish philosophy and law with an intensely practical ...
ray's user avatar
  • 21.2k
4 votes

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

Sefaria.org matches the description you gave, and it is free of charge. As of 2018, their searchable database contains over 143 million words, ranging from Zohar to Shev Shamtsa with abundant cross ...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
4 votes

Downloading a book when you've already bought a physical copy

I've heard from many Rabbis, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky and Rabbi Tuvya Goldstein amongst them, the same idea about copyright laws. They said this about musical media and computer programs, but would ...
user6591's user avatar
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4 votes

What are Sifrei Minim today?

Rashi on the Daf (S.V Rav Yosef) says that the Sifrei Minim ie. Sefer Ben Sira is called a Sefer Min: שיש בו דברי הבאי ובא עליהם לידי ביטול תורה Because it has Divrei Havai - empty things, and ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
4 votes

Jewish Archaeology

Not a book but otherwise fits exactly what you ask: R Amnon Bazak has a series of written shiurim on Tanakh and Archaeology in English, see shiurim 6a to 6i. He offers a fairly comprehensive review ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 51k
4 votes

A good book on Monetary system of the Torah and the Talmud?

The most modern book on Talmudic currencies is the second edition of D. Sperber's "Roman Palestine 200-400: Money and Prices." Sperber is an expert on rabbinic literature in its secular context, and ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,566
4 votes

Has a Scriptural index been compiled on Radak's 'Michlul'?

A question like this cannot be answered with 100% certainty, being that it is not truly possible in this day and age to know about every single sefer being published and republished, being that – to ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,155
4 votes

Recommended edition of Flavius Josephus

There's a great, accessible and new (2017) translation of The Jewish War (an eyewitness account of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem), translated by Martin Hammond and published by Oxford University ...
Aryeh's user avatar
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4 votes
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What is the sefer "Sha'ar HaShamayim" that the Rema references?

The Maharshal, who was a cousin and student of the Rema, sent him a scathing letter in which he criticized him for utilizing an opinion of Aristotle. The Rema responded with this interesting responsum ...
Deuteronomy's user avatar
  • 7,526
4 votes
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Is it okay for Jewish people to read Narnia or Lord of the Rings?

Most of the sources I have found address reading books or listening to music by non-Jews. Films are a different issue, because they can often be more immodest than the books they were based on. I don'...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.4k
4 votes

Does anyone know from which book this excerpt comes from?

I've just discovered that this excerpt is from the book The Story of Our Lives: An Epic Quest For The Soul of Our Tradition by R' Yaakov Klein.
ddas91600's user avatar
  • 378
3 votes

Are there any frum comic books?

See here for a relatively new series that depicts the stories in Nach replete with midrashic explanations and insights. Great art, with actual pesukim and their accompanying translation to keep the ...
Shmuel Brown's user avatar
  • 1,348
3 votes

Are there books and / or online sources that discuss how the Talmud was compiled?

On the compilation of Bavli Talmud, see "The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud" by Jacob Neusner and on Yerushalmi, see "A Guide to the Jerusalem Talmud" by Heshey Zelcer. Both of them provide a ...
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
3 votes

Does Judaism allow Jews to read the Quran?

Rav Saadiah Gaon used to study parts of the Koran: Prof. Meir Bar Asher gave a lecture regarding Saadia Gaon and the Quran at the Bernard Revel Graduate School. An article about that lecture can be ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
3 votes

Good books for non-Jews who are interested in understanding Judaism, especially branches of Orthodox judaism

A highly recommended book is "Masterplan" by Rabbi Aryeh Carmell. Here's a description of the book: Maybe you believe in God, but fail to see what this has to do with how one spends Friday ...
Binyomin's user avatar
  • 2,971
3 votes

Any books like 'The Light of Ephraim'?

To provide a couple more examples: Da'as T'vunos by the Ramchal (mid-18th century)1 explores fundamental topics of Jewish thought in the style of a master-student dialogue between the intellect and ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 16.9k
3 votes

What were the ספרי דבי רב?

An amora is quoted (Vayikra Rabbah 7:3) that elementary students first began their studies with the book of Leviticus, “the young are pure and the sacrifices are pure, let pure be occupied with pure”. ...
Oliver's user avatar
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