33 votes
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Are there any sources that prohibit childhood vaccinations?

According to R' Dr. David Shabtai, in a 2013 Times of Israel blog post, there is no such source: The religious exemption exists to protect people whose religion forbids vaccination, to allow ...
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  • 46.9k
30 votes

From where do we know that sexual intercourse with a non-jewish woman is forbidden?

Not only is it forbidden, but it's a prohibition of such great stringency that, according to most authorities, a Jew must give up his life instead of having intercourse with a non-Jew (see sources ...
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21 votes
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Sources for the world being round in the Gemara

The Gemara in Avoda Zarah (41a) says: כדור שתופש את עצמו תחת כל העולם כולו ככדור It [The Idol] holds a ball as if to say it rules over the entire world like a ball Tosfos explains why ...
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21 votes

What is the source of Shomer Negiah?

Different crowds use "I'm shomer negiah" to mean two very different things: A.) I follow the strictest reading of the law and avoid any touching whatsoever. B.) I keep the law and don't hug/...
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  • 127k
21 votes
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Is it true that a certain book of the Tanach was rewritten because it was lost?

The Sefer Eicha was destroyed by King Yehoyakim who threw it into a fire and rewritten by Yirmiyahu at the command of Hashem. Yirmiyahu 36:23 23: And it came to pass, when Jehudi read three or ...
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  • 41.9k
20 votes
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Is there anything wrong with inviting friends to a bris?

Perhaps they are referring to the idea mentioned here. That is one shouldn't invite anyone to a bris as declining such an invitation would be bad (Rema Yoreh Deah 265:12). But if you don't receive an ...
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  • 376
20 votes
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Where is techiyas hameisim alluded to in the Torah?

The idea I believe you are alluding to is stated in the first mishnah of the chapter known as Cheilek in Masechet Sanhedrin. (It's either the tenth or eleventh chapter depending on which edition you ...
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  • 38.5k
19 votes

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

Dr. Jeremy Brown, in a post on his Talmudology blog on science in the Daf Yomi, points out that Rava, quoted in Yevamot 97a, provides the first published claim that boys' puberty can be delayed by ...
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19 votes
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Cairo Geniza Controversy

There was an article in Tradition journal which discussed some of the arguments for and against using manuscripts in Halakha (which is what I'm assuming the questioner is looking for). It is linked ...
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18 votes

Where in the TaNa"kh is there a discussion about how to slaughter an animal?

There is no description in the Torah (and to the best of my knowledge in the rest of TaNa"KH) as to how to correctly slaughter an animal. In fact, R. Yehuda HaLevi (Kuzari, 3:35) brings this as a ...
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  • 38.5k
18 votes

Did the Ba'al Shem Tov actually exist?

I think the Ba'al Shem Tov had to have existed in some way (even if it's not the way we've been taught), as I doubt an entire branch of Orthodox Judaism would base itself off the teachings of a ...
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  • 17.7k
17 votes

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

It seems to have been referred to this way at least as early as the time of Flavius Josephus. See his Antiquities of the Jews, Book 12, Chapter 7: Now Judas celebrated the festival of the ...
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  • 38.5k
16 votes
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Story of love sick tree

Sounds like you are referring to this מדרש רבה במדבר פרשה ג פסקה א "ר תנחומא מעשה בתמרה אחת שהיתה עומדת בחמתן ולא היתה עושה פירות והיו מרכיבין אותה ולא עשתה פירות אמר להם דקלי תמרה היא רואה ...
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16 votes
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Is the Gemara (Shabbos 116b) quoting the New Testament?

The second quote is based on the Sermon of the Mount, from the Christian gospel book of Matthew (5:17). As to the first quote, the Soncino writes that "There is no passage in any known Gospel that a ...
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  • 10.7k
16 votes

Sanhedrin/Makkot - One masechta?

A number of Rishonim quote from Makkot but call it Sanhedrin, implying they considered them to be one tractate. See Ramban to Devarim 21:13 and Rashba to Kiddushin 22a who refer to what we have in the ...
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  • 95.6k
15 votes
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Where does Chassam Soffer say Hillel needed a job

You may be referring to the Chidushei Chasam Sofer on Bava Basra 57b. The gemara there states as follows: בעא מיניה ר' יוחנן מרבי בנאה... שלחן של ת"ח כיצד שני שלישי גדיל ושליש גלאי ועליו קערות ...
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  • 16.3k
15 votes

Ripping out a blade of grass by a funeral?

On chabad.org it says the following: On the way out of the cemetery, it is customary to pull out some grass, throw it back over the shoulder, and recite the passage below. This symbolizes the ...
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  • 381
15 votes
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Ripping out a blade of grass by a funeral?

You asked: Is this a Jewish minhag? If so, what is the source for it? Yes. it is mentioned in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 199:10 - סימן קצט - דין הקבורה ובית הקברות "The custom - when leaving a ...
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15 votes
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Where is it taught that Hashem doesn't give a person test that he can't overcome?

Talmud / avoda zora 3A אין הקב"ה בא בטרוניא עם בריותיו the Holy One, blessed be He, does not deal imperiously(sovereignty, despotic rule.) with His creatures. midrash / shimois rabba 34 אין הקב"ה ...
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  • 7,212
15 votes

Where is it taught that you can't sleep with socks

The Gemara (Yoma 78b) writes that one who sleeps with shoes on, 'has tasted a taste of death', and since tasting death is probably not a good thing, some poskim write that sleeping with shoes on ...
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15 votes

Is this phrase about Adam and Eve recorded in the Talmud?

Although the English formulation is Matthew Henry's, the idea seems to have been borrowed from ancient Jewish sources, e.g., Devarim Rabbah: א"ר יהושע דסכנין כשבא הקב"ה לבראת חוה היה מתבונן ...
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  • 13.8k
15 votes
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Source that you can't tell your wife not to lend to others

Kesubos 72a תניא נמי הכי המדיר את אשתו שלא תשאל ושלא תשאיל נפה וכברה ריחים ותנור יוציא ויתן כתובה מפני שמשיאה שם רע בשכינותיה Someone who imposes a vow on his wife that she may not borrow or lend ...
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  • 11.2k
15 votes
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Alternative version of Tower of Babel story

Found it in R. Yaakov Culi's Me'am Lo'ez Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer 24 says If a man fell and died they paid no heed to him, but if a brick fell they sat down and wept, and said: Woe is us ! when will ...
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  • 166
15 votes
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Where in the Gemara is this statement re health?

Chullin 24b: ילד עד כמה אמר רבי אלעא אמר רבי חנינא כל שעומד על רגלו אחת וחולץ מנעלו ונועל מנעלו אמרו עליו על רבי חנינא שהיה בן שמונים שנה והיה עומד על רגלו אחת וחולץ מנעלו ונועל מנעלו Until when is ...
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  • 38.5k
14 votes

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

There is a piece in the Tshuvas HaRashba in siman 418 which denigrates the belief in gilgulim. It is a response from the Chachmei Luniel to the Rashba, proving that they don't believe in any nonjewish ...
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  • 32.3k
14 votes
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Did Yael Sleep with Sisra?

The source is Gemara Nazir 23b: אמר ר"נ בר יצחק גדולה עבירה לשמה ממצוה שלא לשמה והאמר רב יהודה אמר רב לעולם יעסוק אדם בתורה ובמצות אפי' שלא לשמן שמתוך שלא לשמן בא לשמן אלא אימא כמצוה שלא לשמה דכתיב ...
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14 votes

Rambam's responsum about treating depression with music

In the introduction to his commentary on Masekhet Avot (Shemonah Peraqim), chapter five, the Rambam says (in Shmuel ibn Tibbon's translation): והוא הדין מי שהתרגשה עליו מרה שחורה, ועמד והסירה ...
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  • 2,365
14 votes
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Source that those without a genuine need soliciting charity is a good thing

Its a gemara in Kesuvos 68a its a statement of Rav Elazar : דאמר רבי אלעזר בואו ונחזיק טובה לרמאין שאלמלא הן היינו חוטאין [- שאנו מעלימין עין מן העניים אבל עכשיו הרמאים גורמים לנו - רש"י] בכל ...
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  • 39.8k
14 votes

Where does it say that Sotah never happened?

The Gemara in Sanhedrin 71a lists 3 items that apparently never happened, according to Rabbi Shimon: Ben Sorer Umoreh Ir Hanidachas Tzora'at on a house (As opposed to Rabban Yochanan who claimed to ...
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14 votes
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Source for eulogy of lost bookcases

Megillah 28b (English) ההוא דהוי תני הלכתא סיפרא וסיפרי ותוספתא ושכיב אתו ואמרו ליה לרב נחמן ליספדיה מר אמר היכי נספדיה הי צנא דמלי סיפרי דחסר there was a certain man who used to repeat halachoth, ...
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