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12 votes

Closing up a window

Rav Yehudah HaChassid of Regensburg was the head of "Chassidei Ashkenaz" and the Rebbe of famous Rishonim. He lived from 1140 until 1217. He wrote a "will" containing 78 mystical instructions for ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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10 votes

Is there a source for not counting your money?

On the verse (Ex. 30:12) כִּ֣י תִשָּׂ֞א אֶת־רֹ֥אשׁ בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֘ל לִפְקֻדֵיהֶם֒ וְנָ֨תְנ֜וּ אִ֣ישׁ כֹּ֧פֶר נַפְשׁ֛וֹ לַיהוָ֖ה בִּפְקֹ֣ד אֹתָ֑ם וְלֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה בָהֶ֛ם נֶ֖גֶף בִּפְקֹ֥ד אֹתָֽם׃ ...
Oliver's user avatar
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8 votes
Accepted

Earliest Sources To Avoid Pronouncing the Name 'Samael'

Rav Shmuel Vital (17th century) in the siddur חמדת ישראל says this. גם צריך להזהר מאד שלא להזכיר בפיו שם סמא"ל וזהו סוד מש"ה אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו וכו' ובפרט בלילה שאז היא שליטתו וממשלתו.ולא עוד ...
Y K's user avatar
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8 votes

Is there a source for not counting your money?

The Gemoro Bovo Metzia 42a has a passage that is reminiscent of your question. R. Isaac also said: A blessing is found only in what is hidden from the eye,5 for it is written, "The Lord shall ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
8 votes

Black Raven bad luck?

In Sanhedrin 65b: תנו רבנן מנחש זה האומר פתו נפלה מפיו מקלו נפלה מידו בנו קורא לו מאחריו עורב קורא לו צבי הפסיקו בדרך נחש מימינו ושועל משמאלו The Sages taught: The enchanter mentioned in the verse (...
josh waxman's user avatar
7 votes

Leaving Sefarim Open and forgetfulness

Shmuel I 24:12 "As I have cut off the corner of your robe and not killed you, so you know that I do not mean you any harm." Melachim I 1:1 "King David was old and advanced in years, and they covered ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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6 votes

Is it muttar to whistle?

R. Hershel Schachter records that old people from Europe would say that only non-Jews whistle and that it is especially forbidden on Shabbos due to the creation of sound, to which R. Joseph B. ...
Alex's user avatar
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6 votes

Source of a line about superstitions

The original source of the particular formulation of this quote seems to be in the book Jewish Magic and Superstition, by Joshua Trachtenberg, Moshe Idel, page 23: They give the reference in Sefer ...
josh waxman's user avatar
6 votes

Source for Jewish superstition

This question has been asked and answered on this forum, here: Where is the source not to walk over someone because it stops him growing? The Be'er Moshe 8:36 discusses this issue and says it is ...
larry909's user avatar
  • 2,443
5 votes

Eating the foreskin at a brit milah

This custom is is at least ~600 years old, as it is mentioned in a responsum by R. Solomon ben Simon Duran. Shu"t HaRashbash siman 518 מכל מקום יצא לנו לפי זה איסור למה שנהגו לבלוע ערלת הזכרים ...
Alex's user avatar
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5 votes

Leaving Sefarim Open and forgetfulness

Another early source for this is Kemah Solet (printed in the late 18th century), quoting the Shela"h of R. Yeshaya Horowitz. (16th-17th century). Strangely, I am unable to find this in the original, ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Leaving Sefarim Open and forgetfulness

This exact question was posed to R. Joseph Messas in Otzar Hamichtavim Vol. II # 954. שאלת ידידי במכתבך להודיעך אם אמת הדבר אשר שמעת שהמניח ספר פתוח ויוצא בא לידי שכחה ואם דבר זה הוא אפי' בספרי ...
Alex's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

May one make up their own simanim for Rosh Hashanna?

Rabbi Heinemann in Baltimore has answered your question as yes you may. For example, a lettuce, half of a raisin, and celery Lettuce half a raisin celery Let us have a raise in salary I should note ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

What's the story behind the Sages killing Rav Acha Bar Yaakov?

It would seem that his downfall was possibly as a result of him, whether knowingly or not, flaunting his success/blessings. There is an interesting essay here p.16 which writes as follows: The Death ...
Dov's user avatar
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5 votes

Black Raven bad luck?

In a similar vein to @joshwaxman's answer - it is worth noting the Gemara in Shabbos 67b הָאוֹמֵר לְעוֹרֵב ״צְרַח״, וּלְעוֹרֶבְתָּא ״שְׁרִיקִי וְהַחֲזִירִי לִי זְנָבִיךְ לְטוֹבָה״ — יֵשׁ בּוֹ ...
Dov's user avatar
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4 votes

Father and son - Hagbah and Gelilah, Pesicha for two Torahs

Shaalos U'Teshuvos Avnei Chaifetz 16:3 says that so long as they are not called up by name there is no issue of Ayin Hara and it is permitted. Shaalos U'Teshuvos Mishne Halachos 3:20 says it is not ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
4 votes

Why is it considered "good mazal" to have a bird drop on you?

It has no source in Jewish literature as far as I know. The superstition is actually of Turkish origin (at least according to here). It's possible that the superstition made its way into Jewish ...
ezra's user avatar
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4 votes

When it rains it pours

The idea appears in Amos 5:19 in describing the succession of troubles that will happen on the day of God (text and translation from Sefaria): כַּאֲשֶׁ֨ר יָנ֥וּס אִישׁ֙ מִפְּנֵ֣י הָאֲרִ֔י וּפְגָע֖וֹ ...
b a's user avatar
  • 24.9k
3 votes

Saying a pasuk to scare dogs

Yes. this is something that is said in the gemara in order to protect one from dogs. As an example Rav David Silverberg The Gemara in Masekhet Berakhot (56b) comments that if a person dreams ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.3k
3 votes

May one make up their own simanim for Rosh Hashanna?

The Aruch Hashulchan at the beginning of siman 583 seems to say this. והולכין בזה כפי לשון המדינה. ולכן אצלינו מבשלין ריב''ן, מערי''ן, וקירבע''ס, שחושבין זה לקרא, וקרוי''ט, שזהו כמו קרא, וכיוצא ...
user6591's user avatar
  • 33.9k
3 votes

wearing two hats at the same time-is that a probelem?

The Magen Avaham (OH 2:3) references Shaar HaKavanot of R. Hayyim Vital which states that one should not put on two items of clothes at the same time, as it can make one forget: ויזהר מללבוש ב' ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.8k
3 votes

When it rains it pours

In Bava Batra 12b we find the idea that once one is in a state of fortune or misfortune it is hard to get out of that state, and therefore fortune will generally follow fortune and misfortune will ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.8k
3 votes

Black Raven bad luck?

This website does not seem to have a problem with thinking that a raven can be a sign for those on a sufficiently high madregah to understand what the sign is. https://www.kipa.co.il/%D7%A9%D7%90%D7%...
pcoz's user avatar
  • 2,030
2 votes

Tzitzit being a protection to the wearer

I found this in the Kaf Hachayim (21:15): צריך ליזהר שלא להסיר מעליו ציצית קטן לא ביום ולא בלילה וישכב עמו בלילה ויועיל מאוד לבטל כוחות החיצונים... There is a need to be careful to not remove from ...
Yosef Warren's user avatar
2 votes

Astrology in the Torah

The Talmud, Shabbos 156b, brings three stories that illustrate that while a Jew's future may be written in the stars, prayer (see Rashi) and good deeds can overpower their "destiny". Story 1 (Soncino ...
Menachem's user avatar
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2 votes

What practices are affected by a belief in demons?

Adapted from my question here. TLDR: not doing dangerous things during the Nine Days is predicated on the existence of demons. There are various restrictions in place from Rosh Chodesh Av for ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.5k
2 votes

Ayin Hara - The evil eye - Hocus Pocus

If the procedure was done and the evil eye was "done away with" we can't scientifically prove to attribute it to the procedure, however, we do know that such similar procedures were performed and many ...
Oliver's user avatar
  • 12.1k
2 votes

Does the Zodiac really have influence on our lives?

One possible data point regarding this topic is the issue of kiddush on Shabbat night "during the seventh hour". There is a position that making kiddush immediately after nightfall (the seventh hour) ...
paquda's user avatar
  • 4,901
2 votes

Learning laws of aveilut when your parents are alive?

Rav Chaim Kanievsky was asked if a sick person is in critical condition is it permissible for the relatives to learn hilchos aveilus or is it poseach peh l'Satan? Rav Chaim answered that when it comes ...
sam's user avatar
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