Very often OP's ask for Jewish Sources

What is the standard to be called a Jewish source? Written by a Jew? Accepted as authoritative?

Is Martin Buber a Jewish source? Or only religious figures accepted?


2 Answers 2


Someone who posts a question asking for "Jewish sources" might get the Shulchan Aruch, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rashi, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Moses Mendelssohn, Martin Buber, Anita Diamant, Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, Joe Schmo, or his brother Sholom Schlepper.

If they want to get a specific type of source, they should specify what they want. If they aren't specific, they shouldn't complain if they get stuff they are not interested in.

I think this is part of a general Stack Exchange principle, something like: add specific details to help you get a better answer and to keep people from wasting time on irrelevant content.


The above reads harsher than I might want. If it is a new user to Mi Yodeya, I hope they get a source they want, since they won't know to ask specifically. I guess throw them what answers we can or ask what kind of source they would like in comments.

  • 1
    If we cannot tell what kinds of sources someone is looking for, especially a new user, we should ask in a comment. Let's help people get the kinds of answers they're looking for and avoid people spending effort on answers that turn out to be not what the person is looking for! All that said, I agree with your pre-edit sentiment: in the absence of a restriction, we should expect that people will bring a variety of sources. Commented May 14, 2015 at 2:31
  • @ShmuelBrin "Oso Haish" meaning Jesus of Nazareth, I would say no since we do not have any texts that state his own opinions. The four (or more) gospels and the letters of Paul were written half a century later by people who knew they were breaking away from Judaism. This is based on my opinion that he probably was a "mainstream" Jew of his time, but those who came after him were not.
    – Mike
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 10:37
  • @ShmuelBrin Of course you could have the same question regarding Shabbatai Zevi or Jacob Frank and I would not have such an answer. Obviously some heretics are too far, but I do not know what the criteria is.
    – Mike
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 2:42
  • @ShmuelBrin I think anyone recognized (by some agreed upon metric) as trying to espouse a viewpoint of traditional Judaism is fine.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 3:45

Seemingly it should go according to the questioner, if he deems it acceptable to quote Buber, or Scholem that should suffice. everyone it seems has the right to downvote based off his preferences

  • 2
    Everyone should downvote based on if it answers the question. One shouldn't downvote all the answers to "Did Gershom Scholem claim XYZ" just because one doesn't like Gershom Scholem.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 5:13

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