Literally "Germany". Questions about the Jews of all the area that was once medieval Germany, more generally of all Catholic and Protestant (and some Eastern Orthodox) lands, and their laws and customs.

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60 views

Should you say a blessing on a tallit gadol when you are performing a task in a shul that requires one due to a custom?

Should you say a blessing on a tallit gadol when you are performing a task in a shul that requires it (e.g.: being hazzan for mincha or getting an aliyah during mincha) ? Is there a difference if ...
8
votes
2answers
500 views

Changing minhag about tallit gadol

I first became involved with a non-orthodox congregation where it was customary for everyone over Bar Mitzvah age to wear a tallit gadol. However, I understand that it is an Ashkenazi minhag not to ...
5
votes
3answers
209 views

The letter Dalet

The fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is "dalet" and not "daled." Why, then, do Ashkenazi Jews not pronounce it as "dales." I have heard an answer that "dales" sounds too much like "dalus", ...
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1answer
73 views

Do you have to have a dead relative named Alexander to name your child Alexander?

Piggybacking on this question... I am wondering if there are any names (such as Alexander, or other names for which Jews have a special tradition to name children) that supersede the Ashkenazic ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Under what circumstances can Ashkenazim rely on Sephardic poskim?

Is there any reason an Ashkenazi Jew should not hold by the psak of a Sephardi rov--or vice versa--for decisions relating to general matters (not ostensibly to do with particular minhagim)? If so, ...
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2answers
83 views

If you were born one sect (Ashkenaz) but wanted to become another (Sephardi), do you have to go through conversion?

I encountered a man who found out he was Jewish with Ashkenazi lineage, but for personal reasons converted to Sephardi. Never heard of this before. I remember learning there are several halachot in ...
10
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2answers
248 views

Did the Rosh (Rabbeinu Asher) describe the culture clash moving from medieval Germany to Spain?

Rabbi Asher (the "Rosh") moved from medieval Germany to Spain. I know he describes some different halachic practices that were done in Spain (e.g. linen tzitzis); but does he describe the difference ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

What are some instances in which ashkenazim do NOT follow Rama?

What are some instances in which ashkenazim do not follow Rama? I can think of Kapparos off hand, but surely there are more...
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1answer
38 views

What was the prevailing custom for arranging the seder plate among Bohemian Jewry?

I'm interested in the prevailing custom (or customs) amongst German Jewry, and particularly among the Jews of Bohemia if there was a different practice there, for arranging the seder plate. What was ...
11
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3answers
72 views

Why do we do hosha'nos and hakafos counterclockwise?

I have attended services in a number of different Ashkenazic synagogues on Sukos and Sh'mini Atzeres/Simchas Tora. When going around the bima for hosha'nos on Sukos, and, in most cases, when doing so ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

What is the earliest Ashkenaz siddur and where might I find a copy?

The earliest sefardic siddur dates back to the 800's, see Is there a free copy of this early (earliest?) siddur online?. What is the oldest ashkenaz siddur, and it is available on the web or for ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Any books dealing with minhaggim of lita?

Are there any books that discuss the varying litvish (Lithuanian) minhaggim (customs)—or, if not, maybe just the most prevalent ones?
3
votes
1answer
195 views

what is the single letter difference between ashkenazi and sephardi torah scrolls

According to http://onthemainline.blogspot.co.uk/2005/12/textual-criticism-of-torah-response-to.html The only letter difference between Ashkenazim and Sephardim is whether a particular word ends ...
3
votes
0answers
124 views

Is one allowed to brush teeth on yom kippur with toothpaste without any water?

Is one allowed to brush teeth on Yom Kippur with toothpaste on a toothbrush without rinsing toothbrush before and without rinsing mouth after? What if its prescription which I would think probably ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Why do most Ashkenazim read the Torah flatly on a table while many Sefardim read it standing vertically?

(In case you didn't know,) I am Ashkenazic. Most Ashkenazic congregations perform Torah reading by laying the Torah flatly on a table and reading the Torah as it is on the table. Many Sefardic ...
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votes
5answers
946 views

Are Sephardic Jews allowed to dress up in costumes on Purim?

The custom of dressing up in costumes on Purim originated from Ashkenazic communities in Europe and has become a popular custom today for Ashkenazim (cf. Rema in Shulkhan Aruch Orach Chaim 696:8). ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

Biblical prediction for Ashkenazi-Sephardi split

Is there any prediction in the Torah for the split between Ashkenazim and Sephardim? I was told that there is but can't think of anywhere to look. Thanks.
3
votes
1answer
77 views

When the Moshiach establishes the messianic kingdom of Yisroel, will the halacha binding on every Yehud be Sephardi, Ashkenazi or something else?

When the Moshiach establishes the messianic kingdom of Yisroel, what type of halacha will come into force over the nation? Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Mizrachi, psak Rambam, or something else? Or will ...
4
votes
1answer
58 views

Why begin selichot on a Sunday rather than on a date?

We ashkenaz start selichot on a Sunday. Sunday is a day of the week. Usually we start events on a given day of a given month (e.g., rosh hodesh, rosh hashanna), or after a given number of days ...
8
votes
5answers
362 views

How was the Volozhin Yeshiva special?

The Volozhin Yeshiva is known as the "first yeshiva". What was the system of Torah learning in Europe before Volozhin and in what way did Volozhin change the system?
9
votes
1answer
287 views

Any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year?

Anyone know of any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year? I'm looking for traditional Ashkenazi nusach, but perhaps not embellished like concert chazzanut. A good ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

Why no Kaddish yatom after alainu in siddur tefillo sfas yisrael, Shabbas Mincha?

Here is the whole of Siddur Tefilla Sfas Yisrael http://opensiddur.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Tefiloh-Sefas-Yisroel-Open-Siddur.pdf On Page 212 Shabbat Mincha, Alainu It has the end of Alainu ...
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0answers
37 views

Am I considered a Jew? [duplicate]

According to DNA testing, I am 11 percent Ashkenazim. Am I considered Jewish? Since I do not consider myself any particular religion, would I need to convert? I was raised a catholic. I do not ...
6
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1answer
61 views

Ashkenazi leniencies before shavua shechal bo

Ashkenazim extend the Talmudic prohibitions of shavua shechal bo tisha b'av (the week of the 9th of Av) to the beginning of the month. Are there Ashkenazi leniencies from Rosh Chodesh Av until shavua ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

Chol-Kreisch Ceremony

Danny Schoemmann mentions a ceremony called a chol-kreisch in this answer for giving the secular name of a child. Is this custom still observed, and if so, how is it practiced?
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0answers
61 views

Retraining my davening pronunciation

I received a p'sak from my rav earlier today permitting me to revert my pronunciation from a modern Israeli-American pronunciation that I learned as a child to the old Yekkish Ashkenazis (with the ...
9
votes
2answers
135 views

Are there any minhag and customs specific to Czech Jews and have they been documented?

I'm a baal teshuva with Czech Jewish ancestry. I have an interest in the minhag of my ancestors as well as in common cultural practices, and perhaps pass them on where I can. Have they been documented ...
5
votes
2answers
278 views

What to do if the minhag of my ancestors changed

Does anyone know what to do if the minhag of one's ancestors was changed within such a timeframe that the old minhagim should still be remembered? My great-grandfather "converted" from a Galizianer ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Ashkenazi Haftarah Custom

On Wikipedia, there is a list of haftarot. For Ashkenazim, the list gives four customs: Ashkenazi, Polish, Frankfurt, and Chabad. Considering that Polish and Frankfurt sum up the major non-chassidic ...
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1answer
61 views

Differences during Omer for Sepharadic and Ashkenazi customs

What are the main differences (besides the wording of the Omer-counting itself) between the Sepharadic and Ashkenazi customs during Omer?
2
votes
1answer
67 views

What is the difference between Sfardic and Ashkenazic calculations for the last time to eat chametz?

My community's luach (calendar) has 2 separate times for the last time to eat chametz on Erev Pesach: 10:09 for Ashkenazim, and 10:13 for Sephardim. How are these times calculated according to the ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Tracing the Tradition of HaRaM"A (Moshe Isserles)

In tracing the tradition of HaRav Shimshon Rafa'el Hirsch, I arrived at the famed RaM"A (Rav Moshe Isserles) with help from the beloved MY community. As Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen mentions having done in ...
4
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1answer
57 views

Tracing the Tradition of HaRav Shimshon Rafa'el Hirsch

I'm not sure if this is the proper forum for such an investigation; but, I'll pose the question and find out. I'm trying to trace the tradition received by HaRav Shimshon Rafa'el Hirsch through the ...
4
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1answer
142 views

How do different communities practice regarding women's saying a b'racha on s'firas haomer?

Mishna B'rura 489:3 says women do not say a b'racha on s'firas haomer; Aruch Hashulchan 489:4 says they do. What is the practice of various Ashk'nazi communities (for example, chassidic (various ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

Which Knot to Use on Tefillin Shel Rosh

When I was a child, I saw that all people had the same knot on their Tefillin Shel Rosh - a Double Daled (Ashkenazi community). Recently I saw a comment that even those who grew up with a Double ...
3
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0answers
70 views

How did the Ashkenazi Yom Tov “prayer mode” become so popular?

Since i'm not sure what to call it, a "prayer mode" here is the style of the tunes used. I'm not exactly sure how to describe the tunes. Either you know it or you don't. The traditional mode for Yom ...
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0answers
19 views

Can Ashkenazim eat Matzah made of Kitniyot? [duplicate]

The two reasons I've heard as justifications for the minhag of refraining from eating kitniyot is that it A) sometimes resembles chametz so forbidding it prevents confusion and B) was/is sometimes ...
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2answers
120 views

Is tofu cheese “kitniyot” on Passover?

I know Ashkenazi Jews don't eat "kitniyot", certain beans and the like, on Pessach. Is tofu cheese included in that restriction? It's made primarily of soybeans.
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votes
1answer
1k views

What's the earliest source/discussion on green beans being “kitniyot” (prohibited legumes) on Passover?

My understanding is that most Ashkenazic communities today don't eat green beans on Passover, treating them as kitniyot (a bunch of legumes for which the custom arose to avoid on Passover). What's the ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Can an non-North African Jew participate in post-Pesach Mimouna celebrations?

Mimouna is a customary post-Pesach celebration originally observed by Moroccan and Algerian Jews. When large numbers of those groups made aliyah, the custom was adopted by many Israelis as well. The ...
12
votes
3answers
258 views

Why omit “Av harachamim” for the four parashiyos?

"Av harachamim" is a prayer asking God to recall those who died al kidush hashem. It was written in response to the First Crusade (and is thus said only in the Ashk'nazi rite). Because of its somber ...
4
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1answer
66 views

What's the source for the phrase in Krias Shema al HaMitah: : …בְּשֵׁם יְיָ אֱלֹקֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל and to recite it 3x?

What's the source for the actual phrase that is cited in Krias Shema al HaMitah: בְּשֵׁם יְיָ אֱלֹקֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: מִימִינִי מִיכָאֵל וּמִשְּׂמֹאלִי גַבְרִיאֵל וּמִלְּפָנַי אוּרִיאֵל וּמֵאֲחוֹרַי ...
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0answers
13 views
5
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2answers
93 views

Holding the Torah (after Gelilah)

After hagbahah and gelila (in Ashkenazi schuls), the Torah must remain out until the proper point of return. In some schuls, I have seen special furniture to hold the Sefarim. In others, I have seen ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Were Sephardic/Ashkenazic positions on women influenced by Muslim/Christian surroundings?

The majority of Ashkenazic communities hail from (majority-Christian) Eastern Europe, while most Sephardic communities come from the (majority-Muslim) Middle East and North Africa. Islam seems to ...
2
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0answers
83 views

Origin of the Ashkenazi Pronunciation? [closed]

What is the actual story behind the Ashkenazi way of pronunciation? I am uncertain as to whether Ashkenazim consider their form of pronunciation older than Sephardi, just an alternative, or... Any ...
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2answers
82 views

Are Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Hatam Sofer Talmid) and Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Krasner Rav) related? [closed]

Are Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Hatam Sofer Talmid) and Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Krasner Rav) related ? Is there any "ideological" link between the two ?
3
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2answers
264 views

Different customs for Ashkenazic and Sephardic weddings

What are the major differences that one would notice between a Sephardic and an Ashkenazic wedding?
7
votes
3answers
375 views

May one use a Sephardic Torah in an Ashkenaz minyan?

May an Ashkenaz minyan use a sephardic torah (written in כתב וועליש) for their minyan or vise versa? Please cite a source
5
votes
1answer
119 views

What were the nine points of the pesak din of Michalowitz?

"Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein was the architect of the ultra-Orthodox manifesto, the famous nine-point pesak din of Michalowitz (Michalovce, Nagymihály) issued by 24 rabbis from northeastern Hungarian ...