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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5
votes
2answers
221 views

Is there any basis for Chabad minhagim regarding tallit gadol?

I often daven at Chabad shuls and I have noticed that they have some particulars regarding tallit usage inconsistent with the rest of Ashkenazi Jewry, including: not wearing when receiving an aliyah ...
12
votes
4answers
435 views

What's a good technique for a not-so-strong person to do [Ashkenazi] Hagbaha?

I've seen many people shy away when asked to do Hagbaha (‏הגבהה‏), thinking themselves too weak. I know for a fact that it doesn't take that much strength to do it correctly, so I'd love to ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

What sound does a munach make?

I'm asking according to Ashkenazi leining. The trop mark i have trouble with is the munach. It has two different sounds - a sort of "shaky" sound when it's on its own, and a sort of nothing sound when ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Learning Kabbalah & Yeshiva World

What are the principles for learning kabbalah in Ashkenaz Yeshiva world (Litvish/Yeshivish, non-hasidim)? I understand that Yeshiva bochurim do not learn kabbalah: in Yeshiva they concentrate solely ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Giving a child the same name as a living distant relative

The Ashkenazi custom is not to give one's child a name shared by another living close relative. How close is too close? Can you give a child a name possessed by his/her (living) cousin? Second cousin? ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Mayim Achronim according to the Rama

The Rama in his Darkei Moshe writes that we pasken like Tosfos that today mayim achronim is not necessary. However, The Mechaber 181:10 writes that there is an opinion who holds we don't do mayim ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Ashkanazim paskening like Rema

Was it always a straightforward presumption ("davar pashut") that in general the Ashkanazim should decide Halachic questions ("pasken") in accordance with the Rema over the Machaber/Beis Yosef (when ...
9
votes
3answers
727 views

When and why did the black velvet yarmulke become the standard for some communities?

Ashkenazi yarmulkes from around 200 years ago closely resemble the Yerushalmi style - white knitted with a tassel on top. Today, the vast majority of Chasidim and Yeshivish Jews seem to wear black ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Eating gefrishte matzoh at the seder [closed]

Does anyone know of a Leipzig or Polish tradition to eat "gefrishte" matzah, matzah with raw eggs, at the seder meal?
6
votes
2answers
103 views

Adopting minhagim not from your mesorah

Is it appropriate to adopt minhagim that have historically not been observed by your community? Examples Ashkenazim pointing to the sefer Torah, usually with the pinky, during hagbah (after Krias ...
5
votes
2answers
39 views

In what relative positions are multiple Sifrei Torah placed on the bimah?

When two Sifrei Torah (when the second sefer is needed for a special maftir) are placed on the bimah just before hagbah for the first Torah, should the first sefer read from be on the left or the ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Different customs for Ashkenazic and Sephardic weddings

What are the major differences that one would notice between a Sephardic and an Ashkenazic wedding?
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Standing for Kaddish at a shul with a different nusach

It has already been established that generally, Ashkenazim stand for Kaddish, while Sephardim sit, unless they were already standing. (That said, i have observed Sefardim who davka sit for kaddish.) ...
4
votes
2answers
87 views

Laining Tehillim

I would just like to know - is there a mesorah for Tehillim trop for Ashkenazim? I know that there is a Sefaradi one (I have heard them) but I would like to know if there is any Askenazi one. Thank ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Minhag and Kulot

Say I need to buy some retzuot or tzitzit strings and for some reason or another I don't know whether my family accepts avodat mechona or not. Is it typically acceptable to rule leniently according to ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Soft Matzah for Ashkenazim

The Rama in 460:4 writes that one should make thin matzos and the Mishna Brurah 16 writes it should be thin. Rav Nebontzol (in his notes on the Mishna Brurah) points out the Be'er Heitiv 8 which ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

What is the difference between sephardi and ashkenazi rituals? [closed]

I was wondering about the difference between sephardim and ashkenazim. I know there is a difference in the pronunciation. What about rituals? Customs? Etc etc.
2
votes
1answer
47 views

When did daily birkas kohanim stop?

The original practice, from what I understand, was that kohanim would bless the congregation every day during the amida of shacharis (and of musaf and n'ila when they were said, and of mincha on a ...
12
votes
3answers
305 views

Non-Ashkenazic Talmud-learning tune

I am very familiar with a particular Ashkenazi yeshivish tune for Talmud learning. This is well-described in the linked question as: [T]he kind of singing rhythm that people use when contrasting ...
5
votes
4answers
256 views

Is cholent required?

Is making cholent on Shabbos a minhag that is so universal that it has in effect become required for Ashkenazim? Or, if I am correct that it is required (by at least some authorities) to have hot ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

פ in German Sta"M Script

Does anyone know the German custom for the letter pey in Sta"m sofer? I know that the shape in Litvisch Bet Yosef is influenced by the Mekubalim of Tzfat (The Ari in particular) who said that the ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

Piyutim in the Scroll

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 139:4) discusses the potential issue that a listener might think that the blessings for an aliya are actually written in the Torah scroll. Different suggestions are offered for ...
2
votes
3answers
421 views

Why “hayom yom rishon”, not “echad”?

Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt (St. Louis, Missouri) mentioned at s'uda sh'lishis (Shabas parashas "Ki Setze" 5772) that the correct name for Sunday is echad b(a?)shabas, as is written in k'suvos and ...
7
votes
1answer
227 views

Can an Ashkenazi write a Sephardi Torah?

If an Ashkenazi Sofer writes a Sefer Torah in the Sephardi or Yemenite tradition: a) has he fulfilled his obligation of writing a Sefer Torah (thanks, Double AA!), and b) since a Sefer Torah must be ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Including a minor for zimun

The Shulchan Aruch 199:10 writes that a child can be included for a zimun of three or 10(only one minor is counted),the Rama does not allow a minor to join. 1) If there is one adult Sephardi and one ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Why skip Yikum Purkan and Mi Sheberach on a weekday Yom Tov?

This is a question specific to Ashkenazim (Nusach Ashkenaz, Nusach Ari, and Nusach Sefard). On Shabbat, after the Torah Reading and before Mussaf, 3 prayers, (2 Yikkum Purkans and a Mi Sheberach) are ...
3
votes
3answers
323 views

Question about Ashkenazi pronunciation

BS"D I was at an Ashkenazi beith kneseth this past shabboth and noticed that they didn't distinctly pronounce their Shuruq's and Hholam's and instead substituted them with Hhireq's. I'm not sure if ...
4
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
169 views

Seeking a German Siddur

I was wondering if there is a 'Minhag Ashkenaz' siddur presently in print. I have an older one at home, but it has sentimental value and as a university student, I would rather avoid using such a ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Naming a baby after a living non-relative

As an Ashkenazi Jew, can I name my child after someone who is alive if they are not a relative or are you not supposed to name a child after the living, regardless of your relationship with them or ...
3
votes
3answers
123 views

Yotz'ros — but no ahavos

Why are there yom tov additions to the first b'racha before sh'mone esre in the morning and to the third, but never to the second? (In maariv, by contrast, every birchas k'rias sh'ma has yom tov ...
1
vote
0answers
102 views

Variable pronunciation of patach chataf in Lithuanian Hebrew

In theory, a "patach chataf" - a patach with a shva next to it, like this: חֲ is pronounced in Lithuanian Hebrew like a patach followed by a yud. This results in the common pronunciations (which I ...
7
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
151 views

Pronunciation of מסכתא (tractate)

Sometimes I hear מסֶכתא (pronounce: masechta) pronounced as מסִכתא (pronounce: masichta) by some people, particularly in Ashkenazi circles. Why is this?
3
votes
2answers
362 views

Minimum Number of Days before Hefsek Tahara: Sephardi vs. Ashkenazi

Why do Sepharadi keep a minimum of four days and Ashkenazi keep a minimum of 5 days before hefsek tahara? What is the underlying reason behind this difference?
7
votes
2answers
266 views

Talis over head

Why is it that most Ashkenazim that are not married do not put the Talis over their head?
11
votes
2answers
183 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
votes
0answers
79 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.
0
votes
1answer
76 views

How come delicatessen offer meat sandwiches AND cheesecakes as deserts?

How come delicatessen offer meat sandwiches AND cheesecakes as deserts? Were people mixing meat & dairy in eastern european communities ? Or were they not really part of traditional ashkenazi food ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

Why do we say Yizkor when we say it?

In the diaspora, we say Yizkor on: The last day of Passover The second day of Shavuot Yom Kippur The first day of Shemini Atzeret Why do we always say Yizkor on these days in particular? If it's ...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

When did upsherins become part of standard American Orthodox practice?

According to Rav Wikipedia, the upsherin is a custom that was brought from Muslims to Palestinian Jews to Tzfat Sephardim to Chasidim. Recently, I've noticed mainstream (non-charedi) Orthodox Jews ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Teacher and tradition of R' Judah ben Meir HaKohen

Who was the teacher of R' Judah ben Meir HaKohen, and from which chain of tradition does he derive? I ask because I cannot find much information about him online, other than many references to his ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Regional Ashkenazi Pronunciation

I don't know if this is the right forum to ask this, but I would like to find audio tracks of Jews from different Ashkenazi communities speaking Hebrew (be they leyning, davening, discoursing or ...
4
votes
3answers
638 views

Aufruf and Shabbat Chatan?

Why is an aufruf (Askenazim) before and a shabbat chatan (sefardim) after the wedding? I know there is an idea of a chaasan going to shul from the Pirkei d'Reb Eliezer 17 but how did it get split ...
0
votes
1answer
123 views

How much is an ashkenazi kesuba today

A standard Ashkenazi kesuba is a document no different to a post dated cheque; there is nothing religious or holy about it. It says that the man will pay his wife upon divorce or death the sum of 200 ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Kitniyos or Matzah Ashira?

Ashkanazim are forbidden to eat kitniyos or matzah ashira (matzah made with fruit juices) on Pesach. If an Ashkanazi would be sick (or when dealing with an older person) and would have to eat either ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Ashkenazi unsure whether he or she counted the 'Omer one night

According to the Daily Halacha website: If a person is unsure whether or not he counted a day of the Omer, and cannot determine conclusively if he had counted or if he had missed that day, he ...
8
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
188 views

Why is there a difference of opinion about whether modern magic is prohibited or permitted?

I'm an amateur magician. All of the Ashkenazi rabbis that I've talked to said that as long as my audience knows that I am just doing tricks and not real magic, the Torah allows me to perform magic ...
4
votes
2answers
97 views

Sifre Tora in boxes vs. in cloths

All S'faradi synagogues I've been in have each sefer Tora in a box. All Ashk'nazi ones I've been in have each sefer Tora in a cloth. When did this split occur, and why, and how? I assume either: ...