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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12
votes
4answers
436 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
268 views

Talis over head

Why is it that most Ashkenazim that are not married do not put the Talis over their head?
5
votes
3answers
230 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
13
votes
1answer
297 views

“Yaamod p'loni ben p'loni… chazak”?

The last ole (person called to the Torah) (besides the maftir) of Vaychi, P'kude, B'chukosay, and Mas'e is, in my experience, called using the formula "yaamod p'loni ben p'loni sh'vii chazak", with ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Why is it “Beiz”?

I understand the Ashkenazi pronunciation of Hebrew is that the letter 'ת' with no דגש is an 's' sound. So why do (many) Ashkenazim pronounce the name of the letter 'ב', which is normally spelled ...
4
votes
1answer
330 views

Ashkenazim and Kitniyot on Erev Pesach

The following hypothetical case was raised in class today: An American (ashkenazic) Jew is visiting Israel. On Erev Pesach, he has a hankering for sushi (the word hankering was not used in class -- ...
7
votes
1answer
131 views

Mesorah exchange between communities

Based on this thread What exactly prevents Ashkenazim from accepting Mesorah from other communities on things that we have not done in our own community? Taking an extreme reverse example, can ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Can I have kitniot in my house on Pesach if I cannot eat them?

The question boils down to: Can I have kitniot in my house on Pesach if I cannot eat them (in the Ashkenazic tradition)?
3
votes
2answers
383 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?
8
votes
0answers
159 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
187 views

What are Brochos differences of Sefardim and Ashkenazim?

For example, according to sefardim the bracha on matzo is mezonos (during the year), while it's hamotzi for Ashkenazim. What are other differences between Ashkenazim and Sefardim with regards to ...
3
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
184 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
276 views

Why the split between Sefardim and Ashkenzim?

Why is there a much bigger split between Sefardim and Ashkenzim and not, say, between Sefardim and people who lived in Bavel? The distance between Spain, and say, Israel should have been big enough to ...
7
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
184 views

The Split Between Sefardim and Ashkenazim

How did this split happen historically and halachically before Shulchan Aruch, and why is not like having two Torahs? Where is the source for the split?
6
votes
1answer
395 views

Is wine left in a bottle poured by non-Jews really permitted*?

I could be wrong, but my reading of the Nosei Keilim (Y"D 125:1) indicates to me that if a non-Jew pours a bottle of wine, the remaining wine is totally fine, or at least ok if there is some loss ...
6
votes
1answer
218 views

Is there a custom to color eggs on Lag Baomer?

I heard from an old Lithuanian/Polish Jew (frum from Lithuania/Poland). He says that he had a custom to eat colored eggs in his shtetl, and everyone did it. Is this custom documented anywhere, and ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

All these verses to say before havdala

Before saying the blessings relevant to havdala on motzei shabbos, we (Ashkenazim) include a bunch of p'sukim: "הִנֵּה אֵל יְשׁוּעָתִי אֶבְטַח וְלֹא אֶפְחָד כִּי עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ יְהוָה וַיְהִי ...
6
votes
2answers
401 views

Why do the laws of kitniyot still apply today to Ashkenazi Jews on Passover?

How did the tradition start? Why is it still around today? What is the basis for this Halacha (הלכה)?
6
votes
4answers
142 views

Parshas Zachor Sfardi versus Ashkenazi

Can a Sefardi be Yotzeh Zachor with an Ashkenazi Laining and vice Versa?
5
votes
4answers
259 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
131 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

Why is 'misod chachomim unevonim' sometimes said and sometimes omitted in the repetition of the Amidah?

In Askenazi communities, the piece beginning 'misod chachomim unevonim' is said at the repetition of the Amidah at Shacharis when there are piyuttim (except Purim) and on Musaf on Yomim Noraim as well ...
5
votes
1answer
500 views

Yerushalmi Versus Bavli

What are the differences between the two Talmuds? or are there differences? Why did the two Talmuds develop separately or did they? Why do we Poskin like the Bavli or do we? Is it true that the ...
4
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
620 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
66 views

Can egg Matzo be used to make an Eruv Chatzeiros on Pesach?

Inspired by Matzah eruvin on erev Pesach Can egg Matzo be used to make an Eruv Chatzeiros on Pesach? On Pesach, Ashkenazim do not eat egg Matzo; however, it is not Chometz. In certain instances it ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

May an Ashkenazi wear Yemenite Tzitzith?

Many Ashkenazim now wear Tzitzith with Techeleth tied in the tradition of the RaMBa"M. However, my understanding is that Ashkenazim minimally require a double-knot at the base of the tassle in order ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

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
1answer
91 views

Selichos start: Ashkinazim vs. Sefardim

Why do Sefardim start saying Sleichos earlier than Ashkinazim?
3
votes
3answers
267 views

Kitnios on Pesach

Why and when did the minhag start that allows Sephardim to eat Kitnios (Legumes)but not Ashkenazim?
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Is the Magen HaElef Sefaradi or Ashkenazi?

There is a Sefer written by someone named Yaakov Ben Yaakov Moshe called Magen HaElef. Is he Sefaradi or Ashekneazi?
0
votes
1answer
67 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? ...