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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13
votes
4answers
508 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
287 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
257 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
14
votes
1answer
304 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
140 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
156 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
332 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
137 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
172 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)?
8
votes
0answers
189 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
246 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
193 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
2answers
472 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?
3
votes
1answer
101 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
188 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
1answer
81 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
296 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
189 views

wording of the invitation to birkas hamazon

I know some Ashk'nazim say rabosay n'varech, some rabosay mir velen bentschen, and some hertzi rabosay mir velen bentschen. (Any other forms?) Is there any particular reason given for one or another?
7
votes
2answers
190 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
2answers
130 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
410 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
246 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
5answers
244 views

Sefer similar to Yalkut Yosef for Ashkenazim

Yalkut Yosef is a revolutionary work for the Sefardic world. He covers every aspect of practical Halacha as understood by his father Hacham Ovadia (who mostly follows the Shulchan Aruch) and applies ...
6
votes
1answer
107 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
420 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
148 views

Parshas Zachor Sfardi versus Ashkenazi

Can a Sefardi be Yotzeh Zachor with an Ashkenazi Laining and vice Versa?
5
votes
4answers
265 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
154 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
243 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
552 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
133 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
621 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
1answer
131 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
68 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
3answers
509 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
102 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
105 views

Selichos start: Ashkinazim vs. Sefardim

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

Kitnios on Pesach

Why and when did the minhag start that allows Sephardim to eat Kitnios (Legumes)but not Ashkenazim?
2
votes
1answer
102 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?
1
vote
1answer
94 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
1answer
72 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 ...