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11
votes
2answers
231 views

Is there a chief Rabbi of the United States?

Is there currently or has there ever been historically a chief Rabbi of the United States? If not, why not?
9
votes
2answers
358 views

Why was Chassidus controversial?

When Chassidus came about, it was very controversial. The Vilna Gaon even put Chassidim in cherem. What were the reasons for the controversy? And why is there peace and mutual respect today between ...
8
votes
0answers
82 views

Were there any sages who supported the Zealots during the seige of Jerusalem?

In Gittin 56a-b, we read how the sages warned the Zealots (a.k.a. the Biryonim) to not wage war with the Romans who were holding Jerusalem under seige, but that the Biryonim set fire to the store ...
7
votes
3answers
200 views

relative fractions of Kohanim and Levi'im

Does anyone have reliable statistics (and barring that, reasonable anectdotal evidence) of the fraction of Kohanim, Levi'im, and Yisraelim in various Jewish communities today. By "communities" I don't ...
7
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What does Heimishe mean?

Literally it means "homey." But I'm asking about the sociological meaning of the group of people who call themselves "Heimishe." My best guess is that it means "midway between Hassidish and Litvak." ...
6
votes
2answers
131 views

Who are the Yekis?

I once heard someone identifying as a "Yeki", or something like that, and the "Yekis" apparently have an interesting musical tradition where they use a different Yigdal tune before Kiddush at each ...
5
votes
4answers
290 views

What's “Modern Orthodox(y)”?

Is there a definition[1] of "Modern Orthodox(y)" that either has wide acceptability[2] or has the support of an expert (say, a renowned rabbi some consider Modern Orthodox, or an anthropologist ...
5
votes
2answers
99 views

What is World ORT?

What is the organization World ORT? They are behind the website bible.ort.org, which provides text, translations, and audio recordings of the Torah and Haftarah readings, and is cited in many Jewish ...
5
votes
0answers
91 views

Do Sepharadim celebrate Thanksgiving?

A good deal of ink has been spilled in the past century regarding the permissibility and appropriateness of American Jews celebrating Thanksgiving. For the most part, Ashkenazim are split, with some ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Siddur for Skolyer Chasidim

Is there a specific siddur for the minhag of the Skolyer Chasidim (Chasidim of Ukrainian town of Skole)?
4
votes
1answer
423 views

Hebrew Havarah?

Similar to this question Different parts of Eastern Europe had different dialects. For example, Ukrainian, Polish and Hungarian Jews pronounce a "Shuruk" as a EE, or a Komatz as an oo (so Boruch ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Who are the Kutim, and what happened to them?

In the Yerushalmi Pesachim on daf Bet amud Bet, it talks about the "Kutim" and how whenever they keep a mitzvah, they are more exacting/cautious about it than the Jews. Who are these Kutim, why does ...
3
votes
4answers
775 views

Recognition of Chabad conversions

I have read and heard in certain places that among certain Orthodox groups, if one converts with Chabad-Lubavitch that their conversion will not be valid, if someone were to convert with Chabad and ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Does Jewish mysticism involve “feeling” G-d?

I have read an accusation from the Traditionalist Catholics that Modern Catholicism has changed under the influence of Judaism its understanding of the Holy Ghost. Modern day Catholicism together with ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

Who says צִוָּה vs. צַוֵּה at a b'ris?

The passage "על כן בשכר זאת קל חי חלקנו צורנו צוה להציל ידידות שארנו משחת" is part of one of the blessings recited at a b'ris mila. Pische S'shuva (Yore Dea 265:4) cites a difference of opinion as to ...
3
votes
0answers
78 views

Do Briskers use a particular siddur?

Presumably Briskers generally daven nusach Ashkenaz. Is there a particular siddur associated with Brisk, perhaps with haskomos from Brisker roshei yeshivos?
3
votes
0answers
76 views

Disparate Zemanim in the same local community

Someone pointed out on a local email list that the ending time for Tish'ah BeAv is listed differently - significantly so - at various institutions in our local community. He noted the following times ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Hebrew Israelites recognition by mainstream Judaism

Are the adherents of 'Hebrew Israelites' church Jews from the 'mainstream' point of view and why (why yes or why not)? I have found mixed information on the topic. Also some of them seek conversion, ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

Who were the Magharians?

Title says it all. Who were the Magharians? It seems like they were some group of Pre-Christianity Jews or something like that that lived in caves?
2
votes
3answers
184 views

Good place in Israel for English-speakers

I currently live in Neve Yaakov, but it's getting expensive. Does anyone know of a good community in Israel for English-speakers, with a diversity of people, yet with a strong sense of community (not ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Tizku L'Shanim Rabot tovot v'umot?

I was wished this blessing today by a Spanish/Portuguese-descended friend. What is the last word and, by extension, what does the entire phrase mean? My friend did not know, but he said it was a ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

If someone had a family tradition that he came from an Edomite, would he be allowed to marry a Jew?

An Edomite cannot marry a Jew for three generations. Nowadays (since the time of Sancheiriv, who mixed all nations together), this law no longer applies as we no longer know who is an Edomite. ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

Who are the chassidei klali?

I've heard of these people who wear chasidic garments, pray nusach sfard, and learn chassidus but don't follow one chassidus exclusively or have one rebbe they follow. Does this fit in with a normal ...
1
vote
2answers
58 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.
1
vote
1answer
208 views

Which communities do not allow women to drive cars?

Which communities do not allow women to drive cars? I know the Belzer hassidim do not allow this, but I do not know about any other communities.
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Which communities do not allow women to smoke?

Which communities do not allow women to smoke? Satmar? If yes, is it an official or implicit rule ?
1
vote
0answers
90 views

Which community does not allow women to wear make up?

I know the neturei karta don't allow women to wear make up. What about other communities? Does Satmar? Does Toldos Aharon?
1
vote
0answers
82 views

A practical guide to Jewish neighborhoods and communities in Israel

Can anyone recommend a guide to Jewish neighborhoods and communities in Israel that includes information on as many as possible among the following categories? good for families with young children ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

What is the affiliation of the Jewish Bible Quarterly and what is its reputation in the Jewish world?

What is the affiliation of the Jewish Bible Quarterly and what is its reputation in the Jewish world?