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3
votes
1answer
62 views

Why are we impure when we wake up?

I've heard from morim and shiurim that when we wake up we're impure, or at least our hands are impure. That's why netilat yadayim should be one of the first things he do when we wake up. But I've also ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Reason for Sepharadi Qeri'at Shema' Custom

I have seen no small number of Sepharadim recite Qeri'at Shema' whilst covering their eyes in the fashion below (as opposed to what I assume is the predominant Ashkenazi custom of simply placing one's ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Are Jews allowed to use the expression “fingers crossed”?

Not to worship idols is one of the 10 commandments; according to a quick Google search "finger crossed" originates from either the Christian cross or other superstitious beliefs. Does this mean that ...
2
votes
2answers
63 views

Is there a practice of palming face by “shin” shape?

A friend of mine from B7 said that there's a custom to palm one's face during Kriyat Shma with shin-shaped hand. It looks like a Cohanim's hand shape, but it forms a shin-like shape. Who's custom is ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Source that prohibits raising hands during davening

I recall once reading somewhere that perhaps the Zohar, or Ari"zl state that one should not raise one's hands (or wave them around) whilst praying (as it is darchei emori, or some such prohibition). ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Must hand washing be done with pure (fresh) water?

It seems from here both that some types of water are considered too salty to be acceptable for ritual handwashing and that mikvah water is always considered acceptable. I am left wondering what, ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Can one hand wash the other?

I know that in many situations, ritual handwashing must be performed using a vessel (Source: Maimonides, Mishne Torah (Hil. Mikvaot 11:1)). If one does not have a cup for ritual handwashing, is using ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Sources for Holding One's Left Hand in Right Hand During Prayer

What are the earliest sources for the practice of holding one's left hand in one's right hand during prayer? (particular during the Ammidah). The Talmud Shabbat (10a) notes a practice of holding ...
3
votes
1answer
22 views

Ps. 144:1 “Etzbe'otai l'milchama”?

Every motzaei Shabbat before ma'ariv, I have the custom to sing Tehillim 144 and Tehillim 67. However, the first passuk (verse) always confounds me: לְדָוִד: בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה, צוּרִי-- ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Why don't we wash mayim acharonim on non bread meals? [duplicate]

The mishna berurah says that the reason for mayim acharonim is that we are worried about Sodom Salt (even if today's salt is not Sodom Salt, some of it might still be mixed in). He also says that ...
6
votes
1answer
234 views

Nail polish chatzitzah and mikveh immersion

If someone has a little, almost imperceptible, leftover nail polish, would it be considered a chatzitzah with regard to mikveh immersion? If so, why?
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Why would I want matzah made from flour that was ground in a hand-mill?

I saw an advertisement for a matzah-baking group. Part of the advertisement claimed, in big, ostentatious letters, that the flour was "רחים של יד" -- presumably because they wanted you know that the ...
0
votes
0answers
90 views

Practice of burning or burying fingernail clippings

I've been reading recently about the practice of discarding of fingernails in a special way, usually by burning or burying. (Sources here) Please discuss this practice. Any information would be ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Why do all of them say that there were 5 times more plagues at the sea, instead of 1.5 times?

In the Haggadah it says: (text from WikiSource) רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן אַתָּה אוֹמֵר שֶׁלָּקוּ הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת? ...
2
votes
0answers
141 views

What is the source for the custom of kissing one's hand after shaking another's?

There is a common custom in Israel (mostly in Sfardic communities) that after you shake someone's hand, you kiss your hand. Generally people kiss their thumb or first two fingers, in my experience. ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Why Can't Moshe's Hands Perform Miracles?

The Torah (Shemos 17) describes a battle between Israel and Amalek in Refidim, and says that when Moshe's hands were raised, the Israel would be winning, but when he lowered his hands Amalek would ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

Kissing Back of Hand

Is there a source for Sephardim and Chassidim that kiss the hand of their Rabbi, a Torah scholar or even their father upon meeting them?
6
votes
3answers
226 views

Palm-reading in Judaism

Are there Jewish sources which affirm the validity of the art of palm-reading? If yes, how does this work. i.e. what is the underlying idea behind it. (the reason I ask, is because I actually met ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Tefillin as an Ot

The commandment of the arm-tefillin is וקשרתם לאות על ידך, "And you shall bind it as an sign upon your yad". (Devarim 6:8, Devarim 11:18) However, having just read an answer by Shalom, defining a ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Wrapping the shel yad: no shin on the hand

I follow chabad custom which, when it gets down to my hand, I believe involves only wrapping one finger of the hand in addition to the palm. I make the shin on my arm. But the Shema says bind it on ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

How to hold your hands during the amidah?

For someone praying the amiday by heart with eyes closed, what is the right way to hold your hands? I know that the right hand should cover the left, but how exactly? Can someone upload a diagram or ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

A question about Tefillin and the customs relating to strapping of tefillin

Why do we strap the tefillin around our arm 7 times? Also, what is the significance of the way we wrap the tefillin around our finger?
2
votes
1answer
296 views

Applying hand cream on Shabbos

Regarding dry, chapped skin that requires regular application of moisturizing cream, is someone allowed apply this cream on Shabbos? Does the composition or texture of the cream change the answer?
1
vote
1answer
160 views

Havdalah and fingers

As the berachah on the havdalah candle is made, I've been told, the proper thing to do is to raise your hands toward the candle with your fingers curled over your palm and look at the shadow of your ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Pointing the pinky at the torah

By Hagbahos HaTorah people point at the Torah with the pinky of their right hand. I have seen others point with the pinky of both hands. Someone told me this is brought down in the Me’am Lo’ez. Where ...
5
votes
2answers
269 views

Covering eyes for Shema

What is the requirement of covering our eyes for Shema? For example, do your eyes need to be closed? Must one cover with their hand? Does it matter which hand is used?
0
votes
1answer
205 views

Shaking hands loosely

Many religiously observant men I've met, irrespective of their 'edah (cultural persuasion, e.g. Ashkenazi, Sefaradi, Teimani), have shaken my hand more loosely than secular or Gentile men (who ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Moshe Rabainu burning his mouth with the coals

Per this answer Moshe and the Red-Hot Coals Moshe Rabainu took the coals and placed it in his mouth and his mouth got burned. It does not mention that his hand got burned. Did his hand get burned or ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Why do we wrap tefillin around the forearm and hand?

According to Masechet Menachot daf 37, we're supposed to place the box of the arm on the bicep. Why then do we also have a strap that wraps around the arm and hand (according to earliest sources)?
1
vote
3answers
98 views

Why does the Haggadah interpret ביד חזקה as referring to דבר?

Why does the Haggadah interpret ביד חזקה (strong hand) as referring to the plague of דבר (pestilence)? Why don’t the other plagues demonstrate a strong hand?
6
votes
4answers
626 views

What's the Jewish equivalent of “crossing your fingers”?

I always use the phrase "crossing my fingers for good luck", but it's really annoying; is there a Jewish equivalent of that phrase? This is a superstition from another religion, making the symbol of ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Question on the transfer of Ruach Ra'ah [closed]

I've heard ( do not have a source ) that if you don't wash right after waking up, the Ruach Ra'ah transfers itself to all objects you touch. Does this object become tumei? How is it removed from the ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Yirah HaShem/Shamayim & Yarmulkah

It's a little bit of a difficult question to ask, but i will try to explain it: Yarmulkah seems to come from the Aramaic phrase Yarei Malka (Yirah Melech); fear of the King. I know the verses of the ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Scraping fish with a finger nail?

I heard that a kosher type fish bought from a grocer that has also non-kosher fish, that scraping it with a finger nail where the blade cut makes it good to eat. What is the source for this idea?
6
votes
5answers
224 views

Rashi and Corporealsim

Shemos 7:4- וְלֹא-יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה, וְנָתַתִּי אֶת-יָדִי בְּמִצְרָיִם; וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶת-צִבְאֹתַי אֶת-עַמִּי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, בִּשְׁפָטִים, גְּדֹלִים There, Rashi ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

Is it permitted to make hand gestures in the Amidah?

Someone told me that I should not move my hands during the Amidah. I found this article in the Jerusalem Post which says: Indeed, an eerie silence hovers over the issue of outstretched arms ...
10
votes
1answer
211 views

Would a metallic prosthetic hand require immersion?

Normally, a metal utensil used to eat with, such as a fork, requires immersion before its first use if it had been owned by a gentile. If a person has a metallic prosthetic hand which he uses to eat, ...
3
votes
2answers
122 views

What is the proper way to hold one's hands while praying?

Similar to Not interlacing fingers in prayer What is the proper way that one should hold his hands while praying, if there is such a way? What is the level of obligation to hold one's hands in that ...
-2
votes
1answer
197 views

Kohen Duchaning with First Two Fingers Together [duplicate]

I recently saw some drawings of the Kohen's hands during duchaning, not the way I do it. I put my two first fingers together without leaving a window. I would like to know if there is any valid way ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

Should a parent bless a child resting one hand or both?

When a parent gives the traditional blessing usually done on Shabbat evening should the parent place one hand on the head of the child or two?
6
votes
2answers
404 views

Not interlacing fingers in prayer

I have heard from an unauthoritative source that one should not interlace his fingers while praying, because, l'havdil, Christians do. Is there any authoritative source for the claim that it's ...
8
votes
2answers
202 views

Significance of the Kohen's hand gestures?

What is the significance of the shapes (windows?) created by the kohen during birkas cohanim? This question and the ensuant answers detail at least 3 opinions of the gesture, I would really appreciate ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

May one make obscene gestures?

I was told that sign language does not qualify as actual speech (ergo one cannot make a beracha via sign language) as such would obscene gestures be permissible (since they would ostensibly not ...
7
votes
2answers
287 views

Tefilin with obstruction on hand

How should one tie his shel yad on his hand if his finger(s) have something on them, such as a splint for a broken bone in the left middle finger?
3
votes
2answers
208 views

When and why do we cover thumbs?

We are instructed to cover our thumbs during shmoneh esrei (Mishnah Berurah 95:6 quoting Ramak), havdalah (Mishna Brura 298:10) and in the beit hamikdash as these would select the kohen to do the ...
9
votes
2answers
122 views

If one hand gets dirty, do both require washing?

I'm in middle of davening, and scratch a usually-covered place using my little finger (pinky) on my right hand. This requires me to wash my hand before continuing. Do I have to: wash both my hands? ...
9
votes
6answers
566 views

Is there a Kabbalistic source for not walking with one's hands behind one's back?

I've heard from people that it says in Kabbalah that one shouldn't walk with one's hands behind one's back. Does anyone know the source?
9
votes
3answers
600 views

Kohanic Hand Gestures?

How are Kohanim supposed to position their hands and in what shape during Birkhat Kohanim? Answer with most opinions backed by sources wins.
33
votes
10answers
4k views

Reason behind pinky during hagba

Why do people lift their pinkies during Hagba?