Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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Why do most Ashkenazim read the Torah flatly on a table while many Sefardim read it standing vertically?

(In case you didn't know,) I am Ashkenazic. Most Ashkenazic congregations perform Torah reading by laying the Torah flatly on a table and reading the Torah as it is on the table. Many Sefardic ...
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3answers
198 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 ...
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65 views

May one ballpark the 6-hour wait between eating meat and dairy? [on hold]

The Talmud does not record explicitly a fixed amount of time to wait between meat and dairy, hence, there are different opinions about how long one must wait before eating dairy after having eaten ...
2
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1answer
22 views

Is there tefillah betzibbur during mixed heiche kedusha?

In a minyan (quorum) that is doing heiche kedushe with the (inevitable?) scenario that some mispallelim (ones praying) are following the Rama and waiting till after the chazzan's kedusha to begin ...
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0answers
23 views

Lo sisgodedu by varying practices of heiche kedusha?

In a minyan (quorum) that is doing heiche kedushe with the (inevitable?) scenario that some mispallelim (ones praying) are following the Rama and waiting till after the chazzan's kedusha to begin ...
5
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3answers
298 views

Standing for whole of Lecha Dodi

Certain families in my shul have the minhag to stand for the entire Lecha Dodi. I asked them why, but they do not know the source of the minhag. Does anyone know what the source of this minhag is?
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2answers
60 views

Why was a wedding in Jerusalem conducted differently to in the UK?

At a recent wedding in Jerusalem, I noticed the following differences from the practice I have got used to in the UK. (I realise this question could be asked to justify UK custom in the face of the ...
2
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1answer
79 views

(Tefach) Wide Gartel

Some use a very wide gartel. A friend of mine mentioned an inyan (Judaism-sourced idea) that the gartel should be wider than one tefach. Can someone source this inyan that the gartel should be (more ...
5
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1answer
68 views

What customs does a divorced/widowed woman follow? (Ashkenazi/Sfardi — hers or her ex-husband's?)

When a woman gets married, she takes on her husband's customs. Thus, an Ashkenazi woman marrying a Sfardi man gets to eat rice on Pesach (and vice versa). But what happens if she gets divorced, or if ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Is it wrong to ask for financial help after a personal loss?

Well now that I see this is a good site, with no rude people. I shall ask my question. I lost quite a lot of important things in an apartment fire (no insurance) so .. I set up a gofundme thing (now ...
2
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1answer
26 views

What is Ruaḥ HaShem?

When recalling someone who has passed (in a shi'ur or Devar Torah), I have heard many say "Ruaḥ HaShem teniḥenu/ah beGan 'Eden" (רוח ה' תניחנו/ה בגן עדן). 1) What is "Ruaḥ HaShem" (literally, the ...
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5answers
275 views

Marovis on Yom Tov

Does anyone know of shuls that still say Marovis (piyutim) on Yom Tov nights? I'm particularly interested in any place in Teaneck. Many seem to think that it's a yekki minhag but it's pretty clear ...
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2answers
55 views

Standing/Sitting on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion

I have noticed that some people are particular to stand on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion, whereas others are particular to sit. Is this really something significant? Whose opinion is ...
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3answers
270 views

Kissing a Sefer Torah as it passes

Some people in shul mark it as a sign of respect, as the Torah makes its way to/from the Aron Kodesh, to kiss it, and rush to get as close as possible. Others, given the cold season, think that this ...
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2answers
47 views

Who observes Yom Kippur Katan, and how?

Which groups of Jews observe the monthly holiday known as "Yom Kippur Katan," in which one dedicates the day before Rosh Chodesh to repentance, often including fasting and selichot? In what ways do ...
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2answers
122 views

Which takes precedence - dina d'malchuta or halacha? What about minhag yisrael?

A more practical ramification of Is a ban on government workers wearing religious symbols a gezeirat hamalchut for which one would be obligated to give up his life? If the law of the land (dina ...
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2answers
93 views

Lifting Torah during Bracha When Called for an Aliyah

I have noticed that while making the Bracha for an aliyah, many people lift the Torah when Hashem's name is recited. Is there a source for this?
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2answers
595 views

Are (opaque) stockings under a skirt considered enough to cover ervah?

This is a question about skirt lengths. From this answer: The halacha is that "tefach b'isha ervah" - a tefach (about 3.5 inches) uncovered on certain parts of a woman's body is ervah - ...
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4answers
642 views

Shape of the Luchot

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HabBerit were square. Where did the common "tablet" shape come from, with rectangles and a rounded top? Besides in pictures, I see it in ...
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2answers
97 views

Staying up all night and suffering on Yom Tov

The Maharal in his commentary on the Haggada (Gevurot Hashem) explains the significance that the Tannaim were relating the story of the Exodus until they were informed by a student that it was time ...
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5answers
283 views

Why do we say Vhu Rachum before Maariv?

Before Maariv, we say the pasuk "Vhu rachum yichaper avon..." (Psalms 78:38). Why?
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1answer
92 views

Ashkenazi Haftarah Custom

On Wikipedia, there is a list of haftarot. For Ashkenazim, the list gives four customs: Ashkenazi, Polish, Frankfurt, and Chabad. Considering that Polish and Frankfurt sum up the major non-chassidic ...
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1answer
44 views

Differences during Omer for Sepharadic and Ashkenazi customs

What are the main differences (besides the wording of the Omer-counting itself) between the Sepharadic and Ashkenazi customs during Omer?
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1answer
257 views

Why do children wear crowns on Shavuot?

Here in Israel, the tradition is for young children to wear flower crowns to celebrate Shavuot. (Along with the obligatory white shirts.) See my twins: Why is this? Is it related to Shabbat 88A ?? ...
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148 views

Halachic Justifications for the Amshinover Rebbe

The current Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem is known in the Jewish world as a man of great piety and for his great knowledge in Torah. He is also known to keep very different "Zmanim"- ...
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1answer
118 views

Chasan cigarettes - source & reason

Years ago it was a popular custom that a Chasan would give out cigarettes to his friends. Nowadays some still do so, however as smoking has become less popular so has this Minhag. What is the source ...
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0answers
50 views

Why is the term שליט“א more commonly used for a rav than the term נ”י?

As a follow up to this answer to a M.Y. question, why is שליט"א more commonly used after a notable Rav's name than the term נירו יאיר (or נ"י, as an abbreviation)? A wise person, such as a rav is ...
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0answers
7 views

About candle lighting [duplicate]

What is the meaning of the minhag of lighting a candle for leiluy nishmat or refuah shleima? Today for example we light a candle for rabbi shimon
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0answers
51 views

Do any Chassidic groups take haircuts on or after Lag Baomer?

It seems to me from the outside that Chassidic groups differ in the ways in which they apply customs of the Arizal. Some of these differences arise because Chassidim follow their Rebbes more than ...
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0answers
17 views

Questions about origin and custom of making twisted Shabbat challot? [duplicate]

I know that there are various customs for shaping challot during the year. For most Shabatot during the year, I have seen twisted challot. (I am a "Good 'Ol American Ashkenazi bochur"; I don't know ...
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2answers
292 views

Not to give a divorce (Get) in the month of Iyar

I heard today in Shul that there is a Minhag not to give a divorce in the month of Iyar. What is the source and reason for this Minhag?
3
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1answer
91 views

Where is “no Tachanun” on Pessach Sheni documented? [duplicate]

In almost every Siddur I have checked - as well as all the Luach's around, it says not to say Tachnun on Pessach Sheini - 14 Iyar. Yet I cannot find a source for it, nor in Shulchan Aruch neither in ...
3
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1answer
48 views

Aesthetics and chukoseihem

In general, there is a prohibition to adopt practices from other cultures (See, e.g., Maimonides' Laws of Idolatry 11; see also: ...
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4answers
243 views

Why is Lag Baomer celebrated the way it is (or at all)?

Why do we celebrate lag baomer with bon-fires and bow-and-arrow. Why do we celebrate lag baomer at all?
6
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1answer
89 views

Besides eating matzah, what do we do on Pesach Sheini today?

I had been under the impression that Pesach Sheini was only a historical and future observance -- that is, when the temple stood/stands. I didn't make the connection that it might also be special now ...
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0answers
48 views

Do any communities permit music during Sefira?

As many of our users are likely aware, there is a custom to refrain from listening to music during the Omer period. However, the operative word here is "custom." As such, I have been wondering whether ...
6
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1answer
57 views

When is a Person Obligated to Lead the Davening?

On various occasions I have heard somebody in shul declare that they have a chiyyuv to daven - an obligation, that is, to serve as sheliach hatzibbur: to represent the congregation in their leading of ...
2
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1answer
81 views

Kids waiting between meat and milk

There is a rabbinic obligation to wait between meat and dairy though customs are diverse regarding how long to wait, ranging from 1 hour (for those who come from e.g. Dutch communities) to the more ...
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1answer
65 views

Textual difference between Psukei DeZimra and Psalms 96

What is the origin of the custom to recite in pesukai dezimra יעלוץ השדה וכל אשר בו instead of יעלוז שדי וכל אשר בו which we are familiar with from Kabbalas Shabbos (psalm 96)?
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0answers
51 views

What is a Woman's Tallit

I read in a book about Czechoslovakian Jewry that in Southern Germany there was a custom for women to wear a "Woman's Tallit" on Yom Kippur. A reference to it also appears in The Encyclopedia of ...
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1answer
851 views

Where does the custom of a second “bar mitzvah” at 83 come from?

I have noticed more 83 year old men celebrating their second bar mitzvahs, and cannot find any source for this. Is it a new custom? Does it have any basis in pre-20th century practice?
16
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4answers
523 views

Stripes on a Talis

Is there any reason for the stripes on a talis? Does the color of the stripes have any significance?
2
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0answers
35 views

Saying “emes toraseinu ha'kedosha vehatehora”

There is a minhag of the tzibur saying the above phrase while the one who is oleh la'Torah says the second brocho. This was the minhag of my father z"l who was born in Satmar. I have been asking ...
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0answers
76 views

5 Iyar vs. 10 Adar

In Jewish tradition, we generally commemorate the ends of wars rather than their beginnings (e.g./i.e. Chanuka, Purim). The commemoration of the rebirth of Israel as the Jewish homeland in the past ...
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8answers
3k views
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1answer
43 views

Is it a problem to eat animal leftovers

Is it true that there is a Jewish custom not to eat after animals (even if not mius issue (ie the person eating does not know)) ie if a rat ate a peace of a fruit I can't just cut off that part and ...
6
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2answers
106 views

Are the letters on a dreidel supposed to be in any particular order?

This is a little silly, but... Should the letters on a dreidel be in order? Like, if you turned it right to left, should it go nun - gimel - hey - shin, because of "nes gadol haya sham"? Or are there ...
10
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3answers
208 views

Accepting parents' minhagim

Since the Conservative movement tends to take most of its minhagim from the German tradition due to its German roots, most Conservative Jews in America tend to practice the German customs (such as ...
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1answer
189 views

Why are challot traditionally braided?

What is the reason that challot are traditionally braided? When did this tradition begin?
9
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1answer
214 views

Where does the concept of “shirayim” come from?

Please explain the concept of shirayim (literally, leftovers) wherein the followers of a chassidic Rebbe will receive portions of his food to it, these leftovers are considered holy or special in some ...