Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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2
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0answers
23 views

Source in Hazal for holding sisith during qiryath shema`?

Is there a source in Hazal specifically for grasping the (front) two ssissith during the recitation of the shema`? If not, where does it stem from and what is the purpose? Thanks. Kol tuv.
1
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1answer
40 views

Mezuzos on an “eruv”

What we colloquially call an "eruv" is actually intended to be a halachic doorway (tzurath hapethach) to count as a partition delineating a reshuth hayachid (private domain). As such, every post ...
0
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2answers
80 views

Is there any significance to someone's non-Hebrew calendar birthday?

It is believed that there is a significance to one's Hebrew calender Birthday. Is there any significance for one's birthday on other calendars (such as the Gregorian calendar, as well as others)? It ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

What is the source for lighting a candle for the whole year after the death of a close relative?

I am familiar with the idea of a yahrzeit candle. I have observed a custom of keeping a flame alight for the whole year (or maybe 11 months) after the death of a close relative. (When one goes out, ...
2
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
92 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
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
6
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1answer
90 views

Beer at a Shalom Zachor

There is a common custom I have observed to serve beer at a Shalom Zachor. This is also mentioned here with some speculation about the source. What is the source for this practice?
6
votes
1answer
56 views

Ashkenazi leniencies before shavua shechal bo

Ashkenazim extend the Talmudic prohibitions of shavua shechal bo tisha b'av (the week of the 9th of Av) to the beginning of the month. Are there Ashkenazi leniencies from Rosh Chodesh Av until shavua ...
4
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1answer
84 views

Source for Striking Self during Viduy

What is the earliest source for striking one's chest while reciting Vidduy?
2
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0answers
58 views

Should Ashkenazim say 'מוריד הטל' in Israel?

The Rema (114:3) brings the Tur who says that Ashkenazim do not say 'מוריד הטל' in the amidah: "Us, the Ashkenazim, do not commemorate the 'טל' [i.e. say 'מוריד הטל'], not in the summer days nor ...
3
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4answers
2k views

Kein Yehi Ratzon by Birchas Kohanim

The Minhag by most Shuls where there is no Birchas Kohanim and the Chazan just says the Birchas Kohanim is to say Kein Yehi Ratzon. Why do we say Kein Yehi Ratzon instead of Amein?
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0answers
68 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Shavua SheChal Bo when Tisha Bav is Nidcha (Pushed off) [duplicate]

When the fast of Tisha B'Av is pushed off from a Shabbos to Sunday do the minhagim of Shavua Shechal Bo apply for the whole week leading up to Shabbos (Since 9 of Av is shabbos) or is there ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

Is there an 'Inyan of Upsherin for girls?

Upsherin is cutting a boy's hair at or about the age of three for the first time. Is there any 'Inyan (idea) of an Upsherin for girls? Why or why not?
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0answers
34 views

If Yom Kippur Katan has to exist, why isn't it ON Rosh Chodesh?

The practice of Yom Kippur Katan is held on erev Rosh Chodesh (by some) so that we can maintain the element of kapparah essential to Rosh Chodesh but not compromise the celebration of the day by ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Semichath ge'ulah l'tfilah by Maariv with a minyan

The gemara in Brachoth emphasizes the importance of semichat ge'ulah l'tefilla (adjoining redemption to prayer): דאמר ר' יוחנן איזהו בן העולם הבא זה הסומך גאולה לתפלה של ערבית... ... For R' ...
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7answers
722 views

What is the source for the “Upsheirin”?

In some families/communities, little boys do not get their hair cut until they are three, and then there is a gathering for cutting their hair. The haircut is called an "upsheirin" or "chalakeh." ...
1
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0answers
36 views

History of ḥalāqah/Upsherin (אפשערן/חאלאקה) [duplicate]

What are the earliest sources for these customs? i found mention of the custom amongst Sephardim of Eretz Yisrael in the Kether Shem Tob. But that only mentions it for Eretz Yisrael, and doesn't ...
3
votes
0answers
30 views

Arvei Nahal - species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Would you mind me browsing your site? [migrated]

I am not Jewish, but am interested to know more about it and have read some scriptures and writings. I have no intention of disrespect, so I politely ask your permission to browse and ask questions on ...
5
votes
6answers
228 views

Why specifically an apple on Rosh HaShanah?

There is a custom of eating an apple dipped in honey on first night of Rosh HaShanah (among the other foods) as a sign that we should have a sweet year. Why is this done specifically with an apple and ...
7
votes
3answers
103 views

Why do many boys begin learning Gemara with Elu Metzios?

There is a popular custom for boys to start their Gemara studies with Elu Metzios (the 2nd Perek in Bava Metzia). The Gemara (Bava Basra 175b) does say that financial laws are conducive to becoming ...
11
votes
2answers
335 views

Why a formulaic greeting on ליל ראש השנה?

On Rosh Hashana night, it is customary to greet one another with "לשנה טובה תכתב (ותחתם)‏" (Rama 582:9, MB). People (in my experience) and machzorim (Rosh Hashana prayer books) treat this as ...
2
votes
5answers
74 views

When to say brocha when making a L'chaim

I have always been confused about l'chaims (toasts). At what point does one make the blessing on the drink? Which part--the "l'chaim" or the blessing--immediately precedes taking a sip? Usually when ...
2
votes
3answers
405 views

Doesn't the wide use of Sheitels among Orthodox Jewish women prove that hair no longer retains the erotic status that it once had?

In reading scores of halakhic material on the subject of kisui rosh le-nashim throughout the ages, I have found that there are essentially two views as to the nature of the obligation for a woman to ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Chol-Kreisch Ceremony

Danny Schoemmann mentions a ceremony called a chol-kreisch in this answer for giving the secular name of a child. Is this custom still observed, and if so, how is it practiced?
6
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4answers
580 views

What practices are affected by a belief in demons?

Inspired by R' Slifkin's new monograph, Wrestling with Demons, and acknowledging the fact that the existence of sheidim and other things magical in nature is an age-old dispute, I am wondering about ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Extent of Martyrdom Requirements in the Face of Anti-Religious Laws

There is a halachik principle brought down in the Talmud and codified in halacha known as shaat hashmad - a time of forced religious persecution. Generally, the rule is that any commandment of the ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
110 views

Earliest Sources for Custom of Not Shaving from 17th of Tammuz

What are the earliest sources for the custom of not shaving from the 17th of Tammuz? The Shulchan Aruch (OC 551:3) only mentions this only in the week of the 9th of Av. שָׁבוּעַ שֶׁחָל בּוֹ ...
6
votes
1answer
212 views

Where does the custom to spill off from a drink come from?

I had a Lubavitcher classmate in high school who used to spill off from his cup whenever he would drink anything. He claimed it was a minhag. What is the reason/source for this practice?
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Where should the stone left on a grave come from?

I will be traveling for an unveiling soon and intend to leave a stone at the grave. Since I will be traveling I have to ability to bring the stone from where I live or to find a stone near the ...
8
votes
2answers
245 views

Direction of Tefillin Winding

Why do some people have the custom to wind the Tefillin-Shel-Yad towards themselves, while others wind it away from themselves? What is the reason behind these two customs, and which sects of Judaism ...
3
votes
1answer
69 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

ב (bet) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What are the correct ways to pronounce the ב (bet)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
7
votes
1answer
95 views

Why put Psalm 130 right before barchu?

I've seen the custom quoted in many siddurim to recite Psalm 130 (שיר המעלות ממעמקים), with the Ark open, between ישתבח and ברכו during עשרת ימי תשובה. This particular Psalm was chosen because it's ...
6
votes
2answers
295 views

How can all the great rabbis' practices be accepted by Hashem? [duplicate]

This may seem like a child's question, but it's one I never thought to ask as a child, so I never learned the answer. Rabbinic traditions — even within continuous geographical lineages amongst ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Unmarried man teacher of children

I see from The Shulchan Aruch Even Ezer 22.20 and from Shulchan Aruch Harav, Hilchois Talmud Torah, perek 1 halocho 13 that single man should not be a teacher of children (under 13) becouse of the ...
8
votes
1answer
414 views

Changing minhag about tallit gadol

I first became involved with a non-orthodox congregation where it was customary for everyone over Bar Mitzvah age to wear a tallit gadol. However, I understand that it is an Ashkenazi minhag not to ...
5
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Is one permitted to change his minhagim? ashkenaz to sefardi

If a person grew up sefardi and wanted to change his minhagim to ashkenaz (including pronunciations) is it permitted to do so?
3
votes
3answers
58 views

For someone wearing tzitzis outside his clothes, should he have the strings and / or the knots visible?

Assuming one wears his Tzitzis out , is there a preference to leaving only the strings out but the knots in, or is it better to leave out the knots as well? I teach in a Yeshiva for Baalei Teshuva ...
2
votes
4answers
298 views

Why aren't we Mahmir (stringent) with just Mikvah when ruling leniently on a technicality in Niddah cases?

I know from experience and some introductory study of the laws of Niddah that rabbis typically try to find leniencies wherever possible in issues of family purity. In many instances, a Posek will rely ...
5
votes
5answers
906 views

Chickpeas (Arbes) at a Shalom Zachor

Why do we serve Arbes - chickpeas at a Shalom Zachor?
30
votes
9answers
3k views
5
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3answers
646 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 - ...
2
votes
1answer
442 views

Custom of standing when a tzaddik passes by

I am asking this question in light of a situation I witnessed recently: When the senior rabbi of our shul--a very righteous man who was keeping his wife's yahrzeit that night--walked past the ...
3
votes
2answers
51 views

What is the source of the expression מנהג ישראל תורה?

The earliest source I found is the Ramban who says in Pesachim 7b: ועוד נ"ל שסדר ברכות הללו של שחרית ברכות שבח הן על נוהג העולם ואפי' לא שמע שכוי מברך עליו וכן בכולן, וכן נהגו ומנהג ישראל תורה ...
2
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0answers
21 views

Origin for different styles for congregational singing in El Adon and Lecha Dodi [duplicate]

In most Nusach Ashkenaz shuls that I have attended, the congregation and chazzan sing Lecha Dodi and Kel Adon together. In most Hassidic minyanim (they are Nusach Sefard. I say "Hassidic" since the ...