Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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Making a Berachah on minhag prohibited foods

Related: Making a Berachah on rabbinically prohibited foods, Bentching after accidentally eating prohibited foods Can you say a bracha on something that you don't eat because of minhag? This is ...
4
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4answers
293 views

Why put water into the havdallah wine?

I have seen people (mainly sefardim) put a few drops of water into the wine before havdallah. Why do they do this?
2
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2answers
102 views

Proper day and time for a Shloshim Seuda

per Chabad.Org: "Traditionally, families gather on the eve of the Shloshim to share support, recite prayers and Psalms, and to give charity in the merit of the deceased. Many will also make a Siyum, ...
5
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1answer
200 views

Shofar from ibex horn?

I have the 2015 calendar from the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, and today I noticed that the September page has a picture of a shofar made from an ibex horn. The calendar dates it to 1850-...
5
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1answer
137 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 here) if there is no clear, reasonable, non-idolatrous justification for ...
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10answers
1k views

What is the source not to eat the endpiece of the challah?

At the shabbos meal, why do some people (such as Yodeyan NBZ) not eat the end piece of the challah? Some people don't even just start at the middle, they avoid the end-piece altogether.
5
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1answer
595 views

What type of nuts may not be eaten during Elul?

Many have a custom not to eat nuts during elul, because אגוז is gematria חטא (sin). So what exactly is considered nuts? Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Macadamian, Hazelnuts, Pecans? How about Peanuts (...
7
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4answers
732 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 ...
4
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0answers
80 views

Why read about Rashb"i's death at a memorial ceremony?

Why do many people read the passage (known as אדרא זוטא) from Zohar about the death of Rabbi Shim'on ben Yochai at memorial ceremonies? A description of it can be found here.
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0answers
34 views

R' Akiva Niggun on Lag B'Omer

What is the source, and the reason, for the widespread custom[1] of singing the last Mishnah in Yoma on Lag B'Omer? Also, why do people, when singing this on Lag B'Omer, skip part of the song (put in ...
3
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1answer
59 views

Source of שלום זכר

What is the earliest source for the מנהג of making a שלום זכר? Anything earlier than שולחן ערוך will make me happy to be honest...
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2answers
655 views

Minhag of throwing Challah at the Friday night Seuda

Aruch HaShulchan 167:31 and Be'er Hataiv 167:22 both say that it is forbidden to throw the (Challah) bread. I have heard that there are some people (I heard that there are some Rabannim who do so) ...
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0answers
50 views

Lighting from a pre-existing flame on 1st night Yom Tov if saying brachos first?

Some have the custom to say the bracha before kindling lights on (erev) Yom Tov. The linked page claims in one place that this is allowed because we don't receive Yom Tov with the bracha, and in ...
2
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0answers
47 views

How do modern Jews observe commands that talk about putting people to death? [duplicate]

Leviticus 20:10 talks about putting adulterous peoples to death. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 talks about putting a rebellious son to death: ... his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring ...
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1answer
66 views

Sing about Moshiach at the end of davening

In kindergarten or preschool, both boys and girls sing at the end of davening, "We want Moshiach, we want Moshiach now..." Was this instituted by the Lubavitcher Rebbe?
3
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2answers
711 views

End of Davening - Al Tira MiPachad Pisom

It seems like (other than Chabad) most people do not say Al Tira at the end of davening - they finish with the end of Aleinu/V'Al Kein. Is this an error or is this intentional? If it is intentional ...
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0answers
22 views

Can I say the Amidah out loud if it helps my kavanah? [duplicate]

If I am davening at home and it would not be disruptive to others, is there any reason I might be permitted to say the Amidah out loud--for example, if it helped me with my concentration or ...
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0answers
56 views

Standard response to “Amen”?

Is there some sort of standard response to "Amen"? That is, if another says Amen in response to one's blessing.
1
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1answer
37 views

Standing at the Bima at Kabalas Shabbos and Yekum Purkan

In some Shul's that I have prayed I have noticed that during Kabalos Shabbos and Yekum Purkan the Chazzan stands at the Bima instead of the Amud. What is the reason for those Shul's that do it this ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Can one follow “old” kitniyot rules?

Years ago, during 60's and 70's OU certified the use of peanut oil, corn oil and seeds. Miller's kimmel muenster (muenster with caraway seeds) was OU certified. I also believe that sesame candies were ...
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0answers
29 views

Bowing toward the right in Aleinu leshabei'ach

I read in the book The Rebbe that the Satmar Rebbe ztl had the custom to bow specifically toward the right at ve'anachnu kore'im but I can't find any sources to this minhag. It's certainly a ...
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1answer
59 views
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1answer
150 views

Why follow a rebbe's every custom?

I'v noticed among some chassidim (Chabad in particular) that they will follow every minute practice attributed to a their rebbe, even to inconsequential ones. For example, I've noticed that most ...
7
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1answer
135 views

Covering eyes for Shma which isn't THE shma

Based on the answer to this question about covering ones eyes for the Shma said early in davening, it would appear that one only covers his eyes when saying the verse of Shma in order to enhance the ...
15
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4answers
1k views

May a Jew be a Freemason?

According to what I've been told by several people who have inquired of "practicing" (is that the right word?) Freemasons, and supported by Wikipedia, "Freemasonry explicitly and openly states that it ...
5
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2answers
90 views

Is there a reason for putting on tefillin in a different room?

In many places where I have davened I have observed people (apparently intentionally) putting on their tallis and tefillin in a different room from where davening takes place. I have seen this even ...
2
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5answers
251 views

Reading zeicher, zecher, or both during the regular Torah reading

For parshat Zachor, many have a practice of saying both timche et zeicher amalek and timche et zecher amalek (different vowels on זכר). What are the customs regarding this word when it appears in the ...
3
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1answer
245 views

Are milchigs forbidden on Yom Tov? What about Shavuos?

I recently stumbled upon a page that said this: Eating Dairy Products on Shavuot Many families have a custom to eat dairy products on Shavuot. As noted above, Darkei Teshuva questions this ...
3
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1answer
164 views

Gerer Chassidishe Minhagim

For Gerer Chassidim (Polish Chassidishe Dynasty), what minhagim do they follow concerning these things: Tefillin Do they use Ashkenazi, Sephardic, or nusach Ari? Do they wind the retzuos inward or ...
14
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4answers
545 views

Why do Ashkenazim eat Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos?

Why do Ashkenazim have a Minhag to eat Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos?
5
votes
1answer
49 views

Visiting Deceased Loved Ones

Is it a mitzvah of some sort to visit the grave-sites of parents or other close relatives at the cemetery (as opposed to it being primarily sentimental/emotional in nature)? To what extent must one go ...
2
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0answers
59 views

Yekke Jew customs

I would like to know the customs and unique details of what a Yekke Jew does and stands for. I wait three hours between milk and meat but do not know why I do and what makes it right. Can you speak ...
2
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0answers
43 views

chupah (tallit gadol) above bimah on Shavuot

I was wondering as I hear it for the first time that one of my friend told me that they made a chupah(hung tallit gadol) above bimah on Shavuot.he told me its a custom that we do every year, but we ...
3
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2answers
157 views

dying person reciting shema

I have read a few times about people reciting the shema before dying. what is the reason for this and does it have any basis in halacha.
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0answers
51 views

At what point does the kallah take on the husband's minhagim?

If for exmple a Sefardi woman is marrying an Ashkenazi or vice versa at what point does the kallah take on the husbands minhagim? Is it as soon they are engaged? When the kiddushin is finalized? Some ...
4
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1answer
74 views

Why eat Saffron on Shavuos?

The Aruch HaShulchan in OC 494:5 seen here mentions a minhag to put saffron in the food on Shavuos due to the fact that has a pleasant smell which alludes to the passuk in Shir HaShirim לריח שמניך ...
6
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0answers
98 views

What is the origin of using tombstone symbols?

I was at a cemetary today and noticed a few interesting "icons" placed on certain tombstones. Someone explained to me the following: spread-out fingers used for a Cohen, representing the position of ...
2
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0answers
22 views

Announcing the New Month [duplicate]

Why do we (in Orthodox congregations) announce the ‘molad’ the Shabbat before a new month? Since our calendar is fixed, what difference does it make? Take this past week as an example. In our ...
9
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2answers
1k 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 ...
9
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2answers
353 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 ...
8
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3answers
1k views

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant?

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant? If yes then why is it a problem?
0
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0answers
40 views

What is the sefardic custom concerning wearing tallis katan?

I have heard that sefardim wear a tallis katan only for shacharis and then take it off. Is that so? If so, when did this custom arise and why?
2
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0answers
46 views

A wedding invitation insert to insert into a wedding invitation to inform secular friends and family about the customs of a religious jewish wedding

Is there a wedding invitation insert (in pdf or other presentable formats) somewhere online that one may freely use to insert into a Jewish wedding invitation to inform secular friends and family ...
8
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4answers
608 views

Ostrich eggs in Shul?

Kinyan L'Shabbos (published weekly by Hamodia) - July 18, 2012, page 11 has a fascinating article by Rabbi Avraham Y. Heschel regarding an ancient custom of displaying ostrich eggs in a Beis Knesses. ...
4
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3answers
292 views

Giving Blessings at a Wedding

I have noticed a custom among wedding-goers to receive blessings from the bride and the groom at weddings, usually when they come over to the new couple's table for well-wishing during the meal. Why ...
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0answers
29 views

Is it possible for customs to be transmitted from the mother? [duplicate]

Suppose someone is becoming more religious and he doesn't know his father's minhagim. Should he follow the minhagim of his mother and her family or of the rabbi who taught him and helped him become ...
3
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1answer
91 views

Do you have more information about the Algerian Yitro feast of boys?

My father told me the Algerian Jews do a feast similar to the Tunisian's Yitro feast of boys. It happens the same day. This feast is apparently called "Molke Tsion" and is dedicated to the glory of ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Source for waiting between milk and meat?

There is a widespread custom to wait 30 min between (soft) cheese and meat. What is the origin and source of this custom?
2
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0answers
45 views

Minhagim of Sefirah

Most people keep only part of Sefirah (the seven-week period joining Pesach and Shavuos) as a period of semimourning: either (roughly) the first 33 days or (roughly) the last 33 days. There are ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Is there a minhag to smell besamim on shabbos?

Is there a minhag to smell besamim on shabbos?(for reasons other than the 100 brochos)