Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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7
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4answers
555 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
votes
3answers
272 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
27 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
votes
1answer
90 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
votes
1answer
47 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
votes
2answers
69 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, ...
2
votes
0answers
42 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
41 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)
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Is it true that saying someone's full Jewish name is helpful for a long life?

Someone told me that in their family they have the minhag (practice) that at least once a day everyone is called by their full Jewish name. For example, a girl is Chana Ester Riva. People call her ...
14
votes
2answers
833 views

Why is the Lubavitch custom to have short Peoth?

If R' Schneur Zalman of Liadi had long Peoth, as in this famous sketch, why is it not the custom in Lubavitch circles these days for adult men to maintain long, emphasized Peoth as it is in many other ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

live music and eating a meal?

I heard a long time ago that some people do not listen to live music and eat a meal at the same time, only at weddings? Is this a minhag or halacha?
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Tichel wearer moves to Sheitel covered community

If a woman who is custom to covering by means of Tichel/Mitpachat moves to a community in which it is custom for women to wear Sheitels, should she switch to Sheitels? If she attends a synagogue in ...
10
votes
4answers
809 views

Is it permissible to name one's child with a name from the opposite gender?

Is a person allowed to name a boy with a girl's name and vice versa? I remember seeing that one musn't, although in Nach one finds these things a lot. I understand it is not best practice for ...
4
votes
2answers
609 views

No kaddish for a sister?

I have heard that some (e.g. Chabad?) have the practice not to say kaddish for one's deceased sister. Can anybody confirm this? What might be the reason for this? I had thought there is an ...
20
votes
3answers
553 views

Why do we say Mazel Tov? Shouldn't we thank Hashem?

Why do we say "Mazel Tov" when something good happens to a person? Doesn't that mean "good luck?" Are we saying that what happened, happened because of luck?
5
votes
2answers
702 views

What is the source for the garlic and sugar at a Pidyon HaBen?

At a Pidyon HaBen I have observed that the Minhag is to put sugar cubes and garlic cloves on the tray with the baby. What is the source of this Minhag? And why specifically sugar and garlic?
2
votes
2answers
147 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.
8
votes
0answers
187 views

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av?

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av? I understand that this used to be a custom, in addition to allowance of a more relaxed approach to women's tznius on that ...
14
votes
4answers
964 views

Why do Jewish people sway while praying?

Is there a reason that people sway back and forth while praying? I saw a lot of people pray like this, but I'm too shy to ask them why do they do this.
8
votes
4answers
628 views

Schlissel Challah

What is the source for the "Key Challah" Segulah (charm) that is said to bring Parnassah (prosperity)? And which is it: do you put the key in the Challah or do you make the Challah in the shape of a ...
0
votes
2answers
95 views

Pulling ear when sneeze

Where does it come from that people pull their ear when they sneeze does it have something to do with our forefather Jacob before him no-one became ill just before death? That is, he became ill before ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

What criteria are used to establish the shul's minhag re Hol Hamo'ed tefillin wearing?

Follow up to this answer. The Mishnah Berurah refers to the shul's minhag. While on vacation, I entered a shul carrying my tefillin bag. In the shul, I saw 6 people wearing tefillin, one of them was ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Shul segregation during chol hamoed

Over Pesach and Sukkos, it is common to find segregated minyanim in which those who wear tefilin sit in one section while those who do not sit in another, or completely separate services for both. ...
8
votes
1answer
247 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
votes
1answer
55 views

Ordering the healers's attributes in different minhagim

In Ashkenazic Nussach the 8th blessing of the Amida, the Nussach is: "רופא נאמן ורחמן" trustworthy and merciful. and in Sepharadic Nussach the order is "רחמן ונאמן". I am wondering if the difference ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Why do Chabad wedding invitations show the wrong time?

It has recently come to my attention that Chabad wedding invitations in the US are often bilingual Hebrew/English and the time given for the wedding on the Hebrew side is wrong (perhaps a copy of the ...
2
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
65 views

Source for spoon, feather, and candle used in bedikas chometz?

What is the original source for the Ashkenazic tradition to do--as is popularly taught--the final search for chometz with a spoon, a feather, and a candle? It may not have an official source; in that ...
4
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
602 views

Is there any source that says that women should / should not get drunk on Purim?

The prevalent מנהג is that women do not get drunk on Purim. I assume this due to tznius (modesty) concerns. Is there any ancient or recent source that explicitly discusses women not/yes drinking on ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Why eat gebrochts on the 8th day?

Apparently, among those who don't eat gebrochts during Pesach, the custom is to specifically eat it on the 8th day. From ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

How much wine should women drink at the Pesach seder?

In light of the concerns discussed here, how much of the Four Cups are women required/advised to drink at the Passover seder? At my last seder, I was told that women only need to have "a little" (a ...
8
votes
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?
3
votes
1answer
162 views

Saying Hallel in Shul on Pesach Night

There is a minhag by some kehillas in chutz L'aretz and by almost all kehillas in Israel to say the complete version of Hallel in the shul during maariv on the first night of Pesach (and second in ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Why on Pesah are we more strict with Kitniyoth than we are with real grains? [duplicate]

We obviously are very strict with the 5 grains on Pesah, but we do eat food made with them, namely Matzah. And with the exception of the issue of "Gebrochts", we do allow Matzah to be re-engineered ...
3
votes
2answers
129 views

why kiddushin and nisu'in are done in the same day (no big space)

Why are kiddushin and nisu'in done on the same day, with no big space in between? I understand from the mishna: מסכת כתובות ה,ב = נותנים לבתולה שנים עשר חודש משיתבע לה הבעל, לפרנס את עצמה; כשם ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Should I wear tefillin during Chol HaMoed?

If I don't have a known family minhag regarding this, how should I decide whether to wear tefillin during Chol HaMoed? Which communities generally follow each option, and what are the reasons behind ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Use Cazeres/romaine lettuce leaves?

I have seen some people use only the stalk and others use the whole leaf of the romaine lettuce for cazeres that they use by the Seder, both for the "plate" and for eating. What is the reason for the ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

What is the Pesach candelabra?

What are the origins of the tradition to use a round 7-branch candelabra for Passover? Who uses it, when, how, and why? I am talking about something that looks like this: ...Perhaps interestingly ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Why can't we say “This meat is for Pesach”?

For the 30 days before Pesach, we are not supposed to say "this is for Pesach," but rather "this is for Yom Tov." The source indicates that the prohibition applies especially to utterances regarding ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Payment for Shadchanim

Where did the idea of paying a shadchan come from? Is it an obligation? Is it just like paying anyone for a service? If so, why do we only pay if the shidduch leads to a marriage? Additionally, who ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

“Shmubrokhts” - Gebrokhts vs. Shmurah matzot during the week

While shopping in my local store last year during Hol Hamo'ed, I saw a brand of cakes called "shmubrokhts". Being curious about this interesting name, I realized that this was essentially gebrokhts ...
4
votes
2answers
294 views

When did the Kanievsky family switch from Chasidic to Litvish?

R' Chaim Kanievsky shlita davens Ashkenaz and wears Ashkenazi tefilin. His grandfather z'l was a Chernobyler chasid. It's not clear to me how the Steipler Gaon ztz'l conducted himself with regards ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

What happened to the Mugmar?

In Brochos Perek 6, Mishna 6 the Mugmar is mentioned in the context of who makes the Brocha for it. Commentaries explain that it is some sort of incense that was smelled after a meal. It would ...
4
votes
6answers
301 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
37 views

Does a woman goes back to be sefaradi after divorcing from a ashkenazi husband? [duplicate]

So, my parents just got divorced. My mother was Sefaradi when single and my father is Ashkenazi. When my mother married my father she adopted all ashkenazi customs, including not eating kitniot on ...
0
votes
3answers
78 views

Does chabad eat gebrochts? [duplicate]

What is the Chabad custom regarding eating matza meal or letting any water come in contact with matza?
0
votes
2answers
76 views

“Chiyuv” to be chazan vs. congregational approval and refusal

Follow-up to this M.Y. answer about a "chiyuv" to daven from the amud. The answer states that a mourner for a parent should try to be shaliach tzibbur. I question whether this rule contradicts some ...