Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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5
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0answers
278 views

Saying “Elokim” when not referring to Hashem

People often say "Elokim" instead of "Elohim" when speaking in order to avoid taking God's name in vain. I have observed, however, that some people always substitute the word "elokim" for "elohim" ...
2
votes
1answer
133 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 ...
2
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0answers
64 views

סימן יתק״ק and Shir Hashirim

In the copy of Echa I used this past 9 Av, the final p'sukim were followed by the notation "סימן יתק״ק". These stand for "ישעיה",‎ "תרי עשר",‎ "קהלת", and "קנות" (i.e. Echa). These are ...
5
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0answers
117 views

Do Sepharadim celebrate Thanksgiving?

A good deal of ink has been spilled in the past century regarding the permissibility and appropriateness of American Jews celebrating Thanksgiving. For the most part, Ashkenazim are split, with some ...
8
votes
1answer
156 views

Baal haTanya's donning shel yad seated

I have heard that the baal haTanya put on his t'fila shel yad while seated (as S'faradim do). Does anyone have a source for this (or for the opposite: that he put on his shel yad standing)? If he ...
7
votes
3answers
233 views

Sitting for “Ashre”?

I have seen people seemingly careful to sit down when beginning the paragraph of prayers that starts "Ashre yosh've vesecha" (Ps. 84:5). One such person told me that he was, in fact, careful to do so, ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Wearing tefilin all the time included Shabbat?

When people used to wear tefilin every day, did they do so on Shabbat as well? If so, why did people stop wearing tefilin on Shabbat? If not, why not?
8
votes
1answer
88 views

Are there any minhag and customs specific to Czech Jews and have they been documented?

I'm a baal teshuva with Czech Jewish ancestry. I have an interest in the minhag of my ancestors as well as in common cultural practices, and perhaps pass them on where I can. Have they been documented ...
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0answers
110 views

Customs for closing eyes for Keriyat Shema [duplicate]

When davening by Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg one Friday night he did not cover his eyes for Shema. Are there any sources that suggest merely closing one's eyes for Shema rather than covering them ...
5
votes
2answers
285 views

When did the use of Rashei Tevot, Heh Kuf, הק׳ in writings, books, letters, etc., begin?

Perhaps I'm among the last to have found this out, but it took me quite a while to understand why, in a signature, the name was preceeded by a הק׳. THe Ozar Rashei Tevot book has 31 different ...
8
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4answers
737 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 ...
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0answers
66 views

Why don't we say the first verse of Psalm 6 in Tachanun?

When Ashkenazim say Tachanun, they say the text of Psalm 6 without the first verse introduction “To the conductor with melodies on the sheminith, a song of David.” In the text, we say, “I am weary ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Does minhag hamakom apply to a college minyan?

At my university our minyan davens nusach Ashkenaz. Recently some have expressed the desire to allow the shatz to daven nusach Sefard, under the logic that since there are basically no permanent ...
3
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3answers
407 views

Cutting chala with a knife

Are people insistent upon cutting bread with a knife rather than tearing it apart manually? If so, why?
2
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1answer
190 views

Why don't women drink alcohol (other than kiddush wine) in shul?

I've noticed that in Orthodox shuls, it's common for men to drink alcohol (such as a shot of scotch or vodka or perhaps a liqueur), other than just kiddush wine, especially after Shacharis on Shabbos. ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

Mikvah with three additional chambers

I was looking at documentation of a mikvah being constructed, and it confused me. In addition to the immersion pool, this mikvah had three additional chambers. From what I have gathered, they appear ...
5
votes
1answer
74 views

Order of blessing children on Erev Shabbos

When blessing children on erev Shabbos, is there a correct or preferred order (oldest to youngest, boys first or girls), or may parents decide however they like? If there is not a correct order, can ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

Minhag of reciting Tikkun Chatzot during the daytime?

I have heard, offhandedly, that there is supposedly a minhag to recite Tikkun Chatzot at/after midday during the 3 weeks. Would anyone happen to know the source for this? Is this recitation intended ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Communities where men didn't put their טליתות over their heads?

I heard that the Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna mentioned cases where the custom of the place was different, one such place being יָוָן, where men didn't cover their heads with their tallitot, ...
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votes
3answers
225 views

Which parts of the head should be covered by the kippa?

I understand that it is a widespread minhag for men to wear a head covering. Recently I have seen kippot covering different portions of the head. So please tell me which parts of the head should be ...
5
votes
4answers
362 views

Shalom Aleichem to angels?

The zemer "Shalom Aleichem" is obviously addressed to angels. The Tur (OC Siman 3) gives a short text to says before entering the bathroom: התכבדו מכובדים משרתי עליון, etc. (also obviously addressed ...
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3answers
685 views

What does the Bible say about a father walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding?

I believe a father's walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding came about as a Jewish tradition. If so, why is this done and what does it symbolize? Is it a biblical tradition? What is the ...
2
votes
3answers
460 views

Rambam Tzitzith: 7 or 13 chulyoth?

The Gemara says you have to tie no fewer than 7 chulyos and no more than 13. According to most shitas, 13 is the ideal. My question is, according to the Rambam, can you do whatever you want - 7 or 13? ...
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votes
1answer
127 views

What is the origin of the “sukkah hop”?

I was debating with my brother whether they had sukkah hops in Europe, and failed to find a good answer via Google Books or Scholar. Is it a specifically American institution? What's the first ...
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1answer
86 views

Why The Torah is in scrolls in modern times when books are more convenient

Why The Torah is in scrolls in modern times when books are more convenient to hold and read ? I can understand that in olden days it was convenient to carry and read on scrolls as the Torah was often ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Simchas Bais HaShoaiva

On Succos we celebrate starting the second night Simchas Bais HaShoaiva. According to the Chachamim we can not start on the first night as we use musical instruments and it is not Doche Shabbos or Yom ...
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votes
1answer
104 views

Is there kabbala is a Ascetic or Sufi style group in Judaism [closed]

Shalom, my question is "Is there any shrines and sufi style religious groups in Judaism, are the Kabbala peoples sufis ?
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2answers
163 views

Using Hoshanos more than once

On Hoshana Rabba after one uses (Klaps) his Hoshanos may another person use the same Hoshanos?
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1answer
96 views

Is there a problem of reusing hoshanos? [duplicate]

On hoshana rabbah we bang aravos on the ground. Can one use hoshanos that one banged on the floor already or does one need his own?
7
votes
1answer
134 views

Why does Yalkut Yosef recommend women not do “tashlich”?

I read in Yalkut Yossef that women don't need to go to Tashlikh and the Rav Y. Yossef shlit"a concludes with "Shev Veal Tasse Adif" (trans. it's better to do nothing). Does anyone know the reason ? I ...
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0answers
66 views

Is there any source for throwing bread during tashlich? [duplicate]

Is there a reliable Jewish source that encourages throwing bread when performing tashlich?
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0answers
142 views

Why can we do Tashlich until Hoshana Rabba

One of the reasons to do Tashlich, according to Chabad.org is: "Another reason for saying Tashlich next to a river is because Rosh Hashanah is the day when we coronate G‑d as King of the Universe. ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

Conservative method of tying tzitzis?

I recently came into possession of a 4-cornered garment with tzitziyos attached to its corners that was previously owned (although not necessarily worn or endorsed) by a non-Conservative member of a ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

What if the Torah Reader for the Curses is a Kohen or Levi?

It is (at least) the Chabad custom that the Torah Reader takes the Aliya with the curses in Parshat Ki Tavo and Bechukotai. The reader ascends without being called and recites the blessings before and ...
5
votes
3answers
255 views

Why don't women go to the mikvah before rosh hashanna and yom kippur?

AFAIK it is common practice for Jewish men to go to the mikvah erev rosh hashanna and erev yom kippur, but not for women to do the same. Why don't women also go? I'm asking about both married and ...
7
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2answers
239 views

Do women also wear white on Yom Kippur?

Is it customary for women to wear white clothing on Yom Kippur, or is it largely a custom men observe?
6
votes
3answers
344 views

Why do Sephardim perform kaparot?

The common custom of Sephardim is to do kaparot before Yom Kippur. This is despite the Shulchan Aruch discouraging the practice (O''C 605:1): מה שנוהגים לעשות כפרה בערב יום כיפורים לשחוט תרנגול על ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

Taigalach for Rosh HaShana

Many people have the Minhag to eat Taigalach on Rosh Hashana. To the best of my knowledge Taigalach is made with walnuts. How does this jive with the Minhag not to eat nuts on Rosh Hashana since Egoz ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Feminizing Biblical names?

Masculine names such as Daniel, Joseph, and Michael have feminized forms: Danielle/Daniela, Josephine/Josephina, Michelle/Michaela/Mikayla. I've heard that when choosing a name for a baby, you ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

Why do we say “Boruch Shem…” loudly on Yom Kippur?

As discussed in this question, there are two reasons generally given why we say "Boruch Shem K'Vod..." quietly when saying Shema: The Talmud (Pesachim 56a) says that Yaakov Avinu said it in response ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the red string all about?

Where did the concept of wearing a red string come from? I have heard different opinions ranging from "you should definitely wear it" to "its forbidden like idol worship" - who is right?
13
votes
4answers
700 views

What does “to confuse the Satan” mean and why does it work?

There are several things we don't do in order "to confuse the Satan", like not blowing Shofar on Erev Rosh Hashana. How does it help? Does Satan not realize that Rosh Hashana didn't pass yet? He ...
5
votes
3answers
388 views

If it's your minhag to daven Hanetz, do you do so even without a minyan?

A friend once told me that if one's minhag is to daven with Hanetz (i.e., starting the Amida prayer at sunrise), and if there's no Hanetz minyan nearby, you should still daven Hanetz, even without a ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Lack of Benching Rosh Chodesh Tishrei [duplicate]

I have heard that the reason we do not Bench Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is in order to confuse the Satan. Now the Satan is no fool. How is the Satan getting confused when we pull this trick year after year? ...
4
votes
2answers
258 views

Why do we say Yizkor when we say it?

In the diaspora, we say Yizkor on: The last day of Passover The second day of Shavuot Yom Kippur The first day of Shemini Atzeret Why do we always say Yizkor on these days in particular? If it's ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

Which Names of Hashem can/can't we say [in regular conversation]?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:3) writes that one shouldn't say Hashem's name except by way of praise or blessing whenever required, or when learning (Torah) [see this answer and this question ] Indeed, ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Should I wait for the prayer leader to say “Yishtabach” after “Pesukei dezimrah”?

“Yishtabach” is the closing blessing of the “Pesukei dezimrah”. If a worshipper has concluded the pesukei dezimrah, should he wait to say Yishtabach with the prayer leader or should he say it ...
2
votes
1answer
336 views

What is the Heter for the prevalent Clothing among Women?

The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body ...
19
votes
1answer
355 views

Why don't people bentch on a kos nowadays?

Bentching with a kos (recite Grace after Meals with a cup of wine) was clearly a popular thing to do in the times of the gemara. Additionally many Ashkenazi rishonim (Rosh, Ri, and many other ...
14
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4answers
325 views

Women and Mayim Acharonim

I very often eat at meals where after the meal, all of the men wash mayim acharonim, but none of the women do so. I am aware of a number of halachic sources that say both men and women should wash ...