Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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2
votes
0answers
86 views

Who should observe Isru Chag?

I have been trying to understand Isru Chag. While there is a source in tehillim for the words and the gemara derives a notion of extra celebration, there seems to be little about the scope of the day. ...
0
votes
0answers
160 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?
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Egg matzah in early Nisan

This shabbos, my LOR announced that the shul was done being kashered for Pesach, and so kiddush would be pesadich. To fulfill the need for mezonot, he had brought in egg matzah, saying that egg matzah ...
6
votes
2answers
861 views

A Convert taking on customs of ashkanazim or sephardim

When someone converts is there any determining factor on what minhagim (customs) they will take upon themselves in terms of Ashkanazim or Sephardim? Should it be dependent on the Beis Din they ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Kitniyot for gerim? [duplicate]

How does a ger decide whether to follow Ashkenazic or Sephardic minhagim? In particular, can a ger eat kitniyot during Pesach?
15
votes
4answers
526 views

What is the source of the Magen Dovid (Star of David)?

What is the source of the Magen Dovid (Star of David) in Rabbinic Judaism? When was it first used, and for what?
7
votes
1answer
124 views

Up part of the night on Shavuos

As described by Stephanie Hegarty for the BBC, Roger Ekirch, an historian, has evidence — and is convinced — that people used to have a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed ...
3
votes
2answers
448 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 - ...
7
votes
11answers
321 views

Widespread American Minhag

What is the single most widely practiced minhag (religious Jewish practice that's not mandated by halacha) among Jews in the United States today? By "widely practiced" I mean practiced by the most ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

What constitutes roasting with regard to Minhagim?

Roasting in Halachah generally refers to dry heat, such as broiling and barbequing. But with respect to Minhagim, such as not eating roasted meat (or poultry) at the Seder, do we follow the same ...
4
votes
2answers
152 views

Is there a custom not to eat roasted chicken at the Seder?

Does the custom to refrain from eating roasted meat at the Seder extend to chicken, turkey, and any other fowl one might serve roasted?
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Source for starting one limmud after finishing another

What is the source for starting a new limmud (learning) immediately after finishing the previous one? For example After finishing one mesechta I have seen people immediately start the next one, even ...
5
votes
0answers
107 views

Are there any ancient Jewish dances?

From what I've seen most (orthodox) Jewish dancing consists of people running or walking in a circle, sometimes with exciting variations such as foot stomping. Are there any records of ancient ...
12
votes
1answer
220 views

Is there a Beta Israel Siddur?

Ashkenazi siddurs are different from Sephardic siddurs, do Beta Israel Siddurs even exist?
0
votes
2answers
353 views

Dreidel - Nun (Neis) Gimel (Gadol) Hei (Haya) Shin (Shom) - (Pei - Po)

Outside of Eretz Yisroel when we play Dreidel we use - the Nun for Nochamol (go again), the Gimel for Gantz (empty the bank), the Hei for Halb (half the bank), and the Shin for Shtel Arain (put money ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of hazak u'baruch?

Hazak u'barukh is a phrase commonly said after one does something in the synagogue (e.g., after an aliyah). What is its origin?
5
votes
2answers
155 views

Yemenite Sefira

What is the source for the custom that Yemenite Jews people count Sefira in Aramaic? and why do they do it?
4
votes
0answers
100 views

Matzah Shemurah on the 8th day of Pesaḥ (in the Diaspora)

According to those who hold that there is a Kiyyum Mitzvath 'Aseh DeOraitha (a fulfillment of a positive Biblical commandment) every time one eats a KeZayith (olive size's worth) of Matzah on Pesaḥ, ...
12
votes
2answers
383 views

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? Why or why not?

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? What about someone who may have been an oved avoda zarah? Someone who is definitely such? I'm asking because I've seen such discussion ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

Doing something in one breath

I am looking to make a list of halachot/minhagim that involve doing something in 1 breath so I can see if I can draw any connections between them. So far, I have 3 things: the shevarim-tru'ah (or at ...
4
votes
2answers
103 views

Naming a child after two relatives

I once heard Rabbi Shmuel Niman, Mashgiach Ruchani of the Chafeitz Chaim Yeshiva, say that he had "recently learned" that it is improper to give a child parts of the names of two relatives. For ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

May a woman be a kvater?

May a woman serve as the sole kvater (person who brings the baby to the sandek) at a bris? At most britot I've been to, the duty of kvater was handled by a woman and a man (typically married), with ...
2
votes
1answer
319 views

What level of obligation is of kriat shema al hamita?

What is the level of obligation for krias shema al hamita (the recitation of Shema before going to bed)? Is it a mitzvah deoraisa, mitzvah derabanan, is it a minhag avoseinu byadeinu? Maybe it's ...
20
votes
1answer
334 views

Is there any source for not sharing a baby's name before the bris?

For some reason, I have it ingrained in me that a baby boy's name before the bris is a secret and should not be shared. Are there any sources for this, or is it something made up?
-2
votes
1answer
104 views

Americans and Kippas [closed]

I'm from Israel, and when I just moved to the US, I went to one temple where things were different. I saw some women that wore kippot (plural kippa in Hebrew). Also, why is the kippa referred as a ...
0
votes
1answer
565 views

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa?

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa (both the symbol and the name)? If so, does this lend credence to those who view Hamsa as being of non-Jewish (at best, or pagan, at worst) origin?
4
votes
4answers
631 views

Are Sephardic Jews allowed to dress up in costumes on Purim?

The custom of dressing up in costumes on Purim originated from Ashkenazic communities in Europe and has become a popular custom today for Ashkenazim (cf. Rema in Shulkhan Aruch Orach Chaim 696:8). ...
8
votes
2answers
133 views

What was the attitude of Rabbonim regarding Purim Torah?

Purim Torah seems to be a two sided concept. On one hand, many people do it for many years (for example, Maseches Purim was published in 1871). On the other hand, it seems to be a Bizayon HaTorah ...
3
votes
0answers
154 views

Sitting or Standing for Kaddish - historical divergence between Conservative and Orthodox minhag

At most (maybe even all?) Conservative synagogues, the congregation remains seated during every kaddish (except mourner's kaddish, and then only mourners rise). At Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogues, the ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Origin of two customs on wearing the Talis after making the brocho

How do we wear the Talis Godol immediately after making the brocho? 1) There seems to be one method practised by those following German minhogim. Can someone give a source for it please? Is this ...
2
votes
3answers
194 views

Candles on Purim?

In Esther 8:16, we read that after the Jews were saved from an evil decree, they had "light and gladness and joy and honor." Is anyone aware of Rabbinic texts that discuss celebrating Purim with ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

adoption and qualifying for being “officially” considered Jewish

My wife and I (no known Jewish heritage) are adopting an infant child. The child's birth-mother was herself adopted and raised as a Jew by Jewish parents. We do not know of any Jewish heritage ...
9
votes
1answer
73 views

Why do we read from Yechezekel on Shavuos and Yeshayahu on Parshas Yisro?

There are two times that we read about the giving of the Torah: When we read Yisro and on Shavuos. On both days we read Haftoras of Neviyim going up to Shamayim. On Shavuos we read about Yechezkel ...
6
votes
2answers
381 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Explanation for couple not seeing each other before the wedding?

What is the source and reason for a couple not to see one another before the wedding?
6
votes
2answers
298 views

Is there a minhag for a chassan and kallah to hold hands after the chupah?

I have been to many weddings where the chassan and kallah hold hands after the chupah on their way to the yichud room. It seems like a widespread (minhag?) thing that everyone does, even by couples ...
3
votes
1answer
339 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) ...
5
votes
6answers
203 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
162 views

Which tefilot you say when your minhag differs from that of the shoul your praying in?

Here is the case: This past Sabbath, at an ashkanazi synagogue, a sephardi comes to pray. This is the synagogue that he normally attends (there are about 20 within 1 sq mile). He prays with the ...
8
votes
1answer
224 views

When to close the ark after putting away the Torah

On shabbat morning when putting away the Torah, many chazzanim like to draw out different tunes for the verses recited then. Should the one honored with putting the Torah back wait until after the ...
17
votes
2answers
469 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?
8
votes
2answers
167 views

Mezuza positioning: why top angled in not out?

Why does the angle a mezuza positioned on the doorpost at have its top towards the room, and the bottom away from the room? I understand this may be an Ashkenazi custom, and that Sephardim position ...
6
votes
1answer
89 views

Removing Yarmulka last when undressing (source)

I have noticed that some people remove their Yarmulka last when undressing and wear it first when dressing. Is this custom mentioned anywhere?
16
votes
1answer
504 views

Blessing the Children on Friday Night

I have noticed that many families (including my own) have the custom for the father to bless all the children on Friday night before kiddush. When and where did this custom originate, and by whom, ...
4
votes
2answers
220 views

Speaking while wearing Tefillin - revisited

In today's day and age the vast majority of the time we only wear Tefillin when we are Davening. However, in theory, we should wear them all day (ibid). So what about the requirement not to speak ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Replies to “l'chayim”

The most common responses I've heard to a wish of "l'chayim!" ("life!") is "l'chayim tovim ulshalom" ("a good life and peace!") except from Lubavitch chasidim and "l'chayim v'livracha" ("life and ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Who doesn't make Kiddush from 6-7pm?

From this question I learned that "many" people don't make Kiddush between 6-7pm. Who does this? Is this primarily a Lubavitch Minhag? If so, among Lubavitchers, how prevalent is it?
5
votes
3answers
452 views

Husband deciding how his wife should cover her hair

Issues of Shalom Bayis (peace in the home) and any other deciding factor aside, does the husband have any "right" or "privilege" (from a halachic standpoint) to decide how his wife will cover her hair ...
12
votes
3answers
547 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
304 views

Why do we wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative?

Why do we wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative? I can understand this wish directly after the death when I have heard that a person should consider ...