Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
407 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
638 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 - ...
3
votes
2answers
343 views

Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the “righteous” from the “wicked”?

Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the "righteous" from the "wicked"? I have read in various sources that "we don't bury rashim near tzadikim"--that people must be buried near others of similar ...
2
votes
2answers
94 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
182 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
85 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
263 views

Chopping items makes them Kitniyoth?

This article has a line in a recipe that suggests that chopping an ingredient will make it Kitniyoth. The entire recipe is below with the line in question highlighted: JICAMA APPLE SLAW From ...
6
votes
0answers
117 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
104 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
241 views

Why omit “Av harachamim” for the four parashiyos?

"Av harachamim" is a prayer asking God to recall those who died al kidush hashem. It was written in response to the First Crusade (and is thus said only in the Ashk'nazi rite). Because of its somber ...
3
votes
1answer
413 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

When does the cantillation for Ester and other books change?

Sometimes people read some verses in Ester and other books in a different cantillation. For example, in Ester, some read the verse of "אשר הגלה מירושלים" to the tune of Eichah, and the Mishnah Brurah ...
2
votes
2answers
246 views

Can sefardim eat lafa before Pesach?

There is a custom(?) to abstain from eating matza 30 days before Passover so that the taste will be new. There are some sects of sefardic or teimani Jews who eat a type of matzah that is more akin to ...
-2
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
853 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). ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Who wears a talis on leil Shabbos?

Rabbi Chanina would don his talis gadol on erev Shabbos (Mas. Shabbos 25b, Rambam Hilchos Shabbos 30:2). While this has been practiced by individuals, is it today the practice of any particular ...
4
votes
0answers
173 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
326 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
220 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
252 views

What's the connection between Tu B'Shevat and (Bukser) carob?

Tu B'Shevat many people eat many different types of fruit. Growing up and continuing until today there seems to be a Minhag to specifically eat (bukser) carob. Is there some sort of special connection ...
2
votes
1answer
805 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?
7
votes
1answer
190 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?
3
votes
1answer
438 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) ...
6
votes
2answers
370 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
3answers
268 views

Kissing the hand to catch a cold?

There is a popular custom in Israel to shake a person's hand and then kiss your own. In every single Sephardic and Mizrachi synagogue I've ever been to in the country this is the standard way of ...
4
votes
1answer
315 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
220 views

When did upsherins become part of standard American Orthodox practice?

According to Rav Wikipedia, the upsherin is a custom that was brought from Muslims to Palestinian Jews to Tzfat Sephardim to Chasidim. Recently, I've noticed mainstream (non-charedi) Orthodox Jews ...
8
votes
2answers
195 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

Torah personalities chosen for blessings on Friday nights

Why do we bless our children on Friday nights with non-correlated blessings between the boys and the girls? I can understand that we want our daughters to emulate the Matriarchs. Yet we don't bless ...
6
votes
1answer
96 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?
4
votes
2answers
121 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
98 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?
3
votes
2answers
142 views

Decorating of the Beitzah

Somebody told me in Israel some have the custom of decorating the egg for Pesach (like an Easter egg). Wouldn't that be considered chukas hagoyim or avoda zara?
5
votes
1answer
343 views

Minhag not to learn Torah on the night of Nitel (Who and where)

This related question explains what this minhag is and a couple of reasons for it. I was wondering to what extent is this minhag practiced today apart from Chabad (see Hayom Yom - 17 Tevet)? Do all ...
5
votes
3answers
518 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
670 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
463 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
264 views

May a man learn Torah without a Kippah?

Is it permissible for a man to learn Torah without a Kippah? Let's say that he can't wear a Kippah at work, or he lives someplace where it is dangerous to outwardly display signs of being Jewish, ...
13
votes
1answer
260 views

Is there a Beta Israel Siddur?

Ashkenazi siddurs are different from Sephardic siddurs, do Beta Israel Siddurs even exist?
3
votes
1answer
89 views

What's done on Zos Chanuka?

I know people call the last day of Chanuka "Zos Chanuka" (taken from Bamidbar 7:84, read on that day). How is it specially commemorated if at all? I've heard it is, but know no details. I'm not ...
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Should I rend k'riyah if I witness the death of a non-relative? If so, what's the procedure?

In another question, Chalutznahal cites Yoreh De'ah 40:5, which says that when I witness a fellow Jew die, I must rend my shirt out of sadness. And British Rabbi Dr. Moshe Freedman brings this down as ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Traditions what to do with removed foreskin

In Germany we recently started a debate, whether foreskin-amputation of children (not only Jews, but Muslims as well) has to be forbidden according to our fundamental laws. Some magazine illustrated ...
3
votes
0answers
49 views

Best practices for long-distance Nihum Aveilim and Kavod HaMeith

What are some best practices for people who learn from afar of the passing of an individual (not immediate family) and who want show their respects to the deceased and the surviving family? If they ...
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, ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Why do we let the tzitzit go after saying Shema at either לָעַד or צָרֵיהֶם

In the answer to When we say "עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף" at which point do we kiss the tzitzis? we were told that it is the Chabad Minhag to kiss the tzitzit six times, at the words tzitzit, ...
2
votes
1answer
150 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Wrapping up Tefilin to form dove's wings

Gemara Shabbos 49a mentions a story about Elisha Baal Kenafayim who was saved by his Tefilin turning into dove's wings. Magen Avraham Orach Chaim 28:4 says the Minhag is to wrap the Tefilin like ...
3
votes
2answers
200 views

What is the significance of the shtreimel?

What is the esoteric or hashkafic significance of the shtreimel? Some things I have seen but without details or sources are that it is like a crown, that the number of pelts involved have numerical ...