Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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6
votes
1answer
235 views

Speaking while wearing Tefillin

Is there a real halachic source for the widespread practice not to speak while wearing tefillin? Of course, one is required to keep his mind on the tefillin, and may not get drawn into conversations ...
5
votes
4answers
228 views

When do we say “Alenu L'shabe'ach”?

What are all the times when we say the t'fila beginning with the words "עלינו לשבח" commonly known as "Alenu"?
3
votes
0answers
95 views

Proper Bracha on Chanuka candles [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Lhadlik ner (SHEL) Chanukah What is the proper Nusach - Lehadlik Ner Shel Chanuka or LeHadlik Ner Chanuka?
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Do Chasidim avoid wearing ties?

Do Chasidim not wear ties as a rule? If so, is this by design or an accident of history? If by design, where can I find said intended reason in print?
13
votes
4answers
285 views

Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed - why do we whisper it?

Why do we say Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed in Kriyas Shema in a whisper?
8
votes
9answers
460 views

fish before meat - why?

To the best of my knowledge eating fish after meat has the same Halacha as eating meat after fish. You are supposed to eat a cracker and take a drink to seperate between them. Why is it most common ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Where does the custom to spill of from a drink come from?

I had a lubavitcher classmate in high school who used to spill off from his cup whenever he would drink anything. He claimed it was a minhag. What is the reason/source for this practice?
9
votes
2answers
310 views

Shliach Mitzva money

Many people give their friends money to give to Tzedakah when they are traveling. The reason they do this is that it says "Shluchei Mitzva Ainom Nizakim". If someone is travelling to Eretz Yisroel ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
447 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

Kiddush Levana - saying certain Pesukim 3 times

There are a whole bunch of Pesukim that we say 3 times at Kiddush Levana. 1 - Why do we say these specific Pesukim 3 times? 2 - Specifically I am curious why we say Shalom Aleichem 3 times?
3
votes
1answer
267 views

Paying a Shadchan

The Minhag in Klal Yisroel is to pay a Shadchan for introducing husband and wife. #1 - What is considered the norm to pay a Shadchan? #2 - Suppose a Shidduch breaks does the Shadchan have to return ...
5
votes
1answer
199 views

What determines a Minhag?

How does a Minhag become a Minhag? More specific is it possible to enact new Minhagim in todays generation?
4
votes
4answers
670 views

Chickpeas (Arbes) at a Shalom Zachor

Why do we serve Arbes - chickpeas at a Shalom Zachor?
0
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
4
votes
12answers
499 views

What is the most widespread Israeli Minhag? [closed]

What is the single most widely practiced minhag among Jews in Israel today? By "widely practiced" I mean practiced by the most people.
7
votes
11answers
320 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
0answers
260 views

White (Lavan) & Blue (Tcheiles) - blue Tzitzis [duplicate]

There are some people that wear Tcheiles - blue Tzitzis. What is the reason that the majority of Klal Yisroel still does not wear it if the Tcheilas has been rediscovered?
4
votes
3answers
313 views

Is Kel Malei Rachamim (memorial prayer) said under the chuppah at a wedding?

I'd seen a book on wedding practices and customs that said if desired in appropriate cases, a memorial prayer ("El/Kel Malei Rachamim") could be said under the chuppah, e.g. a bride/groom who lost a ...
4
votes
4answers
313 views

Lighting candles Motzei Shabbos

I have seen different Minhagim regarding lighting one or two candles on Motzei Shabbos. What is the source and why 1 or 2?
3
votes
3answers
492 views

Rav Scheinberg and Tzitzis (series of questions)

I have heard that Rav Scheinberg wore many garments with ציציות on them at a time. . . Is this true? If so, why did he do it? If not, why do other people do it? How many ברכות do they make when ...
6
votes
3answers
259 views

Not sitting in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres

Shouldn't the obligation to sit in the Sukkah also fall into the category of Sefeika D'yoma? If so why do some not eat in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres?
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Yehei Shmei Rabbah… Yisbarach

Not sure where it came from, but many people tend to say Yisbarach after the Amen Yehei Shmei Rabbah verse. Where did this come from? Is this correct?
5
votes
3answers
436 views

Source of Burning Lulav with Chometz

What is the source of the custom to keep the Lulav untill Erev Pesach and burn it with the Chometz?
1
vote
5answers
491 views

Cholopshkes or stuffed cabbage on Simchas Torah

Many people eat Cholpshkes or stuffed cabbage on Simchas Torah. Is there a source for this Minhag, and are there other names for this dish in the other languages of Jewish communities?
5
votes
1answer
330 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
496 views

Wearing Gold On Yom HaKippurim

Besides for the minhag that one should not wear jewelry on Yom HaKipurim because of the "fear of the judgment" there is also the minhag to not wear gold (even as a decoration on a tallis or kittel) ...
8
votes
5answers
355 views

Challah Friday Night

When you make Hamotzi on Shabbos you use the top Challah. However, on Friday night you use the bottom. Therefore, so as not to pass over the Mitzvah you hold the bottom one closer. My question is why ...
7
votes
3answers
164 views

Tachanun on Yahrtzeit

Where does the custom not to say Tachanun on a Yahrtzeit come from?
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Ledovid - Before or After Aleinu?

I noticed that in my Siddur as well as many others, "Ledovid" (what we say extra from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Shemini Atzeres) is placed right after the Yom by Shacharis davening. However, in every ...
6
votes
4answers
529 views

Kiddush cup handoff

Why do some Jews (Sephardic, Hasidic, et al.) place the kiddush cup into the hands of another?
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Shofar in Elul Why?

Why do we blow Shofar in Elul?
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Childrens' Tombstones

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Burial of Children

Why is it customary to bury children on the outskirts or in a separate section of the cemetery?
5
votes
7answers
491 views

Stepping Back Before Amidah

Why do people step back three steps before the Amidah (as mentioned here in Mishnah Berurah, S'if Katan Gimmel) if the Gemarah only mentions stepping three steps forward? Is there a kabbalistic source ...
8
votes
1answer
328 views

Yachid blowing shofar during Elul

During the first few days of Elul, I will be away in a city with no minyan. I have a shofar, but was wondering whether a yachid blows a shofar if possible. On the one hand, the reasoning exists, but ...
8
votes
4answers
523 views

“Jumping” at the end of Shemoneh Esrei

Some people are accustomed to performing a few little "jumps" at the end of Shemoneh Esrei (after taking the requisite three steps backward and forward) by lifting their heels a number of times. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Sleeping on Stones

Where does the Minhag come from that we should sleep uncomfortably on Tisha B'Av?
7
votes
2answers
187 views

The Split Between Sefardim and Ashkenazim

How did this split happen historically and halachically before Shulchan Aruch, and why is not like having two Torahs? Where is the source for the split?
6
votes
3answers
480 views

Cutting Tefillin Retzuos

As we know, the outside of the tefillin's retzuos (phylacteries' straps) must be black. Lately, I've noticed that the very end of the retzuah of my shel yad (tefillin of the arm) is cracking and ...
5
votes
2answers
330 views

Bracha on an indirect view of lightning

The general practice is to make a bracha on the sky illuminating from lightning without actually seeing the bolt. Does anyone know a source for this? Is this the most appropriate practice? Also, ...
3
votes
3answers
270 views

Modern nations and Umos Haolam

Where can I find a discussion about the roots of modern nations, in the Umos Haolam mentioned in the Torah and Chazal?
6
votes
2answers
128 views

Repeating Seder HaKitores

Why do Nusahos Ari, Sefard, Edot HaMizrah, and Ashkenaz of Eretz Yisrael repeat the order of the kitores (incense offering) at the end of Shaharis every day and why does Nusah Ashkenaz of Hutz LaAretz ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Why do some people wear their tzitzis out for people to see, and others don't?

Why do some people wear their tzitzis strings out for people to see, and others don't?
2
votes
2answers
180 views

Nusach for silent Amida when chazzan in an other-nusach congregation

My understanding (based, if I recall correctly, on R' Moshe Feinstein) is that when I pray in a congregation that uses a different version of the prayers (nusach) from the one I usually use, I should ...
9
votes
3answers
655 views

Custom of not giving knives as a gift?

I'd heard that some people have a custom not to give knives as a gift (as knives are a sign of shortening life, not extending it); I asked one rabbi who said he hadn't heard of such a custom, but it ...
4
votes
3answers
110 views

Green pretty shavuot?

Why is there a custom to hang up flowers and growing green things on shavuot?
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Al Hannisim for Yom Ha'atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim

Are there any special additions one can add to the shemoneh esrei on Yom Ha'atzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim? Is there any problem with saying these additions? Do any major shuls in America say them?
5
votes
5answers
204 views

Shavuos and Malachim(angels)

We all know that there is a custom on Shavuos to eat dairy. One of the reasons given is based on a Medrash that When Moshe Rabbenu went up to Heaven to receive the Torah the angels complained and said ...
7
votes
1answer
105 views

Why do we do Hagbaah?

After "leining" the Torah, we pick up the Torah scroll to show everyone. Why do we do this?