Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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4
votes
0answers
74 views

Why read about Rashb"i's death at a memorial ceremony?

Why do many people read the passage (known as אדרא זוטא) from Zohar about the death of Rabbi Shim'on ben Yochai at memorial ceremonies? A description of it can be found here.
6
votes
3answers
413 views

No Dairy on Pesach

Someone told me that there is a Minhag (by some) not to eat dairy the entire Pesach. I was wondering what the reason is?
3
votes
2answers
196 views

Yom Tov Sheni - Seeking All Relevant Sources

There is an article on Wikipedia about Passover that gives a very non-traditional (if not anti-traditional) explanation - rather, a series of explanations - for the origin of Y"T Sheni Shel Galuyoth. ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Tachnun in Nissan

Why is there no Tachnun said in the month of Nissan?
6
votes
6answers
492 views

Bedikas Chometz - 10 pieces of bread

In Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 432:2 the Rama says that the Minhag is to place bread in such a place that the searcher can find it. Both the Be'er Hataiv and the Mishna Berura say that according to the ...
4
votes
1answer
621 views

What's the earliest source/discussion on green beans being “kitniyot” (prohibited legumes) on Passover?

My understanding is that most Ashkenazic communities today don't eat green beans on Passover, treating them as kitniyot (a bunch of legumes for which the custom arose to avoid on Passover). What's the ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Urchatz - does everyone wash?

I have heard different Minhagim regarding washing at Urchatz. It seems that in some families everyone washes and in others only the Baal HaBayis. Does anyone have sources as to the different Minhagim ...
6
votes
4answers
941 views

Wearing a Kittel at the Seder

I grew up with my father wearing a Kittel at the Seder. My father wore a Kittel at the Seder immediately from when he got married. Over the years I have heard that some people do not wear a Kittel the ...
4
votes
2answers
150 views

Two Matzos at the Seder

Many Hagados show an option of using only 2 Matzos at the Seder as Nusach HaGra. Does anyone still do only 2 Matzos?
9
votes
2answers
955 views

How should one dispose of cut finger nails? Is it dangerous for a pregnant woman to walk on them?

Is there an Inyan of pregnant women walking over cut nails ex: a nail salon? Also, can I just vacuum up the cut nails from the floor?
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Birchas Kohanim in the Diaspora

Why do we (ashkenazim) not do birchas kohanim in chutz la'aretz (except on yom tov), but in Israel, we do?
3
votes
1answer
280 views

Woman attending shul after childbirth

There is a common custom that a woman who has given birth does not travel anywhere until she has gone to shul. What is the source of this custom, and what are its details? (I.e., it is necessary to ...
3
votes
3answers
166 views

Costumes On Purim

Why is there a Minhag to dress up in costumes on Purim?
2
votes
1answer
396 views

Issues with Wording, Honorifics, Symbols, Rashei Teivot on Tombstones

In my work on translating tombstones (Ashkenazic - Slovakian or what was once Austro-Hungarian) towns, I occasionally come across phrases or honorifics that are difficult for me to understand. I do ...
3
votes
3answers
752 views

Changing a name for a sick person

Sometimes people add a name for a sick person. Can you just change it to an entirely different name? I know of a case where they kept the first name and changed the second name - originally the name ...
8
votes
3answers
249 views

Meforshim Nick"names

It has become common practice to refer to most meforshim by acronyms of their name (eg Rashi, Rosh, etc.). When and why did this practice start, and is it proper?
6
votes
3answers
357 views

Who says the Ribbono shel Olam in Birkas Kohanim?

I've "seen" many Talmidei Chachamim not saying the Ribbono shel Olams following each bracha of Birkas Kohanim. At least, I hear them chanting with the Kohanim from start to finish. Are these tefilos ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Kein Yehi Ratzon by Birchas Kohanim

The Minhag by most Shuls where there is no Birchas Kohanim and the Chazan just says the Birchas Kohanim is to say Kein Yehi Ratzon. Why do we say Kein Yehi Ratzon instead of Amein?
3
votes
1answer
160 views

Birchas Kohanim and Dreams

By Birchas Kohanim there is a Tefila for people who had bad dreams. What does a Kohen do when he has a bad dream as he can not say the Tefila during Birchas Kohanim?
2
votes
5answers
329 views

Yotzros and Musaf for the 4 Parshios

Are there any Nusach Ashkenaz Shuls that say Yotzros or Musaf on the weeks of the Four Parshios?
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Private Bircas Kohanim during Mussaf?

One Shabbos during the Chazan's repetition of the Mussaf Shemoneh Esrei, I noticed a guest who is a Kohen (who seemed to be of Sefaradic stock) wrapping his sons in his tallis, with his hands on their ...
4
votes
2answers
546 views

Chabad Minhag for Shalosh Seudos

Is it true that the Chabad custom is specifically not to wash hands for (and eat) bread for shalosh seudos, and, if so, why?
7
votes
2answers
162 views

Standing during the Aseres HaDibros

There are people that always stand by Laining and people that always sit. Among those that sit there are those that stand at certain points, such as the Aseres HaDibros or the Shira, etc. Is it proper ...
10
votes
4answers
242 views

Not falling on hands for Tachnun

How come Sepharadim do not "fall on their faces" during Tachanun as Ashkenazim do, if the prayer is called "nefilat apa'im" (literally the falling of the faces)? The Shulchan Aruch seems to hold of ...
6
votes
2answers
214 views

Saying korbonos

Do you have to say korbonos? If so, why is it not said with the shaliach tzibbur?
6
votes
2answers
362 views

What is the source for the Kallah's circling the Chasan 7 times?

What is the source for a Kallah (bride) to circle her Chasan (bridegroom) seven times at their wedding?
3
votes
3answers
90 views

Number of Fruit on Tu B'Shvat

Is there a specific number of fruit that you are supposed to eat on Tu B'Shvat?
13
votes
5answers
965 views

Nittle Nacht Meaning

What is Nittle Nacht? What does the name mean? What is its significance? Which Halachic authorities speak about it, and what do they say? What is the actual date for it? How is it effected this ...
8
votes
2answers
745 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?
4
votes
4answers
342 views

Lady drinking Havdalah wine

Many times I have heard that a lady should not drink the wine from Havdalah as it will make her grow a beard. If a lady drank from the Havdalah wine will she really grow a beard? Is there a source ...
6
votes
4answers
204 views

Is it possible to be chasidish without wearing the garb and keeping all the minhagim?

Can someone be chasidish (or a chasid) if they don't dress in a distinctively "Jewish" way or don't keep all the minhagim such as "cholov yisrael", saying tehillim on rosh chodesh, etc? Does it ...
3
votes
1answer
391 views

Segula Pitum Ketoret on Klaf

I have heard that there is a segula for reading pitum ketoret from klaf. What is the specific segula and what are the sources?
4
votes
1answer
142 views

(Av Harachaman,) sh'ma kolenu

Is there a nusach hat'fila in which the 16th b'racha of the amida begins with "אב הרחמן" at shacharis only and skips those words at other t'filos? I heard recently that this is in fact printed in ...
14
votes
2answers
376 views

Stacking Seforim

Are we allowed to place less holy seforim on top of more holy seforim? I believe that the consensus is that you are only allowed to stack seforim in chronological order from top to bottom (e.g., ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

Source for reciting all of T'hilim (Psalms)

There is a contemporary practice of splitting up Sefer T'hilim for on-the-spot recitation of the entire book by a room (real or virtual) full of people. What is the earliest documented source for this ...
3
votes
3answers
352 views

Cutting chala with a knife

Are people insistent upon cutting bread with a knife rather than tearing it apart manually? If so, why?
17
votes
2answers
207 views

Making the Kohen's Gesture

Is it forbidden for a non-Kohen to form the hand formation that Kohanim use during their priestly blessings?
16
votes
4answers
442 views

Stripes on a Talis

Is there any reason for the stripes on a talis? Does the color of the stripes have any significance?
4
votes
3answers
260 views

Donut and its deeper significance

What is the significance for eating Donuts on Chanukah Beyond the Oil connection?
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Where and when do we light Shabbos candles 15 minutes later than usual? [closed]

Where and when do we light Shabbos candles 15 minutes later than usual?
6
votes
1answer
245 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
233 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
96 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
297 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
484 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
174 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
319 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
482 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 ...