Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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5
votes
2answers
518 views

Trop (cantillation) for leining

Who created the trop (cantillation) for leining? Is it a Mesorah from when the Torah was written?
1
vote
4answers
328 views

Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil

Who wrote Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil? Is it minhag Yisrael?
8
votes
2answers
491 views

matzah = mezonos or hamotzi

What is the reasoning of the 2 different minhagim (traditions) on what bracha to say on matzah when its not Peasach?
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?
15
votes
8answers
974 views

Why wear Black hats

Why do people wear black hats if their kippa has 2 layers?
5
votes
2answers
291 views

What does Yarmulka mean?

What does the word Yarmulka mean?
7
votes
4answers
541 views

Schlissel Challah

What is the source for the "Key Challah" Segulah (charm) that is said to bring Parnassah (prosperity)? And which is it: do you put the key in the Challah or do you make the Challah in the shape of a ...
2
votes
2answers
364 views

Red/White wine at the Seder

Is there any Halacha or Minhag that specifies if red or White wine should be used for the four cups of wine during the Passover seder and does it matter what you use to spill out during the 10 ...
7
votes
6answers
718 views

Custom to refrain from eating meat at the Pesach Seder?

I recently heard from two separate people about a custom not to eat any meat at the Seder (i.e. only fish and chicken are eaten). This was surprising to me, as the minhag mentioned in the Mishnah, ...
6
votes
3answers
463 views

Conservative / Nusach Sfard

Are there any Conservative synagogues that daven Nusach Sfard?
6
votes
1answer
485 views

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

Is there a problem of "chukat goyim" with the bride having "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" at her wedding?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What makes something “chukat goyim?”

One of the most famous examples I have heard is that one should not even tie one's shoes like the non-Jews do in times of persecution. That seems rather excessive. What if the Jews started doing some ...
7
votes
2answers
370 views

Walking around the house after shiva

I'd heard something about how some people, when getting up after the week of "sitting shiva" (mourning), take a walk around the outside of their house before going back to "normal" life. Has anyone ...
3
votes
3answers
270 views

Kitnios on Pesach

Why and when did the minhag start that allows Sephardim to eat Kitnios (Legumes)but not Ashkenazim?
5
votes
1answer
104 views

Who hides the afikoman?

Is the leader of the seder supposed to hide the afikoman so that the kids can find it, or are the kids supposed to hide it so that the leader can find it? And what is the point of this hide-and-seek ...
6
votes
4answers
615 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
548 views

Do bananas make the best karpas?

For karpas at the seder, one is supposed to eat a food on which the blessing "borei pri ha'adama" is made. However, many of the most commonly used food items for karpas (e.g. parsley, raw onion, raw ...
17
votes
4answers
751 views

Why do people frequently change tunes toward the end of Lecha Dodi?

Frequently, perhaps even most of the time, I've noticed that the chazan (prayer leader) for Kabalat Shabbat switches tunes for the last four verses of Lecha Dodi. Is there any reason for this, or are ...
5
votes
4answers
167 views

Why do we stand when we do toward the end of Tachanun?

In the Tachanun prayer, it's traditional to sit for most of the core of Tachanun, but then to stand three words into the last paragraph, between "Va-anachnu lo neida'" and "ma na'aseh" ("And we won't ...
11
votes
2answers
740 views

Different traditions in Hebrew pronunciation

The theme of Hebrew pronunciation is one that facinates me and, as such, I want to get some feedback on some issues I've been thinking about for years. I have already discussed some of these issues ...
6
votes
3answers
699 views

Wearing a gartel

Where did the minhag of wearing a gartel come from?
10
votes
3answers
321 views

Wear your tzitzis out or in? [duplicate]

There seems to be some misunderstanding/machlokes (disagreement) on how you should wear your tzitzis - with the strings sticking out or tucked in. What's the proper way?
8
votes
2answers
534 views

Naming your child using a dead relative's initial

Is there a Jewish tradition of naming your child using the first letter of the name of a recently deceased relative?