Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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4
votes
4answers
768 views

Chickpeas (Arbes) at a Shalom Zachor

Why do we serve Arbes - chickpeas at a Shalom Zachor?
0
votes
2answers
540 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
504 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
325 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
261 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
332 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
335 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
516 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
268 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
115 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?
6
votes
2answers
460 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
533 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
334 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
504 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) ...
9
votes
6answers
412 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
179 views

Tachanun on Yahrtzeit

Where does the custom not to say Tachanun on a Yahrtzeit come from?
2
votes
2answers
97 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
597 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?
5
votes
2answers
141 views

Childrens' Tombstones

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
3
votes
1answer
103 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
541 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
334 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
569 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
82 views

Sleeping on Stones

Where does the Minhag come from that we should sleep uncomfortably on Tisha B'Av?
7
votes
2answers
196 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?
7
votes
3answers
527 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
336 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
290 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
133 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
211 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
738 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
119 views

Green pretty shavuot?

Why is there a custom to hang up flowers and growing green things on shavuot?
3
votes
1answer
193 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
209 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
110 views

Why do we do Hagbaah?

After "leining" the Torah, we pick up the Torah scroll to show everyone. Why do we do this?
4
votes
2answers
97 views

Ma'aseh Rav-the Rabbi did such and such

Often times in the course of halachic discussions it will be related that a certain Rav did such and such. When do such accounts have halachic significance? How do we safeguard against ...
8
votes
3answers
157 views

Staying up all night on Shavu'ot

Every year, when I stay up learning Torah through the first night of Shavu'ot, I invariably fall asleep during the subsequent morning prayers. Last year, I tried something new: Learn all night, but ...
15
votes
4answers
201 views

Why is Lag Baomer celebrated the way it is (or at all)?

Why do we celebrate lag baomer with bon-fires and bow-and-arrow. Why do we celebrate lag baomer at all?
6
votes
1answer
409 views

When is a Minhag no longer a Minhag?

It can be all too easy for people to underestimate the halachic significance of minhagim (traditions/customs). While there are, as I understand it, a variety of halachic issues/differences of ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Trimming Toenails in sequence

As a follow up to the question "Rules for Cutting Nails" it occurred to me that while we spoke about the idea of not trimming one's nails in sequence (as well as discussing the relevancy of lenient ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Eating at a shiva house

What is the basis for some people's practice not to eat the food at a shiva house; is there a halachik basis for this, is it a minhag or perhaps just superstition?
9
votes
4answers
284 views

Is it required to knock on doors before entering?

Do we have to knock on people's doors before entering?
25
votes
7answers
2k views

Reason behind pinky during hagba

Why do people lift their pinkies during Hagba?
4
votes
4answers
8k views

Rules for Cutting Nails

My question about nail-cutting is whether each of the following is halacha, minhag, or old-wives' tales. Not cutting both fingernails and toenails on the same day. Not cutting nails at night (is ...
6
votes
2answers
329 views

Can you turn your back to the Aron HaKodesh?

I'm quite certain that it is mentioned in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that one should not turn one's back to the Aron HaKodesh (ark which holds the Torah Scrolls). Can anyone tell me where this is ...
6
votes
2answers
518 views

Mizmor l'David (Psalms 23) at Shalosh Suedos

There is a common minhag (custom) to sing Mizmor l'David at Seudah Shlishis, the third Sabbath meal. It is common to sing this song three times in a row and I was asked this Shabbos by a friend why ...
5
votes
2answers
539 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
346 views

Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil

Who wrote Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil? Is it minhag Yisrael?