Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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14
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4answers
3k views

B'siyata D'shmaya or Baruch Hashem

Often, at the top of written work, Jews write either ב"ה, which stands for Baruch Hashem =blessed is the Name i.e., God, or בס"ד, which stands for b'siyata d'shmaya =with Heavenly help. What is the ...
9
votes
3answers
196 views

BBQ for Yom Hatzmaut

What is the source for making barbecues on Yom Haatzmaut?
8
votes
3answers
280 views

Should I follow the congregation if their view on prayers for Yom Ha'Atzma'ut is different than mine?

How should one go about davening in a minyan on yom haatzmaut when his custom is not to change davening? My minyan does no tachanun and hallel without a bracha after shmona esreh. Should I- do ...
3
votes
1answer
739 views

Women Making Kiddush

Let's say a husband and wife are alone on Friday night or on Shabbos day. Can the wife make kiddush for herself and her husband?
10
votes
1answer
113 views

Why Are These Double Parshiyos?

During a regular (non-leap) Jewish year, there are four instances where two of the weekly Torah portions are read together in the same week. This is because there are not enough weeks to read all of ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Why Start Pirkei Avos With Kol Yisroel?

Why do we start off saying Pirkei Avos by first saying the Mishna from Sanhedrin "Kol Yisroel"?
4
votes
1answer
194 views

Aleinu L'Shabeach - Nusach HaTefila

The words "Sheheim Mishtachavim Li-Hevel Voryk Umispallelim El Eil Lo-Yoshiya" - Was this originally part of Aleinu and then removed, or was it added later to Aleinu? Why was this done?
5
votes
3answers
165 views

When to count Sefira

Why do some count the Omer before Aleinu and some after?
0
votes
1answer
119 views

Schlisel Challah [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Parnassah Segulah What is the source of the Minhag to make Schlisal Challah the week after Pesach? Is it better to make a Challah in the shape of a key or is it better to ...
5
votes
2answers
176 views

Yemenite Sefira

What is the source for the custom that Yemenite Jews people count Sefira in Aramaic? and why do they do it?
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Whats a Mimunah-מימונה?

There is a custom of those of Moroccan decent to make a "Mimunah". What does this custom entail, how did it develop, and what does it have to do with Pesach? A general overview of the Custom would be ...
5
votes
2answers
758 views

Why should A Capella music be allowed during Sefirah/Three Weeks?

Background: I'm not sure how I feel about: a)the custom to refrain from listening to recorded music during Sefirah or b)the assumption that recorded a cappella music is not considered instrumental ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Sefira Restrictions During Chol Hamoed Pesach

For those who hold sefira from the first day until the thirty-third, are the restrictions in effect during chol hamoed? While you are not allowed to cut your hair even during chol hamoed Succos, can ...
4
votes
2answers
351 views

Black Hats During Mussaf

Lately, I have noticed that many people who wear a tallis during davening will deliberately put on the black hat, which they wore on the way to shul, while still wearing their tallis near the end of ...
6
votes
1answer
203 views

Washing Kohen's Hands

Following kedusha during mussaf on a day when there is birchas kohanim (duchening), the Leviyim and Kohanim assemble at the sink and a Levi washes each Kohen's hands. What procedure of hand-washing ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Extent of Gebroks

For those who have the minhag not to eat Gebroks on Pesach, how about dipping into undiluted fruit juices, which do not cause leavening? And what about dipping in water and eating it right away, ...
4
votes
2answers
572 views

Marror and Chazeres on the seder plate

The arrangement of the Seder plate according to the Arizal includes one space for "Marror" and another for "Chazeres" (the latter intended for use in Koreich). Does this reflect a tradition to use ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Using The Washington Haggadah

Yesterday, Harvard University Press released a haggadah which is a reproduction of a manuscript written in 1478 and held by the Library of Congress. It can be purchased on Amazon. If I bought this, ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Partial Pesach Cleaning

I am looking for any sources for the minhag of only needing to clean one room in your house for Pesach if you are going to be away for the whole chag.
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Kidush Levana: Does “aleichem shalom” count for a “shalom aleichem”?

The minhag at kiddush levana is to wish shalom aleichem 3x. It is prevalent to do so even if someone was wished shalom aleichem and he reciprocated back aleichem shalom. Is there a reason that one ...
9
votes
3answers
247 views

Lag Baomer - why not Laomer?

Nusach Askenaz says Baomer, Nusach Sefard and Sefardim say Laomer - Why does everyone call it Lag Baomer - why not call it Lag Laomer?
10
votes
4answers
461 views

Baal Teshuva Minhag

I have read that Rabbi Avraham Yosef (the son of Rav Ovadiah Yosef) paskened that a Baal Teshuva in Israel should adopt the Sephardic Minhag, regardless of family history, as their immediate ancestors ...
9
votes
2answers
208 views

Purpose of announcing Molad

The custom is that the gabbai announces the time of the Molad during the course of "Bircas HaChodesh" on Shabbos Mevorchim. What is the purpose of this? The molad is anyhow not directly connected to ...
4
votes
4answers
527 views

Does cooking kitniyot in a pot render it non-kosher-for-Passover for Ashkenazic Jews? If so, why?

I've heard of cases where a Sephardic family, for whom rice is totally kosher for Passover (assuming it's checked and contains no additives etc.), cooked rice in a pot. The next day, they invite their ...
4
votes
0answers
75 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
543 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
199 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
326 views

Tachnun in Nissan

Why is there no Tachnun said in the month of Nissan?
6
votes
6answers
570 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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
188 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
1k 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
155 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?
10
votes
2answers
1k 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?
6
votes
1answer
111 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
309 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
176 views

Costumes On Purim

Why is there a Minhag to dress up in costumes on Purim?
2
votes
1answer
423 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
807 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
255 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
398 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
2k 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
167 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
6answers
389 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
105 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
647 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
192 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
268 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
228 views

Saying korbonos

Do you have to say korbonos? If so, why is it not said with the shaliach tzibbur?
6
votes
2answers
421 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?