Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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1answer
223 views

What is rationale behind banging on table during bentching?

There is one family that I occasionally eat with that has a minhag of banging on the table during Birkat ha-Mazon. I was wondering what reasons lay behind this custom. I do not know if this is ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Putting on Tefilin one month before Bar Mitzva

Rabbi Shimon Eider Zatzal brings in his Sefer that the Minhag is to put on Tefilin from one to three months before the Bar Mitzva. To the best of knowledge there are three different schools of ...
2
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1answer
248 views

Why don't women drink alcohol (other than kiddush wine) in shul?

I've noticed that in Orthodox shuls, it's common for men to drink alcohol (such as a shot of scotch or vodka or perhaps a liqueur), other than just kiddush wine, especially after Shacharis on Shabbos. ...
2
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1answer
259 views

Feminizing Biblical names?

Masculine names such as Daniel, Joseph, and Michael have feminized forms: Danielle/Daniela, Josephine/Josephina, Michelle/Michaela/Mikayla. I've heard that when choosing a name for a baby, you ...
2
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1answer
95 views

chassan/kallah signing the kesubah or tenaaim

I have seen bridegrooms and brides sign their names on their kesuba or tenaaim (prenup) before the chuppah (wedding ceremony). It seems maybe to be a chassidish custom, though I'm not sure. Is there ...
2
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2answers
129 views

Holocaust Rembrance Day(s)?

What is with the different Holocaust Remembrance Days? When I was a kid, my entire community observed Yom HaShoah. This came about approximately one week after Pesaḥ. Although I'm not totally sure, I ...
2
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1answer
90 views

When is the end of the Tishrei holiday “season”?

(Inspired by this question) I'm curious if there is any discussion on when the Tishrei holiday "season" officially ends. Just off the top of my head, I'm curious if anyone recommends refraining from ...
2
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1answer
414 views

What is the reason for V-neck Titzis?

When buying Tzitzis, I have seen that there are two types of garment: A "round" neck (the hole has a racetrack shape). A "V" neck (the hole for the neck has a diamond shape). What is the reason ...
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3answers
456 views

Source for a Vacht Nacht

There is an event the night before a Bris. It's called Vacht Nacht in Yiddish and called Zohar amongst certain Sefardim; I am aware that people of German decent have a third name for it, which I can't ...
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2answers
549 views

Can a person start swimming in the three weeks?

Someone told me that if a person did not swim prior to the three weeks, he may not start swimming during the three weeks? Is there a source for this? (sources)
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1answer
95 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.
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2answers
103 views

Shofar in Elul Why?

Why do we blow Shofar in Elul?
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1answer
57 views

Sources for different turnings during Hagba

Some shuls turn have the magbia turn completely around while others have him turn first left then right (there may be still other minhagim). Why the difference, and what's the mekor?
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1answer
70 views

Is it wrong to ask for financial help after a personal loss?

Well now that I see this is a good site, with no rude people. I shall ask my question. I lost quite a lot of important things in an apartment fire (no insurance) so .. I set up a gofundme thing (now ...
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1answer
43 views

What is Ruaḥ HaShem?

When recalling someone who has passed (in a shi'ur or Devar Torah), I have heard many say "Ruaḥ HaShem teniḥenu/ah beGan 'Eden" (רוח ה' תניחנו/ה בגן עדן). 1) What is "Ruaḥ HaShem" (literally, the ...
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1answer
74 views

Singing shoshanas yaakov on Pesach

I have seen that some sing Shoshanas Yaakov on Pesach to commemorate the death of Haman. Can someone please direct me to an authoritative source for this custom? See references to it here: ...
2
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1answer
58 views

Why has it not become customary for people to wish each other “Good Yontiff” on Purim?

I can't recall people wishing each other "Gut Yuntiff" (or similar, like "Good Yom Tov") or any reference to Yom Tov on Purim. (Maybe someone does, but I'm unaware of this.) Why don't people do this ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Pointing the pinky at the torah

By Hagbahos HaTorah people point at the Torah with the pinky of their right hand. I have seen others point with the pinky of both hands. Someone told me this is brought down in the Me’am Lo’ez. Where ...
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1answer
90 views

Making a tanoim/vort for a zivug sheini (2nd marriage)

I have heard from many that there is a minhag (custom) not to make what many call a "tanoim" or a "vort" (the celebration when a couple gets engaged) for 2 people that were once divorced. They base it ...
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2answers
121 views

What's with the Bima?

When the Bais Hamikdash stood, on Yom Kipper the kohen gadol read from the torah facing the people and on Sukos the king read from the torah facing the people, why does our Bima face the Aron? If ...
2
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1answer
369 views

What are the different types of Shpitzlach?

Do shpitzels include some fake hair ? Are they always made with foam inside to imitate the hair?
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1answer
377 views

What is the Heter for the prevalent Clothing among Women?

The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body ...
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1answer
163 views

Spilling wine for Detzach, Adash, Be'Achav

I understand that we spill wine for the plagues. People died, they went through hardship, and it was not their fault. But.... immediately after spilling wine for the plagues, we say that R' ...
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2answers
102 views

What constitutes roasting with regard to Minhagim?

Roasting in Halachah generally refers to dry heat, such as broiling and barbequing. But with respect to Minhagim, such as not eating roasted meat (or poultry) at the Seder, do we follow the same ...
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2answers
270 views

Can sefardim eat lafa before Pesach?

There is a custom(?) to abstain from eating matza 30 days before Passover so that the taste will be new. There are some sects of sefardic or teimani Jews who eat a type of matzah that is more akin to ...
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1answer
1k views

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa?

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa (both the symbol and the name)? If so, does this lend credence to those who view Hamsa as being of non-Jewish (at best, or pagan, at worst) origin?
2
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1answer
158 views

Communities where men didn't put their טליתות over their heads?

I heard that the Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna mentioned cases where the custom of the place was different, one such place being יָוָן, where men didn't cover their heads with their tallitot, ...
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1answer
132 views

What is the point of Hataras Nedarim every year?

The second paragraph of Hataras Nedarim has the person being mattired saying that "I am making a modaah that any oaths being made in the future are considered to be as if 'bli neder'". Is this ...
2
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1answer
868 views

What is the origin of BS“D / B”H? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: B'siyata D'shmaya or Baruch Hashem What is the origin of putting BS"D (or Beis Samach Daled) on the top right hand corner of anything one write?
2
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1answer
454 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 ...
2
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2answers
104 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 ...
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2answers
94 views

If you were born one sect (Ashkenaz) but wanted to become another (Sephardi), do you have to go through conversion?

I encountered a man who found out he was Jewish with Ashkenazi lineage, but for personal reasons converted to Sephardi. Never heard of this before. I remember learning there are several halachot in ...
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1answer
48 views

Halacha of hair disposal

Are there any traditions or halachic restrictions regarding the proper disposal of human hair (similar to with regard to nails or human remains)? Related: According to Halacha, does one have to ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Must Rosh HaShannah Simanim be Eaten in a Certain Order?

Is there a specific minhag regarding when and in what order to eat the simanim? In other words, is it acceptable to serve simanim as a matter of course (leeks with the steak, date cookies for dessert, ...
2
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1answer
86 views

Do any Chasidim still accept Shabbos according to Rabbeinu Tam zman?

Apparently there is a story that Rav Moshe Feinstein asked the Satmar Rebbe to not have his followers begin shabbos with zman Rabbeinu Tam. Is there still a minhag amongst chasidim to take on shabbos ...
2
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1answer
125 views

Nose rings allowed or not allowed?

The Torah states that Eliezer gave Rivka a golden nose ring...Based on the Torah it is allowed. What I want to know is why people do not accept this and discourage it.
2
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1answer
83 views

Non-Hebrew Seder Songs

In the haggadot which belonged to my grandfather ז”ל, there is a note on the translation for Adir Hu which mentions that they follow an old Yiddish version of the song, rather than the modern German ...
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1answer
131 views

What should we eat on Tu B'av?

I'm hosting an event on Tu B'av and I need to decide on the menu. Are there any foods that are particularly appropriate for the holiday?
2
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1answer
288 views

What's a Grammen?

A few years ago I participated in a Purim Se'udah at which rounds of humorous poetry were written and then recited in a sing-song chant. It was fun, and the tune rang familiar to me, but it was ...
2
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1answer
156 views

Is it permitted to make hand gestures in the Amidah?

Someone told me that I should not move my hands during the Amidah. I found this article in the Jerusalem Post which says: Indeed, an eerie silence hovers over the issue of outstretched arms ...
2
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1answer
525 views

Source for the Mitzvah Tanz

At a Chassidishe Wedding, there is a special dance done, known as the Mitzvah Tanz. Where is the source for this dance and what is the meaning behind it? Also, why is it not done at Litvish Weddings? ...
2
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1answer
77 views

paskening in front of Rebbi who is your father inlaw

It is assur to pasken (rule on a halachic matter) in front of one's Rebbe (Eiruvin 63). If one's father-in-law is his Rebbe and his wife asks him (her husband) a halachic question in front of her ...
2
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1answer
115 views

Who wears a talis on leil Shabbos?

Rabbi Chanina would don his talis gadol on erev Shabbos (Mas. Shabbos 25b, Rambam Hilchos Shabbos 30:2). While this has been practiced by individuals, is it today the practice of any particular ...
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3answers
137 views

Why do we still blow shofar during mussaf?

The gemarah (rosh hashana 32b) asks why we wait until mussaf to blow the shofar and answers that the ruling enemies of the Jews mistook the shofar sound for a rallying war cry and forbade it. They ...
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0answers
29 views

Ordering the physician's attributes in different minhagim

In Ashkenazic Nussach the 8th blessing of the Amida, the Nussach is: "רופא נאמן ורחמן" trustworthy and merciful. and in Sepharadic Nussach the order is "רחמן ונאמן". I am wondering if the difference ...
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1answer
73 views

Can one follow “old” kitniyot rules?

Years ago, during 60's and 70's OU certified the use of peanut oil, corn oil and seeds. Miller's kimmel muenster (muenster with caraway seeds) was OU certified. I also believe that sesame candies were ...
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2answers
55 views

Proper day and time for a Shloshim Seuda

per Chabad.Org: "Traditionally, families gather on the eve of the Shloshim to share support, recite prayers and Psalms, and to give charity in the merit of the deceased. Many will also make a Siyum, ...
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0answers
48 views

Why only beautify two peyoth?

The explanation I have always been given for long, curled peyoth among those that have the minhag, is that it is for beautifying the misswah of peyoth. However, there are seven peyoth, only two of ...
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0answers
26 views

Insomnia and Modeh Ani [duplicate]

I am wondering what is done in the case of people who have insomnia. I usually sleep about 4 hours a night and I wake during those hours maybe 5 or 6 times. I got into the habit of saying Modeh ani ...
2
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0answers
23 views

About giving up one's Life for G-D and Minhag

My question is concerning the times when Jews are - G-D forbid - being persecuted religiously and they can't transgress or stop performing mitzvot to the extent of not changing Minhag. Does this ...