Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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4
votes
1answer
623 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
176 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
98 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
284 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
173 views

Costumes On Purim

Why is there a Minhag to dress up in costumes on Purim?
2
votes
1answer
402 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
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?
4
votes
3answers
265 views

Donut and its deeper significance

What is the significance for eating Donuts on Chanukah Beyond the Oil connection?
3
votes
1answer
417 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
144 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
215 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?
2
votes
1answer
78 views
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Kiddush Levana - saying certain Pesukim 3 times

There are a whole bunch of Pesukim that we say 3 times at Kiddush Levana. 1 - Why do we say these specific Pesukim 3 times? 2 - Specifically I am curious why we say Shalom Aleichem 3 times?
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 ...
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 ...
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
2answers
141 views

Childrens' Tombstones

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
550 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
107 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 ...