Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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1
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3answers
147 views

Why isn't it considered idol worship to give respect to the torah?

When the Sefer Torah is brought out of the ark, everyone stands up and kisses it. On occasions such as simchat torah and hoshana rabbah people dance around the Torah. To an outsider these actions can ...
8
votes
1answer
89 views

Did shadchanim suggest the shidduch?

Today, the role of the Shadchan is, depending on your community, to suggest to the prospective match that they meet, to introduce them, to arrange their meetings, and/or to advocate / be the ...
2
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6answers
361 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?
7
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1answer
100 views

Moving Sefer Torah with Tallis (source?)

Often times, when someone will move a Sefer Torah from one place to another, on top of what the Sefer Torah is already normally covered with, he will put an additional covering of a Tallis-Gadol. ...
12
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5answers
824 views

Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
4
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1answer
260 views

What do Teimanim do with regards to modern questions?

It's known that Teimanim follow the opinion of the Rambam exclusively. What do they (or even more so Rambamists) do when there are questions not discussed at all by the Rambam? For example, Do ...
5
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4answers
129 views

Cutting Challah on Shabbos

Is there a source for why many people (Ashkenazim) use a knife to pre-mark the challah where they will cut it before making the bracha on Shabbos?
5
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1answer
52 views

Kissing Back of Hand

Is there a source for Sephardim and Chassidim that kiss the hand of their Rabbi, a Torah scholar or even their father upon meeting them?
6
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1answer
30 views

Yartzeit candle - light before mincha or after maariv?

On a yartzeit (anniversary of death on Hebrew calendar) for a deceased family member, if one plans to both light a yartzeit candle in one's home and attend shul to say kaddish, is there a preference ...
7
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1answer
65 views

Lifting Torah during Bracha When Called for an Aliyah

I have noticed that while making the Bracha for an aliyah, many people lift the Torah when Hashem's name is recited. Is there a source for this?
8
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3answers
198 views

Which Tachanun should I say when davening in a minyan with a different Nusach?

I daven Nusach Ashkenaz but I often daven mincha in minyanim with a different nuasach. Should I say my ashekanzi tachanun or is there a minhag ha'mokom? Moreover I have noticed sefardim davening their ...
6
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1answer
99 views

Ancient Triennial Cycle Today

Are there any congregations who follow the ancient (Eretz Yisrael minhag) triennial cycle today, and so complete the Torah once every three years? I'm aware there are some Eretz Yisrael minhag ...
5
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2answers
55 views

Why do Sefaradim skip “Uva LeTziyon” in the house of a mourner?

This morning I prayed with a Sefaradi minyan in which were a few mourners. After Hazarat HaSha"Tz, they skipped Tahhanun and Uva LeTziyon. I can imagine a justification for skipping Tahhanun; but, ...
8
votes
1answer
77 views

Mizmor L'Toda with Melody

The Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim 51:9 rules that "The Psalm of Thanksgiving [i.e. Psalm 100] should be recited with a melody, for all songs are destined to fall into disuse, except for the Psalm of ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Simchas torah and drinking

I have seen that is prohibited to daven while drunk (Drinking during davening). How does chabad justify so much drinking on simchas torah while davening? I have seen shul sanctioned drinking to the ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Rocks on Gravestones [duplicate]

Why do Jews put rocks on Gravestones, especially on great Gadol Hadors, like for instance Rabbi Feinstein, is there something in Halacha that explains why it is done?
7
votes
1answer
217 views

Is one allowed to become a Talmid HaRambam?

There is a movement of people (including several MiYodeya users I've seen) who believe in following the teachings of the Rambam exclusively, basing their practical halachot off the Mishneh Torah, ...
7
votes
3answers
194 views

Is it permitted to have a boy under barmitzvah age sing Anim Zemiros?

Is it permitted to have a boy under barmitzvah age sing the Shir Hakavod (or Anim Zemiros)? Why is it not like any other part of davenning where we use someone over barmitzvah?
4
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0answers
45 views

How is strict doctrine motivated as being the product of God's will? [duplicate]

I'm not Jewish by any interpretation of the term, but curiosity frequently leads me to click on Stackexchange's Hot Network Questions. Questions on judaism.stackexchange.com often stand out because of ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

What defines “hard cheese” [duplicate]

I grew up with the minhag that after "hard cheese", one must wait for 15 minutes before one may eat meat. However, the question often arises as to what qualifies as such in terms of halacha and ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Different customs for Ashkenazic and Sephardic weddings

What are the major differences that one would notice between a Sephardic and an Ashkenazic wedding?
5
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1answer
101 views

Significance to the number of stripes on a tallis?

For Orthodox Ashkenazim, the most prevalent custom is to wear a tallis gadol with black stripes. In my area, I've noticed that the vast majority (of non-Chabadniks) wear tallesim with five thick black ...
3
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1answer
85 views

Blessings on Birthdays

There is apparently a practice among contemporary Jews of giving out blessings on one's birthday. Is there any source for this in the Jewish tradition?
4
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2answers
89 views

Koishele on Lulav

Is there any significance, halachic or otherwise, to the holder (or koishele) for the hadassim and aravot on the lulav? Who is the earliest source to describe it? Who (other than Chabad) doesn't use ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

smelling the extinguished havdalah candle

At Havdalah, I've seen a number of individuals smell the smoke from the extinguished Havdalah candle, sometimes reciting the posuk "Zichru Torah Moshe avdi" as they do so. Curious if anyone can verify ...
4
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1answer
40 views

“B'rachamav yaaseh shalom” - origin?

In the Kaddish d'Rabanan there is a change in the text of the Oseh Shalom. In addition to Kaddish Shalem/Yatom, there is an additional word ("b'rachamav") in the text. I asked someone who told me it's ...
5
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4answers
199 views

Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History

When did Jews start keeping their beards? Did Moshe's generation have beards? What is the historical development behind this phenomenon?
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Chol-Kreisch Ceremony

Danny Schoemmann mentions a ceremony called a chol-kreisch in this answer for giving the secular name of a child. Is this custom still observed, and if so, how is it practiced?
3
votes
2answers
122 views

Right side or left side of the mechitzah

Within the Orthodox tradition, is there a minhag for the correct side of the mechitzah men and women should sit? Right side of the mechitzah for men, left for women; or left side of the mechitzah for ...
4
votes
1answer
330 views

Paying a Shadchan

The Minhag in Klal Yisroel is to pay a Shadchan for introducing husband and wife. #1 - What is considered the norm to pay a Shadchan? #2 - Suppose a Shidduch breaks. Does the Shadchan have to return ...
3
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0answers
21 views

Candles by the amud [duplicate]

Why do people light candles in shul by the amud during davening? Is the custom specific to certain groups?
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Shadchanus in a broken engagement [duplicate]

Reuvain & Dina get engaged and give the Shadchan, Shadchanus money. A few weeks later they break up. Does the Shadchan have to return this Shadchanus money? Suppose they never gave Shadchanus ...
7
votes
2answers
117 views

Why does a siyum exempt one from taanit bechorot?

The custom in many communities I have been to is for there to be a siyum on a mesechta on the day of taanit bechorot. All first borns who would otherwise have to fast attend the siyum and are thus ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

When do we append “ימח שמו וזכרו” to the name of an evil person

When is the phrase 'ימח שמו וזכרו' ('may his name and memory be erased') appended to the name of an evil person? Is it a stylistic and subjective matter of choice or are there specific criteria to ...
3
votes
5answers
363 views

married couples never sleeping in the same bed

I have heard that many Orthodox married couples never sleep in the same bed, even during the times that they are permitted to each other. Coming from a non-Orthodox background, this seems shocking to ...
4
votes
2answers
81 views

Prishus in Jewish Marriage

I know that there is a concept of prishus (going beyond the letter of the law, and abstaining from things that are really allowed) within Jewish marriage, but what exactly does this constitute, and ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Ring and kiddushin

Where did the concept of the chosson (groom) giving the kallah (bride) a ring, specifically, for kiddushin (i.e. under the chuppah) come from?
2
votes
0answers
40 views

(Tefach) Wide Gartel

Some use a very wide gartel. A friend of mine mentioned an inyan (Judaism-sourced idea) that the gartel should be wider than one tefach. Can someone source this inyan that the gartel should be (more ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

What if there is no object for use in a mitzva?

There is a story I once heard about the Ben Ish Chai examining the only known etrog available in Iraq. Despite the great need for it, he declared the etrog passul for use and no one could fulfill the ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Where can I find the minhagim of Algeria?

Is there a compilation of all the minagim of Algeria, especially for the Setifian custom?
3
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1answer
43 views

source of the chasidic custom not to say tachnun on yahrzeit

I attended today a chasidic minyan and they did not say tachnun because it was the yahrzeit of a certain rebbe. What is the source of this? Shouldn't this be a sad day?
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Is it a mitzvah to help a traveller to another community fulfill his minhag?

From my understanding, it's generally considered obligatory or necessary to participate in the minhagim of your community. However, say that person, person A, travels elsewhere where the minhag is not ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Menorah with uneven spacing

The following assumes lighting an additional candle for each day of Chanukkah: Two may light in a single Menorah for the first three days of Chanukkah; each in his end of the Menorah. This does not ...
6
votes
1answer
497 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?
2
votes
1answer
181 views

Jewish dervishes and “Darkeihem”

This photo shows a pair of Jewish dervishes. It has been going around the Jewish-oriented pages of the internet and social media lately, and it got me wondering: would this be a problem of following ...
3
votes
2answers
132 views

Decorating of the Beitzah

Somebody told me in Israel some have the custom of decorating the egg for Pesach (like an Easter egg). Wouldn't that be considered chukas hagoyim or avoda zara?
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 ...
1
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0answers
56 views

Mi-Shebeirach for Shabbat musaf starting point

I have noticed in many kehillot, that the sha"tz will begin the Mi-Shebeirach before musaf (Hu y'varech et kol hakahal) at "(U)Mi she-oskim". At first, I thought that this was probably an oversight ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

May a non Ethiopian Jew celebrate sigd?

Ethiopian Jews recently celebrated their festival of Sigd, which involves reaccaptence of the Torah, communal fasting and feasting, and prayers. Is it acceptable for someone of a Minhag other than ...
16
votes
1answer
479 views

Why don't we bow “correctly” during tefillah anymore?

According to the Gemara (Megillah 22b), and according to the RaMBa"M (Hil. Tefillah 5:13) (and apparently R' Avraham ben HaRaMBa"M was adamant), when we pray we are supposed to bow down ON our knees ...