Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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Why is the term שליט“א more commonly used for a rav than the term נ”י?

As a follow up to this answer to a M.Y. question, why is שליט"א more commonly used after a notable Rav's name than the term נירו יאיר (or נ"י, as an abbreviation)? A wise person, such as a rav is ...
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38 views

Saying “emes toraseinu ha'kedosha vehatehora”

There is a minhag of the tzibur saying the above phrase while the one who is oleh la'Torah says the second brocho. This was the minhag of my father z"l who was born in Satmar. I have been asking ...
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117 views

What is the source for the custom of kissing one's hand after shaking another's?

There is a common custom in Israel (mostly in Sfardic communities) that after you shake someone's hand, you kiss your hand. Generally people kiss their thumb or first two fingers, in my experience. ...
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39 views

Attempting to stand for the kedusho in the blessings before the shema at Shacharis

In the section starting "יוצר אור" at Shacharis, there is a kedusho. When it is said, most people are sitting. I have seen some people who raise themselves slightly as if to get out of their seats for ...
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57 views

Minhagim for removing tefilin on chol hamoed

I daven in a minyan with a significant number of people who don tefilin on chol hamoed. The way I have always thought the minhag was practiced was that the tefilin are removed before halel; however, ...
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66 views

Is there a source for giving charity in round numbers plus one?

This question asks about the (mostly?) Ashkenazic practice of giving charity in multiples of 18. Another custom I have observed is to give charity in round numbers + 1 e.g. $51, $101, $201 etc. This ...
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72 views

Being Matir Family Mesorah

Does Hataras Nedarim help to be matir all of one's minhagim if the the one being matir has them in mind? For example: a sephardi wants to change his minhagim to ashkenazi ones.
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69 views

What are the rules for covering one's head with a talit for sefaradim?

There seems to be a bunch of different minhagim related to covering one's head with a talit. My question pertains to sefaradim. Are the rules different for married/non-married? When should you ...
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187 views

Siyum Mishnayos on Erev Pesach

Today I learned of the minhag to make a siyum bechorim only on gemara. I understand the logic, but is there a source for it? This came up because I'm scheduled to make a siyum on the Mishna (first ...
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77 views

סימן יתק״ק and Shir Hashirim

In the copy of Echa I used this past 9 Av, the final p'sukim were followed by the notation "סימן יתק״ק". These stand for "ישעיה",‎ "תרי עשר",‎ "קהלת", and "קנות" (i.e. Echa). These are ...
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75 views

Conservative method of tying tzitzis?

I recently came into possession of a 4-cornered garment with tzitziyos attached to its corners that was previously owned (although not necessarily worn or endorsed) by a non-Conservative member of a ...
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195 views

Why don't Sephardim read Kohelet on Sukkot?

It is the custom among Ashkenazim to read Kohelet on the Shabbat of Chol HaMoed Sukkot. Is there any reason why Sephardim never took on (or stopped) this custom?
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194 views

Why can we do Tashlich until Hoshana Rabba

One of the reasons to do Tashlich, according to Chabad.org is: "Another reason for saying Tashlich next to a river is because Rosh Hashanah is the day when we coronate G‑d as King of the Universe. ...
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64 views

Source for having lace on a Kittel

In Shul on Yom Kippur I noticed that many of the Kittel's that people wear have lace on them. Is there a source or a reason why a Kittel has lace on it?
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135 views

Communities that celebrate menarche

Are there traditional communities that have rituals celebrating (or otherwise marking the occurrence of) a girl's first menses? If so, what do those rituals look like? (For purposes here, let's ...
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262 views

Mazinka dance (dance with a broom) source?

Some have a custom that, when their last child or last daughter (mazinka means youngest daughter) get married, they do a dance with a broom. Where did this come from and is it in any seforim?
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136 views

What are the parameters of 'minhag yisrael'?

I went to a non-Jewish self-catering apartment and I was discussing with my friend whether we can use the utensils or not. Of course, if they are clean and used for cold there are no problems. We ...
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223 views

When did the Kanievsky family switch from Chasidic to Litvish?

R' Chaim Kanievsky shlita davens Ashkenaz and wears Ashkenazi tefilin. His grandfather z'l was a Chernobyler chasid. It's not clear to me how the Steipler Gaon ztz'l conducted himself with regards ...
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38 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
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730 views

What is the proper greeting for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day)?

Here in Israel, there are many customs surrounding Yom HaShoah; the morning siren, ceremonies, storytelling from survivors, etc. However, I'm not sure I've ever heard a way to greet someone that ...
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120 views

Who should observe Isru Chag?

I have been trying to understand Isru Chag. While there is a source in tehillim for the words and the gemara derives a notion of extra celebration, there seems to be little about the scope of the day. ...
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113 views

May a woman be a kvater?

May a woman serve as the sole kvater (person who brings the baby to the sandek) at a bris? At most britot I've been to, the duty of kvater was handled by a woman and a man (typically married), with ...
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212 views

Text for birchat habayit

I'd like to write a couple birchos habayis and get them illuminated as gifts. Does anyone know of a good existing text? I'm looking for something five or six lines long, preferably not the usual one ...
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41 views

May one wear a jacket or coat over a tallit gadol during shacharit?

May one wear a jacket or coat over a tallit gadol during shacharit - assuming one wears a tallit gadol daily? The reason I ask is because usually the tallit gadol is the outer most garment. I don't ...
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47 views

According to halacha, how should a shul's minhag be decided?

I generally attend Nusach Ashkenaz Orthodox shuls. There are a few in my area. Each has some variations on the placement of certain parts during davening, all of which are fine and dependent on the ...
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15 views

When did it become common to engrave tombstones?

I'm going to "link" this question to something in this week's parsha (Torah reading): Genesis 35:20: וַיַּצֵּ֧ב יַעֲקֹ֛ב מַצֵּבָ֖ה עַל־קְבֻרָתָ֑הּ הִ֛וא מַצֶּ֥בֶת קְבֻֽרַת־רָחֵ֖ל עַד־הַיּֽוֹם׃ ...
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47 views

Saying Shema from Klaf

I've heard of saying parshat haketoret from a klaf. Does a similar practice exist for shema? If so, is it just Shema and V'haya (essentially a mezuzah) or the above and Parshat Tzitzit?
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69 views

Mikvah on yom kippur?

An 'istenis' (delicate) with regards to the mikvah does not want to go, unless absolutely necessary. Is going to the mikvah on Yom Kippur despite this more important, or is he exempt? Is going to the ...
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71 views

Unmarried man teacher of children

I see from The Shulchan Aruch Even Ezer 22.20 and from Shulchan Aruch Harav, Hilchois Talmud Torah, perek 1 halocho 13 that single man should not be a teacher of children (under 13) becouse of the ...
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36 views

May one make tahara (washing the dead) on a person who doesnt keep mitsvot

One makes tahara on a dead man or woman which includes washing him and for some being 'dipped' in a mikva. May one do this on someone who is considered a 'rosho' like for not keeping the torah or ...
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49 views

א mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What is the correct way to pronounce the א (aleph)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
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21 views

Can a shul choose to forgo establishing any set minhag regarding music restrictions on sefira?

My shul has a caterer that follows the halachot dictated by the shul's rav. During the ben hashamashot (bet. mincha 1st day & ma'ariv 2nd day Yom Tov), while discussing the laws of the Sefira ...
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21 views

Chevra Kaddisha string locations

I recently did a tahara and I was curious about where a lot of the practices came from and what the meaning behind them is. One thing we did was we tied strings around various locations of the ...
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45 views

Can fiances take on each other's customs before marriage?

Can two people who are engaged take on each other's customs before marriage? At what point in the marriage process do they take on each other's customs?
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54 views

When did the custom of silver candlesticks for Shabbat start?

I heard that it is a custom to give a bride candlesticks. Is this true? when did this start? Who has the obligation to do this? and more info on the subject with sources please. Is this true that it ...
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38 views

What is the origin of the minhag to recite psukim having 3 words?

A few weeks ago, I saw in a Siddur (I wish I could recall which one. It's not one of the "popular brands") a section at the end of Shacharit saying that there is a minhag to recite verses from the ...
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211 views

Can a convert choose the Teimani (Yemenite) minhagim?

From what I know, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (Teshuva Shu"T Yachaveh Das Chelek 5 Siman 33) writes that someone who converts in Eretz Yisrael must take on the Minhagim of the Sephardim. However, according to ...
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35 views

Jewish mourning practices - candle cup of water salt for seven days after burial

I am looking for more information regarding the following custom or minhag excerpt: "It was customary to keep a candle burning in the death chamber during the week after burial; one report has it ...
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77 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 ...
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68 views

Why did Ashkenazi Jews not adopt the custom of reading the Book of Job in synagogue on Tisha B'Av, as Sephardim do?

I understand that Sephardim have the custom of reading the Book of Job on Tisha B'Av. Is there any historic discussion among Ashkenazi rabbis regarding why the practice was not adopted by them?
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56 views

Why the custom at the end of Tashlich to shake off Tzitzis?

In the Siddur Nussach Ari it says by the end of Tashlich to shake the ends of your Tzitzis, I heard that this symbolizes the tossing of a persons sins in the depth of the water (as in the verse " ...
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113 views

Why do Hassidim wear hats that simulate what Non-Jewish czars and kings wore?

I heard from a few people that some of the hats that Hassidim wear such as shtreimelach and spodeks mimic the hat styles worn by previous kings and czars. Perhaps, I heard incorrectly, so feel free to ...
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85 views

Titles and prefixes for calling people up to the Torah

When people are called up to the Torah by name, often there is a title that goes with them, such as "ha-bachur" for a young man, "ha-rav" for a rabbi (and/or someone with semicha), and other such ...
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52 views

Why are the daily tehilim divided as they are?

How were the daily starting and ending points for weekly and monthly readings of all of tehilim chosen? Are they just chosen to make them all approximately the same length, or are there specific ...
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504 views

Additional names for refuah shlema

When praying for someone's refuah shlema (fully recovered health), is it halakhically required to use their additional names on top of their first names? Is it simply custom? If someone is named ...
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63 views

Not making a wedding on the first 3 days of a month

I've heard there is a custom (practiced in various kehillas, I heard Belz is one of them) to not make a wedding on the first 3 days of a month (meaning alef, beis, or gimmel of a particular month.) ...
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80 views

Noda B'Yehuda and the Tzavah of Rebbe Yehuda HaChossid

The Noda B'Yehuda (Tinyanah Evan HaEzer Siman 79) famously writes in regards to making a match between a bachelor that has the same name as the father of the potential bride that one need not be ...
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647 views

Why do we wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative?

Why do we wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative? I can understand this wish directly after the death when I have heard that a person should consider ...
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72 views

Davening by a Tzaddik on Rosh HaShanah

Where does the inyan of davening with a Tzaddik on Rosh HaShanah come from? Where did it start? Was there ever such a minhag before chassidus come along? (Assuming it started with the Chassidim -- my ...
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105 views

Should people not say Vidui before Tachanun?

Assuming that it is a hefseik and forbidden to interrupt between amidah and tachanun, should a person who regularly recites vidui change his custom and delay the recital of vidui until later on, after ...