Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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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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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 ...
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91 views

Origins of the Yerushalmi Kaftan

Among Yerushalmi Chareidim, a special dress code seems to have developed which has some features which are unique from standard Eastern Ashkenazi dress. While most Chareidim I have seen wear black ...
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40 views

Spanish-Portuguese Torah Vestments

The first Shabbat I was in Yerushalayim (Parshat Shoftim) my father and I davened at the Italian Synagogue. While the nusach there follows the older Roman nusach, the Sifrei Torah are caparisoned in ...
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32 views

The hupa itself, people holding or self standing, square or circle

I was told it is a segula to hold the 4 sticks of the hupa (square) so it seems it is preferred But now I see a new (to me) minhag that they have fancy self standing ones, sometimes in the shape of a ...
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77 views

Should Ashkenazim say 'מוריד הטל' in Israel?

The Rema (114:3) brings the Tur who says that Ashkenazim do not say 'מוריד הטל' in the amidah: "Us, the Ashkenazim, do not commemorate the 'טל' [i.e. say 'מוריד הטל'], not in the summer days nor ...
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54 views

If Yom Kippur Katan has to exist, why isn't it ON Rosh Chodesh?

The practice of Yom Kippur Katan is held on erev Rosh Chodesh (by some) so that we can maintain the element of kapparah essential to Rosh Chodesh but not compromise the celebration of the day by ...
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75 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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38 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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85 views

ג (gimel) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

From a halachik perspective, what are the correct ways to pronounce the ג (gimel)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the ...
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38 views

Lo sisgodedu by varying practices of heiche kedusha?

In a minyan (quorum) that is doing heiche kedushe with the (inevitable?) scenario that some mispallelim (ones praying) are following the Rama and waiting till after the chazzan's kedusha to begin ...
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74 views

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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39 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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159 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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42 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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43 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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70 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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70 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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73 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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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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239 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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79 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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81 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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200 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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67 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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136 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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275 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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148 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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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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136 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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119 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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223 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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50 views

Lighting from a pre-existing flame on 1st night Yom Tov if saying brachos first?

Some have the custom to say the bracha before kindling lights on (erev) Yom Tov. The linked page claims in one place that this is allowed because we don't receive Yom Tov with the bracha, and in ...
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29 views

Bowing toward the right in Aleinu leshabei'ach

I read in the book The Rebbe that the Satmar Rebbe ztl had the custom to bow specifically toward the right at ve'anachnu kore'im but I can't find any sources to this minhag. It's certainly a ...
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61 views

Tichel wearer moves to Sheitel covered community

If a woman who is custom to covering by means of Tichel/Mitpachat moves to a community in which it is custom for women to wear Sheitels, should she switch to Sheitels? If she attends a synagogue in ...
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31 views

Use Cazeres/romaine lettuce leaves?

I have seen some people use only the stalk and others use the whole leaf of the romaine lettuce for cazeres that they use by the Seder, both for the "plate" and for eating. What is the reason for the ...
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32 views

What happened to the Mugmar?

In Brochos Perek 6, Mishna 6 the Mugmar is mentioned in the context of who makes the Brocha for it. Commentaries explain that it is some sort of incense that was smelled after a meal. It would ...
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53 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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111 views

Rulings that Sephardim should stand to put on hand-t'filin

Rabbi Shimon Eider's book, Student Edition of Halachos of Tefillin, dates to 1985. In it (section Ⅲ D 7), he writes: Some Poskim hold that one should sit while putting on the Shel Yad ...
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57 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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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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53 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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42 views

Head covering a sign of being a bride of HaShem?

Bnei Yisrael’s relationship with HaShem is often described as a marriage; HaShem is the groom and Bnei Yisrael are His bride. See Shir HaShirim for an extended example. The Prophets frequently ...
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72 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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52 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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76 views

Do any communities permit music during Sefira?

As many of our users are likely aware, there is a custom to refrain from listening to music during the Omer period. However, the operative word here is "custom." As such, I have been wondering whether ...
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27 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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22 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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47 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?