Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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8
votes
2answers
304 views

Kiddush Levanah - Saying Aleichem Sholom with the other person?

As discussed here, while doing Kiddush Levanah, we say "Shalom Aleichem" to 3 other people, and they respond back with "Aleichem Shalom". I've seen some people saying "Aleichem Shalom" together with ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Leading half the prayers

Assuming one is to follow the congregation's nusach when leading the prayers and one's own otherwise, what should he do if he's asked to lead the prayers from "Shochen ad", and agrees, before the ...
7
votes
4answers
239 views

Is it possible to be chasidish without wearing the garb and keeping all the minhagim?

Can someone be chasidish (or a chasid) if they don't dress in a distinctively "Jewish" way or don't keep all the minhagim such as "cholov yisrael", saying tehillim on rosh chodesh, etc? Does it ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Haircuts on Friday when the 47th of the omer falls on Sunday

The Rema, commenting on the mourning of the first 33 days of the omer, allows haircuts on Friday, lichvod shabbos, when the 33rd falls on Sunday. Does the same reasoning apply when the 47th falls on ...
3
votes
1answer
377 views

What is the origin of the custom to say Shema to a baby on the day before his Brit Milah?

I have seen a custom among Ashkenazic Jews that on the day before the Brit Milah of a baby boy, a group of children will come and all say the Shema to the baby. What is the origin and reason for the ...
4
votes
3answers
378 views

Is Kel Malei Rachamim (memorial prayer) said under the chuppah at a wedding?

I'd seen a book on wedding practices and customs that said if desired in appropriate cases, a memorial prayer ("El/Kel Malei Rachamim") could be said under the chuppah, e.g. a bride/groom who lost a ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the earliest source mentioning that Jews put out greenery on Shavuos?

What is the earliest source mentioning the Minhag that Jews put out greenery on Shavuos?
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Private Bircas Kohanim during Mussaf?

One Shabbos during the Chazan's repetition of the Mussaf Shemoneh Esrei, I noticed a guest who is a Kohen (who seemed to be of Sefaradic stock) wrapping his sons in his tallis, with his hands on their ...
2
votes
2answers
226 views

Nusach for silent Amida when chazzan in an other-nusach congregation

My understanding (based, if I recall correctly, on R' Moshe Feinstein) is that when I pray in a congregation that uses a different version of the prayers (nusach) from the one I usually use, I should ...
11
votes
4answers
451 views

Why fill the glass all the way to the top?

Why is it that when people make kiddush/havdallah they insist on filling up the cup all the way to the top, sometimes till it overflows just a little? Is this a documented minhag/custom etc...?
5
votes
1answer
306 views

Passing an infant across a table

Is there a minhag that one should not pass a child over a table to another person to hold? In my family we would pass a child from person to person all the way around the table, but nobody could ever ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

Whats a Mimunah-מימונה?

There is a custom of those of Moroccan decent to make a "Mimunah". What does this custom entail, how did it develop, and what does it have to do with Pesach? A general overview of the Custom would be ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Kidush Levana: Does “aleichem shalom” count for a “shalom aleichem”?

The minhag at kiddush levana is to wish shalom aleichem 3x. It is prevalent to do so even if someone was wished shalom aleichem and he reciprocated back aleichem shalom. Is there a reason that one ...
8
votes
3answers
287 views

Should I follow the congregation if their view on prayers for Yom Ha'Atzma'ut is different than mine?

How should one go about davening in a minyan on yom haatzmaut when his custom is not to change davening? My minyan does no tachanun and hallel without a bracha after shmona esreh. Should I- do ...
3
votes
1answer
898 views

Women Making Kiddush

Let's say a husband and wife are alone on Friday night or on Shabbos day. Can the wife make kiddush for herself and her husband?
4
votes
2answers
576 views

Marror and Chazeres on the seder plate

The arrangement of the Seder plate according to the Arizal includes one space for "Marror" and another for "Chazeres" (the latter intended for use in Koreich). Does this reflect a tradition to use ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Schlisel Challah [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Parnassah Segulah What is the source of the Minhag to make Schlisal Challah the week after Pesach? Is it better to make a Challah in the shape of a key or is it better to ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Using The Washington Haggadah

Yesterday, Harvard University Press released a haggadah which is a reproduction of a manuscript written in 1478 and held by the Library of Congress. It can be purchased on Amazon. If I bought this, ...
2
votes
1answer
87 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.
9
votes
2answers
232 views

Purpose of announcing Molad

The custom is that the gabbai announces the time of the Molad during the course of "Bircas HaChodesh" on Shabbos Mevorchim. What is the purpose of this? The molad is anyhow not directly connected to ...
4
votes
4answers
538 views

Does cooking kitniyot in a pot render it non-kosher-for-Passover for Ashkenazic Jews? If so, why?

I've heard of cases where a Sephardic family, for whom rice is totally kosher for Passover (assuming it's checked and contains no additives etc.), cooked rice in a pot. The next day, they invite their ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Two Matzos at the Seder

Many Hagados show an option of using only 2 Matzos at the Seder as Nusach HaGra. Does anyone still do only 2 Matzos?
4
votes
3answers
297 views

Kitnios on Pesach

Why and when did the minhag start that allows Sephardim to eat Kitnios (Legumes)but not Ashkenazim?
3
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
114 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
355 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
178 views

Costumes On Purim

Why is there a Minhag to dress up in costumes on Purim?
2
votes
1answer
447 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
320 views

Donut and its deeper significance

What is the significance for eating Donuts on Chanukah Beyond the Oil connection?
3
votes
1answer
517 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
164 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
229 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
79 views

Where and when do we light Shabbos candles 15 minutes later than usual? [closed]

Where and when do we light Shabbos candles 15 minutes later than usual?
0
votes
1answer
118 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
182 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
102 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
112 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
156 views

Childrens' Tombstones

Why are childrens' tombstones smaller than those of adults?
4
votes
2answers
100 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
633 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
114 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 ...