Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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6
votes
0answers
54 views

Saying half a pasuk

There seems to be a problem with breaking a pasuk up. This question refers to it as to be avoided, and this answer lists the issue and potential exceptions. The question is also discussed here. In ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Any books dealing with minhaggim of lita?

Are there any books that discuss the varying litvish (Lithuanian) minhaggim (customs)—or, if not, maybe just the most prevalent ones?
1
vote
0answers
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

What is the source for blowing the shofar during Hoshannot?

As a lad attending a shul in Washington Heights, NY, I noticed that the rav blew 10 blasts from the shofar after each hakafah on Hoshanna Rabba. Our shul davened Nusach Ashkenaz. Since then, I have ...
13
votes
2answers
217 views

Using Hoshanos more than once

On Hoshana Rabba after one uses (Klaps) his Hoshanos may another person use the same Hoshanos?
8
votes
4answers
715 views

Lubavitch not sleeping in a Sukka?

If Lubavitch is careful not to eat or drink anything outside of the sukka, why does Lubavitch not sleep in the Sukka?
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Covering eyes for Shma which isn't THE shma

Based on the answer to this question about covering ones eyes for the Shma said early in davening, it would appear that one only covers his eyes when saying the verse of Shma in order to enhance the ...
16
votes
4answers
767 views

Shape of the Luchot

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HabBerit were square. Where did the common "tablet" shape come from, with rectangles and a rounded top? Besides in pictures, I see it in ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

Kaparos with fish

In How to do kapparos with fish it discusses doing Kaparos with fish. Is anyone aware of any group or individuals that do Kaparos with fish?
8
votes
2answers
822 views

Why do Jewish funeral homes tend to be the main supplier of Jewish calendars?

Perhaps, this question is too "trivial". It seems that Jewish funeral homes tend to be the primary "printer" and supplier of Jewish calendars. For decades, many yeshivot as well as shuls get the large ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Why was there a huge concern to assure that Hoshanna Rabbah is not on Shabbat?

This page lists 4 rules that may cause the first day of Rosh Hashannah to be postponed from being on the date of the molad Tishrei. One of the rules is: If molad Tishri occurs on Sunday, ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Say Shir hamaalos mimaamakim when?

It is common practice to add psalm 130 ("mimaamakim") to shacharis during the ten days of repentance. In my experience, most congregations say it between p'suke d'zimra and "Bar'chu" (immediately ...
8
votes
1answer
288 views

Why has Judaism traditionally discussed intimacy only privately?

To quote msh210's formulation of this site's rule on intimate topics: Please respect that in the Jewish tradition certain questions, especially certain questions relating to sexuality, are ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Is there any minhag for a Kohen to dress like the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur?

About 20 years ago, I was the shaliach tzibbur in a shul in Newburgh, NY on Yom Kippur. As I was davening, I hear behind me, "jingle, jingle". I turn around, and behold, there is a man dressed in a ...
2
votes
0answers
64 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Source for Groom's Immersion in Ritualarium (mikveh)

What are the earliest sources referencing the custom of groom to immersing himself in a mikveh before his wedding? This custom is referenced in Kitzur Yalkut Yosef (nisu'in v'shidduchin: 3:11): ...
12
votes
2answers
498 views

Why do we mention dreams during *Birchas Kohanim*?

I don't know how many sects actually do this, but some people have the custom to say a tehfillah which is all about dreams. In it we ask Hashem to make all our good dreams come true whether "...I have ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Extent of Martyrdom Requirements in the Face of Anti-Religious Laws

There is a halachik principle brought down in the Talmud and codified in halacha known as shaat hashmad - a time of forced religious persecution. Generally, the rule is that any commandment of the ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Why do most Ashkenazim read the Torah flatly on a table while many Sefardim read it standing vertically?

(In case you didn't know,) I am Ashkenazic. Most Ashkenazic congregations perform Torah reading by laying the Torah flatly on a table and reading the Torah as it is on the table. Many Sefardic ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Must a baal t'shuva follow family customs? [duplicate]

Suppose someone is raised without much authentic Judaism but with some. Perhaps his family has a monthly Friday night dinner with kidush; perhaps he wears t'filin for a few days when he turns 13. ...
2
votes
0answers
33 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Start time of Jewish holidays: Exactly at sunset or some other time near it?

It's my understanding that Judaism defines the start of a day as sunset. However, on one of my calendars, several Jewish holidays are indicated as starting at sundown (approximate). Does the Jewish ...
7
votes
1answer
134 views

Why put Psalm 130 right before barchu?

I've seen the custom quoted in many siddurim to recite Psalm 130 (שיר המעלות ממעמקים), with the Ark open, between ישתבח and ברכו during עשרת ימי תשובה. This particular Psalm was chosen because it's ...
8
votes
2answers
114 views

Why do we say עושה השלום during yamim nora'im?

I'm struggling to find a reason/meaning behind saying 'עושה השלום' with a 'ה' at the end of amidah and during kaddish for the yamim nora'im period. I have heard (unverified source) that there is ...
5
votes
5answers
946 views

Are Sephardic Jews allowed to dress up in costumes on Purim?

The custom of dressing up in costumes on Purim originated from Ashkenazic communities in Europe and has become a popular custom today for Ashkenazim (cf. Rema in Shulkhan Aruch Orach Chaim 696:8). ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Source and details about not showing the shape of the body

I heard that tight clothing on woman is not permitted, Something like It shows the shape of the body. Is this true? what does this mean practically? Sources please
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Do any Chasidim still accept Shabbos according to Rabbeinu Tam zman?

Apparently there is a story that Rav Moshe Feinstein asked the Satmar Rebbe to not have his followers begin shabbos with zman Rabbeinu Tam. Is there still a minhag amongst chasidim to take on shabbos ...
6
votes
4answers
257 views

How/why does kaparot work?

The ritual of kaparot [lit. atonement], which is usually done just prior to Yom Kippur (usually the day before), where one waves a chicken or an [unspecified] amount of money over one's head in a ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Is there a historical, cultural, traditional, or scriptural explanation for the prevalence of Jews in the comedy business? [duplicate]

If you took the general demographic data for the U.S. and compared it to the demographics of professional comics and comedians in the U.S., I think you'd find that Jews are disproportionately ...
4
votes
1answer
58 views

Why begin selichot on a Sunday rather than on a date?

We ashkenaz start selichot on a Sunday. Sunday is a day of the week. Usually we start events on a given day of a given month (e.g., rosh hodesh, rosh hashanna), or after a given number of days ...
2
votes
0answers
30 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
236 views

Bowing during 'Aleinu

Are we required to bow during the 'Aleinu prayer when reciting the line starting with ״ואנחנו כורעים״? If there are differing halakhic rulings or customs, which I assume there are, their sources ...
11
votes
1answer
157 views

When and why did we stop wearing sackcloth?

When and why did we stop wearing sackcloth in times of mourning and other times of distress (e.g., when fasting for rain)? (I presume sackcloth was quite uncomfortable.) Sackcloth is mentioned in ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

After the Men of the Great Assembly established the 'Amidah', was it an obligation to recite it before the destruction of the Temple?

On Megillah 17b : Rabbi Yochanan said, others say it was taught in a Beraita, that 120 elders including many prophets established the eighteen blessings in the order that we have today. Before the ...
9
votes
2answers
292 views

Where does the concept of “shirayim” come from?

Please explain the concept of shirayim (literally, leftovers) wherein the followers of a chassidic Rebbe will receive portions of his food to it, these leftovers are considered holy or special in some ...
0
votes
0answers
88 views

Chabad What a groom should do?

From the fourth point of this letter igros kodesh 26 pg 222 (additional sources brought there 1 and 2) I understand that the groom should not take care of the wedding but should be learning... What I ...
4
votes
2answers
427 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
votes
1answer
70 views

Source in Hazal for holding sisith during qiryath shema`?

Is there a source in Hazal specifically for grasping the (front) two ssissith during the recitation of the shema`? If not, where does it stem from and what is the purpose? Thanks. Kol tuv.
7
votes
6answers
493 views

Sources for/about breaking a plate at a wedding

Are you aware of any literature that either provides a source for or discusses the significance of the two mothers breaking a plate at the "Tisch" at a wedding? It's not hard to find mentions of this ...
7
votes
1answer
239 views

Zecher L'Churban - Why a plate at Tenayim and a glass at the Chupah?

When a person gets engaged and married there are various things that we do as a Zecher L'Churban. At the Tenayim (whether done immediately or at the wedding) we break an earthernware plate, at the ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Why begin eating with the bottom challa on Friday evening? [duplicate]

Why do we begin eating with the bottom challa on Friday evening, and only then; not on Shabbat morning and not on holidays (unless they fall on Fri evening)?
6
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Mezuzos on an “eruv”

What we colloquially call an "eruv" is actually intended to be a halachic doorway (tzurath hapethach) to count as a partition delineating a reshuth hayachid (private domain). As such, every post ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Is there any significance to someone's non-Hebrew calendar birthday?

It is believed that there is a significance to one's Hebrew calender Birthday. Is there any significance for one's birthday on other calendars (such as the Gregorian calendar, as well as others)? It ...
4
votes
2answers
155 views

What is the source for lighting a candle for the whole year after the death of a close relative?

I am familiar with the idea of a yahrzeit candle. I have observed a custom of keeping a flame alight for the whole year (or maybe 11 months) after the death of a close relative. (When one goes out, ...
8
votes
1answer
123 views

Beer at a Shalom Zachor

There is a common custom I have observed to serve beer at a Shalom Zachor. This is also mentioned here with some speculation about the source. What is the source for this practice?
6
votes
1answer
61 views

Ashkenazi leniencies before shavua shechal bo

Ashkenazim extend the Talmudic prohibitions of shavua shechal bo tisha b'av (the week of the 9th of Av) to the beginning of the month. Are there Ashkenazi leniencies from Rosh Chodesh Av until shavua ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Source for Striking Self during Viduy

What is the earliest source for striking one's chest while reciting Vidduy?
2
votes
0answers
69 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
2k 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?