Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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Differences during Omer for Sepharadic and Ashkenazi customs

What are the main differences (besides the wording of the Omer-counting itself) between the Sepharadic and Ashkenazi customs during Omer?
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1answer
267 views

Why do children wear crowns on Shavuot?

Here in Israel, the tradition is for young children to wear flower crowns to celebrate Shavuot. (Along with the obligatory white shirts.) See my twins: Why is this? Is it related to Shabbat 88A ?? ...
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213 views

Halachic Justifications for the Amshinover Rebbe

The current Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem is known in the Jewish world as a man of great piety and for his great knowledge in Torah. He is also known to keep very different "Zmanim"- ...
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1answer
122 views

Chasan cigarettes - source & reason

Years ago it was a popular custom that a Chasan would give out cigarettes to his friends. Nowadays some still do so, however as smoking has become less popular so has this Minhag. What is the source ...
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61 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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7 views

About candle lighting [duplicate]

What is the meaning of the minhag of lighting a candle for leiluy nishmat or refuah shleima? Today for example we light a candle for rabbi shimon
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57 views

Do any Chassidic groups take haircuts on or after Lag Baomer?

It seems to me from the outside that Chassidic groups differ in the ways in which they apply customs of the Arizal. Some of these differences arise because Chassidim follow their Rebbes more than ...
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18 views

Questions about origin and custom of making twisted Shabbat challot? [duplicate]

I know that there are various customs for shaping challot during the year. For most Shabatot during the year, I have seen twisted challot. (I am a "Good 'Ol American Ashkenazi bochur"; I don't know ...
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2answers
297 views

Not to give a divorce (Get) in the month of Iyar

I heard today in Shul that there is a Minhag not to give a divorce in the month of Iyar. What is the source and reason for this Minhag?
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1answer
97 views

Where is “no Tachanun” on Pessach Sheni documented? [duplicate]

In almost every Siddur I have checked - as well as all the Luach's around, it says not to say Tachnun on Pessach Sheini - 14 Iyar. Yet I cannot find a source for it, nor in Shulchan Aruch neither in ...
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4answers
244 views

Why is Lag Baomer celebrated the way it is (or at all)?

Why do we celebrate lag baomer with bon-fires and bow-and-arrow. Why do we celebrate lag baomer at all?
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1answer
100 views

Besides eating matzah, what do we do on Pesach Sheini today?

I had been under the impression that Pesach Sheini was only a historical and future observance -- that is, when the temple stood/stands. I didn't make the connection that it might also be special now ...
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51 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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1answer
65 views

When is a Person Obligated to Lead the Davening?

On various occasions I have heard somebody in shul declare that they have a chiyyuv to daven - an obligation, that is, to serve as sheliach hatzibbur: to represent the congregation in their leading of ...
2
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1answer
90 views

Kids waiting between meat and milk

There is a rabbinic obligation to wait between meat and dairy though customs are diverse regarding how long to wait, ranging from 1 hour (for those who come from e.g. Dutch communities) to the more ...
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1answer
66 views

Textual difference between Psukei DeZimra and Psalms 96

What is the origin of the custom to recite in pesukai dezimra יעלוץ השדה וכל אשר בו instead of יעלוז שדי וכל אשר בו which we are familiar with from Kabbalas Shabbos (psalm 96)?
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61 views

What is a Woman's Tallit

I read in a book about Czechoslovakian Jewry that in Southern Germany there was a custom for women to wear a "Woman's Tallit" on Yom Kippur. A reference to it also appears in The Encyclopedia of ...
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1answer
1k views

Where does the custom of a second “bar mitzvah” at 83 come from?

I have noticed more 83 year old men celebrating their second bar mitzvahs, and cannot find any source for this. Is it a new custom? Does it have any basis in pre-20th century practice?
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4answers
559 views

Stripes on a Talis

Is there any reason for the stripes on a talis? Does the color of the stripes have any significance?
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36 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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82 views

5 Iyar vs. 10 Adar

In Jewish tradition, we generally commemorate the ends of wars rather than their beginnings (e.g./i.e. Chanuka, Purim). The commemoration of the rebirth of Israel as the Jewish homeland in the past ...
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1answer
49 views

Is it a problem to eat animal leftovers

Is it true that there is a Jewish custom not to eat after animals (even if not mius issue (ie the person eating does not know)) ie if a rat ate a peace of a fruit I can't just cut off that part and ...
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2answers
109 views

Are the letters on a dreidel supposed to be in any particular order?

This is a little silly, but... Should the letters on a dreidel be in order? Like, if you turned it right to left, should it go nun - gimel - hey - shin, because of "nes gadol haya sham"? Or are there ...
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3answers
213 views

Accepting parents' minhagim

Since the Conservative movement tends to take most of its minhagim from the German tradition due to its German roots, most Conservative Jews in America tend to practice the German customs (such as ...
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1answer
212 views

Why are challot traditionally braided?

What is the reason that challot are traditionally braided? When did this tradition begin?
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3answers
484 views

Ostrich eggs in Shul?

Kinyan L'Shabbos (published weekly by Hamodia) - July 18, 2012, page 11 has a fascinating article by Rabbi Avraham Y. Heschel regarding an ancient custom of displaying ostrich eggs in a Beis Knesses. ...
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4answers
741 views

spitting in aleinu leshabeach

Does anyone know the origin of the custom to spit in Aleinu after the words שֶׁהֵם מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהֶבֶל וְלָרִיק? Where did it start? And in which seforim is it mentioned? I have seen in the ...
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19 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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172 views

Costco after Passover

There is a Rabbinic prohibition on benefiting from chametz that was owned by a Jew over Passover. In recent years, an issue was raised in the New York area that [a major distributor of grocery items ...
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2answers
101 views

Which Knot to Use on Tefillin Shel Rosh

When I was a child, I saw that all people had the same knot on their Tefillin Shel Rosh - a Double Daled (Ashkenazi community). Recently I saw a comment that even those who grew up with a Double ...
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19 views

Congregation sings parts of the Shiroh before the reader on the seventh day of Pesach?

Is there a recognised minhag for the congregation to sing selected verses from the “Song at the Sea” (Shiroh) Shmos 15 (1-18) before they are read by the reader on the seventh day of Pesach? Related ...
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1answer
58 views

Non-Hebrew Seder Songs

In the haggadot which belonged to my grandfather ז”ל, there is a note on the translation for Adir Hu which mentions that they follow an old Yiddish version of the song, rather than the modern German ...
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1answer
61 views

Why 2 candles for yom tov

For Shabos, there is a custom to light 2 candles: one for shamor and one for zachor. Shulchan aruch harav 263.1: ‏…אחד כנגד זכור ואחד כנגד שמור…‏ I understand that on ...
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4answers
1k views

Hardboiled eggs and salt water at the Seder

I've participated in only 3 different families' Passover Seders, so my experience is limited in terms of different families' traditions. How widespread is the custom of eating a hardboiled egg in ...
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1answer
182 views

“Nisht Um Shabbos Geredt”

I've heard that there are people who say the Yiddish phrase נישט אום שבת גערעדט ("Nisht um Shabbos Geredt" before discussing business topics on Shabbos. The phrase literally means "not on [the] ...
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3answers
99 views

What is the practical purpose of karpas?

I have had discussions with people who insist that karpas must be a small piece of diced vegetable (i.e. smaller than a ke-zayith le-Humrah), dipped in salt water, and nothing more. When I then ask ...
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18 views

Can Ashkenazim eat Matzah made of Kitniyot? [duplicate]

The two reasons I've heard as justifications for the minhag of refraining from eating kitniyot is that it A) sometimes resembles chametz so forbidding it prevents confusion and B) was/is sometimes ...
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2answers
107 views

Half Aleinu outside a shul

Has anyone heard of the minhag to say Aleinu only until "Al ken Nekave Lach" (only the 1st paragraph) if one is not praying in a synagogue? I've been told a number of times about this practice in ...
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20 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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1answer
59 views

Can a woman be part of the decision regarding a shul's minhag?

There are a few areas in davening where each shul has it's own minhag (custom). For example, whether to say Hallel the 1st two nights of Pesach, in shul. Some shuls have a ritual "committee" that ...
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1answer
65 views

Are there any communities in which the oleh still leins his own aliyah?

It used to be that when someone got an aliyah, they would read their own Torah portion, and not have it read for them by the ba'al kriyah. This practice seems to have fallen by the wayside, as every ...
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1answer
68 views

Chevra Kadisha knots

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 that when we tied any knots, we twist-wrapped the two ...
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0answers
57 views

why kiddushin and nisu'in are done in the same day (no big space)

Why are kiddushin and nisu'in done on the same day, with no big space in between? I understand from the mishna: מסכת כתובות ה,ב = נותנים לבתולה שנים עשר חודש משיתבע לה הבעל, לפרנס את עצמה; כשם ...
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133 views

Are milchigs forbidden on Yom Tov? What about Shavuos?

I recently stumbled upon a page that said this: Eating Dairy Products on Shavuot Many families have a custom to eat dairy products on Shavuot. As noted above, Darkei Teshuva questions this ...
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39 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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1answer
65 views

Singing shoshanas yaakov on Pesach

I have seen that some sing Shoshanas Yaakov on Pesach to commemorate the death of Haman. Can someone please direct me to an authoritative source for this custom? See references to it here: ...
3
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1answer
57 views

How should one respond after each plague is named during the seder?

In the Haggadah, the Ten Plagues are recited, and a drop of wine is spilled for each one. However, in the Tunisian tradition (and maybe others), after the reader chants each plague, the others ...
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73 views

Custom of singing Aishes Chayil before kiddush

It seems that not everyone [always] sang/sings Aishes Chayil with Sholom Aleichem at the Friday night Shabbos table. When and how did the custom of singing Aishes Chayil at the table begin? Who ...
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1answer
115 views

Why kiss the tefillin by “poseach es yadecha”?

As mentioned in this question, there is a fairly widespread custom to kiss the tefillin at certain times during Shacharis, among them the parts of קריאת שמע that mention tefillin. One of these times ...
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54 views

“Roasted on fire” does not equal “oven roast”. Why no “oven roast” for Seder? [duplicate]

This is a follow up to this question. The answer there explains that ther was confusion / concern about roast. The verse regarding the Pesach lamb says: Exodus 12:9: כִּ֣י אִם־צְלִי־אֵ֔שׁ but ...