Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

17
votes
2answers
159 views

The custom of adding a candle for each child

Many people, including myself, added or will add a candle on Friday night for each child that is born. Where and when did this custom originate?
1
vote
0answers
12 views

Pirkei Avot cycle in Israel when Pesach starts on Shabbat [duplicate]

In 5775, Pesach begins on Shabbat. While those outside Israel observe the 8th day of Pesach on Shabbat, in Israel, because there is no 8th day of Pesach, it will be a "regular" Shabbat. This means ...
16
votes
1answer
874 views

Killing somebody with the keys to the synagogue

In Yoreh Deah 339:1, the mechaber brings a variety of things that one is not permitted to do to a goses (a person on the brink of death), since each of these things causes the goses to die sooner. ...
8
votes
2answers
481 views

matzah = mezonos or hamotzi

What is the reasoning of the 2 different minhagim (traditions) on what bracha to say on matzah when its not Peasach?
4
votes
3answers
250 views

Which sephardic groups forbid eating rice during Pesach and why?

I was recently at a shiur where this came up briefly and somewhat tangentially. Does anyone know which groups forbid rice but allow other kitniyot (e.g., beans) during Pesach? Any references/pointers ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

What is the Source for Peyos? [duplicate]

There is a custom to let the area of hair above one's ear grow long this is manifest in varying degrees, from small, barely noticeable locks behind the ears, to long, curled locks that come down below ...
0
votes
2answers
335 views

Why is rice banned on Pesach by those who don't eat kitniyot?

As requested in this previous Mi Yodeya answer, why is rice considered kitniyot? Pesachim 114b quotes R. Huna as allowing "beet and rice" on the Seder plate in place of the lamb bone and the egg. It ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

How did the custom to recite Shir Hashirim after the Seder arise?

It seems from here for example, question 148 that it is a custom to recite Shir Hashirim after the Seder. It says, According to the Midrash, Shir Hashirim is an allegorical song describing ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Where exactly should the amud be placed?

In some synagogues I have seen the amud (lectern) from where the chazan (prayer leader) stands to say the prayers, placed a few feet in front of the aron (cabinet) where the torah is kept or between ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

By what time should I be completely finished cleaning my home and searching for chametz?

My community's calendar says to eat Chametz until 11:06AM, and to burn Chametz by 12:12PM, and to light candles at 7:36PM. Does this mean that I need to be completely finished with kashering my home, ...
5
votes
3answers
152 views

Who reads the Haggadah?

In my family's Seder, and in one of the two others I've been to, the reading is done by taking turns going around the table. Mostly it is read in the language of one's preference, but some (myself ...
10
votes
2answers
301 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Birchas Kohanim and Dreams

By Birchas Kohanim there is a Tefila for people who had bad dreams. What does a Kohen do when he has a bad dream as he can not say the Tefila during Birchas Kohanim?
3
votes
2answers
292 views

Who says the Ribbono shel Olam in Birkas Kohanim?

I've "seen" many Talmidei Chachamim not saying the Ribbono shel Olams following each bracha of Birkas Kohanim. At least, I hear them chanting with the Kohanim from start to finish. Are these tefilos ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Minhag and Kulot

Say I need to buy some retzuot or tzitzit strings and for some reason or another I don't know whether my family accepts avodat mechona or not. Is it typically acceptable to rule leniently according to ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Source for Raincoat under Chuppah

There is a minhag among some people in recent years to wear a raincoat under the Chuppah. What is the source of this minhag? When did this minhag start? And is there anyone who specifically says not ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Making a tanoim/vort for a zivug sheini (2nd marriage)

I have heard from many that there is a minhag (custom) not to make what many call a "tanoim" or a "vort" (the celebration when a couple gets engaged) for 2 people that were once divorced. They base it ...
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Why does a siyum exempt one from taanit bechorot?

The custom in many communities I have been to is for there to be a siyum on a mesechta on the day of taanit bechorot. All first borns who would otherwise have to fast attend the siyum and are thus ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Why do we abbreviate the Jewish year to the hundreds column?

The current Jewish year is 5774 however it is popularly abbreviated as 774 - תשע״ד. I would like to know why this abbreviation was adopted. I realize that to write out the number 5,000 would require ...
5
votes
2answers
87 views

Double-black Retzuot [duplicate]

I sometimes see on the net and in person cases where people wear retzuot which are black on both sides, what is the rationale, if any, for doing so?
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Songs Under the Chuppah

The is a widespread wedding custom to sing a short benediction, מי אדיר‎, when the groom arrives under the canopy, and to sing מי בן שיח‎, for the bride as she arrives and walks around the ...
-1
votes
1answer
93 views

Ashkenazic Rabbanim who hold Kitniyot are batel berov lechatchilah before pesach

Are there any Ashkenazic poskim who hold, like R.Yitzchak Abadi, that kitniyot are batel berov lechatchilah before pesach, thus allowing Ashkenazim to drink regular coke with corn syrup, for example, ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

When do Yekkes first don a kittel?

I read on Machon Moreshes Ashkenaz's forums Wedding Minhagim that it is the German custom not to wear a kittel or sargenes under the chuppah. I know that it is worn on Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

What is the difference between sephardi and ashkenazi rituals? [closed]

I was wondering about the difference between sephardim and ashkenazim. I know there is a difference in the pronunciation. What about rituals? Customs? Etc etc.
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Omitting the second half of bentching

I need some help finding sources for great people who left out the second half of bentching (i.e. everything from the harachamans and on, after the four blessings). Most people seem to have the custom ...
16
votes
6answers
913 views

Why do some people wear their tzitzis out for people to see, and others don't?

Why do some people wear their tzitzis strings out for people to see, and others don't?
4
votes
1answer
104 views

What is the source for taanit dibur?

I recall meeting someone on Yom Kippur once who would not respond when I spoke to him. Instead he handed me a piece of paper which said that he was engaged in a taanit dibur, a 'fast' where that which ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

What is the basic requirement for tzitzit knots?

There seems to be a lot of different ways to tie tzitzit knots. From the little I understand this is based on various symolism and numeric value (see this question/answer). I would like to know what ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Does anyone say not to make noise for Haman?

Here is the source that you should make noise at the mention of Haman's name. However, as I was listening to the Megillah this year it occurred to me how counterproductive it is as an act of erasing ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

What's a Grammen?

A few years ago I participated in a Purim Se'udah at which rounds of humorous poetry were written and then recited in a sing-song chant. It was fun, and the tune rang familiar to me, but it was ...
5
votes
4answers
227 views

Is there any source that says that women should / should not get drunk on Purim?

The prevalent מנהג is that women do not get drunk on Purim. I assume this due to tznius (modesty) concerns. Is there any ancient or recent source that explicitly discusses women not/yes drinking on ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

What is rationale behind banging on table during bentching?

There is one family that I occasionally eat with that has a minhag of banging on the table during Birkat ha-Mazon. I was wondering what reasons lay behind this custom. I do not know if this is ...
3
votes
2answers
243 views

Why do almost all Chabad shuls always use the same tunes for certain parts of davening?

I have noticed that at pretty much every Chabad shul I have ever attended, the same tunes were always used for certain parts of davening on Shabbos. For example, they all use the same tune for ...
14
votes
2answers
364 views

Stacking Seforim

Are we allowed to place less holy seforim on top of more holy seforim? I believe that the consensus is that you are only allowed to stack seforim in chronological order from top to bottom (e.g., ...
12
votes
2answers
259 views

Why do we say Layehudim Hayta Orah aloud?

In Havdalah, I noticed a virtually universal custom: when the one who is saying Havdalah reaches the Passuk of Layehudim Haytah Orah (ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה...), those who are being Yotzei Havdalah ...
5
votes
2answers
82 views

What is an “iggeres”?

The Shulchan Aruch in Siman 690:17 brings down a minhag klal yisrael to fold the megillah like an iggeres (Esther 9:26,29) when reading from it. The Mishnah Berurah mentions that one should not pause ...
5
votes
4answers
260 views

Is cholent required?

Is making cholent on Shabbos a minhag that is so universal that it has in effect become required for Ashkenazim? Or, if I am correct that it is required (by at least some authorities) to have hot ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Which way does one turn first when saying the Oseh Shalom Bimromav?

Must one bow to the left first, then bow to the right...or can one bow to the right first, then to the left when saying the Oseh Shalom Bimromav? Also, is there a difference regarding the direction ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Questions about Polygamy in Jewish Law and Culture

I've recently been looking into polygamy (having more than 1 wife), and had a few cultural questions. Was polygamy accepted at the time of David and Solomon? Were there any laws about it? Was ...
6
votes
2answers
469 views

Mizmor l'David (Psalms 23) at Shalosh Suedos

There is a common minhag (custom) to sing Mizmor l'David at Seudah Shlishis, the third Sabbath meal. It is common to sing this song three times in a row and I was asked this Shabbos by a friend why ...
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Do we say “Ma Tovu” each time we enter the synagogue?

There is a custom to say the paragraph “מה טובו” on entering the synagogue (see “Avodah Shebelev” Rabbi A Z Sternbuch, 5753, page 18). The idea (but without the possuk of “Ma Tovu”) is mentioned in ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Putting on Tefilin one month before Bar Mitzva

Rabbi Shimon Eider Zatzal brings in his Sefer that the Minhag is to put on Tefilin from one to three months before the Bar Mitzva. To the best of knowledge there are three different schools of ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Are there still American shuls that spit during Aleinu?

As I am sure many of you know, there is a historical practice of spitting during Aleinu. A discussion of the origin of the practice can be found here. I have davened at Conservative and Modern ...
7
votes
4answers
533 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
318 views

Yotzros and Musaf for the 4 Parshios

Are there any Nusach Ashkenaz Shuls that say Yotzros or Musaf on the weeks of the Four Parshios?
5
votes
1answer
102 views

Brocho BEFORE going to the bathroom

I've heard from some lecture that some keep a minhag to have a special prayer before going to the bathroom. If there is such a thing - what is it and where to find it?
0
votes
0answers
64 views

Pesach: Kitniyos Plants

Vegans have a hard time getting enough protein on Pesach. Is the plant that grows from a kitniyos seed also kitniyos on Pesach? What if the seed is still attached?
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Mishloach Manos themes

Some people have a theme to their Mishloach Manos. Is there any source that discusses Mishloach Manos themes, either pro or con?
8
votes
6answers
515 views

Is there a Kabbalistic source for not walking with one's hands behind one's back?

I've heard from people that it says in Kabbalah that one shouldn't walk with one's hands behind one's back. Does anyone know the source?
9
votes
4answers
251 views

Is it required to knock on doors before entering?

Do we have to knock on people's doors before entering?