Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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2answers
63 views

Is there any shul where you have to takes off you shoes before entering the beit knesset?

Are there any particular Jewish communities where the congregants remove their shoes before entering the Beit Kneset?
3
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1answer
96 views

Tu B'Shvat Seder: At night or day?

The Pri Etz Hadar, as incorporated in the Chemdas Yamim, tells us of the idea of making a Tu B'Shvat Seder. It seems that most people (such as here, here and here) assume the Seder is meant to take ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Sephardic communities that 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 ...
6
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2answers
254 views

Tu B'shvat Seder

Where did the idea of doing a Seder on Tu b'Shvat come from? Why a Seder, not just the eating of fruit? Why do we call it a Seder if there is no formalized way of doing it?
6
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2answers
83 views

When was the Yad first used to read the Torah?

When was the tradition of using the yad started? How long has this practice been in use, please?
3
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0answers
64 views

Learning the entire night of one's 20th Birthday? [closed]

What is the source for this? Is there an inyan to do this? I'm quite new and as you can probably tell, I'm turning 20 in little under a week from now. Not sure what I should really do...
10
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5answers
452 views

Standing up at the Chuppa when the Kallah passes by

Last night I was at a wedding, and when I stood up as the bride was passing by on the way to the Chuppa, a fellow in all seriousness told me "It is not proper and a lack of Tzniyus to stand up for the ...
5
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1answer
425 views

When should one cut his nails for Shabbos when Friday is Rosh Chodesh

In the answer to Rules for Cutting Nails it quotes the Mishna Berura 260:6 that one should not cut their nails on Thursday. Mishna Berura explains that by cutting them on Thursday they will begin to ...
2
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2answers
85 views

Rebbe wearing new garments during shloshim

I recently heard from a couple of Bnei Brak Wizniter chassidim that their rebbes (R' Yisroel and R' Mendel) wore new clothing for Pesach 5772, less than a month after their father passed away. How ...
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0answers
12 views

Shir shel Yom of Wednesday: לכו נרננה [duplicate]

Where does the custom of adding a verse from Psalm 95 to the end of the Shir shel Yom of Wednesday come from? Where is it first attested?
6
votes
2answers
73 views

Why are we strict during the 10 days of repentance?

The lone halacha in Shulchan Aruch O.C. 603: Even someone who is not careful about eating [pas akum], during the 10 days of repentance he must be careful. Since the S.A. didn't mention stringencies ...
4
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1answer
133 views

Why were some Jews called Yishmael? [duplicate]

Why is it that we find Jews (and even sages) by the name Yishmael? It seems rather strange that we would choose to name our children after someone who was the progenitor of a nation seen to be an ...
3
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1answer
201 views

What's the reason for silver spoon at yichud door?

At a wedding, according to Chabad custom, a silver spoon is placed at the entrance to the yichud room. The chosson walks in first by stepping over it with his right foot first. What is the ...
4
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0answers
99 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
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1answer
77 views

Do you have to have a dead relative named Alexander to name your child Alexander?

Piggybacking on this question... I am wondering if there are any names (such as Alexander, or other names for which Jews have a special tradition to name children) that supersede the Ashkenazic ...
3
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1answer
128 views

Under what circumstances can Ashkenazim rely on Sephardic poskim?

Is there any reason an Ashkenazi Jew should not hold by the psak of a Sephardi rov--or vice versa--for decisions relating to general matters (not ostensibly to do with particular minhagim)? If so, ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Is the traditional “Blessing of the Children” allowed?

There is a traditional blessing a parent/father says for his children in many communities on returning from the synagogue on the nights of the high holy days or all Friday nights, etc. The text ...
3
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0answers
40 views

Permissibilty of Chanuka bushes, dreidels, gelt, and Chanuka presents

Maimonides codifies the biblical prohibition of keeping gentile customs (Laws of Idolatry 11:1): אין הולכין בחקות העובדי כוכבים ולא מדמין להן לא במלבוש ולא בשער וכיוצא בהן שנאמר ולא תלכו בחקות ...
2
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0answers
28 views

Insomnia and Modeh Ani [duplicate]

I am wondering what is done in the case of people who have insomnia. I usually sleep about 4 hours a night and I wake during those hours maybe 5 or 6 times. I got into the habit of saying Modeh ani ...
1
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0answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
330 views

Minhag for married women to cover their hair in bed

I know(1) there is a practice in Chabad for married women to wear a tichel in bed (i.e., with their husbands). I would not be surprised if this is the same in other Chasidic groups, if not in other ...
3
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0answers
155 views

When is OK to repeat words or lines in prayer?

I have read several questions and answers on here regarding repeating words in prayer, but they do not answer why some common repetitions are allowable. Some examples: 1) During the Torah service, ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

Bowing at borechu with the shaliach tzibbur

I've seen some people bowing at the same time as the shaliach tzibbur while he's saying "borechu" and then bowing again after for boruch hashem etc. What is the source of the practice for this first ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Must Rosh HaShannah Simanim be Eaten in a Certain Order?

Is there a specific minhag regarding when and in what order to eat the simanim? In other words, is it acceptable to serve simanim as a matter of course (leeks with the steak, date cookies for dessert, ...
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0answers
123 views

Are we supposed to eat fish without a knife?

This is literally just something I've heard--that a knife is not supposed to be used, nor put out, for the fish course (i.e. on Shabbos). I ask people wherever I go if they've heard of this. Some say ...
3
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3answers
87 views

For someone wearing tzitzis outside his clothes, should he have the strings and / or the knots visible?

Assuming one wears his Tzitzis out , is there a preference to leaving only the strings out but the knots in, or is it better to leave out the knots as well? I teach in a Yeshiva for Baalei Teshuva ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

If you were born one sect (Ashkenaz) but wanted to become another (Sephardi), do you have to go through conversion?

I encountered a man who found out he was Jewish with Ashkenazi lineage, but for personal reasons converted to Sephardi. Never heard of this before. I remember learning there are several halachot in ...
11
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1answer
446 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"- ...
14
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3answers
1k views

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings?

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings? I understand that in some ultra-religious groups they do, but there seem to be many groups within Orthodoxy where they do not cover their ...
11
votes
1answer
159 views

Did shadchanim suggest the shidduch?

Today, the role of the Shadchan is, depending on your community, to suggest to the prospective match that they meet, to introduce them, to arrange their meetings, and/or to advocate / be the ...
1
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1answer
126 views

Minhag no hair covering for Persian Jewish women?

My sister tells me her ultra-frum married Persian grad school housemate does not cover her hair and that this is their minhag. Can someone confirm this tradition and if so what are the outer signs (if ...
2
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1answer
225 views

knife under pillow after mikveh?

My sister told me her Rebbetzin had a minhag: If after going to the mikveh she did not have relations with her husband that night, she should sleep with a knife under her pillow to fight the evil ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Who observes Yom Kippur Katan, and how?

Which groups of Jews observe the monthly holiday known as "Yom Kippur Katan," in which one dedicates the day before Rosh Chodesh to repentance, often including fasting and selichot? In what ways do ...
1
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2answers
117 views

Why Doesn't Judaism Have A Call To Prayer?

Is there anything in the Torah or the Talmud forbidding Judaism from establishing a call to prayer (of the type Islam has)?
6
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2answers
223 views

Yemenite Sefira

What is the source for the custom that Yemenite Jews people count Sefira in Aramaic? and why do they do it?
3
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1answer
163 views

What rabbi recommended that American Jews skip Tachanun on Thanksgiving?

A friend of mine told me about a Conservative rabbi from JTS who recommended that American Jews not say Tachanun on Thanksgiving. Who was this rabbi, and is there a link to the text of this opinion so ...
12
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1answer
203 views

Mizmor L'Toda with Melody

The Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim 51:9 rules that "The Psalm of Thanksgiving [i.e. Psalm 100] should be recited with a melody, for all songs are destined to fall into disuse, except for the Psalm of ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Blue Stripes on Tallis

I've read that tallit stripes were originally blue and at some point morphed to black. What I'm wondering is if anyone knows any oldsters who can attest to actually seeing this in the frum velt in ...
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0answers
17 views

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׃ ...
2
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3answers
137 views

Why do we still blow shofar during mussaf?

The gemarah (rosh hashana 32b) asks why we wait until mussaf to blow the shofar and answers that the ruling enemies of the Jews mistook the shofar sound for a rallying war cry and forbade it. They ...
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2answers
92 views

Can I use a tallis gadol on 4 sticks as a hupa canopy

Can I use a tallis gadol on 4 sticks as a hupa canopy? Possible problems: The minhag is not to use a tallis It is disrespectful to the tallis
1
vote
0answers
66 views

What does a Hanukkah oil lamp look like? [duplicate]

Is there such a thing as a "correct" design or appearance for an oil lamp in the context of Hanukkah, whether prescribed by religious law, long tradition or any other metric? If so, what does one look ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Saying Va'yechulu with a woman

The Mishna Brurah 268:19 writes that one should say va'yachulu with two people minimum since there are those who hold you can't say it by yourself (he does note that one can read by himself if done as ...
3
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1answer
72 views

Turning to the right vs. practice

Mishna Berura 676:10 quotes our sages: "Whenever you make a turning, it should only be towards the right". However, it appears to me that we usually turn to the left (counter-clockwise) when shaking ...
7
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6answers
886 views

The value of the daily study of Chitas (Chumash, Tehilim, Tanya)?

What's the value of learning "Chitas" compared to any other daily Torah study? Side question: If it's so important, why was it introduced only recently?
10
votes
3answers
658 views

What does a marriage proposal look like?

Most of us are familiar with the (American? Secular?) image of a proposal. The man kneels and says "will you marry me?" and so on. But what does an Orthodox proposal look like? I'm interested in any ...
0
votes
2answers
124 views

Listing acts of patriotism towards a host nation

In the UK, united synagogues recite a prayer for the royal family including a blessing for "all her advisors and councillers" that they may grant us peace, etc. Many synagogues also display British ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Source for Memorial Lights in Synagogue [duplicate]

What is the source for having memorial electric lights usually affixed to plaques that are found in many shuls to remember the yahrtzeit of relatives? Is this an old minhag or of relatively recent ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Rosh Chodesh at home

How could one celebrate Rosh Chodesh at home and are there any customs like on Shabat (candles, bread, kiddush) or festivals (blowing shofar)?
16
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8answers
1k views

Why wear Black hats

Why do people wear black hats if their kippa has 2 layers?