Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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55 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
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1answer
323 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 ...
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0answers
153 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
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1answer
55 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
82 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
425 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
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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 ...
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1answer
119 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
216 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
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3answers
222 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 ...
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2answers
115 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)?
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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
161 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
199 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 ...
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1answer
116 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׃ ...
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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
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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
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1answer
124 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
71 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 ...
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6answers
876 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
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3answers
621 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 ...
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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 ...
3
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1answer
57 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
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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)?
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8answers
1k views

Why wear Black hats

Why do people wear black hats if their kippa has 2 layers?
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5answers
930 views

What does “to confuse the Satan” mean and why does it work?

There are several things we don't do in order "to confuse the Satan", like not blowing Shofar on Erev Rosh Hashana. How does it help? Does Satan not realize that Rosh Hashana didn't pass yet? He ...
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1answer
114 views

What is the difference between a Rebbe Rashab Tallis and the regular chabad tallis?

What is the difference between a Rebbe Rashab Tallis and the regular chabad tallis Was this a specific thing just for his time or do chassidim still follow this today? Is there a difference in tallis ...
10
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4answers
304 views

Sitting for “Ashre”?

I have seen people seemingly careful to sit down when beginning the paragraph of prayers that starts "Ashre yosh've vesecha" (Ps. 84:5). One such person told me that he was, in fact, careful to do so, ...
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0answers
52 views

Saying Shema from Klaf

I've heard of saying parshat haketoret from a klaf. Does a similar practice exist for shema? If so, is it just Shema and V'haya (essentially a mezuzah) or the above and Parshat Tzitzit?
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0answers
42 views

Head covering a sign of being a bride of HaShem?

Bnei Yisrael’s relationship with HaShem is often described as a marriage; HaShem is the groom and Bnei Yisrael are His bride. See Shir HaShirim for an extended example. The Prophets frequently ...
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1answer
191 views

What is kabolas ponim on a wedding

I understand that the groom has kabolas ponim before the bedekin And the bride when she comes to the hupa (by said Boruch habo) Is this correct? what is the requirements of the kabolas ponim? (...
3
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1answer
75 views

Is there tefillah betzibbur during mixed heiche kedusha?

In a minyan (quorum) that is doing heiche kedushe with the (inevitable?) scenario that some mispallelim (ones praying) are following the Rama and waiting till after the chazzan's kedusha to begin ...
1
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1answer
49 views

What was the prevailing custom for arranging the seder plate among Bohemian Jewry?

I'm interested in the prevailing custom (or customs) amongst German Jewry, and particularly among the Jews of Bohemia if there was a different practice there, for arranging the seder plate. What was ...
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3answers
296 views

reason for black lines on wool talis katan

What is the reason why wool talis katanim have black lines on them? Why don't talis katanim of other materials have them also?
4
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0answers
35 views

Looking for a Chazon Ish about developement of Minhagim

It has stuck in my head for a while now - roughly quoted as saying that one shouldn't mock minhagim that have developed in klal yisroel even if the origin seems dubious - as Hashem wouldn't allow ...
2
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0answers
23 views

About giving up one's Life for G-D and Minhag

My question is concerning the times when Jews are - G-D forbid - being persecuted religiously and they can't transgress or stop performing mitzvot to the extent of not changing Minhag. Does this ...
3
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1answer
84 views

Munkaczer Tallis

I have been told by Chassidei Chabad that prior to their current pattern, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe wore a munkaczer tallis. What does this tallis look like?
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1answer
82 views

Shaas hashmad and Arab terrorism

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 ...
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1answer
110 views

When did shuckling begin?

There was nothing that I could locate in Mishnah Berurah or similar halachic sources that indicates that one should shuckle (sway) during prayers. When did this custom begin, and why? I notice that ...
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2answers
309 views

When did the use of Rashei Tevot, Heh Kuf, הק׳ in writings, books, letters, etc., begin?

Perhaps I'm among the last to have found this out, but it took me quite a while to understand why, in a signature, the name was preceded by a הק׳. The Ozar Rashei Tevot book has 31 different ...
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0answers
55 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
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1answer
58 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?
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0answers
72 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
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2answers
58 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 ...