Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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Is there any source for throwing bread during tashlich?

Is there a reliable Jewish source that encourages throwing bread when performing tashlich?
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79 views

Why can we do Tashlich until Hoshana Rabba

One of the reasons to do Tashlich, according to Chabad.org is: "Another reason for saying Tashlich next to a river is because Rosh Hashanah is the day when we coronate G‑d as King of the Universe. ...
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72 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 ...
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81 views

Why don't Sephardim read Kohelet on Sukkot?

It is the custom among Ashkenazim to read Kohelet on the Shabbat of Chol HaMoed Sukkot. Is there any reason why Sephardim never took on (or stopped) this custom?
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62 views

Conservative method of tying tzitzis?

I recently came into possession of a 4-cornered garment with tzitziyos attached to its corners that was previously owned (although not necessarily worn or endorsed) by a non-Conservative member of a ...
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79 views

What if there is no object for use in a mitzva?

There is a story I once heard about the Ben Ish Chai examining the only known etrog available in Iraq. Despite the great need for it, he declared the etrog passul for use and no one could fulfill the ...
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3answers
128 views

What if the Torah Reader for the Curses is a Kohen or Levi?

It is (at least) the Chabad custom that the Torah Reader takes the Aliya with the curses in Parshat Ki Tavo and Bechukotai. The reader ascends without being called and recites the blessings before and ...
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3answers
133 views

Why don't women go to the mikvah before rosh hashanna and yom kippur?

AFAIK it is common practice for Jewish men to go to the mikvah erev rosh hashanna and erev yom kippur, but not for women to do the same. Why don't women also go? I'm asking about both married and ...
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2answers
134 views

Do women also wear white on Yom Kippur?

Is it customary for women to wear white clothing on Yom Kippur, or is it largely a custom men observe?
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3answers
203 views

Why do Sephardim perform kaparot?

The common custom of Sephardim is to do kaparot before Yom Kippur. This is despite the Shulchan Aruch discouraging the practice (O''C 605:1): מה שנוהגים לעשות כפרה בערב יום כיפורים לשחוט תרנגול על ...
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1answer
40 views

Taigalach for Rosh HaShana

Many people have the Minhag to eat Taigalach on Rosh Hashana. To the best of my knowledge Taigalach is made with walnuts. How does this jive with the Minhag not to eat nuts on Rosh Hashana since Egoz ...
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1answer
126 views

Feminizing Biblical names?

Masculine names such as Daniel, Joseph, and Michael have feminized forms: Danielle/Daniela, Josephine/Josephina, Michelle/Michaela/Mikayla. I've heard that when choosing a name for a baby, you ...
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1answer
55 views

reprinting of tanyas in many locations, why?

Why do Lubavitcher חסידים print “ספר של בינונים" in many different places — something about outward expansion of wellsprings?
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1answer
102 views

Why do we say “Boruch Shem…” loudly on Yom Kippur?

As discussed in this question, there are two reasons generally given why we say "Boruch Shem K'Vod..." quietly when saying Shema: The Talmud (Pesachim 56a) says that Yaakov Avinu said it in response ...
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3answers
829 views

What is the red string all about?

Where did the concept of wearing a red string come from? I have heard different opinions ranging from "you should definitely wear it" to "its forbidden like idol worship" - who is right?
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4answers
492 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
186 views

Why a formulaic greeting on ליל ראש השנה?

On Rosh Hashana night, it is customary to greet one another with "לשנה טובה תכתב (ותחתם)‏" (Rama 582:9, MB). People (in my experience) and machzorim (Rosh Hashana prayer books) treat this as ...
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3answers
269 views

If it's your minhag to daven Hanetz, do you do so even without a minyan?

A friend once told me that if one's minhag is to daven with Hanetz (i.e., starting the Amida prayer at sunrise), and if there's no Hanetz minyan nearby, you should still daven Hanetz, even without a ...
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2answers
498 views

Why the difference in minhagim about wearing a kittel on Yom Kippur only, or also on Rosh Hashanah

My families minhag is to wear a kittel just on Yom Kippur (so I do). But in shul I see a number of folk with the minhag to wear it also on Rosh Hashanah. I know it is related to Yom Hadin, and ...
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65 views

Kaparos for a pregnant woman

From Sidur Tehilas Hashem, Sidur Rav Amram, and Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Yom Hakipurim 10:20 you take additional chickens for Kaparos for a pregnant lady in order to cover the fetus. What sin has the ...
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28 views

Lack of Benching Rosh Chodesh Tishrei [duplicate]

I have heard that the reason we do not Bench Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is in order to confuse the Satan. Now the Satan is no fool. How is the Satan getting confused when we pull this trick year after year? ...
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2answers
117 views

Why do we say Yizkor when we say it?

In the diaspora, we say Yizkor on: The last day of Passover The second day of Shavuot Yom Kippur The first day of Shemini Atzeret Why do we always say Yizkor on these days in particular? If it's ...
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1answer
184 views

Which Names of Hashem can/can't we say [in regular conversation]?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:3) writes that one shouldn't say Hashem's name except by way of praise or blessing whenever required, or when learning (Torah) [see this answer and this question ] Indeed, ...
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1answer
112 views

Jewish dervishes and “Darkeihem”

This photo shows a pair of Jewish dervishes. It has been going around the Jewish-oriented pages of the internet and social media lately, and it got me wondering: would this be a problem of following ...
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1answer
69 views

Should I wait for the prayer leader to say “Yishtabach” after “Pesukei dezimrah”?

“Yishtabach” is the closing blessing of the “Pesukei dezimrah”. If a worshipper has concluded the pesukei dezimrah, should he wait to say Yishtabach with the prayer leader or should he say it ...
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0answers
40 views

Source for having lace on a Kittel

In Shul on Yom Kippur I noticed that many of the Kittel's that people wear have lace on them. Is there a source or a reason why a Kittel has lace on it?
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1answer
262 views

What is the Heter for the prevalent Clothing among Women?

The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body ...
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1answer
290 views

Why don't people bentch on a kos nowadays?

Bentching with a kos (recite Grace after Meals with a cup of wine) was clearly a popular thing to do in the times of the gemara. Additionally many Ashkenazi rishonim (Rosh, Ri, and many other ...
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4answers
255 views

Women and Mayim Acharonim

I very often eat at meals where after the meal, all of the men wash mayim acharonim, but none of the women do so. I am aware of a number of halachic sources that say both men and women should wash ...
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1answer
197 views

Kapparos on money - How much?

If one does the Minhag of Kapparos on money, how much money should be used for each person? (Sources.)
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2answers
175 views

Why aren't we Mahmir (stringent) with just Mikvah when ruling leniently on a technicality in Niddah cases?

I know from experience and some introductory study of the laws of Niddah that rabbis typically try to find leniencies wherever possible in issues of family purity. In many instances, a Posek will rely ...
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62 views

Siddur for Skolyer Chasidim

Is there a specific siddur for the minhag of the Skolyer Chasidim (Chasidim of Ukrainian town of Skole)?
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1answer
75 views

Can't we have some achdus?

Why don't the main Halachic authorities (e.g. R' Ovadyah Yoseph, the Hasidic Rebbes, etc.) come together to make one Nussach for everyone; combining the Minhagim (e.g. Temani pronounciation, Yekkish ...
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1answer
143 views

Is a convert free to choose his own minhagim?

Back when Jews lived in the same communities for generations, they were obligated to follow the minhagim (customs) of their community. The classic example is that East European Jews held that one ...
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117 views

Communities that celebrate menarche

Are there traditional communities that have rituals celebrating (or otherwise marking the occurrence of) a girl's first menses? If so, what do those rituals look like? (For purposes here, let's ...
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3answers
240 views

Meforshim Nick"names

It has become common practice to refer to most meforshim by acronyms of their name (eg Rashi, Rosh, etc.). When and why did this practice start, and is it proper?
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2answers
410 views

Why do Sephardim tuck in their tzitzit?

It has been mentioned previously that Sephardic custom, according to R. Ovadia, is to wear the tzitziot from a talit katan inside rather than exposed. Can someone provide an explanation for this ...
5
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1answer
222 views

What type of nuts may not be eaten during Elul?

Many have a custom not to eat nuts during elul, because אגוז is gematria חטא (sin). So what exactly is considered nuts? Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Macadamian, Hazelnuts, Pecans? How about Peanuts ...
2
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1answer
156 views

Following minhagim when praying in a different community?

Say you go to a minyan of a different community than your own, how should you behave? When being hazan do you use their pronunciation or yours? Do you pray your nusach or theirs? Do you put on talit ...
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1answer
246 views

Can a man marry a woman with the same name as his mother? (Or vice-versa?) How?

Rabbi Yehudah Hechassid wrote in his testament (Testament of R. Yehudah Hechassid, sec. 23) that a man should not marry a woman whose name is the same as his mother’s, and a woman should not marry a ...
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0answers
25 views

Why are the daily tehilim divided as they are?

How were the daily starting and ending points for weekly and monthly readings of all of tehilim chosen? Are they just chosen to make them all approximately the same length, or are there specific ...
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35 views

Can Kohanim who will bless the people start their journey to the duchan before Retzei?

Shulchan Oruch Mishnah Berurah 128 (8) [25] implies that the Kohanim should go up to bless the people after the prayer leader has said "Retzei". I see that many knowledgeable Kohanim start going up ...
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1answer
574 views

What are the halachot of Chanukat Habayit?

What are the laws and customs appertaining to chanukat habayit? At what point, if at all, should you make a shehechiyanu; upon closing? Moving in? Should you make a chanukat habayit on a home that ...
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1answer
154 views

Origin of the nine days

I just learned a gemara (taanit 30a) that seems to pretty clearly state that the mourning for tisha b'av starts the beginning of the week that tisha b'av falls out on, and ends with tisha b'av itself. ...
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118 views

Why is the Paroches inside the Aron Kodesh in Ponevezh Yeshiva

This is a picture of the Aron Kodesh in Ponevezh. I have heard from a former Talmid of Ponevezh that the Paroches is inside the Aron. Does anyone have a source/reason for why the minhag in Ponevezh ...
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2answers
106 views

Decorating of the Beitzah

Somebody told me in Israel some have the custom of decorating the egg for Pesach (like an Easter egg). Wouldn't that be considered chukas hagoyim or avoda zara?
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4answers
103 views

Why do we celebrate the 15th of Av?

The Talmud (Bab. Ta'anith 26b) tells us that the 15 of Av was a fantastically happy time celebrated with joyous festivals. Why? One reason given is that the traveling Israelites who left Egypt ...
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40 views

How do we celebrate Tu B'Av?

Besides the dancing maidens of Jerusalem, many other significant events occurred on Tu B'Av for it to be considered one of the holiest days of the year. As mentioned in a previous question, many ...
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1answer
124 views

Are women allowed to ride bicycles for transport?

Here in London many more people ride bikes to get around as it is less harmful and more beneficial to ones health than driving a car. My sister in law, a Dutch woman, said that many orthodox women ...
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1answer
60 views

Wait to be told one's unkempt after 9 Av?

I have heard (from people for whom it's been relevant) that someone who may not shave or cut his hair because he is in mourning for a relative, and whose period of mourning ends, nonetheless waits to ...