Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

1
vote
2answers
114 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
159 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
votes
1answer
194 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
110 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
16 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
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
91 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
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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
863 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
594 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
123 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
votes
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
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
votes
8answers
1k views

Why wear Black hats

Why do people wear black hats if their kippa has 2 layers?
15
votes
5answers
927 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
104 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
votes
4answers
302 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, ...
1
vote
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?
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
153 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
votes
1answer
74 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
vote
1answer
48 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
287 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
votes
0answers
34 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
79 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?
5
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
307 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
54 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
votes
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?
1
vote
0answers
71 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
vote
2answers
57 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
218 views

Using Hoshanos more than once

On Hoshana Rabba after one uses (Klaps) his Hoshanos may another person use the same Hoshanos?
8
votes
4answers
736 views

Lubavitch not sleeping in a Sukka?

If Lubavitch is careful not to eat or drink anything outside of the sukka, why does Lubavitch not sleep in the Sukka?
2
votes
0answers
59 views

Covering eyes for Shma which isn't THE shma

Based on the answer to this question about covering ones eyes for the Shma said early in davening, it would appear that one only covers his eyes when saying the verse of Shma in order to enhance the ...
16
votes
4answers
820 views

Shape of the Luchot

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HabBerit were square. Where did the common "tablet" shape come from, with rectangles and a rounded top? Besides in pictures, I see it in ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

Kaparos with fish

In How to do kapparos with fish it discusses doing Kaparos with fish. Is anyone aware of any group or individuals that do Kaparos with fish?
8
votes
2answers
825 views

Why do Jewish funeral homes tend to be the main supplier of Jewish calendars?

Perhaps, this question is too "trivial". It seems that Jewish funeral homes tend to be the primary "printer" and supplier of Jewish calendars. For decades, many yeshivot as well as shuls get the large ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Why was there a huge concern to assure that Hoshanna Rabbah is not on Shabbat?

This page lists 4 rules that may cause the first day of Rosh Hashannah to be postponed from being on the date of the molad Tishrei. One of the rules is: If molad Tishri occurs on Sunday, ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Say Shir hamaalos mimaamakim when?

It is common practice to add psalm 130 ("mimaamakim") to shacharis during the ten days of repentance. In my experience, most congregations say it between p'suke d'zimra and "Bar'chu" (immediately ...
8
votes
1answer
296 views

Why has Judaism traditionally discussed intimacy only privately?

To quote msh210's formulation of this site's rule on intimate topics: Please respect that in the Jewish tradition certain questions, especially certain questions relating to sexuality, are ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Is there any minhag for a Kohen to dress like the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur?

About 20 years ago, I was the shaliach tzibbur in a shul in Newburgh, NY on Yom Kippur. As I was davening, I hear behind me, "jingle, jingle". I turn around, and behold, there is a man dressed in a ...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

Origins of the Yerushalmi Kaftan

Among Yerushalmi Chareidim, a special dress code seems to have developed which has some features which are unique from standard Eastern Ashkenazi dress. While most Chareidim I have seen wear black ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Source for Groom's Immersion in Ritualarium (mikveh)

What are the earliest sources referencing the custom of groom to immersing himself in a mikveh before his wedding? This custom is referenced in Kitzur Yalkut Yosef (nisu'in v'shidduchin: 3:11): ...
12
votes
2answers
523 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

Extent of Martyrdom Requirements in the Face of Anti-Religious Laws

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 ...