Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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10
votes
4answers
411 views

Baal Teshuva Minhag

I have read that Rabbi Avraham Yosef (the son of Rav Ovadiah Yosef) paskened that a Baal Teshuva in Israel should adopt the Sephardic Minhag, regardless of family history, as their immediate ancestors ...
9
votes
2answers
260 views

Must a Divorced Man Wear a Tallis While Davening?

According to a common custom among Ashkenazim, a man only starts wearing a tallis while davening after he gets married. Does a divorced man continue to wear a tallis when davening? Or could/should he ...
4
votes
0answers
62 views

Are there any name combinations that may not be used?

Are there any combinations of names that may not be given? There are many names which aren't commonly paired together but is there any reason not to or just common practice and preference?
7
votes
2answers
154 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

In a cemetery, when there is a headstone, what is the law or custom of walking OVER the “body” of someone buried there?

Our family recently unveiled the headstone on my mother's grave. Before the unveiling service, my elder brother told me NOT to walk over the grave of my mother. Through lack of space it was ...
14
votes
3answers
500 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
423 views

Why Do Converts Change Their Names?

Rabbi Avigdor Miller said that it used to be that gerim (converts) and baalei teshuvah (repentants) who had been given non-Jewish names did not change their names when they became part of the Jewish ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Eating gefrishte matzoh at the seder [closed]

Does anyone know of a Leipzig or Polish tradition to eat "gefrishte" matzah, matzah with raw eggs, at the seder meal?
2
votes
1answer
100 views

how does one not get lost in the details?

Halachah is very detail oriented and of course all of these details are important but sometimes it seems easy from time to time to get so focused on the specifics of the right way of how to so ...
4
votes
1answer
47 views

No longer prostrating after tefillah - sources?

Inspired by this question, this question and this answer, what I am looking for is an early source that makes reference to people no longer prostrating themselves after tefillah. If the source gives a ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

where to find an undershirt gartel?

Looking for a gartel that goes under the shirt to keep tzitzis straight but have only found the large ones that married men wear. where would one find the smaller thinner kind that can go under a ...
6
votes
1answer
233 views

Can you eat roasted meat on Pesach Sheni?

In my artscroll machzor it mentioned that there are those who have a custom not to eat any sort of roasted meat on Pesach so that we not be confused and think that we are actually eating the korban ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Does a Jewish wedding involve bridesmaids or groomsmen?

Are there such roles? If so, what purpose do they serve? If creating bridesmaids or groomsmen is a distinctly American (or Christian) cultural practice, then what are some reasons for or against ...
8
votes
1answer
221 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
171 views

Why does the Chazzan bow when saying “Gadlu” holding the Torah?

There's a widespread custom for the Chazzan to bow, facing the ark, when reciting "Gadlu" with the Torah before carrying it away. The Aruch Hashulach (282:1) says that one should do this, but doesn't ...
6
votes
2answers
130 views

Adopting minhagim not from your mesorah

Is it appropriate to adopt minhagim that have historically not been observed by your community? Examples Ashkenazim pointing to the sefer Torah, usually with the pinky, during hagbah (after Krias ...
2
votes
3answers
90 views

Can you make an Upsherin during Sefira?

Suppose a boys birthday is 6 Iyar, which is on a date that all observe mourning practices in Sefiras Homer. For those that do not give a haircut to a child until the child is three, can they make an ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Is There a Jewish “Confirmation”?

While browsing some local Temples (Reform Congregations) here in my city, I noticed a site that listed "Confirmation" under the heading of "Life Cycle" on their site. I was puzzled. I know what Bar ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Different customs for Ashkenazic and Sephardic weddings

What are the major differences that one would notice between a Sephardic and an Ashkenazic wedding?
4
votes
2answers
213 views

When Do We Finish Bowing in the Aleinu?

I have two siddurim, both of which have an indication referring to the beginning of a bow, but neither of which reference when to end this bow. At present I just end it whenever the translated ...
17
votes
2answers
167 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
885 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
491 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
255 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
36 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
342 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
37 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
45 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
84 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
158 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
337 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
160 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?
0
votes
0answers
44 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
162 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
59 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
85 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
60 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
98 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
97 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
95 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
138 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
80 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
1k 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
183 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
95 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
60 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
100 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
255 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
130 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 ...