Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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4
votes
3answers
530 views

Aufruf and Shabbat Chatan?

Why is an aufruf (Askenazim) before and a shabbat chatan (sefardim) after the wedding? I know there is an idea of a chaasan going to shul from the Pirkei d'Reb Eliezer 17 but how did it get split ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Holocaust Rembrance Day(s)?

What is with the different Holocaust Remembrance Days? When I was a kid, my entire community observed Yom HaShoah. This came about approximately one week after Pesaḥ. Although I'm not totally sure, I ...
6
votes
1answer
127 views

What is the origin of the dispute on which way to wrap tefilin shel yad?

Non-Chasidic Ashkenazim wrap their tefilin shel yad inward toward the body when coming over the top of the arm, while Sefardim and Chasidim wrap outward away from the body when coming over the top of ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

What is a Shabbos Kallah?

A common tradition that I have observed is for a kallah to have a "Shabbos Kallah" on the shabbos before her wedding. What exactly is a shabbos kallah and why do people have them?
14
votes
4answers
178 views

Why is Lag Baomer celebrated the way it is (or at all)?

Why do we celebrate lag baomer with bon-fires and bow-and-arrow. Why do we celebrate lag baomer at all?
2
votes
1answer
281 views

Bar Mitzvah candle-lighting?

I was recently invited to a bar mitzvah celebration and mention was made of a “candle lighting ceremony”. I’d never heard of such a thing, and Google turns up pretty vague references. Which segments ...
11
votes
4answers
522 views

Getting married in age order

Those that refrain from allowing a younger sibling to get married prior to an older sibling mention the verse from Lavan, "Lo Yaiose Kain BimiKomeinu Losais Hatziyira Lifnei HaBechira, In our locale ...
6
votes
3answers
184 views

Bedikas Chometz - why use a wooden spoon?

The common custom that I am aware of is that a Bedikas Chometz set has a wooden spoon. Why do we use a wood spoon by Bedikas Chometz?
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Tachanun on Pesach Sheni - sources for the diffferent customs

Some say Tachanun on Pesach Sheni (14 Iyar); some do not; some do not say Tachanun on 14 & 15 Iyar. What are the sources for these customs? See related Why do we do anything for Pesach Sheini? ...
9
votes
3answers
490 views

Wedding ring composition

I was recently told that the ring used for kiddushin should be made entirely out of one kind of metal (usually gold), with no other adornments such as diamonds, etc. I had been under the impression ...
20
votes
2answers
205 views

Matza on 14 Iyar

I have seen a custom (it seems to me primarily among Chassidim) to eat matza on 14 Iyar (known as Pesach Sheni). What is the earliest source for this custom? What are the reasons given for following ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

Why do we do anything for Pesach Sheini?

According to my handy Luach, on Pesach Sheini, some people omit tachanun (I haven't looked into any source texts to see who does) and according to the Wikipedia page, some eat matzah but I'm wondering ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
4
votes
2answers
90 views

When should one change one's Minhag with one's Makom (and when should one not)?

I know there are conflicting views on certain issues relating to following a local custom vs. one's family custom. However, what are the general concepts that are applied in determining the Halachah? ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

How should the items on the noticeboard in the synagogue be arranged?

On a board where the name of the week’s parsha and the relevant additions in the prayers are displayed as shown here for example, is there an order of placing the items accepted by halacha or minhag? ...
1
vote
1answer
162 views

Singing Lecha Dodi before Shabbos

In every community I have been in there is a custom to sing Lecha Dodi, sometimes along with yedid nefesh or shir hashirim, during kabbalat shabbat. Are there any communities which do not sing lecha ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

Noda B'Yehuda and the Tzavah of Rebbe Yehuda HaChossid

The Noda B'Yehuda (Tinyanah Evan HaEzer Siman 79) famously writes in regards to making a match between a bachelor that has the same name as the father of the potential bride that one need not be ...
11
votes
3answers
254 views

I heard not to say “Good Shabbos” after mincha. Is it true, and what defines mincha?

I heard from somewhere that, on Shabbos, one does not say "Good Shabbos" after mincha. I am not sure whether it's in a halacha sefer somewhere (I tried looking) or just a minhag. First of all, is ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Can one say “Hazak u'Baruch” to both men and women? If not, is there a female equivalent?

When returning from an Aliyah la'Torah, I am commonly met with "Hazak u'Baruch". I have encountered this saying in other situations when someone does something praiseworthy. Can one say "Hazak ...
7
votes
3answers
172 views

Lag Baomer - why not Laomer?

Nusach Askenaz says Baomer, Nusach Sefard and Sefardim say Laomer - Why does everyone call it Lag Baomer - why not call it Lag Laomer?
8
votes
1answer
217 views

Changing minhag about tallit gadol

I first became involved with a non-orthodox congregation where it was customary for everyone over Bar Mitzvah age to wear a tallit gadol. However, I understand that it is an Ashkenazi minhag not to ...
11
votes
3answers
138 views

2 Sifrei Torah for close readings

This morning we read Parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1 - 24:18) and the special reading of Parashat Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16). The custom everywhere I have ever seen is to remove two Sifrei Torah from ...
8
votes
3answers
443 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
195 views

What is the proper greeting for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day)?

Here in Israel, there are many customs surrounding Yom HaShoah; the morning siren, ceremonies, storytelling from survivors, etc. However, I'm not sure I've ever heard a way to greet someone that ...
7
votes
3answers
475 views

Baby boy's MOTHER as the sandek(et)

I have recently come upon historical evidence of the mothers of baby boys serving as the sandek(et) during the brit milah. From page 18 of The Orthodox Jewish Woman and Ritual: Options and ...
9
votes
3answers
320 views

Is it permissible to name one's child with a name from the opposite gender?

Is a person allowed to name a boy with a girl's name and vice versa? I remember seeing that one musn't, although in Nach one finds these things a lot. I understand it is not best practice for ...
7
votes
4answers
518 views

Schlissel Challah

What is the source for the "Key Challah" Segulah (charm) that is said to bring Parnassah (prosperity)? And which is it: do you put the key in the Challah or do you make the Challah in the shape of a ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Kohen removing watch and cufflinks before performing the Priestly Blessing

My late father told me to take off my watch and cufflinks before going up to perform the Priestly Blessing. I did not ask him why. Two possible reasons suggest themselves: To avoid diverting the ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

paskening in front of Rebbi who is your father inlaw

It is assur to pasken (rule on a halachic matter) in front of one's Rebbe (Eiruvin 63). If one's father-in-law is his Rebbe and his wife asks him (her husband) a halachic question in front of her ...
5
votes
3answers
217 views

Do sefirah mourning restrictions occur on Isru Chag?

Many North African Jews celebrate the day after Pesach (which is Isru Chag) with the festive Mimouna. Does such a party atmosphere conflict with the customs of mourning during sefirat haomer? Could ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Torah personalities chosen for blessings on Friday nights

Why do we bless our children on Friday nights with non-correlated blessings between the boys and the girls? I can understand that we want our daughters to emulate the Matriarchs. Yet we don't bless ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Sefira Restrictions During Chol Hamoed Pesach

For those who hold sefira from the first day until the thirty-third, are the restrictions in effect during chol hamoed? While you are not allowed to cut your hair even during chol hamoed Succos, can ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Sephardim and Two Sifrei Torah

On a day when we take out 2 Sifrei Torah do the Sephardim put both on the bima and open one and read from it leaving the other closed? Or do they put only one on the bima and leave the other in a ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Bracha on Hallal Chol HaMoed Pesach (in regards to Sephardim)

I know that according to the psak of the Shulchan Aruch the Sephardim (among others -- The Gra, many Kehillas in Yerushalayim including Chassidei Karlin, Chassidei Biyan I think, and Chassidei Chabad ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

What were the original kitniyos?

I know many people (chiefly S'faradim) don't have the custom altogether of refraining from eating kitniyos on Pesach. Among those who do have such a custom, moreover, there are varying customs as to ...
4
votes
0answers
31 views

Shir Hama'alos in “Barech”?

Among the many hagada versions in use at the seder I attended this year, some of them included Shir Hama'alos before birkas hamazon in the "Barech" section and others did not. Is there any reason to ...
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Beracha on lighting yom tov candles : before or after?

There are two minhagim concerning the time the beracha should be said on lighting yom tov candles for a woman, before or after (like shabbos neros). I've read arguments like these : before, because ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

What to do with Elijah's leftover wine? [duplicate]

Appears his thirst was quenched by the time he got here. Can I assume he just took a sip and the rest can be shared among the guests? Is it better to wait until everyone is gone so they don't see me ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

Can sefardim eat lafa before Pesach?

There is a custom(?) to abstain from eating matza 30 days before Passover so that the taste will be new. There are some sects of sefardic or teimani Jews who eat a type of matzah that is more akin to ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

Who should observe Isru Chag?

I have been trying to understand Isru Chag. While there is a source in tehillim for the words and the gemara derives a notion of extra celebration, there seems to be little about the scope of the day. ...
1
vote
0answers
123 views

Is there an 'Inyan of Upsherin for girls?

Upsherin is cutting a boy's hair at or about the age of three for the first time. Is there any 'Inyan (idea) of an Upsherin for girls? Why or why not?
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Egg matzah in early Nisan

This shabbos, my LOR announced that the shul was done being kashered for Pesach, and so kiddush would be pesadich. To fulfill the need for mezonot, he had brought in egg matzah, saying that egg matzah ...
6
votes
2answers
650 views

A Convert taking on customs of ashkanazim or sephardim

When someone converts is there any determining factor on what minhagim (customs) they will take upon themselves in terms of Ashkanazim or Sephardim? Should it be dependent on the Beis Din they ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Kitniyot for gerim? [duplicate]

How does a ger decide whether to follow Ashkenazic or Sephardic minhagim? In particular, can a ger eat kitniyot during Pesach?
13
votes
4answers
461 views

What is the source of the Magen Dovid (Star of David)?

What is the source of the Magen Dovid (Star of David) in Rabbinic Judaism? When was it first used, and for what?
7
votes
1answer
113 views

Up part of the night on Shavuos

As described by Stephanie Hegarty for the BBC, Roger Ekirch, an historian, has evidence — and is convinced — that people used to have a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed ...
2
votes
2answers
377 views

Are (opaque) stockings under a skirt considered enough to cover ervah?

This is a question about skirt lengths. From this answer: The halacha is that "tefach b'isha ervah" - a tefach (about 3.5 inches) uncovered on certain parts of a woman's body is ervah - ...
6
votes
11answers
312 views

Widespread American Minhag

What is the single most widely practiced minhag (religious Jewish practice that's not mandated by halacha) among Jews in the United States today? By "widely practiced" I mean practiced by the most ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

What constitutes roasting with regard to Minhagim?

Roasting in Halachah generally refers to dry heat, such as broiling and barbequing. But with respect to Minhagim, such as not eating roasted meat (or poultry) at the Seder, do we follow the same ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

Is there a custom not to eat roasted chicken at the Seder?

Does the custom to refrain from eating roasted meat at the Seder extend to chicken, turkey, and any other fowl one might serve roasted?