Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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5
votes
1answer
98 views

How do you prepare a ram's head for Rosh Hashana night

One of the Simanim brought to eat on Rosh Hashana is a Ram's head. It isn't very popular, I assume due to availability, but one year they had them (well, a lamb's head) in the local store, but I was ...
7
votes
1answer
75 views

At what point does a chazzan take three steps back after chazaras hashatz?

Just a question I've never been able to find a concrete answer to. At what point does a chazzan take his three steps back at the end of chazaras hashatz? Would it be while/after saying "Yihyu ...
8
votes
1answer
847 views

What is the reason behind blowing the shofar from the side of one's mouth?

I've been told that the custom is to blow the shofar from the sides of one mouth, rather than like blowing a trumpet. What is the source for this custom and the reasoning behind it?
2
votes
0answers
152 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?
2
votes
4answers
132 views

How does the phrase מנהגא מילתא היא relate to halachic Jewish life?

I have seen the phrase מנהגא מילתא היא mentioned in the halachic works of various Rishonim. Neither it's plain meaning in these works nor it's connotations in relation to the significance of custom ...
4
votes
12answers
506 views

What is the most widespread Israeli Minhag? [closed]

What is the single most widely practiced minhag among Jews in Israel today? By "widely practiced" I mean practiced by the most people.
5
votes
3answers
249 views

Why is the day of Rosh Chodesh announced before every month except Tishrei?

Why is Tishrei the only month not included in the custom of announcing the day(s) of Rosh Chodesh on the Shabbos before the month begins?
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Fasting on Modern Days of Mourning

I was wondering if some people fast on Yom HaShoah or Yom HaZikaron. After all, these are somber days and hit close to home for many people. Do some people fast on these days? Why or why not?
3
votes
3answers
297 views

Modern nations and Umos Haolam

Where can I find a discussion about the roots of modern nations, in the Umos Haolam mentioned in the Torah and Chazal?
7
votes
1answer
195 views

wording of the invitation to birkas hamazon

I know some Ashk'nazim say rabosay n'varech, some rabosay mir velen bentschen, and some hertzi rabosay mir velen bentschen. (Any other forms?) Is there any particular reason given for one or another?
5
votes
2answers
308 views

Is there any basis for Chabad minhagim regarding tallit gadol?

I often daven at Chabad shuls and I have noticed that they have some particulars regarding tallit usage inconsistent with the rest of Ashkenazi Jewry, including: not wearing when receiving an aliyah ...
4
votes
0answers
75 views

Why read about Rashb"i's death at a memorial ceremony?

Why do many people read the passage (known as אדרא זוטא) from Zohar about the death of Rabbi Shim'on ben Yochai at memorial ceremonies? A description of it can be found here.
1
vote
1answer
70 views

What to do if you drop a sefer

Is there anything to say or do if you accidentally drop a sefer on the floor, besides kissing it and putting it back? *not a sefer Torah, ch"v!
2
votes
1answer
103 views

What does it mean to have arup payos?

What does it mean to have arup payos? What specific style or length is this? Who would have the minhag to keep their payos in such a fashion that is called "arup"?
7
votes
2answers
421 views

Walking around the house after shiva

I'd heard something about how some people, when getting up after the week of "sitting shiva" (mourning), take a walk around the outside of their house before going back to "normal" life. Has anyone ...
4
votes
2answers
731 views

When cutting nails, which hand comes first?

When cutting nails there are some very specific instructions when cutting them. If I recall correctly, one is supposed to start with the left hand and then proceed to the right. This seems strange, as ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Do Chasidim avoid wearing ties?

Do Chasidim not wear ties as a rule? If so, is this by design or an accident of history? If by design, where can I find said intended reason in print?
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Should you bow and take steps back during a prayer you are not reciting?

For prayers where you are only listening, or responding "Amen" (for example, for Kaddish, or the chazzan's repetition of the Amidah) should you do the traditional bows and steps backward for that ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Source that Aveilim circle the block when the Shiva ends [duplicate]

What is the source the an Aveil circles the block on the seventh day, once the Shiva is up?
2
votes
4answers
97 views

Do we read zeicher, zecher, or both during Ki Teitzei?

For parshat Zachor, many have a minhag of saying both timche et zeicher amalek and timche et zecher amalek (different vowels on זכר). What are the customs regarding this word during parshat Ki ...
5
votes
2answers
733 views

Why should A Capella music be allowed during Sefirah/Three Weeks?

Background: I'm not sure how I feel about: a)the custom to refrain from listening to recorded music during Sefirah or b)the assumption that recorded a cappella music is not considered instrumental ...
2
votes
1answer
269 views

What are the different types of Shpitzlach?

Do shpitzels include some fake hair ? Are they always made with foam inside to imitate the hair?
5
votes
1answer
71 views

When did Yom Kippur Kattan originate?

The day before Rosh Hodesh is considered like a "mini" Yom Kippur. (I understand that there are some months, I think before Tishrei and Nissan that do not have YKK? Correct me if I'm mistaken.) Some ...
4
votes
0answers
98 views

What do those people who wear tefillin all weekday do on Rosh Chodesh?

There are people who wear tefillin all day (see related question When did people stop wearing Tefilin all day? and the comments to it.) For one or two reasons many remove tefillin before Mussaf on ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Tucking in Tekheles

I've heard it said by some chaverim of mine, that if one is to wear tekheles on their tzizits, they should tuck it in. They say many poskim rule this way, and that the gemara brings down something ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Who was the serpent? [duplicate]

I have heard that the Serpent in the garden was satans attempt to mimic G-d's creation of man, that the serpent was satins's version of man. Is there any evidence for this opinion
6
votes
4answers
427 views

What siddur do Satmerer Chasidim use?

Many Chasidic groups have a particular siddur that is used by most in that group. Does Satmer have such a siddur?
5
votes
3answers
583 views

Status of feet while making a bracha or davening

In todays day and age where we no longer have homes with dirt floors: do you still need to cover your feet when making a bracha or davening? If so are socks enough? does it depend on the custom of ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Are Jews halachically allowed to go up toTemple Mount? [duplicate]

BS"D May Jews go up to the Temple Mount? I"ve read some Rabbanim for and against. I just found this source by Rav Dov Lior for allowing? Does anyone have a source for those against? ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is it customary for Jews to grow beards?

What is the reason for growing one's beard? Many rabbis have beards. Why?
11
votes
2answers
342 views

3 year olds lighting a shabbat candle

When my eldest turned three her male cousin also turned three. Many of her friends and her cousin were getting Tzitzit. She asked for her own. We explained that boys wear TzitTzit and girls light ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

What should we eat on Tu B'av?

I'm hosting an event on Tu B'av and I need to decide on the menu. Are there any foods that are particularly appropriate for the holiday?
4
votes
3answers
174 views

Giving Blessings at a Wedding

I have noticed a custom among wedding-goers to receive blessings from the bride and the groom at weddings, usually when they come over to the new couple's table for well-wishing during the meal. Why ...
7
votes
1answer
93 views

Sleeping at the Kotel on Tisha B'av

This Tisha B'av morning I was at the Kotel for shachrit, and I noticed a whole bunch of people sleeping there. I'm not talking about people who nodded off during slichot due to low blood sugar, I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Source and reason of the Minhag to end Cohen aliyah of parshat Devarim 1 pasuk early

In some shuls that I have attended, they end the Cohen aliyah of Shabbat parshat Devarim one pasuk before the one where "Sheni" is marked (i.e. - they end it before pasuk 11 instead of 12). I'm not ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Is saying “Hareini mekabel alai mitzvat asei shel Ve-ahavta…” before Shema a Lubavitch tradition?

When I started donning the tefillin some years ago, I had a pamphlet given to me by a Lubavitcher and I used it at times for the Shema. However, there's an addition before the Shema in the pamphlet ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Golden kaftan + high beaver hat?

Normally, those wearing a golden kaftan (with a shtreimel) for shabbes and simchos, will wear a flat beaver hat on weekdays. Are there any of those who wear a high beaver hat instead?
6
votes
3answers
198 views

Custom of Rov speaking before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos

I've been in a number of shuls where the Rov of the shul will get up before Krias HaTorah on Shabbos and say some sort of "drasha". Sometimes it was connected to the parsha or inyunei d'yoma (i.e. ...
2
votes
2answers
116 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
75 views

When Sofrim write Sifrei Torah, do they think of the Ba'alei Kri'ah (readers)?

I have read from many different Sifrei Torah as a Ba'al Kri'ah during the past approx. 30 years. Each Torah is unique, as B"H, it should be. Every sofer has a slightly different writing style, even ...
3
votes
2answers
224 views

Is there a source for the Kallah Bride wearing white in Torah?

BS"D Is there a Torah source for the Kallah Bride to wear only white? What about a second marriage? Does the white indicate that the bride and groom make the day before marriage a special attempt to ...
7
votes
1answer
151 views

Is there anyone today who only wears Rabenu Tam t'philin?

Is there anyone in our times who ONLY wear t'philin made according to the shitta of Rabenu Tam - to the exclusion of "Rashi" t'philin?
9
votes
2answers
285 views
4
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3answers
231 views

why don't Jews meditate?

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan has 3 (in my opinion excellent) books on the history, importance, and benefit of Jewish meditation. Yet meditation does not seem to be an integral component for much (though, ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Looking for more information on the Malida Ceremony

What are the origins of the Indian-Jewish Malida ceremony? How is it performed? Have this or any other Indian-Jewish customs been discussed by contemporary poskim?
5
votes
2answers
337 views

Bracha on an indirect view of lightning

The general practice is to make a bracha on the sky illuminating from lightning without actually seeing the bolt. Does anyone know a source for this? Is this the most appropriate practice? Also, ...
-8
votes
1answer
70 views

Minhag of Kos Pagum [duplicate]

Another Minhag that came from nowhere is the custom of filling a wine cup to overflowing. Some do it because of Kos Pagum, however it seems that Kos Pagum applies to a cup which is not filled near ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

Pointing the pinky at the torah

By Hagbahos HaTorah people point at the Torah with the pinky of their right hand. I have seen others point with the pinky of both hands. Someone told me this is brought down in the Me’am Lo’ez. Where ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

What is the point of Hataras Nedarim every year?

The second paragraph of Hataras Nedarim has the person being mattired saying that "I am making a modaah that any oaths being made in the future are considered to be as if 'bli neder'". Is this ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 views

Oleh and chazak chazak

I've heard that, when receiving the last aliyah in a particular sefer, the oleh (one who received the aliyah) should not say “chazak, chazak…” because it is a berachah given to him by the congregation ...