Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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12
votes
3answers
955 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?
13
votes
4answers
532 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
301 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
523 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
70 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
29 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? ...
4
votes
2answers
149 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
210 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
136 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
44 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?
2
votes
1answer
294 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
311 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
297 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
202 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.)
1
vote
2answers
189 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
75 views

Siddur for Skolyer Chasidim

Is there a specific siddur for the minhag of the Skolyer Chasidim (Chasidim of Ukrainian town of Skole)?
-1
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
122 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
245 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?
6
votes
2answers
501 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
votes
1answer
232 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
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
327 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
28 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
38 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
708 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
167 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. ...
1
vote
0answers
147 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
117 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?
4
votes
4answers
121 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
54 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
178 views

Mazinka dance (dance with a broom) source?

Some have a custom that, when their last child or last daughter (mazinka means youngest daughter) get married, they do a dance with a broom. Where did this come from and is it in any seforim?
0
votes
2answers
96 views

minhag of using beer motzai pesach

I know some people who use beer for havdalah motzai pesach. It seems from halacha that wine should always be used even during the 9 days. Is there a source for the custom to use beer for havdalah ...
6
votes
2answers
326 views

What is the source for the Kallah's circling the Chasan 7 times?

What is the source for a Kallah (bride) to circle her Chasan (bridegroom) seven times at their wedding?
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Source for the bride's circling the groom [duplicate]

I understand that there are ways of deriving a scriptural basis for the tradition of circling one's groom three times or seven times, etc - but what is the earliest (written) source for this being a ...
0
votes
3answers
146 views

Chopping items makes them Kitniyoth?

This article has a line in a recipe that suggests that chopping an ingredient will make it Kitniyoth. The entire recipe is below with the line in question highlighted: JICAMA APPLE SLAW From ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

Psalms 111 and 112 and “hal'lu[k]ah”

During mincha on Shabas, many people say psalms 111 and 112. I've seen them posted on the walls of some synagogues, in fact; one such copy that I've seen has the word "hal'lu[k]ah" appended to the end ...
0
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

Tehillim while waiting for medical test results

When one is waiting for a medical test result, which tehillim is it customary to recite?
3
votes
2answers
107 views

Hyphenating the word Hashem

I've seen the word Hashem hyphenated ("Hash-m"). Is there any valid reason for this practice?
5
votes
1answer
610 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

What things are restricted during the 3 weeks?

There are a lot of questions here on Mi Yodeya about specific restrictions during the three weeks between 17 Tammuz and 9 Av, but I would like to know all of the things that are forbidden during the ...
3
votes
0answers
109 views

Should I rend k'riyah if I witness the death of a non-relative? If so, what's the procedure?

In another question, Chalutznahal cites Yoreh De'ah 40:5, which says that when I witness a fellow Jew die, I must rend my shirt out of sadness. And British Rabbi Dr. Moshe Freedman brings this down as ...
9
votes
2answers
185 views

Can one write one's own Hespid?

Tragically, I have an incurable disease and have little time left. I have told a number of friends about this and said good-bye to them in an email. In return, I have received a number of emails ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the “righteous” from the “wicked”?

Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the "righteous" from the "wicked"? I have read in various sources that "we don't bury rashim near tzadikim"--that people must be buried near others of similar ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Hatoras Nedarim for wife taking her husband's Minhagim

According to Minchas Yaakov 112:2 and Darchei Teshuva 112:94, one who is always careful with Pas Yisrael and now wants to start eating Pas Paltar would have to be Matir Neder. Suppose a girl who was ...