Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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7
votes
6answers
565 views

Sources for/about breaking a plate at a wedding

Are you aware of any literature that either provides a source for or discusses the significance of the two mothers breaking a plate at the "Tisch" at a wedding? It's not hard to find mentions of this ...
7
votes
1answer
256 views

Zecher L'Churban - Why a plate at Tenayim and a glass at the Chupah?

When a person gets engaged and married there are various things that we do as a Zecher L'Churban. At the Tenayim (whether done immediately or at the wedding) we break an earthernware plate, at the ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Why begin eating with the bottom challa on Friday evening? [duplicate]

Why do we begin eating with the bottom challa on Friday evening, and only then; not on Shabbat morning and not on holidays (unless they fall on Fri evening)?
6
votes
1answer
145 views

Ancient Triennial Cycle Today

Are there any congregations who follow the ancient (Eretz Yisrael minhag) triennial cycle today, and so complete the Torah once every three years? I'm aware there are some Eretz Yisrael minhag ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Mezuzos on an “eruv”

What we colloquially call an "eruv" is actually intended to be a halachic doorway (tzurath hapethach) to count as a partition delineating a reshuth hayachid (private domain). As such, every post ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

Is there any significance to someone's non-Hebrew calendar birthday?

It is believed that there is a significance to one's Hebrew calender Birthday. Is there any significance for one's birthday on other calendars (such as the Gregorian calendar, as well as others)? It ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

What is the source for lighting a candle for the whole year after the death of a close relative?

I am familiar with the idea of a yahrzeit candle. I have observed a custom of keeping a flame alight for the whole year (or maybe 11 months) after the death of a close relative. (When one goes out, ...
8
votes
1answer
153 views

Beer at a Shalom Zachor

There is a common custom I have observed to serve beer at a Shalom Zachor. This is also mentioned here with some speculation about the source. What is the source for this practice?
6
votes
1answer
69 views

Ashkenazi leniencies before shavua shechal bo

Ashkenazim extend the Talmudic prohibitions of shavua shechal bo tisha b'av (the week of the 9th of Av) to the beginning of the month. Are there Ashkenazi leniencies from Rosh Chodesh Av until shavua ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Source for Striking Self during Viduy

What is the earliest source for striking one's chest while reciting Vidduy?
2
votes
0answers
77 views

Should Ashkenazim say 'מוריד הטל' in Israel?

The Rema (114:3) brings the Tur who says that Ashkenazim do not say 'מוריד הטל' in the amidah: "Us, the Ashkenazim, do not commemorate the 'טל' [i.e. say 'מוריד הטל'], not in the summer days nor ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Kein Yehi Ratzon by Birchas Kohanim

The Minhag by most Shuls where there is no Birchas Kohanim and the Chazan just says the Birchas Kohanim is to say Kein Yehi Ratzon. Why do we say Kein Yehi Ratzon instead of Amein?
0
votes
0answers
96 views

Practice of burning or burying fingernail clippings

I've been reading recently about the practice of discarding of fingernails in a special way, usually by burning or burying. (Sources here) Please discuss this practice. Any information would be ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Shavua SheChal Bo when Tisha Bav is Nidcha (Pushed off) [duplicate]

When the fast of Tisha B'Av is pushed off from a Shabbos to Sunday do the minhagim of Shavua Shechal Bo apply for the whole week leading up to Shabbos (Since 9 of Av is shabbos) or is there ...
2
votes
2answers
332 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?
2
votes
0answers
54 views

If Yom Kippur Katan has to exist, why isn't it ON Rosh Chodesh?

The practice of Yom Kippur Katan is held on erev Rosh Chodesh (by some) so that we can maintain the element of kapparah essential to Rosh Chodesh but not compromise the celebration of the day by ...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

Semichath ge'ulah l'tfilah by Maariv with a minyan

The gemara in Brachoth emphasizes the importance of semichat ge'ulah l'tefilla (adjoining redemption to prayer): דאמר ר' יוחנן איזהו בן העולם הבא זה הסומך גאולה לתפלה של ערבית... ... For R' ...
15
votes
7answers
943 views

What is the source for the “Upsheirin”?

In some families/communities, little boys do not get their hair cut until they are three, and then there is a gathering for cutting their hair. The haircut is called an "upsheirin" or "chalakeh." ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

History of ḥalāqah/Upsherin (אפשערן/חאלאקה) [duplicate]

What are the earliest sources for these customs? i found mention of the custom amongst Sephardim of Eretz Yisrael in the Kether Shem Tob. But that only mentions it for Eretz Yisrael, and doesn't ...
4
votes
0answers
60 views

Arvei Nahal - species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
5
votes
6answers
275 views

Why specifically an apple on Rosh HaShanah?

There is a custom of eating an apple dipped in honey on first night of Rosh HaShanah (among the other foods) as a sign that we should have a sweet year. Why is this done specifically with an apple and ...
7
votes
3answers
182 views

Why do many boys begin learning Gemara with Elu Metzios?

There is a popular custom for boys to start their Gemara studies with Elu Metzios (the 2nd Perek in Bava Metzia). The Gemara (Bava Basra 175b) does say that financial laws are conducive to becoming ...
11
votes
2answers
366 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
119 views

When to say brocha when making a L'chaim

I have always been confused about l'chaims (toasts). At what point does one make the blessing on the drink? Which part--the "l'chaim" or the blessing--immediately precedes taking a sip? Usually when ...
2
votes
3answers
523 views

Doesn't the wide use of Sheitels among Orthodox Jewish women prove that hair no longer retains the erotic status that it once had?

In reading scores of halakhic material on the subject of kisui rosh le-nashim throughout the ages, I have found that there are essentially two views as to the nature of the obligation for a woman to ...
3
votes
2answers
114 views

Chol-Kreisch Ceremony

Danny Schoemmann mentions a ceremony called a chol-kreisch in this answer for giving the secular name of a child. Is this custom still observed, and if so, how is it practiced?
8
votes
1answer
121 views

Earliest Sources for Custom of Not Shaving from 17th of Tammuz

What are the earliest sources for the custom of not shaving from the 17th of Tammuz? The Shulchan Aruch (OC 551:3) only mentions this only in the week of the 9th of Av. שָׁבוּעַ שֶׁחָל בּוֹ ...
7
votes
1answer
230 views

Where does the custom to spill off from a drink come from?

I had a Lubavitcher classmate in high school who used to spill off from his cup whenever he would drink anything. He claimed it was a minhag. What is the reason/source for this practice?
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Where should the stone left on a grave come from?

I will be traveling for an unveiling soon and intend to leave a stone at the grave. Since I will be traveling I have to ability to bring the stone from where I live or to find a stone near the ...
8
votes
2answers
302 views

Direction of Tefillin Winding

Why do some people have the custom to wind the Tefillin-Shel-Yad towards themselves, while others wind it away from themselves? What is the reason behind these two customs, and which sects of Judaism ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

ב (bet) mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

What are the correct ways to pronounce the ב (bet)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah ...
6
votes
2answers
323 views

How can all the great rabbis' practices be accepted by Hashem? [duplicate]

This may seem like a child's question, but it's one I never thought to ask as a child, so I never learned the answer. Rabbinic traditions — even within continuous geographical lineages amongst ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

Unmarried man teacher of children

I see from The Shulchan Aruch Even Ezer 22.20 and from Shulchan Aruch Harav, Hilchois Talmud Torah, perek 1 halocho 13 that single man should not be a teacher of children (under 13) becouse of the ...
5
votes
2answers
111 views

Standing/Sitting on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion

I have noticed that some people are particular to stand on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion, whereas others are particular to sit. Is this really something significant? Whose opinion is ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

Is one permitted to change his minhagim? ashkenaz to sefardi

If a person grew up sefardi and wanted to change his minhagim to ashkenaz (including pronunciations) is it permitted to do so?
2
votes
4answers
330 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
5answers
1k views

Chickpeas (Arbes) at a Shalom Zachor

Why do we serve Arbes - chickpeas at a Shalom Zachor?
5
votes
3answers
730 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 - ...
3
votes
1answer
475 views

Custom of standing when a tzaddik passes by

I am asking this question in light of a situation I witnessed recently: When the senior rabbi of our shul--a very righteous man who was keeping his wife's yahrzeit that night--walked past the ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Origin for different styles for congregational singing in El Adon and Lecha Dodi [duplicate]

In most Nusach Ashkenaz shuls that I have attended, the congregation and chazzan sing Lecha Dodi and Kel Adon together. In most Hassidic minyanim (they are Nusach Sefard. I say "Hassidic" since the ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Nose rings allowed or not allowed?

The Torah states that Eliezer gave Rivka a golden nose ring...Based on the Torah it is allowed. What I want to know is why people do not accept this and discourage it.
0
votes
3answers
76 views

What dress is expected at a post-service event in a synagogue? [closed]

A non-Jew is invited to a birthday party to be held in the synagogue after services. What level of dress is expected? Would one be expected to dress as for Shabbat services, or would a more casual (...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

According to Chazal, does Beged Kefet matter?

The Hebrew alphabet has 22 written characters (plus 5 specialized characters for the ends of words - ם, ן, ץ ,ף, ך) generally assumed to be each originally associated with distinct sounds. The ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

ד mi yodeya (the pronunciation)?

The gemara (Brachoth 13b) records that one is supposed to draw out the ד of "אחד" in the first verse of the Shema: .תניא: סומכוס אומר: כל המאריך באחד מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו אמר רב אחא בר יעקב:...
0
votes
1answer
167 views

Do Sephardim observe any of the pre-Tisha B'av customs when the observance of Tish'a B'Av is postponed? [duplicate]

Wikipedia states: The last nine days of the three weeks—which are also the first nine days of the month of Av, culminating in the Tisha B'Av fast—constitute therefore a period of intensified ...
1
vote
0answers
247 views

Can a convert choose the Teimani (Yemenite) minhagim?

From what I know, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (Teshuva Shu"T Yachaveh Das Chelek 5 Siman 33) writes that someone who converts in Eretz Yisrael must take on the Minhagim of the Sephardim. However, according to ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Wrapping tefillin to create letters

When we wrap, there seems to be a prevalent custom to incorporate the shapes Dalet, Yod and Shin in the strap on the hand/arm (depending on one's custom (discussed in Sefer Ta'amei Haminhagim page 13 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do some people wrap their Tefilin around their arms 8 times?

I have seen people who wrap the Tefilin 7 times around their arm and some that wrap it 8 times around their arm. Why do the people who wrap it 8 times do so?
2
votes
0answers
38 views

May one make tahara (washing the dead) on a person who doesnt keep mitsvot

One makes tahara on a dead man or woman which includes washing him and for some being 'dipped' in a mikva. May one do this on someone who is considered a 'rosho' like for not keeping the torah or ...
3
votes
4answers
436 views

Are women allowed to drive?

Prompted by this article is there any basis for not allowing woman to drive? Can this practice even be termed a 'minhag'? If so, what is the motivation behind this 'tradition'? As quoted from the ...