Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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8
votes
1answer
758 views

What is the origin of hazak u'baruch?

Hazak u'barukh is a phrase commonly said after one does something in the synagogue (e.g., after an aliyah). What is its origin?
5
votes
3answers
181 views

Not sitting in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres

Shouldn't the obligation to sit in the Sukkah also fall into the category of Sefeika D'yoma? If so why do some not eat in the Sukkah on Shemini Atzeres?
6
votes
2answers
168 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
137 views

Yemenite Sefira

What is the source for the custom that Yemenite Jews people count Sefira in Aramaic? and why do they do it?
4
votes
0answers
99 views

Matzah Shemurah on the 8th day of Pesaḥ (in the Diaspora)

According to those who hold that there is a Kiyyum Mitzvath 'Aseh DeOraitha (a fulfillment of a positive Biblical commandment) every time one eats a KeZayith (olive size's worth) of Matzah on Pesaḥ, ...
12
votes
2answers
270 views

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? Why or why not?

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? What about someone who may have been an oved avoda zarah? Someone who is definitely such? I'm asking because I've seen such discussion ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

Doing something in one breath

I am looking to make a list of halachot/minhagim that involve doing something in 1 breath so I can see if I can draw any connections between them. So far, I have 3 things: the shevarim-tru'ah (or at ...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Naming a child after two relatives

I once heard Rabbi Shmuel Niman, Mashgiach Ruchani of the Chafeitz Chaim Yeshiva, say that he had "recently learned" that it is improper to give a child parts of the names of two relatives. For ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

May a woman be a kvater?

May a woman serve as the sole kvater (person who brings the baby to the sandek) at a bris? At most britot I've been to, the duty of kvater was handled by a woman and a man (typically married), with ...
2
votes
1answer
242 views

What level of obligation is of kriat shema al hamita?

What is the level of obligation for krias shema al hamita (the recitation of Shema before going to bed)? Is it a mitzvah deoraisa, mitzvah derabanan, is it a minhag avoseinu byadeinu? Maybe it's ...
17
votes
1answer
257 views

Is there any source for not sharing a baby's name before the bris?

For some reason, I have it ingrained in me that a baby boy's name before the bris is a secret and should not be shared. Are there any sources for this, or is it something made up?
-3
votes
1answer
89 views

Americans and Kippas [closed]

I'm from Israel, and when I just moved to the US, I went to one temple where things were different. I saw some women that wore kippot (plural kippa in Hebrew). Also, why is the kippa referred as a ...
0
votes
1answer
377 views

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa?

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa (both the symbol and the name)? If so, does this lend credence to those who view Hamsa as being of non-Jewish (at best, or pagan, at worst) origin?
4
votes
4answers
576 views

Are Sephardic Jews allowed to dress up in costumes on Purim?

The custom of dressing up in costumes on Purim originated from Ashkenazic communities in Europe and has become a popular custom today for Ashkenazim (cf. Rema in Shulkhan Aruch Orach Chaim 696:8). ...
8
votes
2answers
129 views

What was the attitude of Rabbonim regarding Purim Torah?

Purim Torah seems to be a two sided concept. On one hand, many people do it for many years (for example, Maseches Purim was published in 1871). On the other hand, it seems to be a Bizayon HaTorah ...
2
votes
0answers
132 views

Sitting or Standing for Kaddish - historical divergence between Conservative and Orthodox minhag

At most (maybe even all?) Conservative synagogues, the congregation remains seated during every kaddish (except mourner's kaddish, and then only mourners rise). At Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogues, the ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Origin of two customs on wearing the Talis after making the brocho

How do we wear the Talis Godol immediately after making the brocho? 1) There seems to be one method practised by those following German minhogim. Can someone give a source for it please? Is this ...
2
votes
3answers
183 views

Candles on Purim?

In Esther 8:16, we read that after the Jews were saved from an evil decree, they had "light and gladness and joy and honor." Is anyone aware of Rabbinic texts that discuss celebrating Purim with ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

adoption and qualifying for being “officially” considered Jewish

My wife and I (no known Jewish heritage) are adopting an infant child. The child's birth-mother was herself adopted and raised as a Jew by Jewish parents. We do not know of any Jewish heritage ...
1
vote
1answer
81 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
66 views

Why do we read from Yechezekel on Shavuos and Yeshayahu on Parshas Yisro?

There are two times that we read about the giving of the Torah: When we read Yisro and on Shavuos. On both days we read Haftoras of Neviyim going up to Shamayim. On Shavuos we read about Yechezkel ...
6
votes
2answers
298 views

Ostrich eggs in Shul?

Kinyan L'Shabbos (published weekly by Hamodia) - July 18, 2012, page 11 has a fascinating article by Rabbi Avraham Y. Heschel regarding an ancient custom of displaying ostrich eggs in a Beis Knesses. ...
10
votes
6answers
432 views

Which Chasidic group departed the least from Ashkenazi minhag and nusach?

Chasidic groups vary in terms of their siddur's differences from nusach Ashkenaz, as well as their general minhagim and hashkafic approaches. Is there a Chasidic group which most closely matches the ...
7
votes
1answer
130 views

Explanation for couple not seeing each other before the wedding?

What is the source and reason for a couple not to see one another before the wedding?
6
votes
2answers
256 views

Is there a minhag for a chassan and kallah to hold hands after the chupah?

I have been to many weddings where the chassan and kallah hold hands after the chupah on their way to the yichud room. It seems like a widespread (minhag?) thing that everyone does, even by couples ...
3
votes
1answer
244 views

Minhag of throwing Challah at the Friday night Seuda

Aruch HaShulchan 167:31 and Be'er Hataiv 167:22 both say that it is forbidden to throw the (Challah) bread. I have heard that there are some people (I heard that there are some Rabannim who do so) ...
5
votes
6answers
173 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Which tefilot you say when your minhag differs from that of the shoul your praying in?

Here is the case: This past Sabbath, at an ashkanazi synagogue, a sephardi comes to pray. This is the synagogue that he normally attends (there are about 20 within 1 sq mile). He prays with the ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

When to close the ark after putting away the Torah

On shabbat morning when putting away the Torah, many chazzanim like to draw out different tunes for the verses recited then. Should the one honored with putting the Torah back wait until after the ...
16
votes
2answers
438 views

Why do we say Mazel Tov? Shouldn't we thank Hashem?

Why do we say "Mazel Tov" when something good happens to a person? Doesn't that mean "good luck?" Are we saying that what happened, happened because of luck?
8
votes
2answers
141 views

Mezuza positioning: why top angled in not out?

Why does the angle a mezuza positioned on the doorpost at have its top towards the room, and the bottom away from the room? I understand this may be an Ashkenazi custom, and that Sephardim position ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

Removing Yarmulka last when undressing (source)

I have noticed that some people remove their Yarmulka last when undressing and wear it first when dressing. Is this custom mentioned anywhere?
15
votes
1answer
429 views

Blessing the Children on Friday Night

I have noticed that many families (including my own) have the custom for the father to bless all the children on Friday night before kiddush. When and where did this custom originate, and by whom, ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Speaking while wearing Tefillin - revisited

In today's day and age the vast majority of the time we only wear Tefillin when we are Davening. However, in theory, we should wear them all day (ibid). So what about the requirement not to speak ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Replies to “l'chayim”

The most common responses I've heard to a wish of "l'chayim!" ("life!") is "l'chayim tovim ulshalom" ("a good life and peace!") except from Lubavitch chasidim and "l'chayim v'livracha" ("life and ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Who doesn't make Kiddush from 6-7pm?

From this question I learned that "many" people don't make Kiddush between 6-7pm. Who does this? Is this primarily a Lubavitch Minhag? If so, among Lubavitchers, how prevalent is it?
5
votes
1answer
412 views

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

Is there a problem of "chukat goyim" with the bride having "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" at her wedding?
4
votes
3answers
376 views

Husband deciding how his wife should cover her hair

Issues of Shalom Bayis (peace in the home) and any other deciding factor aside, does the husband have any "right" or "privilege" (from a halachic standpoint) to decide how his wife will cover her hair ...
11
votes
3answers
453 views

May a Jew be a Freemason?

According to what I've been told by several people who have inquired of "practicing" (is that the right word?) Freemasons, and supported by Wikipedia, "Freemasonry explicitly and openly states that it ...
1
vote
0answers
199 views

Why do we wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative?

Why do we wish someone “long life” on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of relative? I can understand this wish directly after the death when I have heard that a person should consider ...
8
votes
1answer
190 views

May a man learn Torah without a Kippah?

Is it permissible for a man to learn Torah without a Kippah? Let's say that he can't wear a Kippah at work, or he lives someplace where it is dangerous to outwardly display signs of being Jewish, ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

What's done on Zos Chanuka?

I know people call the last day of Chanuka "Zos Chanuka" (taken from Bamidbar 7:84, read on that day). How is it specially commemorated if at all? I've heard it is, but know no details. I'm not ...
16
votes
3answers
220 views

Must EMTs and others rend Kriyah each time they see a patient die?

I was looking at Yoreh De'ah 40:5 (יו"ד סימן ש"מ ס"ק ה) and Moed Katan 25b (כה עמוד ב), which require Kriyah (garment-rending) for all who are there at the time of death. It would seem to me that an ...
3
votes
1answer
426 views

Traditions what to do with removed foreskin

In Germany we recently started a debate, whether foreskin-amputation of children (not only Jews, but Muslims as well) has to be forbidden according to our fundamental laws. Some magazine illustrated ...
7
votes
2answers
358 views

Why do some women light additional shabbat candles for the past weeks they didn't light?

Some women have the custom to light an additional shabbat candle for every week which, for whatever reason, they did not have a chance to light shabbat candles in the past. For example, if a woman ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Candles in bedroom over Yom Kippur

What is the reason for the minhag to have a yartzeit-size candle lit in the bedroom over Yom Kippur? (this is unrelated to candles lit for deceased parents for Yizkor). Is it just so we have a new ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

Best practices for long-distance Nihum Aveilim and Kavod HaMeith

What are some best practices for people who learn from afar of the passing of an individual (not immediate family) and who want show their respects to the deceased and the surviving family? If they ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Why do we let the tzitzit go after saying Shema at either לָעַד or צָרֵיהֶם

In the answer to When we say "עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף" at which point do we kiss the tzitzis? we were told that it is the Chabad Minhag to kiss the tzitzit six times, at the words tzitzit, ...
4
votes
5answers
202 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
273 views

Lighting candles Motzei Shabbos

I have seen different Minhagim regarding lighting one or two candles on Motzei Shabbos. What is the source and why 1 or 2?