Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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12
votes
5answers
673 views

Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
1
vote
0answers
337 views

Additional names for refuah shlema

When praying for someone's refuah shlema (fully recovered health), is it halakhically required to use their additional names on top of their first names? Is it simply custom? If someone is named ...
7
votes
5answers
225 views

Why do we say Vhu Rachum before Maariv?

Before Maariv, we say the pasuk "Vhu rachum yichaper avon..." (Psalms 78:38). Why?
3
votes
2answers
184 views

When did upsherins become part of standard American Orthodox practice?

According to Rav Wikipedia, the upsherin is a custom that was brought from Muslims to Palestinian Jews to Tzfat Sephardim to Chasidim. Recently, I've noticed mainstream (non-charedi) Orthodox Jews ...
-2
votes
1answer
153 views

What allowed Jews to change the way they pronounced words?

The way we pronounce words has changed over many years and we now have many different customs. Many of the changes derive from Jews moving to different geographic locations and adopting similar ...
8
votes
3answers
354 views

Saying VaYhi Erev VaYehi Voker before Kiddush Friday night

The Minhag that many people have is to start Kiddush Friday night with VaYehi Erev VaYehi Voker before saying Yom HaShishi. I heard that HaRav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal did not say VaYehi Erev VaYehi ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Spilling wine for Detzach, Adash, Be'Achav

I understand that we spill wine for the plagues. People died, they went through hardship, and it was not their fault. But.... immediately after spilling wine for the plagues, we say that R' ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Where does the minhag of holding a pinky up to the Torah come from? [duplicate]

Where does the minhag to hold a pinky up to the Torah during hagbah come from? And in the same vein (or perhaps not) where does the minhag to dip your pinky into your cup on Pesach to remove wine come ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Is there an inyan to eat Cheesecake on Shavuos?

I know everybody does it, and I know there is an inyan to eat dairy, but is there an inyan specifically for eating cheesecake on Shavuos? And if so, where does it come from?
4
votes
1answer
296 views

Blowing shofar at a wedding

Friends of mine are getting married this Sunday and asked me if I would blow shofar at the chuppah. I have been ba'al toke'a probably 2/3 of the years since my bar mitzvah (2002) in three different ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Can I cut my toenails consecutively? [duplicate]

Should I be careful about this issue or there is no rule regarding this?
2
votes
1answer
76 views

chassan/kallah signing the kesubah or tenaaim

I have seen bridegrooms and brides sign their names on their kesuba or tenaaim (prenup) before the chuppah (wedding ceremony). It seems maybe to be a chassidish custom, though I'm not sure. Is there ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Not making a wedding on the first 3 days of a month

I've heard there is a custom (practiced in various kehillas, I heard Belz is one of them) to not make a wedding on the first 3 days of a month (meaning alef, beis, or gimmel of a particular month.) ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Which passages comprise the classic Tikkun Leil Shavuot?

As we count down to Shavuot, I find myself wondering: [First, some background for those who don't know what a Tikkun Leil Shavuot is] According to tradition, we overslept the morning of Matan Torah ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

What are the parameters of 'minhag yisrael'?

I went to a non-Jewish self-catering apartment and I was discussing with my friend whether we can use the utensils or not. Of course, if they are clean and used for cold there are no problems. We ...
13
votes
4answers
421 views

Why do we eat Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos?

Why do we have a Minhag to eat Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos?
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Why do children wear crowns on Shavuot?

Here in Israel, the tradition is for young children to wear flower crowns to celebrate Shavuot. (Along with the obligatory white shirts.) See my twins: Why is this? Is it related to Shabbat 88A ?? ...
2
votes
2answers
432 views

End of Davening - Al Tira MiPachad Pisom

It seems like (other than Chabad) most people do not say Al Tira at the end of davening - they finish with the end of Aleinu/V'Al Kein. Is this an error or is this intentional? If it is intentional ...
5
votes
3answers
145 views

When to count Sefira

Why do some count the Omer before Aleinu and some after?
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Aleinu L'Shabeach - Nusach HaTefila

The words "Sheheim Mishtachavim Li-Hevel Voryk Umispallelim El Eil Lo-Yoshiya" - Was this originally part of Aleinu and then removed, or was it added later to Aleinu? Why was this done?
5
votes
4answers
223 views

When do we say “Alenu L'shabe'ach”?

What are all the times when we say the t'fila beginning with the words "עלינו לשבח" commonly known as "Alenu"?
4
votes
1answer
112 views

What is the source for a Bar Mitzva seuda?

What sources are there for our minhag of doing a Bar Mitzva Seuda (meal), and do the sources state that the seuda must specifically be done on the day of the Bar Mitzva (or the night of)? And is this ...
11
votes
2answers
433 views

May one walk under the Arch of Titus?

I have heard that it is prohibited (or at least that the custom is not) to walk under the Arch of Titus in Rome. Is this accurate? If so, what is the source? Would it make a difference if a large ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

When the first of the 3 days of hagbalah is Sunday, are haircuts permitted the Friday before?

When lag b’omer fell on a Sunday, it was permitted to take a haircut on the Friday before for the honour of Shabbos. This year the first day of the three days of hagbalah also falls on Sunday and ...
6
votes
3answers
291 views

Misreading a k'suva

The k'suva text varies slightly depending on whether the bride is a virgin, independent of whether she has been married previously. (For one thing, the amount of money mentioned in it is different; ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Is there a custom that the person who makes the siyum on the fast of the first-born should be a bechor?

I have notcied that at my shul, whoever gives the siyum on the fast of the first-born each year before Pesach is always a first-born himself. Is this a generally practiced custom? I cannot imagine a ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

When does the cantillation for Ester and other books change?

Sometimes people read some verses in Ester and other books in a different cantillation. For example, in Ester, some read the verse of "אשר הגלה מירושלים" to the tune of Eichah, and the Mishnah Brurah ...
4
votes
1answer
248 views

Where does it say that one must wear two layers on their head(one of the reasons for the black hat)?

I know that a reason for wearing a black hat is because one must wear two layers covering their head (Mishna Brurah 91:5) but am wondering if that Din is based in Kabbalah?
1
vote
0answers
144 views

When did the Kanievsky family switch from Chasidic to Litvish?

R' Chaim Kanievsky shlita davens Ashkenaz and wears Ashkenazi tefilin. His grandfather z'l was a Chernobyler chasid. It's not clear to me how the Steipler Gaon ztz'l conducted himself with regards ...
4
votes
3answers
681 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
103 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
141 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
320 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?
15
votes
4answers
200 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
307 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
580 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
188 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
72 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
601 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
265 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
102 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
100 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
58 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
174 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
75 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
288 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
129 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
204 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
253 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 ...