Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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7
votes
2answers
120 views

Half Aleinu outside a shul

Has anyone heard of the minhag to say Aleinu only until "Al ken Nekave Lach" (only the 1st paragraph) if one is not praying in a synagogue? I've been told a number of times about this practice in ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Chevra Kaddisha string locations

I recently did a tahara and I was curious about where a lot of the practices came from and what the meaning behind them is. One thing we did was we tied strings around various locations of the ...
-5
votes
1answer
85 views

Can a woman be part of the decision regarding a shul's minhag?

There are a few areas in davening where each shul has it's own minhag (custom). For example, whether to say Hallel the 1st two nights of Pesach, in shul. Some shuls have a ritual "committee" that ...
7
votes
1answer
74 views

Are there any communities in which the oleh still leins his own aliyah?

It used to be that when someone got an aliyah, they would read their own Torah portion, and not have it read for them by the ba'al kriyah. This practice seems to have fallen by the wayside, as every ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Chevra Kadisha knots

I recently did a tahara and I was curious about where a lot of the practices came from and what the meaning behind them is. One thing we did was that when we tied any knots, we twist-wrapped the two ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Can fiances take on each other's customs before marriage?

Can two people who are engaged take on each other's customs before marriage? At what point in the marriage process do they take on each other's customs?
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Singing shoshanas yaakov on Pesach

I have seen that some sing Shoshanas Yaakov on Pesach to commemorate the death of Haman. Can someone please direct me to an authoritative source for this custom? See references to it here: ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

How should one respond after each plague is named during the seder?

In the Haggadah, the Ten Plagues are recited, and a drop of wine is spilled for each one. However, in the Tunisian tradition (and maybe others), after the reader chants each plague, the others ...
4
votes
0answers
91 views

Custom of singing Aishes Chayil before kiddush

It seems that not everyone [always] sang/sings Aishes Chayil with Sholom Aleichem at the Friday night Shabbos table. When and how did the custom of singing Aishes Chayil at the table begin? Who ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

“Roasted on fire” does not equal “oven roast”. Why no “oven roast” for Seder? [duplicate]

This is a follow up to this question. The answer there explains that ther was confusion / concern about roast. The verse regarding the Pesach lamb says: Exodus 12:9: כִּ֣י אִם־צְלִי־אֵ֔שׁ but ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the earliest source/discussion on green beans being “kitniyot” (prohibited legumes) on Passover?

My understanding is that most Ashkenazic communities today don't eat green beans on Passover, treating them as kitniyot (a bunch of legumes for which the custom arose to avoid on Passover). What's the ...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Examples of considerations when bringing gifts to religious Jews

I am interested in examples of things one might into account when buying gifts for religious Jews of various stripes. I always have trouble buying gifts myself because I am worried that something I ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

May a non Ethiopian Jew celebrate Sigd?

Ethiopian Jews recently celebrated their festival of Sigd, which involves reaccaptence of the Torah, communal fasting and feasting, and prayers. Is it acceptable for someone of a Minhag other than ...
18
votes
4answers
396 views

תהלת ה' ידבר פי - what's the origin?

In between the 'Shir HaMaalot' that precedes birchat hamazon and the the blessings themselves, there are a few psukim beginning תהלת ה' ידבר פי . Some people add these, and some don't. What's the ...
5
votes
1answer
82 views

3 kugels for 3 sifrei Torah?

When I was younger (yes, that did happen to me - ONCE :-) the Rav from the shul I attended would include a suggestion whenever there was a Shabbat where we use 3 Sifrei Torah, such as will occur this ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Corn as kitniot

Traditionally, most if not all observant Ashkenazim refrain from eating corn and corn-products on Passover because of their traditional prohibition on eating kitniyot (legumes) for fear of eating ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

When did the custom start to fast Tannis Esther on 13th Addar?

This question is not a duplicate of Tannis Esther reason because it is not a question of the reason just about the time. In Megilat Taanit it is mentioned that people should not fast on the day ...
2
votes
0answers
134 views

What is the source for the custom of kissing one's hand after shaking another's?

There is a common custom in Israel (mostly in Sfardic communities) that after you shake someone's hand, you kiss your hand. Generally people kiss their thumb or first two fingers, in my experience. ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

When did the custom of silver candlesticks for Shabbat start?

I heard that it is a custom to give a bride candlesticks. Is this true? when did this start? Who has the obligation to do this? and more info on the subject with sources please. Is this true that it ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What are the most auspicious times of the Jewish year for contributing money?

What dates/months/seasons (or holidays) are considered most auspicious and/or customary for giving monetary gifts, such as tzedakah? I am aware from my own experience that Purim and erev Yom Kippur ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Attempting to stand for the kedusho in the blessings before the shema at Shacharis

In the section starting "יוצר אור" at Shacharis, there is a kedusho. When it is said, most people are sitting. I have seen some people who raise themselves slightly as if to get out of their seats for ...
6
votes
2answers
254 views

Why a Beitzah on the Seder Plate?

Why do we use a roasted (maybe?) egg on the Seder Plate to represent the Festival offering?
2
votes
4answers
502 views

Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil

Who wrote Shalom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil? Is it minhag Yisrael?
0
votes
0answers
106 views

Full Niddah separation after be'ilat mitzvah?

I was looking at Sefer HaRaavyah with regard to a couple of subjects pre-Pesah. As I was paging through, I saw that he seems to be poseq that the halakhah regarding be'ilah rishonah (the initial act ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Why has it not become customary for people to wish each other “Good Yontiff” on Purim?

I can't recall people wishing each other "Gut Yuntiff" (or similar, like "Good Yom Tov") or any reference to Yom Tov on Purim. (Maybe someone does, but I'm unaware of this.) Why don't people do this ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

What is the origin of the minhag to recite psukim having 3 words?

A few weeks ago, I saw in a Siddur (I wish I could recall which one. It's not one of the "popular brands") a section at the end of Shacharit saying that there is a minhag to recite verses from the ...
12
votes
3answers
268 views

Why omit “Av harachamim” for the four parashiyos?

"Av harachamim" is a prayer asking God to recall those who died al kidush hashem. It was written in response to the First Crusade (and is thus said only in the Ashk'nazi rite). Because of its somber ...
6
votes
4answers
748 views

Kiddush cup handoff

Why do some Jews (Sephardic, Hasidic, et al.) place the kiddush cup into the hands of another?
7
votes
1answer
440 views

Tallit with Wool Atara

The only tallit I know of that has an all wool atara is the Beit Yosef Tallit, which is marketed for Sephardim. Is there a specific source for this or is it simply being machmir to wear an all-wool ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

To wear tsisit (worn under shirts),

To wear tsisit (worn under shirts), Is it halacha, custom, minhag. do we have to wear them?
10
votes
2answers
570 views

How does Hagbah work on a Sephardic Torah case?

How does one do Hagbah on a Torah in a Sephardic Torah case, such as one of these silver cases (picture courtesy of Hadad Brothers) : See also the Ashkenazi version of this question.
1
vote
0answers
40 views

Jewish mourning practices - candle cup of water salt for seven days after burial

I am looking for more information regarding the following custom or minhag excerpt: "It was customary to keep a candle burning in the death chamber during the week after burial; one report has it ...
3
votes
1answer
877 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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?
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Why do people put wine in their pockets at havdalah? [duplicate]

This is a minhag that many people observe at havdalah but I don't know the source or why people do it.
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Why does the leader wear a talis on the first night of s'lichos in a Chabad synagogue?

In Chabad-Lubavitch synagogues, it is customary that anyone who would not wear a talis normally does not do so just because he's leading/representing the congregation. The only exception of which I'm ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views
4
votes
2answers
193 views

What is the source for singing zemirot on Shabbat?

Who and when did the custom of singing zemirot at the Shabbat table, and what was the basis (halacha, verse, etc.) for instituting it? What was the 1st zemirah?
2
votes
3answers
363 views

Sephardi (Spanish-Portuguese) Minhagim

Is there any resource which details the minhagim of so-called Spanish-Portuguese Jews (the original Sephardim)? Knowing what little I know of their havarah, as well as their relative closeness to the ...
24
votes
5answers
372 views

Glasses and Shema

The Shulhan Aruch records the custom of placing one's hand over his eyes in Shema in order to increase concentration. What about someone who wears glasses? Must he move them or remove them?
9
votes
3answers
368 views

Is one allowed to make Kneidlach when the last day of Pesach is Shabbos?

According to those who eat Gebrotz only on the last day of Pesach, is one allowed to make Mazta balls when the last day of Pesach is Shabbos? On a normal year, one can cook and eat Gebrotz on the ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

May a Jewish actor remove his kippah in order to play a non-Jewish character?

Pretty self explanatory really. Yarmulka or kippah is a minhag that we have to cover our heads. May Jewish actors remove their head covering for the purposes of their jobs?
5
votes
0answers
52 views

A father Changing a minhag - any impact on a grown child?

I was reading some questions about changing minhagim and I began to wonder -- if I took on my father's minhagim when I grew, and then, later, he changed a minhag because he learned something new, or ...
10
votes
2answers
284 views

May I rely on the halachik leniency of others?

If "Reuven" believes the halacha to be one way and "Shimon" believes it to be more lenient may Reuven rely on Shimon to do something for him based on this leniency? Here is a 100% fictional ...
3
votes
1answer
176 views

Earliest source for dipping apple in honey on Rosh Hashana

What is the earliest source for the custom of dipping an apple in honey on Rosh Hashana? (It is found in the Tur (Siman 683), the Abudraham (quoted by the Rama there) - believed to be a student of ...
2
votes
1answer
386 views

Who is this (Haredi) Rabbi?

Who is this Rabbi? This is a still taken from the beginning of a documentary on Haredi jews in Jerusalem: The Anti-zionist Jews of Jerusalem I am curious to learn who this Rabbi is, why he is ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the reason of using Yad in reading Torah?

I heard from a Bengali writing - just a single line that - Jews fear their God that much that they even fear to touch the God's word. Then I searched and found that Jews use Yad when they read Torah. ...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Source for reciting all of T'hilim (Psalms)

There is a contemporary practice of splitting up Sefer T'hilim for on-the-spot recitation of the entire book by a room (real or virtual) full of people. What is the earliest documented source for this ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

Origin of Reciting Psalms

What is the origin of reciting Tehillim as a form of prayer? More specifically, of reciting even passages of Tehillim which do not contain requests for the issue one is facing but rather of praise of ...
6
votes
1answer
55 views

Tu B'Shvat - Rosh HaShana L'Ilon / Shavuos - Yom Din L'Peiros

On Tu B'Shvat, which is Rosh Hashana L'Ilon, the new year for trees (Rosh Hashana 2a) – there is a custom to eat fruits of the tree. On Shavuos, which is Yom Din, judgment day, for fruits of the tree ...