Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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2
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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
106 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 ...
0
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0answers
59 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? ...
4
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2answers
104 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? ...
1
vote
1answer
181 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 ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Why is it customary for Jews to grow beards?

What is the reason for growing one's beard? Many rabbis have beards. Why?
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0answers
77 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 ...
6
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4answers
270 views

Is a convert free to choose his own minhagim?

Back when Jews lived in the same communities for generations, they were obligated to follow the minhagim (customs) of their community. The classic example is that East European Jews held that one ...
3
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2answers
169 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
394 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
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0answers
367 views

What is the proper greeting for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day)?

Here in Israel, there are many customs surrounding Yom HaShoah; the morning siren, ceremonies, storytelling from survivors, etc. However, I'm not sure I've ever heard a way to greet someone that ...
2
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2answers
110 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 ...
8
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1answer
81 views

Are there any minhag and customs specific to Czech Jews and have they been documented?

I'm a baal teshuva with Czech Jewish ancestry. I have an interest in the minhag of my ancestors as well as in common cultural practices, and perhaps pass them on where I can. Have they been documented ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

Kohen removing watch and cufflinks before performing the Priestly Blessing

My late father told me to take off my watch and cufflinks before going up to perform the Priestly Blessing. I did not ask him why. Two possible reasons suggest themselves: To avoid diverting the ...
5
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3answers
262 views

Do sefirah mourning restrictions occur on Isru Chag?

Many North African Jews celebrate the day after Pesach (which is Isru Chag) with the festive Mimouna. Does such a party atmosphere conflict with the customs of mourning during sefirat haomer? Could ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

Sephardim and Two Sifrei Torah

On a day when we take out 2 Sifrei Torah do the Sephardim put both on the bima and open one and read from it leaving the other closed? Or do they put only one on the bima and leave the other in a ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Bracha on Hallal Chol HaMoed Pesach (in regards to Sephardim)

I know that according to the psak of the Shulchan Aruch the Sephardim (among others -- The Gra, many Kehillas in Yerushalayim including Chassidei Karlin, Chassidei Biyan I think, and Chassidei Chabad ...
3
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1answer
81 views

What were the original kitniyos?

I know many people (chiefly S'faradim) don't have the custom altogether of refraining from eating kitniyos on Pesach. Among those who do have such a custom, moreover, there are varying customs as to ...
5
votes
2answers
484 views

Drinking Water after Eating Fish

Is anyone familiar with the practice of not drinking water after eating fish? I know that something has to be used to clean your mouth before eating meat, but somehow I got the idea in my head that ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

paskening in front of Rebbi who is your father inlaw

It is assur to pasken (rule on a halachic matter) in front of one's Rebbe (Eiruvin 63). If one's father-in-law is his Rebbe and his wife asks him (her husband) a halachic question in front of her ...
4
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0answers
36 views

Shir Hama'alos in “Barech”?

Among the many hagada versions in use at the seder I attended this year, some of them included Shir Hama'alos before birkas hamazon in the "Barech" section and others did not. Is there any reason to ...
2
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0answers
53 views

What to do with Elijah's leftover wine? [duplicate]

Appears his thirst was quenched by the time he got here. Can I assume he just took a sip and the rest can be shared among the guests? Is it better to wait until everyone is gone so they don't see me ...
2
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0answers
87 views

Who should observe Isru Chag?

I have been trying to understand Isru Chag. While there is a source in tehillim for the words and the gemara derives a notion of extra celebration, there seems to be little about the scope of the day. ...
0
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2answers
192 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?
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0answers
24 views

Kitniyot for gerim? [duplicate]

How does a ger decide whether to follow Ashkenazic or Sephardic minhagim? In particular, can a ger eat kitniyot during Pesach?
3
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1answer
99 views

Egg matzah in early Nisan

This shabbos, my LOR announced that the shul was done being kashered for Pesach, and so kiddush would be pesadich. To fulfill the need for mezonot, he had brought in egg matzah, saying that egg matzah ...
8
votes
1answer
318 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 ...
3
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2answers
464 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
2answers
284 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

What constitutes roasting with regard to Minhagim?

Roasting in Halachah generally refers to dry heat, such as broiling and barbequing. But with respect to Minhagim, such as not eating roasted meat (or poultry) at the Seder, do we follow the same ...
4
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2answers
153 views

Is there a custom not to eat roasted chicken at the Seder?

Does the custom to refrain from eating roasted meat at the Seder extend to chicken, turkey, and any other fowl one might serve roasted?
2
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2answers
83 views

Source for starting one limmud after finishing another

What is the source for starting a new limmud (learning) immediately after finishing the previous one? For example After finishing one mesechta I have seen people immediately start the next one, even ...
0
votes
3answers
147 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 ...
5
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0answers
109 views

Are there any ancient Jewish dances?

From what I've seen most (orthodox) Jewish dancing consists of people running or walking in a circle, sometimes with exciting variations such as foot stomping. Are there any records of ancient ...
4
votes
1answer
41 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 ...
2
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0answers
92 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 ...
11
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2answers
188 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
332 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
199 views

Can sefardim eat lafa before Pesach?

There is a custom(?) to abstain from eating matza 30 days before Passover so that the taste will be new. There are some sects of sefardic or teimani Jews who eat a type of matzah that is more akin to ...
-2
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
647 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). ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Who wears a talis on leil Shabbos?

Rabbi Chanina would don his talis gadol on erev Shabbos (Mas. Shabbos 25b, Rambam Hilchos Shabbos 30:2). While this has been practiced by individuals, is it today the practice of any particular ...
3
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0answers
156 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 ...
2
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3answers
196 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
190 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

What's the connection between Tu B'Shevat and (Bukser) carob?

Tu B'Shevat many people eat many different types of fruit. Growing up and continuing until today there seems to be a Minhag to specifically eat (bukser) carob. Is there some sort of special connection ...
0
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1answer
596 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?
7
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1answer
164 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?
3
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1answer
354 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) ...