Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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3
votes
1answer
910 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
14 views
4
votes
2answers
196 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
377 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
377 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
369 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
163 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
57 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
388 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
2k 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
45 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
3k views

Where do the different traditions for hours of waiting between meat and milk come from?

As far as I can tell, there are 5 different traditions for how long one has to wait between eating meat and milk: wait 6 full hours wait into the 6th hour (thus, 5 hours and 5 minutes would ...
1
vote
1answer
369 views

Why is the Paroches inside the Aron Kodesh in Ponevezh Yeshiva

This is a picture of the Aron Kodesh in Ponevezh. I have heard from a former Talmid of Ponevezh that the Paroches is inside the Aron. Does anyone have a source/reason for why the minhag in Ponevezh ...
6
votes
4answers
493 views

Kissing Tzitzis during Shema

There are those that kiss their Tzitzis during Shema at Shacharis as per Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 17:7 and the Kaf HaChaim 18 and there are those that do not. What is the source and reason for those that ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

What's the reason behind having an additional atara on the middle of the talis gadol?

Here an example of the Belz Rebbe talis with an additional atara in the middle Any sources on this custom ?
1
vote
3answers
203 views

Why isn't it considered idol worship to give respect to the torah?

When the Sefer Torah is brought out of the ark, everyone stands up and kisses it. On occasions such as simchat torah and hoshana rabbah people dance around the Torah. To an outsider these actions can ...
2
votes
6answers
470 views

Yotzros and Musaf for the 4 Parshios

Are there any Nusach Ashkenaz Shuls that say Yotzros or Musaf on the weeks of the Four Parshios?
7
votes
1answer
119 views

Moving Sefer Torah with Tallis (source?)

Often times, when someone will move a Sefer Torah from one place to another, on top of what the Sefer Torah is already normally covered with, he will put an additional covering of a Tallis-Gadol. ...
12
votes
5answers
1k 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?
4
votes
1answer
340 views

What do Teimanim do with regards to modern questions?

It's known that Teimanim follow the opinion of the Rambam exclusively. What do they (or even more so Rambamists) do when there are questions not discussed at all by the Rambam? For example, Do ...
6
votes
4answers
271 views

Cutting Challah on Shabbos

Is there a source for why many people (Ashkenazim) use a knife to pre-mark the challah where they will cut it before making the bracha on Shabbos?
5
votes
1answer
84 views

Kissing Back of Hand

Is there a source for Sephardim and Chassidim that kiss the hand of their Rabbi, a Torah scholar or even their father upon meeting them?
7
votes
1answer
49 views

Yartzeit candle - light before mincha or after maariv?

On a yartzeit (anniversary of death on Hebrew calendar) for a deceased family member, if one plans to both light a yartzeit candle in one's home and attend shul to say kaddish, is there a preference ...
8
votes
3answers
251 views

Which Tachanun should I say when davening in a minyan with a different Nusach?

I daven Nusach Ashkenaz but I often daven mincha in minyanim with a different nuasach. Should I say my ashekanzi tachanun or is there a minhag ha'mokom? Moreover I have noticed sefardim davening their ...
5
votes
2answers
63 views

Why do Sefaradim skip “Uva LeTziyon” in the house of a mourner?

This morning I prayed with a Sefaradi minyan in which were a few mourners. After Hazarat HaSha"Tz, they skipped Tahhanun and Uva LeTziyon. I can imagine a justification for skipping Tahhanun; but, ...
7
votes
1answer
138 views

Simchas torah and drinking

I have seen that is prohibited to daven while drunk (Drinking during davening). How does chabad justify so much drinking on simchas torah while davening? I have seen shul sanctioned drinking to the ...
9
votes
1answer
326 views

Is one allowed to become a Talmid HaRambam?

There is a movement of people (including several MiYodeya users I've seen) who believe in following the teachings of the Rambam exclusively, basing their practical halachot off the Mishneh Torah, ...
7
votes
3answers
241 views

Is it permitted to have a boy under barmitzvah age sing Anim Zemiros?

Is it permitted to have a boy under barmitzvah age sing the Shir Hakavod (or Anim Zemiros)? Why is it not like any other part of davenning where we use someone over barmitzvah?
4
votes
0answers
46 views

How is strict doctrine motivated as being the product of God's will? [duplicate]

I'm not Jewish by any interpretation of the term, but curiosity frequently leads me to click on Stackexchange's Hot Network Questions. Questions on judaism.stackexchange.com often stand out because of ...
4
votes
1answer
301 views

What defines “hard cheese” [duplicate]

I grew up with the minhag that after "hard cheese", one must wait for 15 minutes before one may eat meat. However, the question often arises as to what qualifies as such in terms of halacha and ...
3
votes
2answers
284 views

Different customs for Ashkenazic and Sephardic weddings

What are the major differences that one would notice between a Sephardic and an Ashkenazic wedding?
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Significance to the number of stripes on a tallis?

For Orthodox Ashkenazim, the most prevalent custom is to wear a tallis gadol with black stripes. In my area, I've noticed that the vast majority (of non-Chabadniks) wear tallesim with five thick black ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Blessings on Birthdays

There is apparently a practice among contemporary Jews of giving out blessings on one's birthday. Is there any source for this in the Jewish tradition?
5
votes
2answers
118 views

Koishele on Lulav

Is there any significance, halachic or otherwise, to the holder (or koishele) for the hadassim and aravot on the lulav? Who is the earliest source to describe it? Who (other than Chabad) doesn't use ...
6
votes
1answer
159 views

smelling the extinguished havdalah candle

At Havdalah, I've seen a number of individuals smell the smoke from the extinguished Havdalah candle, sometimes reciting the posuk "Zichru Torah Moshe avdi" as they do so. Curious if anyone can verify ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

“B'rachamav yaaseh shalom” - origin?

In the Kaddish d'Rabanan there is a change in the text of the Oseh Shalom. In addition to Kaddish Shalem/Yatom, there is an additional word ("b'rachamav") in the text. I asked someone who told me it's ...
5
votes
4answers
293 views

Did Jewish Men Always Have Beards Throughout History

When did Jews start keeping their beards? Did Moshe's generation have beards? What is the historical development behind this phenomenon?
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Right side or left side of the mechitzah

Within the Orthodox tradition, is there a minhag for the correct side of the mechitzah men and women should sit? Right side of the mechitzah for men, left for women; or left side of the mechitzah for ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

Candles by the amud [duplicate]

Why do people light candles in shul by the amud during davening? Is the custom specific to certain groups?
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Shadchanus in a broken engagement [duplicate]

Reuvain & Dina get engaged and give the Shadchan, Shadchanus money. A few weeks later they break up. Does the Shadchan have to return this Shadchanus money? Suppose they never gave Shadchanus ...
7
votes
2answers
232 views

Why does a siyum exempt one from taanit bechorot?

The custom in many communities I have been to is for there to be a siyum on a mesechta on the day of taanit bechorot. All first borns who would otherwise have to fast attend the siyum and are thus ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

When do we append “ימח שמו וזכרו” to the name of an evil person

When is the phrase 'ימח שמו וזכרו' ('may his name and memory be erased') appended to the name of an evil person? Is it a stylistic and subjective matter of choice or are there specific criteria to ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

Prishus in Jewish Marriage

I know that there is a concept of prishus (going beyond the letter of the law, and abstaining from things that are really allowed) within Jewish marriage, but what exactly does this constitute, and ...