Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

4
votes
1answer
81 views

Moving nails better than burning them?

It says in the Gemara that one who buries his nails is a Tzaddik (he did what he should, to avoid a pregnant woman from stepping on them) while someone who burns his nails is a chossid (Tosfos ...
4
votes
3answers
331 views

Donut and its deeper significance

What is the significance for eating Donuts on Chanukah Beyond the Oil connection?
4
votes
2answers
623 views

No kaddish for a sister?

I have heard that some (e.g. Chabad?) have the practice not to say kaddish for one's deceased sister. Can anybody confirm this? What might be the reason for this? I had thought there is an ...
4
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
296 views

Why do Lubavitchers put on tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam from bar mitzva?

Based on this question, Shulchan Aruch (O"C 34:2-3) says that only people who are noted for their piety should put on Rabbeinu Tam tefillin. Why do Lubavitcher chasidim (and descendants of certain ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

What is the earliest source mentioning that Jews put out greenery on Shavuos?

What is the earliest source mentioning the Minhag that Jews put out greenery on Shavuos?
4
votes
2answers
166 views

Why not say tachanun until 2 Cheshvan?

It's recorded in most siddurim I've used that some people have the custom to skip tachanun on Isru Chag (the day after Sukkos), and start again the day after, while others don't resume saying it until ...
4
votes
3answers
200 views

When to count Sefira

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

Song while dressing the Torah

As we dress the Torah in my congregation and many congregations I've been to, we sing (from the siddur's liturgy on putting away the Torah): Mishlei 3:18,3:17 עֵץ חַיִּים הִיא לַמַּחֲזִיקִים ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Source for Tehillim of your age?

Does anybody know of a source for the minhag to recite daily the perek of tehillim corresponding to your age?
4
votes
3answers
316 views

Kitnios on Pesach

Why and when did the minhag start that allows Sephardim to eat Kitnios (Legumes)but not Ashkenazim?
4
votes
1answer
418 views

Woman attending shul after childbirth

There is a common custom that a woman who has given birth does not travel anywhere until she has gone to shul. What is the source of this custom, and what are its details? (I.e., it is necessary to ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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?
3
votes
0answers
97 views

Proper Bracha on Chanuka candles [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Lhadlik ner (SHEL) Chanukah What is the proper Nusach - Lehadlik Ner Shel Chanuka or LeHadlik Ner Chanuka?
3
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
236 views

What is the significance of the shtreimel?

What is the esoteric or hashkafic significance of the shtreimel? Some things I have seen but without details or sources are that it is like a crown, that the number of pelts involved have numerical ...
3
votes
2answers
215 views

Yom Tov Sheni - Seeking All Relevant Sources

There is an article on Wikipedia about Passover that gives a very non-traditional (if not anti-traditional) explanation - rather, a series of explanations - for the origin of Y"T Sheni Shel Galuyoth. ...
3
votes
2answers
413 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 u'...
3
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

How did the custom to recite Shir Hashirim after the Seder arise?

It seems from here for example, question 148 that it is a custom to recite Shir Hashirim after the Seder. It says, According to the Midrash, Shir Hashirim is an allegorical song describing ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Wishes to a mourner in addition to “Hamokom Yenachem Eschem”

I have heard some people say in Yiddish after "Hamokom Yenachem Eschem B'Soch Shaar Aveilei Tzion V'Yerushalayim" ("May God comfort you alongside the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem"), "Zulst Mer Nisht ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Conventions for derivation of Hebrew names

How is a Hebrew name chosen for a person whose legal name is English (or other vernacular)? Is the name chosen based on phonetic resemblance to one's English name, a resemblance in meaning, or mere ...
3
votes
3answers
988 views

Changing a name for a sick person

Sometimes people add a name for a sick person. Can you just change it to an entirely different name? I know of a case where they kept the first name and changed the second name - originally the name ...
3
votes
2answers
213 views

What happens at bedeken?

Wikipedia says both that the groom puts on the veil, and in a separate paragraph says he uncovers it. Which is it? Does he put it on, lift it, and then drop it again? Can he just lift it and ...
3
votes
0answers
68 views

When and why would one don sackcloth?

There are various instances in tanach of someone donning sackcloth. I would like to know whether any commentators have compiled an outline as to when and why someone would don sackcloth (is it only ...
3
votes
0answers
107 views

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

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
213 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
1answer
959 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
193 views

Costumes On Purim

Why is there a Minhag to dress up in costumes on Purim?
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Source for checking talis over shoulder

What is the source for checking one's tzitzis while the talis is over one's right shoulder: isn't the halacha just to check the knots and strings? Can't the checking be done on a table?
3
votes
1answer
475 views

Custom of standing when a tzaddik passes by

I am asking this question in light of a situation I witnessed recently: When the senior rabbi of our shul--a very righteous man who was keeping his wife's yahrzeit that night--walked past the ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

When to get an aliya for a Bar Mitzvah?

According to the new "Annotated Edition" of the Siddur Tehillas Hashem, a Bar Mitzvah bachur should get his first aliya either on Shabbos Mincha time, Monday, Thursday, or Rosh Chodesh. I assume that ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Under what circumstances can Ashkenazim rely on Sephardic poskim?

Is there any reason an Ashkenazi Jew should not hold by the psak of a Sephardi rov--or vice versa--for decisions relating to general matters (not ostensibly to do with particular minhagim)? If so, ...
3
votes
2answers
284 views

The number of Challot on Shabbat and salt

If my understanding is correct we use two Challot on Shabbat to represent the two portions of mana the Jews received in the desert of Friday to prevent them from having to collect on Shabbat. We use ...
3
votes
2answers
295 views

Different customs for Ashkenazic and Sephardic weddings

What are the major differences that one would notice between a Sephardic and an Ashkenazic wedding?
3
votes
1answer
77 views

minhag means law? when in shulchan aruch

When the Ramo writes and "so is the custom (vchain nohagin)" do we understand that to mean that this is his ruling regarding the law or that he is not giving his opinion about the law but is just ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Who observes Yom Kippur Katan, and how?

Which groups of Jews observe the monthly holiday known as "Yom Kippur Katan," in which one dedicates the day before Rosh Chodesh to repentance, often including fasting and selichot? In what ways do ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

Urchatz - does everyone wash?

I have heard different Minhagim regarding washing at Urchatz. It seems that in some families everyone washes and in others only the Baal HaBayis. Does anyone have sources as to the different Minhagim ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

language of betrothal at wedding

Traditionally, before a husband betroths his wife he says, "Harei at mekudeshet li btabaat zo kdat moshe vyisrael." Is this language necessary in halacha or standardized by tradition (minhag)? If not ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

פ in German Sta"M Script

Does anyone know the German custom for the letter pey in Sta"m sofer? I know that the shape in Litvisch Bet Yosef is influenced by the Mekubalim of Tzfat (The Ari in particular) who said that the ...
3
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Munkaczer Tallis

I have been told by Chassidei Chabad that prior to their current pattern, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe wore a munkaczer tallis. What does this tallis look like?
3
votes
3answers
187 views

Why do we step before Shemona Esrei?

Why do we take steps before the Shemona Esrei?
3
votes
2answers
613 views

Why is the atara on a tallis always the same design?

Maybe a frivolous question, but I am intrigued as to why the atara (the strip of cloth denoting where the tallis should rest on your shoulders) on every standard tallis (other than the fancy ones with ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

Which way does one turn first when saying the Oseh Shalom Bimromav?

Must one bow to the left first, then bow to the right...or can one bow to the right first, then to the left when saying the Oseh Shalom Bimromav? Also, is there a difference regarding the direction ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
269 views

White (Lavan) & Blue (Tcheiles) - blue Tzitzis [duplicate]

There are some people that wear Tcheiles - blue Tzitzis. What is the reason that the majority of Klal Yisroel still does not wear it if the Tcheilas has been rediscovered?
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Why Psalm 130 for Aseres Yemei Teshuva?

I've seen the custom quoted in many siddurim to recite Psalm 130 (שיר המעלות ממעמקים), with the Ark open, between ישתבח and ברכו during עשרת ימי תשובה. Why this Psalm? What special relevance does it ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

What is rationale behind banging on table during bentching?

There is one family that I occasionally eat with that has a minhag of banging on the table during Birkat ha-Mazon. I was wondering what reasons lay behind this custom. I do not know if this is ...
2
votes
1answer
554 views

Source for the Mitzvah Tanz

At a Chassidishe Wedding, there is a special dance done, known as the Mitzvah Tanz. Where is the source for this dance and what is the meaning behind it? Also, why is it not done at Litvish Weddings? ...