Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

4
votes
1answer
400 views

When should one cut his nails for Shabbos when Friday is Rosh Chodesh

In the answer to Rules for Cutting Nails it quotes the Mishna Berura 260:6 that one should not cut their nails on Thursday. Mishna Berura explains that by cutting them on Thursday they will begin to ...
4
votes
2answers
291 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
2answers
173 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
174 views

Why do we let the tzitzit go after saying Shema at either לָעַד or צָרֵיהֶם

In the answer to When we say "עַל צִיצִת הַכָּנָף" at which point do we kiss the tzitzis? we were told that it is the Chabad Minhag to kiss the tzitzit six times, at the words tzitzit, ...
4
votes
1answer
238 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
80 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
2answers
587 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
1answer
75 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
3answers
178 views

When to count Sefira

Why do some count the Omer before Aleinu and some after?
4
votes
3answers
326 views

Donut and its deeper significance

What is the significance for eating Donuts on Chanukah Beyond the Oil connection?
4
votes
3answers
315 views

Kitnios on Pesach

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

Do bananas make the best karpas?

For karpas at the seder, one is supposed to eat a food on which the blessing "borei pri ha'adama" is made. However, many of the most commonly used food items for karpas (e.g. parsley, raw onion, raw ...
3
votes
1answer
95 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
110 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
1answer
71 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
197 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
2answers
196 views

Are milchigs forbidden on Yom Tov? What about Shavuos?

I recently stumbled upon a page that said this: Eating Dairy Products on Shavuot Many families have a custom to eat dairy products on Shavuot. As noted above, Darkei Teshuva questions 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
76 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
1answer
275 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
90 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
2answers
155 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
2answers
282 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
173 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
0answers
67 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
2answers
388 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
875 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
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
2answers
229 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
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
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
222 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
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
2answers
283 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
3answers
186 views

Why do we step before Shemona Esrei?

Why do we take steps before the Shemona Esrei?
3
votes
1answer
142 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
2answers
207 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
2answers
597 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
208 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
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
3answers
193 views

Costumes On Purim

Why is there a Minhag to dress up in costumes on Purim?
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
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?
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Why can't we say “This meat is for Pesach”?

For the 30 days before Pesach, we are not supposed to say "this is for Pesach," but rather "this is for Yom Tov." The source indicates that the prohibition applies especially to utterances regarding ...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

Proper day and time for a Shloshim Seuda

per Chabad.Org: "Traditionally, families gather on the eve of the Shloshim to share support, recite prayers and Psalms, and to give charity in the merit of the deceased. Many will also make a Siyum, ...
2
votes
1answer
460 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

What is Ruaḥ HaShem?

When recalling someone who has passed (in a shi'ur or Devar Torah), I have heard many say "Ruaḥ HaShem teniḥenu/ah beGan 'Eden" (רוח ה' תניחנו/ה בגן עדן). 1) What is "Ruaḥ HaShem" (literally, the ...
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 ...
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
4answers
138 views

How does the phrase מנהגא מילתא היא relate to halachic Jewish life?

I have seen the phrase מנהגא מילתא היא mentioned in the halachic works of various Rishonim. Neither it's plain meaning in these works nor it's connotations in relation to the significance of custom ...