Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

4
votes
1answer
72 views

Honey on Hallah for Newlyweds?

A friend stumped me with this question: What is the earliest reference to the custom of having newlyweds dip their hallah in honey? My guess is that it's an extension from the custom of honey on Rosh ...
11
votes
2answers
147 views

Why kiss the tefillin by “poseach es yadecha”?

As mentioned in this question, there is a fairly widespread custom to kiss the tefillin at certain times during Shacharis, among them the parts of קריאת שמע that mention tefillin. One of these times ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Gerer Chassidishe Minhagim

For Gerer Chassidim (Polish Chassidishe Dynasty), what minhagim do they follow concerning these things: Tefillin Do they use Ashkenazi, Sephardic, or nusach Ari? Do they wind the retzuos inward or ...
3
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

“Chiyuv” to be chazan vs. congregational approval and refusal

Follow-up to this M.Y. answer about a "chiyuv" to daven from the amud. The answer states that a mourner for a parent should try to be shaliach tzibbur. I question whether this rule contradicts some ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Why only beautify two peyoth?

The explanation I have always been given for long, curled peyoth among those that have the minhag, is that it is for beautifying the misswah of peyoth. However, there are seven peyoth, only two of ...
6
votes
2answers
50 views

Why is the Pitum HaKetores said after Musaf?

The Tur (O.C. 132) quotes from Siddur Rav Amram that one should say the Parsha of Ketores every day after davening, and the Rama there writes that his custom is to do so only on Shabbos and Yom Tov. ...
10
votes
3answers
198 views

When there are four aveilim (mourners), Is it better to have one minyan of 40 people or 4 minyonim of ten each?

Today I was in a shul where there were four parallel mincha services because four mourners wanted to lead the services. I thought there was a principle of ברב עם הדרת מלך? What sources are there that ...
7
votes
0answers
145 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

Reason for various positioning of “An'im Zemirot”

I am aware of 3 different customs of when to say An'im Zemirot on Shabbat: Beginning of Shacharit, Between Bircot Hashachar and Psukei D'Zimrah After Chazarat Hashat"z of Shacharit End of Musaph ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Who organized the different trope tunes used in Ashkenazic Scripture reading?

Most Ashkenazic Scripture reading that I have heard uses a different trope tune for each of these readings: Shabbat, Yom Tov and weekday Torah reading Haftarah reading High Holiday Torah reading ...
11
votes
3answers
126 views

Origin of Unveiling

Often, the family of the deceased will have an unveiling service for the presentation of the matzevah.* What is the origin of this custom? *Source: Goldin, Hyman. Hamadrikh. Hebrew Publishing ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

May one wear a jacket or coat over a tallit gadol during shacharit?

May one wear a jacket or coat over a tallit gadol during shacharit - assuming one wears a tallit gadol daily? The reason I ask is because usually the tallit gadol is the outer most garment. I don't ...
8
votes
2answers
500 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
227 views

Source listing all Jewish wedding customs?

Is there a comprehensive source that lists all various orthodox wedding customs (mitzvah tantz, mezinkah, etc.)?
4
votes
1answer
142 views

(Tefach) Wide Gartel

Some use a very wide gartel. A friend of mine mentioned an inyan (Judaism-sourced idea) that the gartel should be wider than one tefach. Can someone source this inyan that the gartel should be (more ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Do you have more information about the Algerian Yitro feast of boys?

My father told me the Algerian Jews do a feast similar to the Tunisian's Yitro feast of boys. It happens the same day. This feast is apparently called "Molke Tsion" and is dedicated to the glory of ...
-2
votes
0answers
116 views

If making a mark on a book (folding the corner of a page) is allowed on shabbat then “writing” a bit in some memory device also is? [duplicate]

Before reading my question check for Rav. Auerbach's statements regarding electricity (elsewhere), specially the following one, found here Rabbi Auerbach says that outside the case of an ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Not using Electricity as a Minhag

This answer asserts that R' Auerbach held that not using electricity on Shabbat is a minhag. However, assuming that this ruling dates to the 1930s (which is what I have heard in the past), everyday ...
8
votes
1answer
116 views

Why is it considered respectful to capitalize G-d and its derivatives/pronouns?

I recognize that in English proper nouns are supposed to be capitalized, especially in the case where a proper noun is also a common noun (e.g. the mall vs. the Mall), but only when referring to G-d ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Being Jewish and what makes one a Jew [duplicate]

My son Aaron did a DNA test and it came back with 1% European Jewish. Does this make us Jewish? I know on my Mum's side we are spanish so could this be Sephadic Jewish and what does this mean? I have ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Rulings that Sephardim should stand to put on hand-t'filin

Rabbi Shimon Eider's book, Student Edition of Halachos of Tefillin, dates to 1985. In it (section Ⅲ D 7), he writes: Some Poskim hold that one should sit while putting on the Shel Yad ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Shofar from ibex horn?

I have the 2015 calendar from the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, and today I noticed that the September page has a picture of a shofar made from an ibex horn. The calendar dates it to ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Aesthetics and chukoseihem

In general, there is a prohibition to adopt practices from other cultures (See, e.g., Maimonides' Laws of Idolatry 11; see also here) if there is no clear, reasonable, non-idolatrous justification for ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Halacha of hair disposal

Are there any traditions or halachic restrictions regarding the proper disposal of human hair (similar to with regard to nails or human remains)? Related: According to Halacha, does one have to ...
7
votes
1answer
190 views

What customs does a divorced/widowed woman follow? (Ashkenazi/Sfardi — hers or her ex-husband's?)

When a woman gets married, she takes on her husband's customs. Thus, an Ashkenazi woman marrying a Sfardi man gets to eat rice on Pesach (and vice versa). But what happens if she gets divorced, or if ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Are you required to wear a kippah during very strong winds?

If I am walking and the wind is very strong - the kippah flies off almost as soon as I put it on and I don't have a bobby pin with me - do I have an obligation to keep putting it on and securing it ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

What are the rules about nudity of the small children?

Until what age is it permitted to see one's own daughter nude? 3? 12? What about prayers - how does one behave if during Amidah, or any other prayer or brochos, she is in front, with naked butt? Or ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Is there a practice of palming face by “shin” shape?

A friend of mine from B7 said that there's a custom to palm one's face during Kriyat Shma with shin-shaped hand. It looks like a Cohanim's hand shape, but it forms a shin-like shape. Who's custom is ...
-1
votes
2answers
62 views

Is there any shul where you have to takes off you shoes before entering the beit knesset?

Are there any particular Jewish communities where the congregants remove their shoes before entering the Beit Kneset?
2
votes
2answers
93 views

dying person reciting shema

I have read a few times about people reciting the shema before dying. what is the reason for this and does it have any basis in halacha.
-7
votes
0answers
23 views

Do Jews Worship Ezra As The Son Of G-d [duplicate]

Is There Mentioned Anywhere In The Torah Or Misnah Or Talmud That Jews Worship Ezra As The Son Of G-d
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Tu B'Shvat Seder: At night or day?

The Pri Etz Hadar, as incorporated in the Chemdas Yamim, tells us of the idea of making a Tu B'Shvat Seder. It seems that most people (such as here, here and here) assume the Seder is meant to take ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Sephardic communities that stand to put on hand-t'filin

Rabbi Shimon Eider's book, Student Edition of Halachos of Tefillin, dates to 1985. In it (section Ⅲ D 7), he writes: Some Poskim hold that one should sit while putting on the Shel Yad ...
6
votes
2answers
253 views

Tu B'shvat Seder

Where did the idea of doing a Seder on Tu b'Shvat come from? Why a Seder, not just the eating of fruit? Why do we call it a Seder if there is no formalized way of doing it?
6
votes
2answers
63 views

When was the Yad first used to read the Torah?

When was the tradition of using the yad started? How long has this practice been in use, please?
3
votes
0answers
57 views

Learning the entire night of one's 20th Birthday? [closed]

What is the source for this? Is there an inyan to do this? I'm quite new and as you can probably tell, I'm turning 20 in little under a week from now. Not sure what I should really do...
10
votes
5answers
426 views

Standing up at the Chuppa when the Kallah passes by

Last night I was at a wedding, and when I stood up as the bride was passing by on the way to the Chuppa, a fellow in all seriousness told me "It is not proper and a lack of Tzniyus to stand up for the ...
10
votes
6answers
884 views

Should I wear tefillin during Chol HaMoed?

If I don't have a known family minhag regarding this, how should I decide whether to wear tefillin during Chol HaMoed? Which communities generally follow each option, and what are the reasons behind ...
4
votes
1answer
338 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Rebbe wearing new garments during shloshim

I recently heard from a couple of Bnei Brak Wizniter chassidim that their rebbes (R' Yisroel and R' Mendel) wore new clothing for Pesach 5772, less than a month after their father passed away. How ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Shir shel Yom of Wednesday: לכו נרננה [duplicate]

Where does the custom of adding a verse from Psalm 95 to the end of the Shir shel Yom of Wednesday come from? Where is it first attested?
5
votes
0answers
48 views

What is the origin of using tombstone symbols?

I was at a cemetary today and noticed a few interesting "icons" placed on certain tombstones. Someone explained to me the following: spread-out fingers used for a Cohen, representing the position of ...
6
votes
2answers
72 views

Why are we strict during the 10 days of repentance?

The lone halacha in Shulchan Aruch O.C. 603: Even someone who is not careful about eating [pas akum], during the 10 days of repentance he must be careful. Since the S.A. didn't mention stringencies ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Why were some Jews called Yishmael? [duplicate]

Why is it that we find Jews (and even sages) by the name Yishmael? It seems rather strange that we would choose to name our children after someone who was the progenitor of a nation seen to be an ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

What's the reason for silver spoon at yichud door?

At a wedding, according to Chabad custom, a silver spoon is placed at the entrance to the yichud room. The chosson walks in first by stepping over it with his right foot first. What is the ...
4
votes
0answers
94 views

Where exactly should the amud be placed?

In some synagogues I have seen the amud (lectern) from where the chazan (prayer leader) stands to say the prayers, placed a few feet in front of the aron (cabinet) where the torah is kept or between ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Do you have to have a dead relative named Alexander to name your child Alexander?

Piggybacking on this question... I am wondering if there are any names (such as Alexander, or other names for which Jews have a special tradition to name children) that supersede the Ashkenazic ...
3
votes
1answer
93 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Is the traditional “Blessing of the Children” allowed?

There is a traditional blessing a parent/father says for his children in many communities on returning from the synagogue on the nights of the high holy days or all Friday nights, etc. The text ...