Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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3
votes
3answers
263 views

Kissing a Sefer Torah as it passes

Some people in shul mark it as a sign of respect, as the Torah makes its way to/from the Aron Kodesh, to kiss it, and rush to get as close as possible. Others, given the cold season, think that this ...
5
votes
3answers
278 views

Standing for whole of Lecha Dodi

Certain families in my shul have the minhag to stand for the entire Lecha Dodi. I asked them why, but they do not know the source of the minhag. Does anyone know what the source of this minhag is?
2
votes
2answers
44 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

Which takes precedence - dina d'malchuta or halacha? What about minhag yisrael?

A more practical ramification of Is a ban on government workers wearing religious symbols a gezeirat hamalchut for which one would be obligated to give up his life? If the law of the land (dina ...
7
votes
2answers
89 views

Lifting Torah during Bracha When Called for an Aliyah

I have noticed that while making the Bracha for an aliyah, many people lift the Torah when Hashem's name is recited. Is there a source for this?
2
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
590 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 - ...
15
votes
4answers
629 views

Shape of the Luchot

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HabBerit were square. Where did the common "tablet" shape come from, with rectangles and a rounded top? Besides in pictures, I see it in ...
0
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0answers
29 views

Is there a cross-group council or meeting? [closed]

Does there exist some sort of inter-group meeting or council, i.e. Litvish, Chassidic, Sephardic, Temani, inter-group meeting or council where they all communicate with each other about various ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Staying up all night and suffering on Yom Tov

The Maharal in his commentary on the Haggada (Gevurot Hashem) explains the significance that the Tannaim were relating the story of the Exodus until they were informed by a student that it was time ...
7
votes
5answers
281 views

Why do we say Vhu Rachum before Maariv?

Before Maariv, we say the pasuk "Vhu rachum yichaper avon..." (Psalms 78:38). Why?
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Ashkenazi Haftarah Custom

On Wikipedia, there is a list of haftarot. For Ashkenazim, the list gives four customs: Ashkenazi, Polish, Frankfurt, and Chabad. Considering that Polish and Frankfurt sum up the major non-chassidic ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Differences during Omer for Sepharadic and Ashkenazi customs

What are the main differences (besides the wording of the Omer-counting itself) between the Sepharadic and Ashkenazi customs during Omer?
3
votes
1answer
224 views

Why do children wear crowns on Shavuot?

Here in Israel, the tradition is for young children to wear flower crowns to celebrate Shavuot. (Along with the obligatory white shirts.) See my twins: Why is this? Is it related to Shabbat 88A ?? ...
7
votes
0answers
143 views

Halachic Justifications for the Amshinover Rebbe

The current Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem is known in the Jewish world as a man of great piety and for his great knowledge in Torah. He is also known to keep very different "Zmanim"- ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Chasan cigarettes - source & reason

Years ago it was a popular custom that a Chasan would give out cigarettes to his friends. Nowadays some still do so, however as smoking has become less popular so has this Minhag. What is the source ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Why is the term שליט“א more commonly used for a rav than the term נ”י?

As a follow up to this answer to a M.Y. question, why is שליט"א more commonly used after a notable Rav's name than the term נירו יאיר (or נ"י, as an abbreviation)? A wise person, such as a rav is ...
0
votes
0answers
7 views

About candle lighting [duplicate]

What is the meaning of the minhag of lighting a candle for leiluy nishmat or refuah shleima? Today for example we light a candle for rabbi shimon
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Do any Chassidic groups take haircuts on or after Lag Baomer?

It seems to me from the outside that Chassidic groups differ in the ways in which they apply customs of the Arizal. Some of these differences arise because Chassidim follow their Rebbes more than ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Questions about origin and custom of making twisted Shabbat challot? [duplicate]

I know that there are various customs for shaping challot during the year. For most Shabatot during the year, I have seen twisted challot. (I am a "Good 'Ol American Ashkenazi bochur"; I don't know ...
9
votes
2answers
292 views

Not to give a divorce (Get) in the month of Iyar

I heard today in Shul that there is a Minhag not to give a divorce in the month of Iyar. What is the source and reason for this Minhag?
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Where is “no Tachanun” on Pessach Sheni documented? [duplicate]

In almost every Siddur I have checked - as well as all the Luach's around, it says not to say Tachnun on Pessach Sheini - 14 Iyar. Yet I cannot find a source for it, nor in Shulchan Aruch neither in ...
3
votes
1answer
48 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: ...
15
votes
4answers
243 views

Why is Lag Baomer celebrated the way it is (or at all)?

Why do we celebrate lag baomer with bon-fires and bow-and-arrow. Why do we celebrate lag baomer at all?
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Besides eating matzah, what do we do on Pesach Sheini today?

I had been under the impression that Pesach Sheini was only a historical and future observance -- that is, when the temple stood/stands. I didn't make the connection that it might also be special now ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Do any communities permit music during Sefira?

As many of our users are likely aware, there is a custom to refrain from listening to music during the Omer period. However, the operative word here is "custom." As such, I have been wondering whether ...
6
votes
1answer
56 views

When is a Person Obligated to Lead the Davening?

On various occasions I have heard somebody in shul declare that they have a chiyyuv to daven - an obligation, that is, to serve as sheliach hatzibbur: to represent the congregation in their leading of ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Kids waiting between meat and milk

There is a rabbinic obligation to wait between meat and dairy though customs are diverse regarding how long to wait, ranging from 1 hour (for those who come from e.g. Dutch communities) to the more ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Textual difference between Psukei DeZimra and Psalms 96

What is the origin of the custom to recite in pesukai dezimra יעלוץ השדה וכל אשר בו instead of יעלוז שדי וכל אשר בו which we are familiar with from Kabbalas Shabbos (psalm 96)?
3
votes
0answers
51 views

What is a Woman's Tallit

I read in a book about Czechoslovakian Jewry that in Southern Germany there was a custom for women to wear a "Woman's Tallit" on Yom Kippur. A reference to it also appears in The Encyclopedia of ...
4
votes
2answers
51 views

Standing/Sitting on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion

I have noticed that some people are particular to stand on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion, whereas others are particular to sit. Is this really something significant? Whose opinion is ...
9
votes
1answer
834 views

Where does the custom of a second “bar mitzvah” at 83 come from?

I have noticed more 83 year old men celebrating their second bar mitzvahs, and cannot find any source for this. Is it a new custom? Does it have any basis in pre-20th century practice?
16
votes
4answers
520 views

Stripes on a Talis

Is there any reason for the stripes on a talis? Does the color of the stripes have any significance?
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Saying “emes toraseinu ha'kedosha vehatehora”

There is a minhag of the tzibur saying the above phrase while the one who is oleh la'Torah says the second brocho. This was the minhag of my father z"l who was born in Satmar. I have been asking ...
3
votes
0answers
75 views

5 Iyar vs. 10 Adar

In Jewish tradition, we generally commemorate the ends of wars rather than their beginnings (e.g./i.e. Chanuka, Purim). The commemoration of the rebirth of Israel as the Jewish homeland in the past ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Is it a problem to eat animal leftovers

Is it true that there is a Jewish custom not to eat after animals (even if not mius issue (ie the person eating does not know)) ie if a rat ate a peace of a fruit I can't just cut off that part and ...
6
votes
2answers
106 views

Are the letters on a dreidel supposed to be in any particular order?

This is a little silly, but... Should the letters on a dreidel be in order? Like, if you turned it right to left, should it go nun - gimel - hey - shin, because of "nes gadol haya sham"? Or are there ...
10
votes
3answers
208 views

Accepting parents' minhagim

Since the Conservative movement tends to take most of its minhagim from the German tradition due to its German roots, most Conservative Jews in America tend to practice the German customs (such as ...
8
votes
1answer
188 views

Why are challot traditionally braided?

What is the reason that challot are traditionally braided? When did this tradition begin?
9
votes
1answer
213 views

Where does the concept of “shirayim” come from?

Please explain the concept of shirayim (literally, leftovers) wherein the followers of a chassidic Rebbe will receive portions of his food to it, these leftovers are considered holy or special in some ...
7
votes
3answers
452 views

Ostrich eggs in Shul?

Kinyan L'Shabbos (published weekly by Hamodia) - July 18, 2012, page 11 has a fascinating article by Rabbi Avraham Y. Heschel regarding an ancient custom of displaying ostrich eggs in a Beis Knesses. ...
10
votes
4answers
694 views

spitting in aleinu leshabeach

Does anyone know the origin of the custom to spit in Aleinu after the words שֶׁהֵם מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהֶבֶל וְלָרִיק? Where did it start? And in which seforim is it mentioned? I have seen in the ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Can a shul choose to forgo establishing any set minhag regarding music restrictions on sefira?

My shul has a caterer that follows the halachot dictated by the shul's rav. During the ben hashamashot (bet. mincha 1st day & ma'ariv 2nd day Yom Tov), while discussing the laws of the Sefira ...
0
votes
0answers
168 views

Costco after Passover

There is a Rabbinic prohibition on benefiting from chametz that was owned by a Jew over Passover. In recent years, an issue was raised in the New York area that [a major distributor of grocery items ...
3
votes
2answers
66 views

Which Knot to Use on Tefillin Shel Rosh

When I was a child, I saw that all people had the same knot on their Tefillin Shel Rosh - a Double Daled (Ashkenazi community). Recently I saw a comment that even those who grew up with a Double ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Congregation sings parts of the Shiroh before the reader on the seventh day of Pesach?

Is there a recognised minhag for the congregation to sing selected verses from the “Song at the Sea” (Shiroh) Shmos 15 (1-18) before they are read by the reader on the seventh day of Pesach? Related ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

Non-Hebrew Seder Songs

In the haggadot which belonged to my grandfather ז”ל, there is a note on the translation for Adir Hu which mentions that they follow an old Yiddish version of the song, rather than the modern German ...
5
votes
1answer
51 views

Why 2 candles for yom tov

For Shabos, there is a custom to light 2 candles: one for shamor and one for zachor. Shulchan aruch harav 263.1: ‏…אחד כנגד זכור ואחד כנגד שמור…‏ I understand that on ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Hardboiled eggs and salt water at the Seder

I've participated in only 3 different families' Passover Seders, so my experience is limited in terms of different families' traditions. How widespread is the custom of eating a hardboiled egg in ...