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44

You've come to the right place. The Bible explicitly allowed a man to have more than one wife. Exodus 21:10 talks about making sure the first wife still gets the same resources and attention now that she's not the only one. So yes, it was accepted in the times of Kings David and Solomon. Those kings are recorded as having quite a few wives (though ...


22

Based on the Sefer ha-Hassidim there was a belief that the souls of the dead would pray in the synagogue at night when no one was around... based on that it appears that the belief arose in Eastern Europe that placing the key to the synagogue beneath the pillow of the goses would help his soul escape the body as it would be stirred to join up with the other ...


20

Taz (Orach Chaim 476:2) mentions such a custom. The people who did so were concerned that any kind of meat might be confused with roast (and as YS noted, the Ashkenazic custom is indeed not to eat roast meat at the Seder). However, he understands Tur to be saying that it is improper to do so, because the joy of Yom Tov includes eating meat; the best ...


19

See pg. 127 ff. of this publication from YCT. It is an article by Jason Weiner titled "ON THE HALAKHIC BASIS FOR WEARING BLACK HATS". In this article he discusses 5 reasons given by the Rabbinical Authorities for wearing a black hat: Kavod (Respect) Distingishing ourselves from the other nations Atifah (Wrap) Double Covering A Jewish custom has the ...


19

"Nittle nacht" is the Yiddish reference to the night going into Christmas. (It was observed on different dates, depending on if you lived in a Catholic/Protestant country, or an Eastern Orthodox [Christian] country; the former have Christmas on December 25th, thus "nittel nacht" starting at sunset December 24th; the latter have a different calendar.). ...


18

Kitzur Shulachan Aruch 10:1 says וכל הזהיר במצוות תפילין, לנהוג בהם קדושה, שלא לדבר בהם דברי הבלים ושיחת חולין, מאריך ימים ומובטח שהוא בן עולם הבא, שנאמר: "ה' עליהם" (שנושאין עליהם שם ה' בתפילין) – יחיו, ולכל בהן חיי רוחי, ותחלימני והחייני" And anyone who is careful with the Commandment of tefilin, to behave with them in holiness, not to speak, ...


17

There is an old minhag Frankfurt to sing the first part of Lekha Dodi, which refers to exile, to a slow tune, and then switching to a happier nigun when switching to nechamah (consolation) about the future redemption at Lo Seivoshi. However, in that minhag, they switched back to the original tune for the last verse, Bo'i Beshalom, which -- like the opening ...


17

In Hayom Yom (17 Teves), the reason given (in the name of R' Shalom Dovber Schneersohn, fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe) is "to avoid adding vitality." The point is that the person whose birthday they're celebrating on this day was a Jew, and since on a person's birthday his mazal (spiritual source) is stronger, we don't want the spiritual benefits generated by our ...


17

The custom of eating dairy on Shavuos is mentioned by several ראשונים including: רבינו אביגדור צרפתי- probably the earliest source (12th century), possible one of the בעלי התוספות פירושים ופסקים לרבינו אביגדור הצרפתי על התורה (מהדורת הרשקוביץ, ירושלים תשנ"ו) פסקים תקצה-ח The Kol Bo (סימן נב) Orchos Chaim (הל' תפלת המועדים אות יג)


17

The oldest reference to this tradition that I am aware of is the Taz ("Turei Zahav"), by David haLevi Segal, 17th c. הלוחש על המכה או על החולה ורוקק ואחר כך קורא פסוק מן התורה אין לו חלק לעוה"ב One who whispers over a wound or over a sick person and who spits, and who then recites a verse from the Torah has no portion in the world to come. ...


16

In a sense it goes back at least to the Gemara. R' Sherira Gaon points out that the names of some Amoraim that begin with ר (for example: Rabbah, Rava, Rafram) are actually shortened forms of "Rav" plus their personal name: רב+אבא=רבה (or רבא); similarly רב+אפרים=רפרם; and so forth. Also "Reish" (Lakish) is a similar short form for רבי שמעון.


16

The Aruch HaShulchan says that since wine and other drinks were expensive and they only drank water, they did not Bentch on a Kos. HaRav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal says that since for hundreds of years due to the lack of wine Jews relied on the Poskim that say you do not need a Kos -- therefore even today when wine is readily available we retain the Halacha ...


16

The part of the arm that matters when counting the number of loops around the arm is from the elbow to the wrist. The Chabad custom is to wrap the straps so that there are 6 complete loops and 2 half loops. This equals 7 complete loops, but may look like one is wrapping 8 loops. As you can see from this picture from Chabad.org's article about Tefillin, the ...


16

Very good question. The Piskei Tshuvos 5:492 brings down that scrupulous individuals are accustomed to eat matzah on peasach sheni. In footnote 9, he brings down that in the siddur Yaavetz (Rav Yaakov Emden) that it was revealed to him from the heavens that the kedusha of pesach and matzah lasts until pesach sheni because when they went out from Egypt they ...


15

Likely based on "לעולם יקדים אדם דבר הקל ומאחר הכבד" (from רמב״ם הלכות דעות פרק ד‎, q.v.).


15

This was a declaration of loyalty by the Shevatim on Yaakov's deathbed, so it's a worthwhile prayer. But since it's not a verse found in the Torah, we say it quietly (Pesachim 56a) This was a prayer of the angels so it's not appropriate for sinful mortals to say it aloud, except for on Yom Kippur From the Artscroll Yom Kippur Machzor, pp.69-70


15

Seven answers from Aish HaTorah: They just got the laws of kosher slaughter and weren't yet prepared. Torah is likened to milk. Gematria of Chalav is 40 and Moshe Rabbeinu was on Har Sinai for 40 days. Because bikkurim is joined to the command to not eat meat and milk together (so eat two meals, one meat and one dairy; I had not heard this before now). An ...


15

Per the Igros Moshe the bride does not have to cover her hair until the morning after the wedding. The reasoning is that so long that she retains a public presumption of virginity, she has no obligation to cover her hair.


15

In the responsa collection of the Beth Yosef, Avqath Rokhel #32 he defends those who conduct themselves according to the Rambam, even in a place where the majority of people follow another poseq (in this case, the Rosh). The turn of phrase that indicates that one can do so regardless of their familial tradition is: "...especially if they have a tradition ...


14

It is from the Meam Loez (Ki Savo, 27:26) and Rabbi Hayyim Palagei in Lev Chaim, Orach Chaim (167:6) it is Sefardic in practice since it was originally written in Ladino now available in English and Hebrew but it is a translation, but most people do not know it to be a Sefardic custom and just saw others doing it and took it up too not in a mocking way as we ...


14

Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 8:11) states that the tallis katan should be worn over one's clothes, "so that he will always see it and remember the mitzvos." Magen Avraham (subsec. 13) comments that kesavim ([Kabbalistic] writings) say that it should specifically be worn under one's clothes, but he says that nonetheless the actual tzitzis should be left ...


14

SimchasTorah pointed to a fascinating comment from Meshech Chochmah (Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, c. 100 years ago), let translate the entire quote: ... therefore, the fact that the Jews would [celebrate Passover by] eating flame-roasted lamb would not raise any questions, not even for the wicked son; as it's perfectly appropriate to celebrate a ...


14

And another one (Rama OC 494): the special sacrifice on Shavuot were two loaves of bread. By eating two meals, one meat one dairy, you're forced to have two separate loaves of bread (total) for them. I believe there's another one from the Zohar about how when blood runs through the mammary glands and is converted to milk, this represents the turning from ...


14

Taamei Haminhagim (p. 270, footnote) records a story told by the Minchas Elazar of Munkatch, in which the Ohr Hachaim (R. Chaim ibn Attar, 1696-1743) gave such a note to someone to put into the Wall. So it goes back at least that far.


14

Naming children after the living is only discouraged among Ashkenazi Jews; among Sefardim it's not uncommon. (From Aish.com) Sephardi Jews also name children after relatives who are still alive. This source is from the Talmud, which records a child named after Rabbi Natan while he was still alive (Shabbat 134a) The reasons why Ashkenazim don't ...


14

The Rema 139:11 says To say Chazak from the passuk in Yehoshua that says Chazak vametz .The passuk before it says that Torah should not leave your mouth and it will be a blessing for you. So there are those who say Chazak u'baruch and others answer Chazak vametz. The Kaf Hachaim 139:56 brings down the minhag to say Chazak U'baruch from this Rema.


14

The debatable: Kabbalistic sources about beards, or about spiritually-destructive forces involved in removing a beard. Much ink has been spilled over how much facial hair was worn by the kabbalist Rabbi Menachem Azariah of Fano. Cutting your beard means you're trying to look like a non-Jew. Chasam Sofer vehemently opposes this argument, observing that in ...


13

According to R' Ari Enkin, writing on Hirhurim: Although there is a widespread custom to change the tune during Lecha Dodi when reaching the stanza of "Lo Tevoshi", it is actually quite unclear where this custom derives from. Some sources even suggest that it is baseless and evolved without reason. I recommend that you read the whole piece and see what ...


13

The Aruch Hashulchan (Yoreh Deah 283:6) equates all printed sefarim with regards to their holiness and in the matter of placing them one on top of another: יורה דעה סימן רפג סעיף ו וכתב רבינו הרמ"א דכל זה בחומשים העשויים בגליון כספר תורה. אבל בשלנו שהם נכרכים – אין חילוק בין חומש לנביא. עד כאן לשונו. כלומר: דוודאי כל ספרי קודש הם קדושים, אך זהו קדושה ...


13

The oldest source I could find is the Likutei MaHarich - (c. 1900). I recall hearing that the custom started, since the Halacha is that if the lady forgot to light one week she has to add a candle in future weeks, often when a lady gave birth they were busy and forgot. (Childbirth was not as easy years ago). Due to this they added a candle and today it has ...



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