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20

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 ...


10

Rama writes, when discussing how to spell the various Hebrew months in a Get (Shulchan Aruch EH 126:7): אייר, בשני יודי"ן; ואם כתב בחד יו"ד, פסול, אם לא בשעת הדחק. ויש נמנעין ליתן גט באייר, אך במקום הדחק נותנין וכותבין בב' יודי"ן.‏ Iyar is spelled with two Yuds. If one wrote it with one Yud, it is invalid except in pressing circumstances. Some ...


9

The Talmud (Berakhot 13b) is the original source for this custom. Here there is a mention of Rabbi Judah the Prince covering his eyes while he said the Shema to block out the distractions of the students around him. This behavior was codified in the Shulhan Arukh (OH 61:4-5). from ...


7

This ceremony is an American phenomena, it was invented by caterers and is the only of many creative ceremonies to have "stuck" from the early days of American Bar Mitzvah celebrations in ceremonial halls. You will find it across the spectrum of Jewish groups (including some Orthodox) but will generally only find it in ceremonial halls and not in synagogues ...


7

Rav Herschel Schachter told me that the reason they do it is because they are afraid that a hair will be left out of the mikveh when they do tevila. To avoid this problem they shave their heads. I have also heard that they suspect that there will be tangles, which are חציצה for the tevila, so they shave their heads. Neither of these reasons would really ...


7

The rationale behind it is that Tehillim describes a lifetime as seventy years in the verse ימי שנותינו בהם שבעים שנה ואם בגבורות שמונים שנה (90:10.) Thus -- the reasoning goes -- 83 is 13 years into your "second lifetime" which is as good an excuse for a kiddush as any. I do not know of any source for it prior to the twentieth century or of any book ...


7

Nitei Gavriel Taspores 2:1:2 says the source of those who do it at 2 is based on Braishis 21:8 "Vayigdal Hayeled" and Rashi says that was at 24 months. Also Shmuel-1 1:22.


6

This minhag is mentioned much earlier than the Taz, in the sefer עמק ברכה, by Rav Avraham Horowitz (1550-1615), in a gloss by his son, the Shelah Hakodosh: Some people are accustomed to spit during Aleinu, but they don't know why they spit, and the majority of people nowadays do not understand Loshon Hakodesh at all and spit when they say "and we bow ...


6

According to the Siddur HaRashash as set forth in Shaar HaKavvanot 89a(the paragraph that starts with the words זהו הסדר). Tikun Leil Shavuot: Genesis 1:1-Gen 2:4 Gen 6:6-6:12 Gen 11:30-12:3 Gen 17:25-18:3 Gen 22:22-23:3 Gen 25:16-21 Gen 28:7-12 Gen 32:3-8 Gen 36:41-37:3 Gen 40:21-41:3 Gen 44:15-20 Gen 47:23-28 Gen 50:24-Ex 1:3 Ex ...


6

The actual dispute is not about which direction to wrap, but the location of the loop through which the retzua is threaded. We find this dispute in the Biur Halacha (27:2 ד"ה המנהג), he quotes the Beis Yosef in the name of the Mahari Ben-Chaviv who holds that while the "yud" should be located at the bottom of the tefillah the loop should be located at the ...


6

The rule of thumb Rabbi Moshe Feinstein applies is to not be disruptive. In communities where it is clearly the standard practice that all men wear tallitot, I would think that doing otherwise would be disruptive and/or disrespectful. (And what's the downside, really?) As for what text you yourself use, as long as you're not too loud, generally people ...


6

Achdus does not mean we all have the same menu, Achdus means we care and lookout for each other. Imagine a family where each member takes different medications and someone comes along and says 'why don't you have Achdus?' 'Get all your doctors together and come up with medications that is equal for all!' The Achdus that got us the Torah in the first place ...


6

Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky in Kovetz Halchos pg 129 writes that a woman is obligated to drink a rivies of wine on Purim,and she can fulfill this obligation with grape juice(see footnote231). In footnote 230 he holds that since women are obligated in all the mitzvos if the day they are also obligated in drinking a little wine,but to drink alot of wine is an issur ...


6

The Babylonian Talmud (Yoma 53b) states that one should bow to one's left first: המתפלל צריך שיפסיע שלש פסיעות לאחוריו ואחר כך יתן שלום ואם לא עשה כן ראוי לו שלא התפלל ומשום שמעיה אמרו שנותן שלום לימין ואחר כך לשמאל שנאמר מימינו אש דת למו ואומר יפול מצדך אלף ורבבה מימינך מאי ואומר וכי תימא אורחא דמילתא היא למיתב בימין ת"ש יפול מצדך אלף ורבבה מימינך רבא ...


5

There was in minhag in the Alt-Neu Shul in Prague of saying Mizmor Shir L'Yom Ha Shabbat twice on Friday evenings. This psalm (Song for the Sabbath Day) is usually recited toward the end of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Traditionally, reciting this psalm was the point when the worshiper began to observe the restrictions of Shabbat. This created a conflict ...


5

For starters: in Ashkenazic custom (which I think the questioner was assuming), the kesubah has already been signed (i.e. executed) before the chupah, so the reading is nothing more than a pause between parts of the ceremony. It's accomplishing nothing of a halachic nature any more than reading the latest stock numbers would be, hence many rabbis have been ...


5

The Talmud talks about having shushbinin -- close friends -- escort the bride and groom, to the point that someone who was shushbin at your wedding can't testify in court about you, as the personal connection is too tight. What is still found today is having one good friend (each) serve as "honor escort", (shomer) for the bride/groom: for a day or two ...


5

As pointed out, the general policy is that unmarried women not go to mikvah because that could cause them to do things they shouldn't. There are different practices with regards to immersion pre high holidays; as Chanoch said, the Ben Ish Chai (a Baghdad rabbi about 200 years ago) said they should. If I recall correctly, there are different customs within ...


5

What I'd seen around the blogosphere was that it was an innovation by "Rabbi" (he was never formally ordained) Shraga Feivel Mendolowitz intended for Torah UMesorah community day schools that were open on Chol Hamoed (probably in the 1960s, I assume). Some of the students were not observant and didn't have a sukkah at home, so they'd take class trips to see ...


5

This is a difficult question to answer (especially because I'm not quite clear on what you're asking). I'll offer a few observations (sorry for the length! summary at the bottom): First, with regards to the Qabbala and Sufism — they are separate systems, and each have many different varieties and interpretations depending on time and place. With that said, ...


5

Although perhaps there is a Sefer that discusses this, I am not aware of it. However my father would go in order of age, oldest to youngest, first all the boys and then all the girls. My father in law would do it in order of age, oldest to youngest mixing the boys and girls. So I guess there are at least 2 different ways that people do it.


5

Menachos 36b - Rabbi Yosi & Rabbi Akiva say that it is forbidden to put on Tefilin on Shabbos. The reason according to Rabbi Akiva is that Shabbos is instead the sign of Tefilin. Please see here regarding the need of having two signs every day of our Jewishness. The two signs are Bris & Tefilin. On Shabbos since Shabbos is a sign, Tefilin is not ...


5

The prayer is mentioned in the gemara Berachos 60b, a prayer asking for the angels who accompany him to wait for him while he goes to the bathroom*. It is brought in the beginning of Shulchan Aruch Siman 3, but it says there that nowadays we are not accustomed to say it. The Mishnah Berurah there explains that the reason is because we do not assume that we ...


5

Nefesh HaChaim Shaar Gimmel Perek Beis(1): אבל אדון כל ית"ש הוא מלא את כל העולמות והנבראי' ואינם חוצצים חלילה נגדו יתב' כלל באמת. ואין עוד מלבדו ית' ממש שום דבר כלל בכל העולמות. מהעליון שבעליונים עד התהום התחתון שבתהומות הארץ. עד שתוכל לומר שאין כאן שום נברא ועולם כלל רק הכל מלא עצמות אחדותו הפשוט ית"ש. Perek Gimmel(2): שאם ח"ו יקחנו לבנו לקבוע לנו ...


5

The Gemara in Menahot 39a implies that the bare minimum Biblical obligation is only one knot. However, Tosfot there understand that this single knot mentioned by the Gemara is actually (what we would call) a double knot, because a single knot doesn't hold tight. However, there are other traditions of how to make this knot, such as in the example all the way ...


4

I heard a while back from Rabbi Levi Garelik that a certain Sefer (I don't remember which) writes that Morranos would eat fish, soup and then meat in that order on Friday night as a secret sign to each other that they were Jewish, and the custom was an adaptation of that practice.


4

I have had this same question for some time, and in addition to the answer that paquda provided, I have come across the following answer, although it doesn't satisfy me that much. The source for mentioning dreams comes from the Gemara in Berachos 55b האי מאן דחזא חלמא ולא ידע מאי חזא, ליקום קמי כהני בעידנא דפרסי ידייהו The Soncino translation: If ...


4

If I recall correctly there were some concerns (at least a few years ago) with corn-derived preservatives or packaging materials with regards to some packaged nuts. It may not be "chopping the walnuts makes them kitniyot", but "your average bag of chopped walnuts bought at the store may have been treated with some kitniyot product." But there are a zillion ...



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