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i can't speak to its exact origins, but it seems to have been a well established practice by many Jewish communities scattered all over the world. This is the official Halacha of Egyptian Jews regarding Tallitoth. Nehar Misrayim Chapter 1: במצרים רובא דרובא דהמוני עם משלשלין כל הארבעה ציציות לצד פניהם והטלית מקופל על צוארם וראוי להודיעם שלפחות ...


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In the Machzor Polin MiKol HaShanah,it says that the first 6 tehillim of Kabollas Shabbos are kneged a different day of the working week, therefore they should be said sitting. Lecha Dodi is kneged Shabbos therefore it says to stand l'kovod Shabbos.


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In terms of the history of division of Aliyot, you should see Ilana Katzenellenbogen's survey article in Sinai 119 (1998), pp. 224-45. She looks at 33 different division customs from the last 1000 years from around the Jewish world and compiles a ~10 page chart with all the different variants from "our common custom" (OCC). Her conclusions are (summarized ...



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