Is there a difference between an ענין and a מנהג? If so, what is it?

Examples differentiating the concepts would be useful.

  • 3
    Why would you think they are the same? What do you know about these words already? I'm familiar with a meaning of the second but not the first
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 17:47
  • Maybe we should add these to judaism.meta.stackexchange.com/q/581 instead of asking their meanings here?
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 19:00
  • @DonielF How can we add them to the glossary without knowing what they mean?
    – Alex
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 19:05
  • 1
    I believe most people when they use the term don't know what they're saying.
    – robev
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 21:19
  • 2
    Inyan can be translated idea or reason. Minhag means custom. They aren't directly related at all although one could speak of an idea or reason behind a custom.
    – Dude
    Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 1:41

1 Answer 1


The way I've always heard them used is akin to the difference between a chiyuv, requirement, and a chumra, a stringency.

So a minhag would be more binding, and an inyan is more voluntary.

There is a minhag to do xyz, so make sure to do it, vs there's an inyan to do abc, so it's nice to do.

(As a side point most times that people talk about something being an inyan, it is something they have no comprehension about the action or the reasoning behind it. Their use of inyan makes a minhag logical.)

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