Are there any books that discuss the varying Litvish (Lithuanian) minhaggim (customs)—or, if not, maybe just the most prevalent ones?


1 Answer 1


Minhagei Lita (Customs of Lithuanian Jewry) by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Poliakoff.

It should be noted that this work has been critiqued as reflecting the author's personal experiences, not historic Lithuania as a whole. See http://seforim.blogspot.com/2009/10/review-minhagei-lita.html.

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    +1 but seforim.blogspot.com/2009/10/review-minhagei-lita.html Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 7:00
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    +1 This rabbi attended the original Telshe yeshiva in Lithuania in the 1930's. Because of this, he is able to point out things that we think are standard Litvak customs, but are actually post-war borrowings from Hasidic or other Jewish customs. Quite interesting. I got to read this book via inter-library loan, and was so pleased when the libraries shipped it from New York to Ohio, just for me to read!
    – Mike
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 4:38
  • To make @ShmuelBrin's implication more explicit, from the bottom of the linked post: "I have learned that this book was never intended to be a presentation of minhagei Lita, Telshe, or any other customs."
    – WAF
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 17:37
  • @WAF Like one of the commenters there, "I think you mean something like 'was never intended to be a complete presentation'. Hard to believe it wasn't intended to address the topic at all."
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 18:25
  • @mevaqesh Right. That would be comical/surreal. More so than us having their proxy conversation here. . . Without belittling the historical value of a book I've never read, I think the criticism in the main thrust of the post deserves note WRT to its lack of support for being a source of either "varying" or "prevalent" minhagim.
    – WAF
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 18:54

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