Where does it come from that people pull their ear when they sneeze does it have something to do with our forefather Jacob before him no-one became ill just before death? That is, he became ill before he died so that he could call his sons in and bless them and to arrange his affairs befor he died. Before that, people would sneeze and die.

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    Can you source this practice? I've never seen this before. Can you source "our forfather Jacob that he sneezed and died"? – magicker72 May 9 '16 at 17:45
  • No I can't I don't know if it is even true I wrote it only to help trigger someone's memory – menachem May 9 '16 at 17:53
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    Without any reason to think this has to do with Judaism, I think this is off topic. – Double AA May 9 '16 at 18:23
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    @menachem danno's comment is not in the question. – Double AA May 9 '16 at 18:49
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    While I'm not a doctor, I can tell you what a doctor has told me about sinus problems, somewhat. One of the reasons to blow your nose when your nose is stuffed is not merely to eliminate the phlegm. It is to alleviate pressure on the Eustachian tubes which go to your ears. When you sneeze, the pressure from the sneeze itself goes to these tubes, also. Thus, pulling on your ears is one means to dissipate the pressure. – DanF May 9 '16 at 18:52

According to this source, it is a bubbe meisse

The custom was common among Jews from Lithuania and Galicia. The ear pulling was done when someone sneezed while speaking about a dead person. Some people always pulled one or both ears after sneezing and said, Tzu lange mazaldikke yohrn - "To long, lucky years".

I've never seen this done to anyone including myself, and my grandparents were Galicianer. See my medical comment above, as to why I think pulling the ears may have a medical benefit. I'll ask my doctor if doing this may reduce the chances of deafness, (assuming he'll listen to my theory :-)

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    Yes. The result of this practice is that whether or not your years are lengthened, your ears will certainly get longer! – Avrohom Yitzchok May 9 '16 at 20:16
  • aish.com/j/fs/Jew-Perstitions.html?tab=y also addresses "pulling one' sears" and other superstitions. – JJLL May 10 '16 at 2:42
  • Carol Burnett may have had the right id"ears" all along! – DanF Aug 10 '18 at 14:07

According to R. Menashe Klein, it is assur to do this because it is chukot akum (which I imagine in this case means nonsense. From this important forum on the topic):

משנה הלכות חי"ב סי' קלז: ניחוש להמתעטש למשוך תנוך אזן

לכבוד ידידי היקר וכו' הי"ו


מה שהביא מנהג כשאדם מתעטש (ניס"ן בלע"ז או סני"ז) מושך תנוך אזנו.

לפענ"ד אין זה מנהג ישראל ועכ"פ לאו מנהג ותיקין ובגמ' ברכות (נ"ג ע"א) אמרו של בית ר"ג לא היו אומרים מרפא בבית המדרש מפני בטול בית המדרש ועיין רש"י שרגילים לומר אסותא והוא בפדר"א פ' נ"ב מיום שנבראו שמים וארץ לא היה אדם חולה וכו' לפיכך חייב אדם לומר בעטישתו חיים שנהפך המות לחיים ע"ש ובגשה"ס ציין עליו ועיין יו"ד סי' רמ"ו סי"ז. והנה לומר אסותא שהוא לרפואה שמענו אבל מה לי משיכת האוזן ואין לעשות כן כי הוא מדרכי גוים.

דושה"ט בלב ונפש,

מנשה הקטן

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