I am curious about the nature of American minhagim/customs.

Are there any minhagim that are specifically of American origin, and what are their qualifications? Most people receive their minhagim from either their ancestors or teachers, both of whom originated from anywhere in Europe or the Middle East, Poland, Africa & Russia or anywhere else. Standard minhagim for communities are today established by Rabbis and authorities who, themselves, have lineage or authority in transmitting their origin's minhagim, and base the minhag on their collective national minhag of old.

Are there any contemporary standards today which, in a broad historical sense, would be deemed "minhag" in binding terms - and based on what definition?

For example:

  • certain norms of dress which are highly enforced today, as oppose to the previous generations' lack of obsession with codes of dress.

  • Or even social stringencies in regards to learning in kollel and various chumrot which are adopted by tens of thousands of Bnei Yisrael.

  • In present terms, do the thousands of Jews who recite Hallel with or without a beracha on Yom HaAzma'ut create a level of minhag upon themselves by doing so?

Do these qualify as minhagei America? I am not asking about these particular cases, rather using them as expressions of the underlying question. An answer to this question would include objective standards used to qualify some adherence as a minhag or minhag hamakom, and an example of some custom which qualifies as such.

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    They would be the minhagim of the specific shul or school or community – Josh May 2 '17 at 16:56
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    The practice of eating only glatt meat certainly didn't originate in America but it is widely practiced in the United States and AFAIK far more prevalently than in other countries. – Daniel May 2 '17 at 17:08
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    This question seems to broad as it asks five questions: 1) What are the standards to qualify something as a minhag or minhag hamakom? 2) Do these qualify as minhagei America (Itself three questions, for three examples)? and 3) Are there any minhagim that are specifically of American origin? – mevaqesh May 2 '17 at 18:37
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    @mevaqesh I've edited to try to unify the question. – Chaim May 2 '17 at 18:47
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    It seems improved but I think it still constitutes two questions: 1) the definition of an authoritative minhag, 2) an example of one from America. – mevaqesh May 2 '17 at 18:53

Congregations have their own minhagim that may not necessarily be those of their previous countries. I don't think that there are are minhagei America but there are definitely minhagim of a specific shul.

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  • We certainly have the opposite. When I lived in Washington Heights, NYC, there was a Yekke shul (besides the famous Breuer's, which still exists) that firmly followed all the Yekke minhagim and nuscha'ot. All the congregants were American born. – DanF Jul 26 '18 at 20:20

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