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5 votes
2 answers
205 views

Is there a movement to centralize Rabbinical authority through all Jewish communities?

Due to the exile, Jewish civilization ended up splintering off into various sub-groups. Ashkenazim Sephardim/Mizrahim etc. Through this division, Judaism developed a series of "flavors" with ...
1 vote
0 answers
47 views

Do anybody wear solely rabbeinu tam tefillin [duplicate]

Many people follow the majority Halacha practice of wearing Rashi tefillin. Some people, especially but not exclusively Sephardim and Hasidism, also wear Rabbeinu Tam, which is seen as an act of piety....
9 votes
4 answers
892 views

What's "Modern Orthodox(y)"?

Is there a definition[1] of "Modern Orthodox(y)" that either has wide acceptability[2] or has the support of an expert (say, a renowned rabbi some consider Modern Orthodox, or an ...
2 votes
1 answer
423 views

Do the Jews of Marakkesh have a particular Nusach?

Is there a particular Siddur or Nusach HaTefilla that is used by the Jews (and their descendants) of Marakkesh (alt. sp. Marrakech), Moroccco? Is it in print and available?
9 votes
5 answers
4k views

Minhag for married women to cover their hair in bed

I know(1) there is a practice in Chabad for married women to wear a tichel in bed (i.e., with their husbands). I would not be surprised if this is the same in other Chasidic groups, if not in other ...
17 votes
4 answers
805 views

Mizmor L'Toda with Melody

In the context of p'sukei d'zimra, the Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim 51:9 rules that "The Psalm of Thanksgiving [i.e. Psalm 100] should be recited with a melody, for all songs are destined to fall ...
6 votes
1 answer
802 views

Who were the Magharians?

Title says it all. Who were the Magharians? It seems like they were some group of Pre-Christianity Jews or something like that that lived in caves?
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is there a Chief Rabbi of the United States?

Is there currently or has there ever been historically a Chief Rabbi of the United States? If not, why not?
9 votes
1 answer
985 views

Who are the Kutim, and what happened to them?

In the Yerushalmi Pesachim on daf Bet amud Bet, it talks about the "Kutim" and how whenever they keep a mitzvah, they are more exacting/cautious about it than the Jews. Who are these Kutim, why does ...
8 votes
3 answers
646 views

Relative fractions of Kohanim and Levi'im

Does anyone have reliable statistics (and barring that, reasonable anectdotal evidence) of the fraction of Kohanim, Levi'im, and Yisraelim in various Jewish communities today? By "communities&...
2 votes
0 answers
77 views

Chupah (tallit gadol) above bimah on Shavuot

I was wondering as I hear it for the first time that one of my friend told me that they made a chupah (hung tallit gadol) above the bimah on Shavuot. He told me it's a custom that we do every year, ...
4 votes
2 answers
356 views

To what extent are non-Chasidim bound by kabbalah?

Chassidim seem to follow the views of kabbalah to a greater degree than non-Chassidim. What status does kabbalah have in determing the practical halacha for non-Chassidim?
4 votes
1 answer
354 views

Is there definitive breakdown/explanation of the various philosophical differences of Hasidic dynasties?

While Chassidism as a whole is easier to research in philosophy/history/concepts, the dynasty system and the distinctions within each community seem to be somewhat of a mystery to me. Certain groups ...
0 votes
1 answer
230 views

Where do Israeli nationalist Orthodox movements derive their Halacha?

This isn't a question regarding Israeli politics or issues like that. This question is purely about where these groups (Groups which followed Meir Kahane or similar voices) developed or derived their ...
7 votes
1 answer
365 views

Who were the Therapeutae?

I recently found a Wikipedia page about a supposed sect of Jews in first century Alexandria called the Therapeutae. According to various pages, they lived as monks, isolating themselves and studying ...
1 vote
1 answer
338 views

Has there always been a standardized size for Tefillin or did the size vary throughout history until recently?

I recently came across an image which showed a variety of Tefillin boxes that were much smaller than what I am use to seeing. The image shows them lined up by size with the smallest being roughly ...
15 votes
3 answers
662 views

Mesorah exchange between communities

Based on this thread What exactly prevents Ashkenazim from accepting Mesorah from other communities on things that we have not done in our own community? For example, what is it about the Mesorah of ...
16 votes
2 answers
668 views

Were there any sages who supported the Zealots during the siege of Jerusalem?

In Gittin 56a-b, we read how the sages warned the Zealots (a.k.a. the Biryonim) to not wage war with the Romans who were holding Jerusalem under siege, but that the Biryonim set fire to the store ...
5 votes
2 answers
362 views

Who recognizes Yom HaShoah?

It seems that the more religious one is, the less likely one is to commemorate(?) the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah. To what extent is this true? Which groups do and do not observe Yom HaShoah as their ...
5 votes
2 answers
247 views

How did Chazal attain its continued acceptance?

My question is: How did Chazal attain its authority? More specifically, how did the Pharisees who evolved into Chazal beat out the Sadducees who would later become practically extinct (some say that ...
5 votes
1 answer
713 views

Do Briskers use a particular siddur?

Presumably Briskers generally daven nusach Ashkenaz. Is there a particular siddur associated with Brisk, perhaps with haskomos from Brisker roshei yeshivos?
2 votes
0 answers
88 views

Keeping Two-day Shabbos in the Pacific Islands? [duplicate]

What's this I see about people in the Pacific Islands keeping two days of Shabbos? If it is true: Who, how, since when, and why?
8 votes
7 answers
925 views

Is it possible to be chasidish without wearing the garb and keeping all the minhagim? [closed]

Can someone be chasidish (or a chasid) if they don't dress in a distinctively "Jewish" way or don't keep all the minhagim such as "cholov yisrael", saying tehillim on rosh chodesh, etc? Does it ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Who is the Veretzky Rebbe that's been coming up everywhere? [closed]

I've been seeing videos and things everywhere with this rebbe who I've never heard of before named the Veretzky Rebbe. Seems he's been popping up over the past six or so months especially, and I used ...
13 votes
1 answer
355 views

What are acceptable communities for a noachide to integrate himself into?

This is more of a personal question, but undoubtedly applicable for anyone in my situation. I am a Noachide, and I will not convert to Judaism any time soon because the obligation upon men is way ...
4 votes
3 answers
230 views

"Ashkenazim" and "Sephardim," for example

Please excuse the crossword-puzzle-clue style of the title... What is a or the technical name for the distinction between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, and/or the class or category that both of these ...
10 votes
5 answers
12k views

What does Heimishe mean? [closed]

Literally it means "homey." But I'm asking about the sociological meaning of the group of people who call themselves "Heimishe." My best guess is that it means "midway between Hassidish and Litvak." ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Are there any Jewish groups that check for a newly married woman's virginity?

This question follows from: What are “the tokens of virginity”? Are there any Jewish groups then and now that check for a woman's virginity say by laying out a garment when marriage is first ...
3 votes
1 answer
234 views

Who are the chassidei klali?

I've heard of these people who wear chasidic garments, pray nusach sfard, and learn chassidus but don't follow one chassidus exclusively or have one rebbe they follow. Does this fit in with a normal ...
4 votes
0 answers
332 views

Which groups hold by the eiruv in Crown Heights?

Crown Heights, Brooklyn is now home to a controversial new eiruv.* I am aware that the majority of Lubavitchers do not accept it for both Chasidic and Halachic reasons. I am also under the impression ...
5 votes
2 answers
344 views

German and Ethiopian Jews in the time of the Mishna?

According to Negaim 3:1, the laws of negaim only apply to Jews (הכל מטּמאין בנגעים חוץ מגוים), but according to Negaim 2:1 they apply to people from Germany (גרמני) and Ethiopia (or Numibia, etc; ״כוש״...
2 votes
1 answer
79 views

Seeking a demographic "pamphlet" of Israeli neighborhoods [closed]

Someone I know is considering aliyah. He is a young religious single in his mid-20's who is looking for a young, religious, but not Hareidi community in one of the "larger" cities that has a sizable "...
4 votes
0 answers
173 views

A practical guide to Jewish neighborhoods and communities in Israel

In the interest of fulfilling the Torah imperative to live in the Lnd of Israel, can anyone recommend a guide to Jewish neighborhoods and communities in Israel that includes information on as many as ...
2 votes
3 answers
630 views

Good place in Israel for English-speakers [closed]

I currently live in Neve Yaakov, but it's getting expensive. Does anyone know of a good community in Israel for English-speakers, with a diversity of people, yet with a strong sense of community (not ...
1 vote
0 answers
311 views

Shalom Aleichem -- "shuvchem" instead of "tzeitchem"?

I've heard a setting (by Debbie Friedman) of the song "Shalom Aleichem" that, in the last verse, says "shuvchem" instead of "tzeitchem" (recording, mixed group of singers). A rabbi who knew her told ...
2 votes
1 answer
189 views

Does any Jewish group follow Yerushalmi only?

Does any Jewish group follow Yerushalmi over Bavli? Thank you.
9 votes
1 answer
162 views

Were there divergent calendar practices after the calendar was made into a fixed calculation

There are some debates about the details of calendar calculations among earlier Poskim about how to calculate the calendar, especially around pushing Rosh Hashana off deliberately. For example, ...
2 votes
0 answers
255 views

How can I make my home kosher enough for ~most Jews to be guests in? [closed]

Let's say I wanted to set up a kitchen/home that was kosher enough for most of the Orthodox spectrum to feel comfortable eating and staying in. (By "most," let's say the first two standard deviations ...
11 votes
1 answer
895 views

Precedent for Forbidding Conversion

The Syrian community has a Takkanah in place which bars conversion. In addition to forbidding conversion under their own auspices, they also "Never accept a convert or a child born of a convert", as ...
0 votes
1 answer
366 views

Correct usage of "Ashkenaz"/"Ashkenazi"/"Ashkenazic"/"Ashkenazim"?

...Also, of course, Sefard/Sefardi/Sefardic/Sefardim. I see these terms used interchangeably, and use them myself that way, but would rather use them correctly. All are, at least marginally, ...
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

Should one use the holiday/shabbat greetings that are common in his neighborhood or can he/she stick with his custom?

Sefardim say Shabbat Shallom and Chag Samayach; Ashkenazim say Gut Shabbos and Gut Yontif. May one keep his own greetings when living in a community that is predominately of a different descent (for ...
5 votes
1 answer
658 views

How to find a Rabbi [duplicate]

Throughout this site, there are directives to ask your local Rabbi. Over here are some excellent answers that explain why one should ask a Rabbi. But how does one go about finding a Rabbi to ask? ...
5 votes
5 answers
7k views

Recognition of Chabad conversions

I have read and heard in certain places that among certain Orthodox groups, if one converts with Chabad-Lubavitch that their conversion will not be valid, if someone were to convert with Chabad and ...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why was Chassidus controversial?

When Chassidus came about, it was very controversial. The Vilna Gaon even put Chassidim in cherem. What were the reasons for the controversy? And why is there peace and mutual respect today between ...
6 votes
3 answers
377 views

Which communities wear tefilin while davening Minha?

Which communities wear tefilin while davening Minha on ordinary weekdays? I was told by my Rav that some do.
8 votes
0 answers
549 views

Relationship between Chabad and the Malachim today

These days, what is the relationship between Chabad and the Malachim? How close are they -- do members of the groups marry each other, participate in each other's mosdos at all, etc.? Do Chabad ...
1 vote
1 answer
227 views

Sephardic communities that stand to put on hand-t'filin

Rabbi Shimon Eider's book, Student Edition of Halachos of Tefillin, dates to 1985. In it (section Ⅲ D 7), he writes: Some Poskim hold that one should sit while putting on the Shel Yad and ...
3 votes
0 answers
136 views

Jewish communities west of London

My employer has asked me to move to as close as possible to their main office in Bramley, Hampshire (between Basingstoke and Reading). However, I do wish to live in a place with some orthodox Jewish ...
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Who observes Yom Kippur Katan, and how?

Which groups of Jews observe the monthly holiday known as "Yom Kippur Katan," in which one dedicates the day before Rosh Chodesh to repentance, often including fasting and selichot? In what ways do ...
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Tizku L'Shanim Rabot tovot v'umot?

I was wished this blessing today by a Spanish/Portuguese-descended friend. What is the last word and, by extension, what does the entire phrase mean? My friend did not know, but he said it was a ...