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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 ...
Vincent Calabrese's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
667 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 ...
Bruce James's user avatar
  • 16.1k
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?
user avatar
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 ...
Seth J's user avatar
  • 41.7k
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 ...
Anon's user avatar
  • 467
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 ...
Craig Feinstein's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
891 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 ...
user avatar
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." ...
Joshua Fox's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
890 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
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, ...
Yishai's user avatar
  • 32.1k
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 ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
9 votes
1 answer
983 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 ...
PixelArtDragon's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
921 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 ...
Desert Star's user avatar
  • 3,403
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&...
Jeremy's user avatar
  • 8,934
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Examples of considerations when bringing gifts to religious Jews

I am interested in examples of things one might into account when buying gifts for religious Jews of various stripes. I always have trouble buying gifts myself because I am worried that something I ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
8 votes
0 answers
547 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 ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
7 votes
2 answers
837 views

Who are the Yekis?

I once heard someone identifying as a "Yeki", or something like that, and the "Yekis" apparently have an interesting musical tradition where they use a different Yigdal tune before Kiddush at each ...
Mauro Braunstein's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
363 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 ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
6 votes
1 answer
800 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?
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
321 views

Ensuring that a community is mainstream

A newcomer to Orthodox Judaism may not have a feel for what is mainstream and what generally considered beyond the pale of normative Judaism. How does one find and join a Jewish community without ...
sandra greene's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
376 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.
maaaan's user avatar
  • 223
6 votes
1 answer
193 views

Kaparos with fish

In How to do kapparos with fish it discusses doing Kaparos with fish. Is anyone aware of any group or individuals that do Kaparos with fish?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
262 views

Ancient Triennial Cycle Today

Are there any congregations who follow the ancient (Eretz Yisrael minhag) triennial cycle today, and so complete the Torah once every three years? I'm aware there are some Eretz Yisrael minhag ...
Vincent Calabrese's user avatar
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 ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
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 ...
Ger's user avatar
  • 620
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?
yoel's user avatar
  • 7,281
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 ...
user12899's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
464 views

What is World ORT?

What is the organization World ORT? They are behind the website bible.ort.org, which provides text, translations, and audio recordings of the Torah and Haftarah readings, and is cited in many Jewish (...
Seth J's user avatar
  • 41.7k
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? ...
LN6595's user avatar
  • 5,370
5 votes
2 answers
343 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״...
Shimon bM's user avatar
  • 18.9k
5 votes
1 answer
797 views

Are there groups that do not trim their beards, besides Chabad-Lubavitch?

The Tzemach Tzedek (1789-1866; 3rd Chabad-Lubavitcher Rebbe) in a lengthy Tshuva (Yoreh Deah, Siman 93: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1614&st=&pgnum=164) discusses the matter ...
user4751's user avatar
  • 330
5 votes
0 answers
220 views

Do Sepharadim celebrate Thanksgiving?

A good deal of ink has been spilled in the past century regarding the permissibility and appropriateness of American Jews celebrating Thanksgiving. For the most part, Ashkenazim are split, with some ...
Seth J's user avatar
  • 41.7k
5 votes
0 answers
227 views

Siddur for Skolyer Chasidim

Is there a specific siddur for the minhag of the Skolyer Chasidim (Chasidim of Ukrainian town of Skole)?
Joshua Pearl's user avatar
  • 3,442
5 votes
0 answers
240 views

Disparate Zemanim in the same local community

Someone pointed out on a local email list that the ending time for Tish'ah BeAv is listed differently - significantly so - at various institutions in our local community. He noted the following times ...
Seth J's user avatar
  • 41.7k
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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
352 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 ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 1,335
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 ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Who uses nusach Sefard?

In which communities is nusach Sefard used? A community can be people from a specific place (I.e. Spain), or a certain religious style (I.e. Chassidim).
Scimonster's user avatar
  • 23.2k
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?
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
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 ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Hebrew Havarah?

Similar to this question Different parts of Eastern Europe had different dialects. For example, Ukrainian, Polish and Hungarian Jews pronounce a "Shuruk" as a EE, or a Komatz as an oo (so Boruch ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
4 votes
1 answer
504 views

What was the status of the Pharisees, and their relationship with the Temple authorities in the early first century?

One of the many mistakes made by the authors of the Christian gospels is attributing the state of affairs in their own time to the time they are trying to describe. An example of this error is the ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
  • 2,100
4 votes
1 answer
205 views

How do different communities practice regarding women's saying a b'racha on s'firas haomer?

Mishna B'rura 489:3 says women do not say a b'racha on s'firas haomer; Aruch Hashulchan 489:4 says they do. What is the practice of various Ashk'nazi communities (for example, chassidic (various sects)...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
4 votes
0 answers
330 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 ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.9k
4 votes
0 answers
88 views

What if two communities had two different Shabbat days?

Imagine this: One community, A, keeps Shabbat on what we identify as Saturday. However, another community, B, for whatever reason, actually keeps Shabbat on what we identify as Sunday. These two ...
rosenjcb's user avatar
  • 1,584
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 ...
seekingclarity's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
286 views

Hebrew Israelites recognition by mainstream Judaism

Are the adherents of 'Hebrew Israelites' church Jews from the 'mainstream' point of view and why (why yes or why not)? I have found mixed information on the topic. Also some of them seek conversion, ...
MichaelS's user avatar
  • 851
3 votes
3 answers
224 views

Does Jewish mysticism involve "feeling" G-d?

I have read an accusation from the Traditionalist Catholics that Modern Catholicism has changed under the influence of Judaism its understanding of the Holy Ghost. Modern day Catholicism together with ...
infoholic_anonymous's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
255 views

If someone had a family tradition that he came from an Edomite, would he be allowed to marry a Jew?

An Edomite cannot marry a Jew for three generations. Nowadays (since the time of Sancheiriv, who mixed all nations together), this law no longer applies as we no longer know who is an Edomite. ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
3 votes
1 answer
233 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 ...
Yechiel's user avatar
  • 71