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Questions tagged [minhag]

Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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Why not bend the knees in Alenu?

This OU source and dinonline say to bow at the waist in Alenu starting with the phrase "ve'anachnu kore'im" but not to bend the knees. Why not bend the knees for this phrase, given that it means just ...
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7 Adar, Tachanun and Leap Years

A followup to this question. For those who do not say tachanun on the birth/death anniversary of Moshe Rabbeinu, how do they handle leap years? Do they not say tachanun on the seventh of both months ...
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2answers
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What does a typical USA Jewish household do to celebrate Sabbath?

I was raised in a not-very-observant home. I understand Friday dinner, blessing over Sabbath candles, blessing over bread, and blessing over wine, and I know that Havdalah comes at the end. But what ...
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1answer
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Minhag not to return home directly after shiva visit?

I was doing a shiva visit today and, when leaving, someone said we shouldn't walk home directly but instead should take a stroll before returning home. I had never heard of that minhag - but it might ...
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1answer
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Blessing children via a shaliach

Can blessing the children friday night be done via a shaliach if a child is away from home for Shabbat?
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Egg shell and pottery for a dead person?

A Shabbat guest told me that he had heard that there is a custom to put a cracked egg shell on a dead person's eyes and a piece of pottery in the dead person's mouth prior to burial. I'm completely ...
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100 views

Is white wine permitted between 6 and 7 o'clock?

This answer references the possibility that there is a distinction between red and white wine for those that are careful not to make kiddush between 6 and 7 o'clock. Are there any sources that mention ...
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What is the source for carrying candles down at a wedding?

I know that there are many explanations as to why many Jews have this custom (to commemorate the fire at har sinai, etc.), but where is the original source? Where originally did it come from? I have ...
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Congregational standing during Torah reading

In a number of shuls that I have attended, I have noticed that the congregation stands for certain sections of Torah readings. Specifically: Aseret Hadvarim - The 10 Commandments Az Yashir (song at ...
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4answers
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Standing for kaddish

Most of the siddurim by Chacham Ovadia Yosef זצ"ל say to stand at the khatzi kaddish of Shabbat Arvit right before Kryat Shema. I have heard that this minhag is from the Ben Ish Chai (I don't exactly ...
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1answer
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Pidyon Haben: Why bedek the child in Jewelry?

At every Pidyon Haben I've been to (all of them in Jerusalem) I have noticed that the baby is bedecked in Jewelry. Usually, it's the ladies present who remove their's and place it in the baby until ...
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Does Jewish law have a separate status for someone whose father is a Jew rather than simply grouping them with non-Jews? [duplicate]

Traditional standards on Judaism are clear about the topic. One is only legally Jewish if they have a matrilineal connection to the community. That being said, I've heard a few people throw around ...
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Minhag Hebrew Pronunciation each letter

Is the pronunciation of the Hebrew letters a minhag or is the pronunciation of each individual letter each an individual minhag itself? For example would the pronunciation of the letter dalet be one ...
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If a Mesorah for letter pronunciation is rediscovered, would we have to change our pronunciations?

Let's say that someone finds some historical evidence that a particular system of pronunciations, whether it be currently extant or not, is the one which Klal Yisrael used at the time of Kabalas ...
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1answer
132 views

Is it permitted to browse Mi Yodeya on Christmas Eve?

Some communities have the custom to avoid learning Torah (some have the custom to avoid learning publicly) on Christmas Eve, known as Nittel Nacht. Would they allow one to browse this website? What ...
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1answer
70 views

Do we fast when someone trips and falls while holding a Sefer Torah?

When dropping a Sefer Torah, the custom is to fast, but what is the minhag if I trip and fall while holding a Sefer Torah?
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1answer
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Is there a minhag of giving tzedakah during the torah service?

My weekday morning minyan recently merged into another one, so we're seeing some minor changes in customs. One that is new to me is: at the end of the torah service, as the torah is being carried ...
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Minhag to eat Dessert First?

A while ago (at least 25 years ago) I recall a friend's mother saying there was a minhag in Tzfat to eat dessert first, because if you had to suddenly stop your meal in the middle because the Moshiach ...
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Is one “obligated” to eat donuts/latkes on Hanukkah (as to not deviate from customs)?

In general one should not deviate from accepted customs (i.e minhag yisroel zu halacha). Does that obligate one to eat donuts/latkes/dairy on Chanukkah if he would prefer not to?
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The custom of putting the first snow on forehead?

In yeshiva, I saw that the Rabbis had a custom to put (the first) snow on their forehead. What is the source of this custom? This was in Jerusalem.
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1answer
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Is there a siddur for the Jews of Aden?

Do Adenim (Jews from the Yemenite city of Aden) have a nusach and a siddur unique to them?
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131 views

Shiduch during divorce

Is there a halachic source that allows a man to start shiduch before giving the final Get? the couple doesn’t live together for months legal agreements all signed bet din file open and final get ...
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What is the maximum age for Metzitza?

Part of the bris ceremony is metzitza. I was told that after a certain age (of the boy) it is not done (meaning an adult who gets a bris does not get metzitza). Is this true? What is the age? Source ...
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1answer
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Swaying during the first verse of Shema

It is common (at least as far as I have seen) for people to sway while praying. However, while saying the first verse of Shema, one musn't do anything else, even walking is forbidden (Shulchan Aruch ...
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1answer
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Can you have almond milk on Rosh Hashana?

The custom in my community is not to eat or cook with whole nuts during Elul. But I don't know whether pulverized or otherwise disembodied nuts --for example, nuts as an ingredient in a processed food ...
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Is there a “chasiddish” Mishna Berura?

The Mishna Berura, to the best of my knowledge, is, for the most part, the accepted psak for the Litvish/yeshivish community. Is there a Halachic work that Chassidim generally turn to for piskei ...
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Changing customs from a Holy place to a non-Holy place

The mishnah in Pesachim (4:1) says: הַהוֹלֵךְ מִמְּקוֹם שֶׁעוֹשִׂין לִמְקוֹם שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין, אוֹ מִמְּקוֹם שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין לִמְקוֹם שֶׁעוֹשִׂין, נוֹתְנִין עָלָיו חֻמְרֵי מָקוֹם שֶׁיָּצָא מִשָּׁם ...
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1answer
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Mizrachim saying Avinu Malkeinu on Shabbat

I would like to turn around these two questions. We saw that it is problematic to ask personal requests on Shabbat, and certain verses of Avinu Malkeinu correspond to the blessings of the weekday ...
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1answer
75 views

Passing to a Niddah- How can it be Assur?

We already discussed that Rashi was the first one to be noheg not to pass anything to his wife while she was a niddah. here The Galya Masechet qoutes the Rambam who says here that minhagim that ...
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What was a rabbinic מעיל משי?

In the book מנהגים דק"ק וורמיישא, one of the first simonim notes that the rov and chazzan in Worms should wear a Seidenmantel (He: מעיל משי), which the notes explain was rabbinical garb in those days. ...
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Popular Contemporary Aravoth Species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
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Who is considered “respected by everyone” in regard to being Chazzan for Ne’ilah?

ArtScroll (Yom Kippur Machzor, p. 708) lists several minhagim widespread during Ne’ilah, one of which is that “the rabbi, rosh yeshivah, or some member of the community whose seniority, scholarship, ...
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Why is Hashkiveinu not considered a hefsek between Ga'al Yisra'el and the Amidah (Chabad)?

Read this first: Veshameru in Chabad siddur TL;DR Many recite Veshamru (Shemot 31:16) before the Amidah in the Friday night Ma'ariv service. The custom in Chabad, however, is to not recite this ...
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Are there any opinions that the “extra” aliyos on Simchas Torah are a separate reading, rather than an extension of the first five aliyos?

There is a common minhag to read the Simchas Torah reading repeatedly in order that all men get an aliyah, as opposed to the usual five prescribed for Yom Tov (Rema OC 282:1-2). After mulling over ...
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What is the source of the custom to pray on graves of Tzadikim?

The Galilee has several such locations where people visit and pray asking for what their heart desires. What is the source of this custom? How does it align with graves being in general a source of ...
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Source for angels surrounding one’s bed at night?

Nusachei Ashkenaz and Sefard include the following phrase in Krias Shema at bedtime: בשם ה׳ אלקי ישראל מימיני מיכאל ומשמאלי גבריאל ומלפני אוריאל ומאחורי רפאל ועל ראשי שכינת קל In the Name of ...
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Why ask guest to make kiddush?

In my limited experiences in Baltimore and Lakewood, it seems hosts often ask guests if they would like to "make their own kiddush" with a separate cup of wine. Is there a reason why guests wouldn't ...
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112 views

Reason for removal of a Mechitza on Simchas Torah

On Simchas Torah during the dancing, in some shuls the partition in the shul is removed so that the woman can watch the men dancing. By opening the partition we are giving the יצר הרע full access to ...
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Torah service on Hoshana Rabba

My old Ashkenazi machzor says that the Torah scroll should be removed from the Ark on Hoshana Rabba just as on the Shabbat. Nevertheless, I find a few points unclear, while I make some reasonable ...
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Why do we change the Haftarah for Simchas Torah?

Megillah 31a says the following regarding the Simchas Torah reading: למחר קורין וזאת הברכה ומפטירין (מלכים א ח, כב) ויעמד שלמה On the next day [after Shmini Atzeres] we read Vezos HaBeracha, ...
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Exchanging presents on Rosh Hashana?

Nehemia 8:10 records that the people in Jerusalem were told to, among other things, provide food for Rosh Hashana for those who are lacking: ויאמר להם לכו אכלו משמנים ושתו ממתקים ושלחו מנות לאין ...
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What different pronunciation should a Kohen give to each letter to be strict in halacha? (SA 128:33)

When Halacha says that a Kohen should distinguish between all the Hebrew letters in Siman 128 Seif 33 from where it says "similar examples": מי שאינו יודע לחתוך האותיות כגון שאומר לאלפי"ן עייני"ן ...
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What is the reason for Ushpizin?

There is a common custom to invite an important Biblical personage each night in the Sukkah (my custom is chronological - Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Yosef, Moshe, Aharon, David - but some customs ...
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What is the source for this idea about the deeper meaning of bowing/prostrating one's self?

I seem to remember hearing an idea that the significance of bowing/prostrating oneself is that a human being differs from all other elements of creation in that a human being stands erect and walks on ...
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what sources discuss dipping challah in both salt and honey or only honey during rosh hashanna?

Many people dip their bread in only honey over rosh hashanna but I was under the impression that one should dip in both salt and honey. What sources discuss either dipping in both salt then honey or ...
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Cylindrical Tefillin

The wikipedia page on tefillin shows cylindrical tefillin found in the Cairo geniza, with reference to this image from here: The source from the wikipedia page cites this: Kiell, Norman (1967). The ...
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163 views

(Why) is there a custom to have round challah for Rosh HaShanah?

I have noticed that the local kosher bakeries sell round challot (as opposed to their usual braided loaves) in advance of Rosh HaShanah. Is such a custom noted in any written sources? If yes, what ...
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1answer
101 views

Change drinking glasses between fish and meat?

The Rema writes (YD 88:2) that two guests eating at the same table, one eating cheese and the other meat, should be careful not to drink from the same cup, because the food gets stuck to the cup. ...
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111 views

Minhag Yisrael and OTD

If there was a minhag Yisrael (a minhag accepted by all of clal Yisrael) which had a good reason but was causing people to go off the Derech would that be grounds to abrogate/ignore the minhag? Would ...
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1answer
175 views

Why do some shuls have the Rabbi facing forward?

When I lived in South Africa, every shul I ever went to had the Rabbi's seat facing the congregation. From what I've seen in other shuls in the USA, UK and Australia, the practice seems universal; the ...