Questions tagged [minhag]

Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

247 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av?

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av? I understand that this used to be a custom, in addition to allowance of a more relaxed approach to women's tznius on that ...
10
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2answers
153 views

What is the source for Neilas Hachag?

Neilas Hachag (as I understand it since there doesn't appear to be any real rules about it) is a tradition to eat some level of special meal as yom tov ends, typically associated with Sukkos, Pesach, ...
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1answer
292 views

Chapter Endings while Leining Megillot

Inspired by this question. It seems to be a common minhag to have a special trope for the end of a chapter when leining the megillot. I have seen this done in my shul, have done it myself, and also ...
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1answer
162 views

A father Changing a minhag - any impact on a grown child?

I was reading some questions about changing minhagim and I began to wonder -- if I took on my father's minhagim when I grew, and then, later, he changed a minhag because he learned something new, or ...
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Those who observe “Ben Zachar” at night and “Shalom Zachar” by day

There's a pretty common custom to observe what's commonly called a "Shalom Zachar" on the Friday night after a baby boy is born. People go to where the baby's father is, eat snacks, sing and share ...
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121 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
243 views

Is shenayim mikra (only) a minhag according to the Chofetz Chaim?

R. Yisrael Meir Kagan writes that every Jewish man needs to know the weekly Torah portion and understand it. He says that the reason why all of Israel reads the verses twice and the translation once (...
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165 views

What is the origin of using tombstone symbols?

I was at a cemetary today and noticed a few interesting "icons" placed on certain tombstones. Someone explained to me the following: spread-out fingers used for a Cohen, representing the position of ...
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130 views

Why don't we say the first verse of Psalm 6 in Tachanun?

When Ashkenazim say Tachanun, they say the text of Psalm 6 without the first verse introduction “To the conductor with melodies on the sheminith, a song of David.” In the text, we say, “I am weary ...
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1answer
235 views

Why learn late thursday night?

What is the sources for the practice to stay up late learning torah on Thursday nights? When or how did this practice develop and spread? And why is it called a mishmar? Is this a common name for a ...
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1answer
142 views

If a man converts to Judaism, does his already-Jewish son have to follow the custom his father decides to follow?

If a man converts to Judaism and follows Sephardic customs, and his son (who is Jewish-by-birth or has already converted) follows Ashkenazic customs, does the son have to follow his father and also ...
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76 views

English explanation of Sheva Brachot at a Wedding

I was a guest at a wedding recently. During the sheva brachot under the chuppah in addition to calling up someone to recite the bracha a second person was called up to read a relevant English passage ...
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121 views

Ushpizin in the Rain

Does one say Ushpizin if one is eating inside a house and not in the Sukkah due to heavy rain? Is Ushpizin about inviting the guest to the sukkah, or is it about inviting to the se'udah, where ever it ...
7
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1answer
319 views

May a non Ethiopian Jew celebrate Sigd?

Ethiopian Jews recently celebrated their festival of Sigd, which involves reaccaptence of the Torah, communal fasting and feasting, and prayers. Is it acceptable for someone of a Minhag other than ...
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40 views

Why do we specifically recall the greenery of Har Sinai on Shavuos?

While there are several reasons why there is a custom to spread greenery in shul, one which is brought by the Mishnah Berurah (494:10) is that Har Sinai was covered with greenery. Why is it ...
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1k views

Source for saying seven specific psalms in the cemetery

What is the source as cited in the ArtScroll Tehillim for saying chapters 33, 16, 17, 82, 91, 104, and 130 of Tehillim in a bais hachayim (Jewish cemetery)? Why specifically these chapters and why in ...
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155 views

Can one have a surgery during the Nine Days?

I'll put the disclaimer right at the top for such a sensitive issue: See both your local orthodox Rav and local orthodox doctor if this Chas v'shalom becomes relevant to you. The Background There ...
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291 views

Why does a Chabad tallit katan have silk corners?

All wool tallitot katanim I have ever seen have reinforced corners, usually made from a square of cotton cloth. This prevents the tzitziyot from tearing through the hole from daily "wear and tear" and ...
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2answers
1k views

Proper day and time for a Shloshim Seuda

Per Chabad.org: "Traditionally, families gather on the eve of the Shloshim to share support, recite prayers and Psalms, and to give charity in the merit of the deceased. Many will also make a Siyum, ...
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319 views

Height of havdalah candle = height of spouse?

I have seen havdalah ceremonies where a unmarried person is charged with holding the havdalah candle and is told to hold it at the height that s/he would want their spouse to be. What is the source ...
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1answer
90 views

Which part of Tzitzit is important

Tangentially related to this question - Which tzitzit do I kiss? - Which part of the tzitzit is to be seen/kissed? Many have the custom to kiss the tzitzit when reciting the 3rd paragraph of the ...
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Is there a tradition not to mention the pink animal?

My family always say "pink animal" in reference to, well, the pink animal. But now we find nobody remembers the reasons for this. It seems to me I've seen the Hebrew writers say "davar acher," or "...
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64 views

forgiving people on the first night of Pesach

According to the Ezras Torah Luach, we only say the bracha of המפיל and the Shema itself for Kriat Shema al Hamita, skipping the rest, because Pesach is leil shimurim, when we don't need extra prayers ...
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Are there any cases where Sephardim generally hold by the ReM"A?

The ReM"A famously wrote a gloss on the Shulchan Arukh called HaMapah where he pointed out places where the minhagim of the Ashkenazim (which he was familiar with) differed from the minhagim which ...
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122 views

How did the people of Zmigrod wrap tefilin?

My family is from there, but we've lost our ancestral minhag due to secularization and subsequent return to different sects within orthodox Judaism. I am just curious in reclaiming my ancestral ...
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195 views

5 Iyar vs. 10 Adar

In Jewish tradition, we generally commemorate the ends of wars rather than their beginnings (e.g./i.e. Chanuka, Purim). The commemoration of the rebirth of Israel as the Jewish homeland in the past ...
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252 views

Why did Ashkenazi Jews not adopt the custom of reading the Book of Job in synagogue on Tisha B'Av, as Sephardim do?

I understand that Sephardim have the custom of reading the Book of Job on Tisha B'Av. Is there any historic discussion among Ashkenazi rabbis regarding why the practice was not adopted by them?
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189 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 ...
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182 views

Siddur for Skolyer Chasidim

Is there a specific siddur for the minhag of the Skolyer Chasidim (Chasidim of Ukrainian town of Skole)?
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780 views

Saying “Elokim” when not referring to Hashem

People often say "Elokim" instead of "Elohim" when speaking in order to avoid taking God's name in vain. I have observed, however, that some people always substitute the word "elokim" for "elohim" ...
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1answer
60 views

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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130 views

Source for the Chazon Ish saying that long jackets are preferable?

I have heard it first hand from no less than two different rabbis, and seen it in various places (unsourced*) that the Chazon Ish held that short jackets were not tznius, and this is why certain ...
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92 views

History of separating milk and meat dishes

What are the origins of having separate milk and meat dishes? It seems to be a generally accepted practice, and there are many Acharonim that talk about it. Where was the idea first introduced and how ...
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63 views

Zilberman seforim

Does anybody know of seforim written by members of the Zilberman community in Yerushalayim? I'm looking primarily for halachic works about implementing the Vilna Gaon's shitahs today, but I'd be ...
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171 views

Choreography of Kaddish

I have seen a number of different customs of when people bow or sway or bob or whatnot during Kaddish. Some of the people I have witnessed have been very knowledgeable, and I assume they weren't just ...
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92 views

Are there any name combinations that may not be used?

Are there any combinations of names that may not be given? There are many names which aren't commonly paired together but is there any reason not to or just common practice and preference?
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115 views

Where exactly should the amud be placed?

In some synagogues I have seen the amud (lectern) from where the chazan (prayer leader) stands to say the prayers, placed a few feet in front of the aron (cabinet) where the torah is kept or between ...
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129 views

Why don't Ramaniote Jews use the hei in names?

I am named after my grandfather and great grandfather on my mother's side, both of whom were Ramaniote. My name, therefore, is "Avram Mosh" (אברם מוש) instead of "Avraham Moshe" (אברהם משה). I've been ...
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112 views

When and why would one don sackcloth?

There are various instances in tanach of someone donning sackcloth. I would like to know whether any commentators have compiled an outline as to when and why someone would don sackcloth (is it only ...
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138 views

How do we celebrate Tu B'Av?

Besides the dancing maidens of Jerusalem, many other significant events occurred on Tu B'Av for it to be considered one of the holiest days of the year. As mentioned in a previous question, many ...
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160 views

Should I rend k'riyah if I witness the death of a non-relative? If so, what's the procedure?

In another question, Chalutznahal cites Yoreh De'ah 340:5, which says that when I witness a fellow Jew die, I must rend my shirt out of sadness. And British Rabbi Dr. Moshe Freedman brings this down ...
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264 views

Saying Misod and Reshut (introduction) for piyutim, then skipping them

I have seen that many yeshivos (and recently, even some shuls) often say just Misod and the Reshus on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and then skip the actual piyutim they are meant to introduce! This ...
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119 views

Matzah Shemurah on the 8th day of Pesaḥ (in the Diaspora)

According to those who hold that there is a Kiyyum Mitzvath 'Aseh DeOraitha (a fulfillment of a positive Biblical commandment) every time one eats a KeZayith (olive size's worth) of Matzah on Pesaḥ, ...
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90 views

Why read about Rashb"i's death at a memorial ceremony?

Why do many people read the passage (known as אדרא זוטא) from Zohar about the death of Rabbi Shim'on ben Yochai at memorial ceremonies? A description of it can be found here.
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1answer
79 views

Practice to end a speech with praying for moshiach

Something I've noticed is almost every speech, devar Torah, or words of inspiration I hear end the exact same. The speaker ends with some permutation of the following words: May we all merit to see ...
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1answer
262 views

Lithuanian minhag for talis katan material

Not an halachic question, but we can read many things about talis katan: wool over cotton, tzitzis out or in, etc. It seems that the Lithuanian minhag was to tuck them in, but what about the material? ...
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2answers
159 views

Can minhag hamakom allow you to make what is for you a bracha levatala

I have a question about a specific case but it relates to a broad subject so I'm making the question less narrow. Pesachim 101a presents a minhag they used to have to make Kiddush in synagogue. Even ...
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1answer
298 views

Sitting or Standing for Kaddish - historical divergence between Conservative and Orthodox minhag

At most (maybe even all?) Conservative synagogues, the congregation remains seated during every kaddish (except mourner's kaddish, and then only mourners rise). At Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogues, the ...
4
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1answer
124 views

Is it obligatory / recommended / permitted / discouraged / forbidden to tie a red thread to a child's crib?

The comments to this question discuss tying to a red thread to a child's crib. Garvey80 claims that it is a minhag yisrael to do so, and is thus obligatory. User6591 claims that it may be forbidden, ...
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67 views

Would a razor that doesn’t touch the skin be permissible?

I have seen Gillette has come out with a new razor that has as they call it a skin guard Skin Guard Razor in essence there is a piece of plastic between your face and the blade thus the shave is not ...