Questions tagged [minhag]

Questions about Jewish customs and traditions.

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81 views

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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1answer
77 views

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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373 views

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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1answer
125 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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86 views

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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1answer
51 views

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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27 views

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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3answers
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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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165 views

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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68 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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221 views

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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448 views

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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1answer
215 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
114 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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1answer
196 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 ...
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1answer
124 views

Nefilat Apayim on arm without tefilin

The prevalent Ashkenazi custom, with regards to nefilat apayim during shacharit is to lean on the arm that one does not wear his tefilin on. However at mincha the custom is to lean on the left arm. ...
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1answer
77 views

Different endings for Haftarat Vayetze and Haftarat Shuvah?

Ashkenazim customarily read as the haftarah of Parshat Vayetze from Hoshea 12:13 until the end of the book. As the ending of Hoshea is somewhat disturbing, Mishnah Berurah 428:22 recommends adding ...
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2answers
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What should be done with yahrzeit candle jars?

I have seen people save them. I, too, am reluctant to throw them away. Are there laws or standard custom(s) for what is or should be done with the empty jars from yahrzeit candles? We shouldn't need ...
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Who uses which haftarah for Shabbat Shuva?

The shabbat between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur is known as Shabbat Shuva. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 428:8 records two different customs as to what haftarah to read on this shabbat: Shuva Yisrael (...
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110 views

Reward for keeping Minhagim and Chumros

Over the years many Chumros and Minhagim have been created. For example, waiting 6 hours between meat and milk for Ashkenazim. Or not eating gebrochts on Pesach. So if it is a Minhag that cannot be ...
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1answer
177 views

What's the source of a custom not to eat meat at seudo shlishis?

Recently I hosted a traveller for Shabbos meals who follows a custom of not eating meat at seudo shlishis. (He would usually eat fish instead.) What is the origin/source of this custom and how ...
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132 views

Where do we first see Elul as a time for repentance?

Today, the month of Elul is seen as being an introduction to the period of the High Holy Days (Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur). For instance, Tur Orach Chaim 581: התקינו חז"ל שיהו תוקעין בר"ח אלול ...
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185 views

What is the source and reason for saying L’Dovid during Elul and most of Tishrei?

The minhag I've seen in Ashkenazi synagogues is to say L’Dovid (Tehillim 27) morning and evening, from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Shemini Atzeres. The earliest source I can find for this is the Mishnah ...
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81 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?
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1answer
151 views

Keeping your own community's dinim vs. yuhara

My chosen community--like every community, I suppose--has its own body of distinctive minhagim, horaos, chumras, hiddurim, and normative halachas. All, including the hiddurim, are observed with a high ...
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49 views

Why is there an apparent “high priority” on reciting all 7 Consolation Haftarot?

Last week, I looked at the back of my shul's Tiqun Kor'im (I forgot which version it is, offhand) and noticed a long paragraphs explaining the different customs of what happens when Shabbat parshat R'...
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1answer
149 views

Welcoming the Mourner in on Friday Night

On Friday night, a mourner, during the first 7 days, a mourner enters shul right before the recitation of Psalm 92 (Mizmor shir l'yom hashabbat). A mourner enters the synagogue on Friday evening ...
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2answers
538 views

Why do Ashkenazim in Israel tend to use Nusach Sefard?

Generally, the original non-Chassidic Ashkenazi community in Israel were followers of the Vilna Gaon. Since they were practically the only Ashkenaz presence in Israel, they were able to institute many ...
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1answer
135 views

Minhag and nusach differences between Mizrahim and Sephardim (as in OG from Spain/Portugal)

These days, it seems the term "Sephardi/Sephardic" simply refers to non-Ashkenazi Jews. However, since Greece, Balkans, and of course Spain and Portugal are a long way from Iran, Iraq, Egypt, it ...
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89 views

Is a Minhag for a Baal Teshuva considered a Neder? [duplicate]

A Baal Teshuva that comes from an Ashkenazi family, became observant thru a Chabad house, with no understanding of different Nusachim and no intention to become a Lubavitcher, only to become more ...
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134 views

Minhag Hamakom in America according to R' Moshe Feinstein

I've heard that R' Moshe Feinstein said there's no Minhag Hamakom (Minhag of the area/Community) in America. Where can I find this? Is he saying that there is no one "unified" Minhag Hamakom that ...
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2answers
287 views

How can a minhag become binding?

I have asked this question to a few of my Rabbeim and none have provided me with an answer. How can something that isn't an issur d'oraysa or an issur d'rabanan, become assur? It is extremely common ...
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72 views

Source that the customs in regards to the night after Tisha B'av apply on a year when the fast is pushed off

There is a custom to keep the restrictions of the "nine days" throughout the night after the ninth of Av (until midday on the tenth). When Tisha B'av falls out on Shabbat, which causes the fast to be ...
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1answer
111 views

Tefillin at chatzos on Tisha BAv

The general practice is to not wear tefillin in the morning on Tisha BAv (OC 555:1). However, after chatzos many of the mourning practices which are only customs are lifted. As such, people wear ...
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1answer
183 views

Torah Shabbos Tisha b'Av After Chatzos

There seem to be widespread reports of an Ashkenazi custom to refrain from studying (joyful) Torah specifically after chatzos (midday) on Shabbos that falls out on the 9th of Av (see e.g. here and ...
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1answer
114 views

Why is there a difference between meat/wine and other restrictions after delayed Tisha B'av

Since the burning of the Temple began on the ninth day of Av and continued on the tenth, therefore it is a good custom not to eat meat on the day after Tisha B'av (Shulchan Aruch OC 558:1), at least ...
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432 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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52 views

Are there any exceptions to not wearing tallit on Tish'a B'Av morning?

In Minhag Ashkenaz, people do not wear the tallit gadol for Tish'a B'av Shacharit. I don't recall if this is a universal rule that applies to everyone, or if it is OK for those involved with certain ...
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58 views

Why is the תפילת גשם, The prayer for rain, said on Shmini Atzeres, rather than on Hashanahah Rabbah?

Mishnah /Rosh Hashanah 1:2 - - משנה ראש השנה פרק א משנה א בְּאַרְבָּעָה פְרָקִים הָעוֹלָם נִדּוֹן, בְּפֶסַח עַל הַתְּבוּאָה, בַּעֲצֶרֶת עַל פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן, בְּרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה כָּל בָּאֵי ...
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117 views

Sofer wearing a special robe

In the book “Israel: Splendors of the Holy Land” by Sara Kochav, there is a picture of a sofer (Torah scibe). The image describtion claims that the sofer needs to wear a special robe, as depicted in ...
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1answer
93 views

Must one have a different suits for Yom Tov and Shabbos?

I was wondering if it was preferable to have one suit for both Shabbos and Yom Tov or to have two different suits. And can you wear Shabbos/Yom Tov suits to other occasions like Bar Mitzvahs and ...
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1answer
118 views

Not to sweep floor on day of traveling (source)

I just heard in the name of Rabbi Moncowits in Montreal that on day of traveling it is forbidden to sweep the floor. Because he once was in an accident and the Lubavicher Rebbe told him it was ...
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1answer
71 views

Where is the Israeli Niggun sung after a Mazel Tov from?

In Israel it is customary to sing a wordless niggun after a mazel tov is read out in shul. (The only rendition I could find is here, excuse the cats). Where is this niggun from? Who wrote it?
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1answer
177 views

Are there any extant communities that would not eat meat from the hindquarters, even expertly porged?

There is a prohibition to eat from the sciatic nerve of an animal (gid hanasheh) as well as certain fats from a domesticated animal (cheilev). Before meat can be eaten, these must be removed via a ...
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109 views

Drink fresh water after Shabbos coming from Miriam's well?

Taamei Haminhagim 423 explains the custom of women to draw water immediately when they hear “Borchu” after Shabbos. In short it says, In Agada it says that the Well of Miriam which is in the sea ...
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1answer
48 views

Multiple people saying blessing over candles when one lights

Scenario: Erev Shabbat, the woman of the house lights the candles, and then the husband and children join on the blessing. Is this permissible? Is this a custom? If it is, what is the source of this ...
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90 views

Why is Baruch-Hu-Uvaruch-Shmo answered only in the brachos after the Haftorah, but not in the bracha before?

As far as I recall, the minhag in all Ashkenaz shuls which I have ever attended, was not to answer Baruch-Hu-Uvaruch-Shmo to the name of Hashem in the Bracha which is said before the Haftorah, but in ...
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134 views

The kittel as tachrich

I recently heard and was extremely moved by the idea that the kitlen worn on Pesach, Yom Kippur, and under the chuppah are intended to resemble tachrichim -- and are, in some cases, the actual ...
4
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1answer
203 views

Chaba''d doesn't follow minhag hamakom?

My shul davens "standard" Nusach Sfard. During Shabbat mincha, the sha''tz was a Chaba''d chasid. While we were returning the Torah, the sha''tz started saying Kaddish. (Nusach Chaba''d/Ari only says ...
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79 views

Switching back to a seat in Aveilut

There is a practice for a mourner to change his seat in Shul -- there are many different opinions about when and how. If, during the period of mourning, the mourner suffers another loss, so he ...

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