Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
25

Many synagogues - mainly Orthodox, not specifically Hassidic, light two candles in front of the Chazzan's (cantor's) table. The candles are on during the duration of the prayers and extinguished afterwards. (Some places use electric "candles"; others use wax. I prefer the wax, though it is a bit more dangerous, smelly, and messy.) It has nothing to do with ...


19

R' Eizik Vitebsker writes (look in Os 26) that the origin of this Chumra was from the Mezritcher Maggid. R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi explains that since some opinions say that flour which was baked (without being kneaded first) can still become chometz after contacting water as it may not have been baked well. He writes that (at least in his time) one could ...


17

I think the Ba'al Shem Tov had to have existed in some way (even if it's not the way we've been taught), as I doubt an entire branch of Orthodox Judaism would base itself off the teachings of a ficticious figure. Let me ask you this - if the Besht didn't exist, who made him up? From a historical standpoint, saying he didn't exist is futile. We have books ...


15

The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that the custom among Lubavitch was to cut the Peos. He said that there are a few reasons, one of which is to avoid mixing the two types of light from the 13 strands of the beard. He also mentioned that the Arizal used to cut his Peos (as is written in the Shaarei Hamitzvos and Taamei Hamitzvos parshas Kedoshim).


15

The Satmar book, The Rebbe, mentions a different version of that story. The Rebbe is quoted as saying: Had Humphrey spoken to me in support of the Zionist state, it wouldn't have bothered me in the least. We Jews have a Torah which forbids us to have a state during the exile, and therefore we may not ask the Americans to support the state. But a non-...


12

Since no one seems to have answered the last question, namely, are there any Chabad commentaries on the Gemara.... There are many talks and writings from all the Lubavitcher Rebbeim on different topics in Gemara. As far as I know, there is no one systematic commentary on the Gemara, and as their discussions of Gemara topics are usually (though not always) ...


12

The Kaliver Rebbi. It was pulled out by the Nazis Yemach Shemom. http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%91%D7%A5:Kaliver_rebbe.jpg


11

The Tefillin of Rabbenu Tam were written by R' Zirkind, at the special request of R' Moshe. These tefillin were checked by my rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel Schneid, who told me that the tefillin were written in typical Russian Beis Yosef script. As any sofer experienced with Sifre Torah of the world will tell you, before 1948, each country and Edah had their unique ...


11

Those that go to Uman - go because they believe that Rabbi Nachman promised that if you come and pray at his grave on Rosh HaShana he will make sure that you have a good year. Many Rabanim are against this (Harav Ovadia Yosef amongst them). Woman do not go on Rosh HaShana both for Tznius and practical reasons (someone has to take care of the family). ...


11

Breslever chasidim leave E"Y to be by our rebbe at Rosh Hashana because he said to come, end of story. Not all Breslevers go - one of the great leaders of Breslev today, R' Elazar Kenig shlita, hosts a gathering in Meron for those who are unable to go. There is no specific issur in Uman. The issues of kivrei tzadikim and leaving E"Y in general are complex ...


11

Erlau. They dress like Hassidim and they have a rebbe, who holds a tisch, but their traditions and minhagim are Chassam Sofer strictly (In fact, the Erlauer ravs are from the direct line of the Chassam Sofer, and their surname is in fact, Sofer.). They use Ashkenaz siddur, and their culture is an Oberlander culture. You'll also find, if you hang out ...


11

Yes, the Minchas Elazar was very makpid (strict) on both dikduk (grammar) and wording. His hakpada (strictness) is a major subject in the preface to the current main Munkacser siddur, Tzvi Tiferes. It outlines both commonly ignored rules, and points out that the siddur includes clear markings for mil'eil/mil'ra and sh'va na/nach. It also brings sources for ...


11

This practice was advocated (possibly first suggested) by R. Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, as brought in his name in the collection of Hassidic Torah and lore entitled 'Siach Sarfe Kodesh' (n. 233): שכל או״א (אחד ואחד) צריך להיות לו שני קעשינעס (כיסים) להשתמש בו בעת צרכו. בקעשינע אחד בשבילי נברא העולם ובהקעשינע השני אנכי עפר ואפר


10

It could be based on the prohibition of Chukot HaAku"m, as wearing a tie has no particular inherent practical purpose. See particularly (and ironically) the Beiur HaGr"a YD 178 sk 6.


10

The roots of this minhag actually lie in the Gemara itself. In Pesachim 40b, there is a discussion which says explicitly that Rav Papi allowed servants in the beit Reish Galuta to thicken a tavshil with "chasisi." The Rif says this is matzah meal; Tosafot say it is lentil flour, and Rashi says it is dried flour. Rava says we need to be concerned in a place ...


10

The Rebbe did not state that anyone who comes to his grave and prays will be granted a good year. He made a promise that anyone who travels to his grave, recites the Tikkun K'lali, donates at least a couple pennies to charity in his name, and, perhaps most importantly, take it upon himeself to leave his errant and foolish ways, then the Rebbe will do ...


10

As others have answered, the photo of the Rebbe you are thinking of is all but certainly the Kaliver Rebbe shlita, HaRav Menachem Mendel Traub. As mentioned, the Kaliver Rebbe shlita is a Holocaust survivor, and it is my understanding (as well) that it was during this time he lost his beard. The version of the story I heard is different than Gershon Gold's ...


10

Most Chassidic Groups:1 On the yahrtzeit of a rabbi with connection to the group (either a previous rebbe, or someone with substantial influence on the group or that town's inhabitants). When their rebbe does, e.g. when his child gets married or is circumcised. On days when special joyous events happened to their past rebbes, e.g. they were freed from ...


10

From Sefer Ba'al Shem Tov al HaTorah, Parshat Breishit, #127 (quoting Arvei Nahal parshat Lekh and Amtahat Binyamin on Kohelet) : הבעל שם טוב אמר כי איש אשר הוא נקי לגמרי ולא פגם כלל מעולם אפילו כל שהוא, אי אפשר לו לראות רע בשום אדם או שישמע מרע שיעשה שום אדם כי לא יזמין לו ה' יתברך לראות רע או לשמוע שום רע. לכן כשרואה האדם איזה איש שעושה רע, או שמספרים ...


10

This is quoted in the Afrakasta D'anya (4: 370) of R. David ben R. Baruch Kalonymus Sperber (leader of pre-war Romania) in the name of R. Moshe Stern in the name of the author of Imrei Yosef in turn quoting his teachers. שו"ת אפרקסתא דעניא חלק ד - עניינים שונים סימן שע ועל דרך - זה שמעתי מפי מו"ח הגה"צ ז"ל [רבי משה שטרן, גאב"ד פאליאן] בשם הה"ק בעל ...


10

Aside from the fact there are countless prominent Rabbis from his time who state clearly that they met and learned with him face to face, such a the Maggid of Mezerich, any student of history is aware of the collections of his actual letters (correspondence to his brother and others) which have been reprinted faithfully. One such example is the collection ...


10

This comes from Tikunei Zohar Tikuna Asira'ah (here page 25b), in discussing numerical connections between the 5 knots on tzitzis and the 5 first words of Shema and the 5 strings on King David's lyre: וכד ישראל אמרין שמע ודאי מארי חיוון שמטין גדפייהו באן אתר בכנפי מצוה דאתמר בהון על ארבע כנפות כסותך אשר תכסה בה דאיהו כגוונא דמעיל האפוד דפעמונים ורמונים ...


9

Hassidim generally wear three types of shirts: A regular white dress shirt. As above, but with reversed buttoning, i.e. right-over-left. Pocket remains on left side of the chest. Basically identical to women's dress shirts, save for the bust shape. A "rebbishe" shirt with three or four differences from the above: 1. The sleeves have no cuff, but instead ...


9

Generally with other ulta-orthodox baalei t'shuva or other people with similar backgrounds. That is a good idea, regardless, as the compatibility is more likely to be there. (The only exception to your list is persons of color - my observation is that they tend to find a person of a different color who doesn't have a hangup about it). In addition, There are ...


9

The source is the Zohar Pinchas 253b. There the Zohar says ואוף הכי דפרשין דמלכא הוו מארי משנה דאינון כמלאכים משמשין לון שדים יהודאי דאינון רשימין באות שדי (ס"א באת י') ואית שדין ומזיקין מסטרא דמסאבו דאתקריאו שדים עכו"ם וזה לעומת זה עשה האלקים ובגין דא אמרו מארי מתניתין דאינון ג' מינין מינייהו. חד מין דלהון כמלאכי השרת ומין תניינא כבני אדם ומין תליתאי ...


8

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (here - 3rd par.) quoting the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe )(here - 2nd col., 2nd par.), tells a story of the Alter Rebbe (the Baal Hatanya) in which he (the Previous Rebbe) mentions that the Alter Rebbe didn't hold his hands behind his back al pi kabbalah. This wasn't even referring to folding one's hands, let alone walking. The Alter ...


8

Datim is generally the equivalent of Modern Orthodox in the US. Charedim is an umbrella name for Chasidim, Yeshivish and any other variety of strict Orthodox who try to observe Jewish Laws and customs (e.g. the Shulchan Aruch and early commentaries) to the letter. Chasidim are in the Chareidi category with an emphasis on minhagim which are largely based on ...


8

According to Rav Chaim Berlin z"tl it would appear that the cherem no longer applies in what may be the earliest formal expression of the current status quo: ולהתפלל בבית הכנסת של החסידים אין שום חשש בזה, וגזירת רבינו הגר"א ז"ל לא הי' אלא בזמנו שהקילו אז בכבוד תלמידי חכמים לומדי תורה, ולא כן בימינו שהחסידים חולקים כבוד לכל לומדי תורה והם יראי ה' ...


8

Rabbi Yosef Avraham Heller, the Rosh Kollel of Crown Heights, Brooklyn and former member of the Beis Din there, wrote a essay explaining the Halachic justification for davening after Chatzos, published in "Kobetz Beis Chayenu" 11 Nissan 5760 pg. 28. The crunch of the explanation is as follows: The Gemora (Brochos 26a) states that, "He may go on praying [...


8

Fragmentary information I can gather from various sources indicates that the accepted learning style "in Satmar" includes the following characteristics: Topic-directed rather than linear page-by-page learning Studying out loud Ostensible resemblance to the "Chasam Sofer" style of learning, which is characterized by simplicity (avoidance of both pilpul and ...


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