16

So long as it isn't indecent, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:81) writes that it's not a problem. I've written it up here. And for those who don't believe me, here's what it looks like in the original responsum: Link to the pdf: page 1, page 2. Specifically regarding jeans it's even easier as we know where jeans come from -- gold prospectors ...


9

Per Rabbi Aviner this is superstition and may be done. Opening Umbrella Inside Q: Is it unlucky to open an umbrella inside A: Superstition. (but not to be done on Shabbat, as an umbrella is Muktzeh)


7

See this article which analyzes part of Igrot Moshe on the topic of New Year's celebrations in general. While you should read the whole article, I'm excerpting the part that I believe is most relevant to your question: Rabbi Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe, Yoreh Deah 4:11(4)) is logically correct in his observation that: ‘Thus, it is obvious in my opinion, ...


6

The Chochmas Adam 89:1 wrote that the Vilna Gaon abolished the minhag of decorating the synagogue with trees in honor of Shavuos because of the problem of Chukkas HaGoy (i.e. the practice of decorating a tree for the Christian's Holiday). The Chochmas Adam held that such a problem would even justify nullifying a practice mentioned (but not commanded) in the ...


6

There are Orthodox Rabbis in London who wear poppies and go along to Remembrance Ceremonies and even recite prayers in them. The poppy is not a form of idolatry but is instead a symbol of "respect" to the soldiers who gave up their lives to protect us. In the United Kingdom, this is particularly relevant, as we are remembering soldiers who fought in World ...


5

Rav Musafi says that in a place where people that dress modestly don't wear jeans, one shouldn't wear them. Therefor I would assume there is no issue of Hukot HaGoyim. http://www.doresh-tzion.co.il/QAShowAnswer.aspx?qaid=65856


5

The Minchas Shmuel pg.251 cites Shu"t Mevaser Tov 2:79 who writes that this practice of clinking galseses together seems to be a tradition of the non-Jews. As we find in Amos 6:6 "השותים במזקרי יין" and the Gemara in Shabbas 62b explains the word מזקרי means to throw wine from one cup to the other (clinking glasses could be inferred). The Minchas Shmuel ...


5

Halachically Speaking - page 11 quoting Miyum Hahalacha 4:46 says one should not put candles on the birthday cake. The practice of putting candles on a birthday cake corresponding to the celebrant’s age does not stem from a Jewish custom and should not be done Rabbi Eli Mansour quoting Rabbi Avraham Blumenkrantz says it should not be done. It ...


4

Rabbi Akive Eiger writes this in his commentary to the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 89: 1) in the name of the B'er Sheva (74): מה שאין אנו מתפללים בפרישת כפים כמו שמצינו במקרא כמה פעמים ובזוה"ק ובפרקי דר"א היינו כיון דעכשיו האומות עושים כן. וכמו שאמרו חז"ל על פסוק לא תקים לך מצבה באר שבע סי' ע"ד The citation to B'er Sheva 74 is a typo and it should read ...


4

According to the Ben Ish Chai it is important. But even more important is one's bris day. He writes in shana alef parshas Re'eh ois 17 that people are noheig to make their birthday into a yom tov, and it is a good siman, he adds that he too did it. He goes on to describe the bris-day minhag.


4

Here is one: Many Polish and Russian Rabbis felt that a Chupah should not take place in a Synagogue, as it became customary to exchange vows in a church, so it became Chukas Hagoyim. Many German Rabbis though felt that it is no problem, as it is done in Church only because it is a convinient assembly place, not due to religion or custom.


4

The earliest source that I have found of carrying lights at a wedding, is in the Sefer Ha’Aruch, by Nathan ben Yechiel of Rome (c. 1035-1106), under the entry "לפד" (torch), who mentions a custom “in the land of Yishmael”, of carrying TEN torches before the bride. מנהג בארץ ישמעאל, שמוליכין הכלה מבית אביה לבית בעלה קודם הכנסתה לחופה, ומוליכין לפניה בעשר ...


3

The Sefer Edus Yisrael brings many different sources ,and makes mention that this is a very old minhag and is already mentioned in the Rokeach. Text of the Edus Yisrael:


3

I know of no traditional Jewish source on this topic (and would be happy to see one, if anyone else does) but there is this: http://www.snopes.com/food/rituals/clink.asp Personally, I consider Snopes pretty reliable in general, though I didn't look into the sources they cite on the bottom of this article. Short version: Clinking glasses was added (...


3

Well, as Fred's excellent answer over at the other question demonstrates, it is fairly well-established that several different Jewish communities had a custom to dye or colour eggs for various holidays, including Purim, Pesah, and Lag baOmer, in both the Mizrahi world (Yemen, Afghanistan and Kurdistan) and the Ashkenazi world (Hassidic and shtetl customs). I'...


2

I've heard argued that the secular date should be celebrated because the only source in tanach that we have of birthdays is Pharoh celebrating his birthday in Gen 40:20 There is no reference in tanach to a hebrew birthday. Hence the secular date should be celebrated.


2

R. Joseph Hayim of Baghdad talks about birthdays in his commentary to Masechet Berachot. He writes that birthdays are a time of special "luck" and success for the person, and that it is therefore customary for everyone to make their birthdays into a holiday for themselves: Ben Yehoyada Berachot 28a ההוא יומא בר תמני סרי שני הוה. נראה לי בס"ד דקדק לומר ...


2

The first mishnah in Avodah Zoro says, 1 During the three days preceding the festivals of the non-Jews, it is forbidden to do business with them, to lend them something or to borrow something from them, to lend [money] to them or to borrow [money] from them, to resolve your debt to them or to have them resolve their debt to you. Rabbi Yehuda says: ...


2

Wikipedia defines a Dervish as “someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity.” Rabbi Buchwald in an article for Re’eh 5773-2013, says In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, we learn of the Biblical command that the People of Israel must destroy all vestiges of pagan and polytheistic ...


2

I just came across one relevant reference regarding synagogue architecture ועל אותן אשר מתכוונים לעשות בנין בשמונה צלעות (ומכל שכן בארבעה צלעות) כדמות היכלי הגוים, עליהם אני קורא וישכח ישראל עושהו ויבן היכלות ע”ש, ובפרט בבנינים כמו היכלי עכו”ם יש גם כן לאו של תורה, ובחוקותיהם לא תלכו, כמו שנתבאר רמב”ם פרק י”א מהלכות עכו”ם הלכה א’, וביו”ד סימן קע”ח ...


2

The laws of visiting houses of worships from other religions come from the Talmudic tractate Avoda Zara (see e.g., 17a) on the laws of idolatry. It is clearly prohibited to enter a house of worship from non-monotheistic religions (Rambam, Peirush ha-Mishnayos, Avodah Zarah 1:3; Shach YD 149:1). Halachic decisors debate where Christianity (general consensus: ...


2

Your question spans across numerology and astrology. Both have strong backing in Jewish tradition but rather when using them in a descriptive way (to explain the past) and not to make predictions. To answer your question directly, it is "Jewish" to believe people are influenced by their birthdate although they retain much freedom to influence their fate and ...


1

Rav Moshe Shternbuch in his responsa, while discussing a question whether wearing "short" suits, which were a modern advent, falls into the prohibition of Chukas Hagoyim, writes a general principle regarding the prohibition: "The law of Chukas Hagoyim only applies when there is no rhyme or reason to the custom. But if there is a practical purpose the custom, ...


1

See S A 178, 1: אין הולכין בחוקות העובדי כוככים (ולא מדמין להם) (טור בשם הרמב״ם). ולא ילבש מלבוש המיוחד להם ולא יגדל ציצת ראשו כמו ציצת ראשם ולא יגלח מהצדדין ויניח השער באמצע ולא יגלח השער מכנגד פניו מאוזן לאוזן ויניח הפרע ולא יבנה מקומות כבנין היכלות של עבודת כוכבים כדי שיכנסו בהם רבים כמו שהם עושים: הגה: אלא יהא מובדל מהם במלבושיו ובשאר מעשיו (שם) ...


1

This is not (in this case) chukas hagoyim. Rather it is pointing to a situation in which we use something that we can see from the goyim as an example of what we would do. Another example is the description of how to wrap the tallis (like the araviyim). Another example is how Rashi describes the choshen using the example of a noble woman's riding dress. ...


1

According to this article: The truth of the matter is that the real source is from the Roman Catholic and (to a lesser extent) Eastern Orthodox festive season known as “Carnival,” or “Carnaval,” which is a period of celebration and jaw-dropping debauchery before Lent (a period of many ascetic practices for Catholics), mostly observed during February. The ...


1

I won't comment as to whether it's assur or muttar (as someone put it above, CYLOR). All I can tell you is that I felt very uncomfortable at Chechen Itza. You could feel the tum'ah. I thought I would be ok avoiding the main temple at the center of the site. But there are depictions of A"Z all over, and you can stumble across a place of A"Z worship ...


1

This sums it up nicely: To most American Jews, even most Orthodox Jews, there is no question about the appropriateness of celebrating to Thanksgiving; to them, it is a secular holiday that represents values important in Judaism and in American culture. To many traditionalist Jews, however, commemorating any non-Jewish holiday raises questions about ...


1

Without knowing the specifics; such as who has such a practice, for how long, an if there are any sources, then I'm not certain we can presume that such a practice hasn't been consciously adopted the non-Jewish custom. Either way it seems extremely problematic to maintain such a custom: It is the opinion of the Chochmas Adam 89:1 that when non-Jews ...


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