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7 votes

Is there an issue with wearing a cap and gown to graduation?

According to Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, see Halacha2go, a graduation gown or cap is considered as something you wear for a specific purpose and therefore not considered as chukos hagoyim: Medical ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Responsa regarding the tooth fairy or alternatives

Amazingly, there is one source on Otzar Hachochmah that refers to both the Tooth Fairy and a Jewish alternative: The Candy-throwing Angel. In the book ופקדת נווך by R' Erez Abrahamov, p. 70, it says (...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 26k
5 votes

What is the source for carrying candles down at a wedding?

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 ...
IsraelReader's user avatar
  • 5,108
5 votes

Pagan practice to clink glasses?

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" ...
sam's user avatar
  • 42.3k
5 votes

Is there an issue with wearing a cap and gown to graduation?

Rav Moshe Feinstein (quoted in Mesoras Moshe vol. 2 pg. 196) says it is forbidden to wear a cap and gown because the custom of wearing them to a graduation started with priests in their colleges. He ...
Akiva F's user avatar
  • 51
4 votes

Chukos Ha'goyim at a wedding ceremony

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 ...
lionscribe's user avatar
3 votes

Pagan practice to clink glasses?

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 ...
Noam's user avatar
  • 507
3 votes

What is the source for carrying candles down at a wedding?

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:
sam's user avatar
  • 42.3k
3 votes

Birthdays in Judaism

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 ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.7k
2 votes
Accepted

Is numerology an acceptable Jewish practice?

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 ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.2k
2 votes
Accepted

St. Patrick’s Day and Chukot Hagoyim

Obviously assur. I heard in the name of Reb Yisroel Belsky.
Beis Yehuda's user avatar
2 votes
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Are Jews allowed to benefit from Chukot Hagoyim

There is a fascinating "Halachically Speaking" on this scenario entitled, "Doing Business on a Non-Jewish Holiday" here Certainly, like you mention, avoda zara is the main issue. ...
Dov's user avatar
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1 vote
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Ger Toshav and Chukot hagoyim

No a Ger Toshav bc he is Toshav he's dwelling he's not a Ger Sedeq of righteousness i.e.Yesod. The latter ought to avoid Chukot hagoyyim as other Yisrael do. Edit: Just a guess that Chok relates to ...
Nissim Nanach's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Chukkot leshem Avodah Zarah

The commentaries on that Rashi ask a similar question: If we cannot use a single-stone altar because the non-Jews use it, why aren't we forbidden from using a many stone altar, as the non-Jews also do?...
N.T.'s user avatar
  • 9,055
1 vote

Chukkot leshem Avodah Zarah

Excellent question! We have changed many things about prayer for this reason. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai encouraged his students to "raise their hands in prayer", exactly the way evangelicals ...
יהושע ק's user avatar
1 vote

Can I have flowers planted on my grave?

The prohibition of placing flowers on a grave is not a strict prohibition, and appears to be more of a matter of custom. I had never seen this outside of Israel but, having gone to too many military ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.2k
1 vote

Are there any halakhic concerns with mustache wax?

Waxing to shave is permitted in general, see e.g., here from R Zev Farber According to the halacha [...] it is forbidden for a man to shave off the hair of his temples or to shave off the corners ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.2k
1 vote

Is it permitted to daven five times a day every day?

As chova it's prohibited, as nedava, a tsibbur cannot, and a yachid nowadays is not able to make this correctly. Practically it's not permitted. SA OC 107.1 ... אבל אם ברי לו שהתפלל אינו חוזר ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.9k
1 vote

Birthdays in Judaism

To the first question, according to the Chida in Chomat Anach (Iyov 3:3) there is kabbalistic significance associated with one's birthday. אפשר במ"ש המקובלים שהיום שנולד בו האדם מזלו בריא וחזק בכל ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
1 vote

Why are we allowed to lean at the Passover Seder?

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 ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
1 vote

Why are we allowed to lean at the Passover Seder?

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 ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.9k
1 vote

Why are we allowed to lean at the Passover Seder?

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 ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
1 vote

Purim carnavalistic costumes

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,” ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.8k
1 vote

Is one allowed to visit a temple or place of worship of a religion no longer in existence?

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 ...
Srugi1's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote

Jeans as Hukot HaGoyim

R Shlomo Aviner answers this question in his book On the air p. 114. He writes that it is only chukot ha-goyim if the non-Jews are the only ones who wear a particular type of clothing. If observant ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.2k
1 vote

Birthdays in Judaism

Should a Jew celebrate his birthday? This point is in dispute, as noted in the other answers. The best resolution I know was provided by 19th-century Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer. [Ktav ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar

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