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Miscellaneous Laws and Customs

Laws and customs concerning daily activities such as dressing and eating, and special events such as visitintg the sick, moving to a new home, and Rosh Chodesh.

What Are the Four Jewish New Years?
The Jewish year starts on Nisan 1, Elul 1, Tishrei 1 and Shevat 15, with each date bringing its own meaning.
Parshah Halachah
Halachic Issues Culled from the Parshah
Discussions of laws related to daily Jewish living as sourced in the weekly Torah readings.
Laws of the Morning Routine
The laws of rising in the morning, washing the hands in the morning, dressing and walking, decency in the lavatory, cleanliness for prayer or torah study, benedictions, morning benedictions and the laws before prayer
Judaism and Pet Ownership: 18 FAQs
Explore some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Judaism and pet ownership.
8 Once-in-a-Generation Jewish Rituals
Some mitzvahs are done daily, weekly, or annually. But there are some that happen so seldom that many of us are lucky if we experience them even once or twice over the course of our lives.
Bikur Cholim: Visiting the Sick
The basic laws of how to fulfill this important mitzvah.
The Laws of Stealing
"Thou shall not steal." Some of the precepts that are included in this prohibition.
Moving to a New Home
What are the Jewish preparations for moving into a new home?
Thinking of moving? Judaism offers insight on where to move, and there are several traditions and customs associated with new homes.
The Laws Upon Awakening in the Morning
When we awaken in the morning, we immediately recognize and appreciate the kindness G-d has done with them.
The Laws of Using The Right Side
We find in the Torah in a number of verses citing the preference of the right side of the body; we thus give the right side of the body honor and preferential treatment
The Laws of the Meal
Laws, customs and advice from the sages on how to conduct oneself while eating
The Laws of the First Blessings
Making a blessing before eating is how we acknowledge the creator who provides us with the food; now that you know the why, read of the what and how
The Laws of Responding Amen
What is Amen? When to recite Amen; when to refrain from saying amen; the laws of Yehie shmie Rabbah
The Priestly Blessing
Learn all about the Priestly Blessing: Who blesses and when, the preparations, the procedure of the actual blessing, the congregation’s role, and the Kabbalah behind it all.
Birkat Hagomel
The Laws of the Blessing of Thanksgiving
The blessing of thanksgiving recited when one is saved from tragedy with its attendant laws and particulars
The Laws of Rosh Chodesh
The beginning, or “head,” of the Jewish month
The Jewish calendar follows the lunar year. The renewal of the moon marks the beginning of the month; special laws apply on this day
The Laws of Reading the Megillah
To relive the miraculous events of Purim, listen to the reading of the Megillah (the Scroll of Esther) twice: once on Purim eve and again on Purim day.
Mishloach Manot: Sending Food Gifts on Purim
On Purim we emphasize the importance of Jewish unity and friendship by sending gifts of food to friends. We send a gift of at least two kinds of ready-to-eat foods (e.g., pastry, fruit, beverage), to at least one friend on Purim day.
The Laws Concerning the Thirty Days before Passover
Some laws and customs observed in connection to Passover during its preceding days: we are more careful with our leaven and begin learning the laws of the holiday
The Laws of the Blessing on Trees
During the month of Nissan, when one sees a blossoming fruit tree, we make a blessing thanking G‑d for giving us trees that grow fruit.
The Traveler’s Companion
Halichos Mordechai
A Halachic guide and handbook for the Jewish traveler
The Modeh Ani Prayer
Gratitude in the Morning
Dedicating a New Torah Scroll
The dedication of a new Torah scroll is traditionally celebrated with great festivity. This article is a basic guide to the traditional induction ceremony.
Jews and Shoes
Shoes have always played a role in history and culture. What about Jews and shoes?
It's About Time
All about the Jewish calendar and how it works
Hand Signs of the Jew
Throughout history, many societies have had secret, and not-so-secret hand signs. Jews are no different.
If we were destined to be the recipients of harsh decrees in the new year, may they be transferred to this chicken in the merit of this mitzvah of charity....
What is Shatnez?
Of all the ancient laws and customs of the Jews, one of the most mysterious is that of the law forbidding shaatnez.
Abi Gezunt!
Health and Jewish Tradition
Does Judaism have anything to say about eating healthy and being healthy? Actually, Judaism has always been well ahead of the times in this area.
Bringing Back the Wimpel
A 400 year old German Ashkenazi custom which had almost disappeared is making a comeback. This is the custom of making a "wimpel." Most know it as the binder which is wrapped around the Torah scroll.
What Is an Eruv?
The literal meaning of the word is blending or intermingling, but that really does not tell us much... Some think that an eruv has something to do with baby strollers—and to a certain extent they are right...
Raise Your Hand If You’re A Kohen
Throughout the centuries, Jews identified themselves as kohanim simply because their fathers were kohanim. But are these tribal affiliations just a matter of folklore and tradition? Can such claims actually be proven?
What Are the Six Remembrances?
Some events right at the birth of our nationhood were so significant that G‑d commands us to remember them forever.
Synagogue Etiquette
The synogouge is a holy place some laws on how one should conduct themselves
Shiluach Haken
Understanding the Enigmatic Mitzvah to Send Away the Mother Bird
The Nazir and the Nazirite Vow
The nazirite is a holy calling—rising above the mundane by observing a meticulous lifestyle
What Are the 7 Rabbinic Mitzvahs?
There are seven mitzvahs that the prophets and rabbis of the ancient judicial courts initiated during the first millennium after the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
Sefer HaMinhagim
The Book of Chabad-Lubavitch Customs
Jewish Fast Days FAQ
The Fast of Gedaliah, 10 Tevet, Fast of Esther, and 17 Tammuz
It is a mitzvah, ordained by the prophets, to fast on those days on which tragic events occurred to our forefathers.
13 Facts About the Mitzvah to Visit the Sick
Let’s take a step back and learn 13 facts about this building block of Jewish life known as bikur cholim.
Chavruta: Learning Torah in Pairs
The Jewish Way to Study
The nature of any two-way relationship is that each person brings his or her strengths and weaknesses, and that is exactly why it works so well...
13 Facts About Learning Torah
Torah study occupies a central place in Jewish life, but how much do we really know about this activity?
19 Ritual Items Found in a Jewish Home
Do you know your Shabbat candles from Havdalah candles? How about Mezuzahs and Menorahs?
13 Facts About Judaism and Wine
From the Temple service to the Shabbat table, Judaism has a long (and complicated) relationship with wine and drinking.
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