The seforim - Shorashei Minhag Ashkenaz
'Seforim by Rabbi Binyomin Hamburger - Shorashei Minhag Ashkenaz '
In this section we list the contents of Shorashei Minhag Ashkenaz
Many thanks to Daniel Adler of New York for providing the translation/index below
Shorshei Minhogei Ashkenaz - Volume 1
1. Responding to Kedusha
- Custom of the Geonim and Rishonim;
- Order of response originating from the Rabbis;
- Ruling (strictness/exactness) of the Rosh et al;
- The source for the custom of Spanish and Yemenite Jewry;
- The ancient Polish custom;
- Enactment of the Taz;
- Enactment of the Arizal;
- Lithuanian custom;
- Custom of the Gra;
- German (Ashkenaz) custom;
- Responding to Kedusha on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
2. אחד הוא אלקינו
- Origin of the text;
- Answering objections;
- The custom in later generations;
- אני ה' אלקיכם
3. וישמחו בך ישראל אוהבי שמך
- The earliest text;
- German (Ashkenaz) custom in earlier generations;
- The custom of Spanish Jewry: וינוחו;
- The Spanish Cabbalists et al;
- Removing the text of וישמחו; the argument being that there is no joy (שמחה) on Shabbos;
- France and Provence; Italy; Bohemia, Austria, Moravia, Hungry; Poland;
- The Chassidic movement;
- Germany (Ashkenaz) from the time of the Maharil and onwards;
- Beginning to push off וישמחו in Ashkenaz;
- Defense of וישמחו by later authorities (Acharonim);
- The community of Frankfurt on the Main.
4. גואלנו ה'
- Source of the original Ashkenaz custom;
- Objection to the French custom;
- Spread of the French custom;
- Surprise concerning lost hints/implications;
- Guarding the Ashkenaz (German) custom in later generations;
- צור ישראל from the teachings of the Chasidei Ashkenaz.
5. Donning a Tallis due to the Honor of the Congregation
Tallis of the Shliach Tzibur (cantor); Tallis of the Shliach Tzibur during the afternoon and evening prayers; Tallis for those reciting Kaddish; Reciting Kaddish near the Shliach Tzibur; Tallis for those called up to the Torah; Tallis for one called to the Torah at Mincha (afternoon prayer); One who dons a Tallis out of respect for the congregation should he recite a blessing?
6. Honor Due to the Sefer Torah when it is Removed and Returned to the Ark
Honor due to the Torah and those that learn Torah; The order of carrying; Singing; The occasions when על הכל should be sung; The manner of singing על הכל.
7. Recitation of בריך שמיה
The spread of paragraph בריך שמיה; Concealment of the Zohar and Kabbalah; Opinion of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai; Implication of the phrase בר אלהין; סגידנא מקמא דיקר אוריתיה Making Requests on Shabbos; Differing opinions on days when בריך שמיה should be recited; Differing opinions as to the correct order of בריך שמיה; Differing opinions as to the correct text of בריך שמיה.
8. The Saturday Night Prayer Service
Uniqueness of this service in Ashkenaz; "לדוד ברוך" and "למנצח בנגינות"; Song for "לדוד ברוך"; Extending והוא רחום and ברכו; Reciting יתברך וישתבח; Chant for ברכו on Saturday night; ברכו on Saturday night during the month of Elul and the evening following Pesach; Reciting ויתן לך; The shorter text of ויתן לך; Reciting הבדלה in Shul; The Shliach Tzibur reciting הבדלה when no guests are present; שיר המלות אשרי.
9. Pronunciation of the Cholam
Four pronunciations; The Cholam following the rules of dikduk (Hebrew grammar); The Cholam based on an old Talmudic text; The Cholam in ancient Ashkenaz; Cholam according to Rashi; Cholam according to the Gra; Poland, Galicia, and Eastern Hungry; Lithuania; North Germany and Holland; Frankfurt on the Main; Southern and Western Germany; Correct pronunciation even against those that ridicule.
10. Recitation of Hallel in Shul on the Night of Pesach
Opinion of early authorities; Custom of the Arizal according to the Ashkenazi Cabbalists; Not to change from the original custom; Opinion of the Lithuanian Rabbis; Israel.
10a.Recitation of Hallel in Shul on the Night of Pesach (Revised Version)
Hallel on Pesach in Egypt; Hallel in the Temple during the slaughtering and eating of the Paschal sacrifice; Hallel after the destruction of the temple: In a house of experts and a house of boors; Innovation from Tractate Soferim: Hallel in Shul with a blessing; Spain; areas of Spain; Yemen; France; Provence; Italy; Ashkenaz (Germany); Austria, Bohemia; Hungry; Poland; Lithuania; Israel.
11. Order of the Standing Tekios
Obligation of the tekios, proper location and order; Babel, Israel, France, Spain, Yemen, Provence, Italy, Bohemia, Austria, Hungry, Poland, Lithuania, Ashkenaz (Germany); Tradition from the early Rabbis; Shevarim and Teruah are the same; To relate the essential aspect of the Law; Inconveniencing the congregation; Teruah following the order of the blessings on fast days; Gathering all the diverse orders; Equaling forty days; To confuse the prosecutor (lit. Satan); Unneeded pausing between the tekios; Hints of the Shofar; Not to sound the Shofar during the private prayer.
12. Sound of the Shevarim and Teruah
Tradition of our fathers; Sound of the Teruah ccepted from earlier authorities; Connected Shevarim; One Breath R Tam; One Breath Terumas Hadeshen.
13. The Shehecheyanu Blessing on Purim
Astonishment on the Ashkenaz Minhag; Spain; Italy; Provence; France; Bohemia and Austria; Poland; Lithuania; Ashkenaz (Germany); Shehecheyanu on Shaloach Manos and the Purim meal.
14. The Shehecheyanu Blessing at a Bris Milah
The blessing is not mentioned in the Talmud; Babel; Ashkenaz (Germany); France; Provence; Spain; Bohemia; Poland; Lithuania; Hungry; Israel; The pain of the infant; Possibility of infant mortality; A common commandment that does not have a set time; An explicit partnership; A commandment that is upon the Jewish Court; A messenger does not recite a blessing; Oldest son.
15. First Shabbos that a Woman Who Gave Birth Goes Out
Obligation for one who gave birth to give thanks; Argument that women should not recite a Gomel; Husband being called up to the Torah; Charity and Misheberach; Differing versions of the misheberach recited for a woman who gave birth; Joy that a woman has when going to Shul (for the first time after birth); Tune for שמחים בצאתם and Kaddish Tiskabel; Bringing the infant to the Shul; Small meal that a woman makes for her friends; The proper time period for the woman to go to Shul; Woman who is in mourning.
16. Giving the Name at the Babies Crib: Chol Kreish
Rare and misunderstood customs; Order of the Chol Kreish; Origins of the custom; Time of giving the Chol Kreish; Inviting children; The infants crib; Order of recitation; Manner of reading the Chol Kreish; Giving fruit and sweets to children; Name given to girls at the Chol Kreish; Time of giving a name to a daughter; Time of giving a name to a daughter in other countries; Implication of the term Chol Kreish; Non holy name; Non Jewish name; Crib name.
Shorshei Minhogei Ashkenaz - Volume 2
1. 248 words in the recitation of Shema
248 words versus the 248 limbs in the body; The 248 words protecting the body and soul; Every word has a limb corresponding to it; The quantity of limbs in a womans body; Those that are of the opinion that it is unnecessary to complete the 248 limbs when reciting Shema
2. Kel Melech Neeman before Shema
The 248 include the words Kel Melech Neeman; Both Amen (after Ahava Rabba) and Kel Melech Neeman are included in the 248 words; Only Amen is needed to equal 248 words; The implication of the words Kel Melech Neeman; Does the recitation of Kel Melech Neeman constitute a Hefsek (disruption)? Responding Amen to the Shliach Tziburs blessing of Ahava Rabba; Reciting Amen to ones own blessing of Ahava Rabba; Reciting Kel Melech Neeman in place of Amen; One is not permitted to change their Minhag (custom)
3. Repeating/Doubling the Words at the End of Shema
Repetition from Lheyos lachem leylokim (להיות לכם לאלקים); Repetition from Hashem Elokeichem emes (ה' אלקיכם אמת); Repetition from Ani Hashem Elokeichem (אני ה' אלקיכם); Differing opinions regarding doubling the word Emes (אמת) in the phrase Hashem Elokeichem emes (ה' אלקיכם אמת); Repeating Hashem Elokeichem (ה' אלקיכם) without repeating the word Emes (אמת); Repetition by the Shliach Tzibur from Hashem Elokeichem emes (ה' אלקיכם אמת) before the individual concludes Shema; Opinion that an individual should repeat Hashem Elokeichem emes (ה' אלקיכם אמת); Conclusion of the three words by Maariv (תפילת ערבית)
4. Forming a Sequence Between Shema and the Bracha that Follows it
Concluding Shema and connecting it with the Bracha that follows without the repetition of any words; Raising the voice when saying the word Emes (אמת) after Shema; The congregation and Shliach Tzibur waiting at the end of Shema; Controversy over pausing between Vadir (ואדיר) and uMesukan (ומתוקן); Raising the voice while saying Hashem Elokeichem emes (ה' אלקיכם אמת) without repeating the words; One is not permitted to change from the Minhag of the Talmud and early Rabbinic sources; Arguments not to repeat words at the end of Shema
5. Customs Concerning the 248 Words Throughout the Ages
Israel; Babel; France; Province; Spain and Northern Africa; Turkey; Bohemia, Moravia, Austria, and Hungry; Italy; Poland; Lithuania; Germany (Ashkenaz)
6. Washing Hands Before or After Kiddush
Two opinions in Halacha (Jewish Law) and Custom (Minhag); Israel; Babel; Spain; Yemen (Teiman); France; Province; England Italy; Bohemia, Moravia, Austria; Poland; Lithuania; Garmany (Ashkenaz); One who washes should not recite kiddush; Washing the hands by Shacharis; Rinsing and then washing; Kiddush in the location that one eats; Washing the hands for fruit; The order of the meal; Kiddush being the conclusion of Maariv; Daytime Kiddush; Reciting the Brachos of Shehecheyanu and Leshev BaSuccah between washing and eating
7. Announcing the Request for Rain
Announcing Vsain Tal Umattar (ותן טל ומטר); Announcing Request (שאלה); Concept of Request (שאלה) in the Talmud and Rabbinic sources; Who makes the announcement?
8. Covering the Sefer Torah: Wimpel(וומפל)
Nature of the covering; Case or cover? Who is permitted to sanctify the cover? Coverings created from used garments; Coverings created from womens clothing; Womens names embroidered upon holy vessels; Covering created from a babies diaper that is used at his Bris (circumcision); Borrowing the cover from the Torah to use for the Bris; Covenant of the Torah with the Covenant of Bris; Using the Wimpel for a different Mitzvah; How is the Wimple used at the Bris?
9. Preparing the Cover for the Torah
Amoraim; Women; Non-married women; Mothers and other relatives (of the infant); Scribes and professional embroiderers; The material of the Wimple; Sewing and measurements; Decorating the cover: embroidery or painting/drawing;
10. Textual Versions of the Wimpel
The accepted textual version that is written on the wimple; to Torah, Chupah (marriage) and good actions; Textual versions in other countries; Arranging the portions that are written on the wimple; Writing פסוקים (verses from the Torah) and embroidering them
11. Decorating the Wimple
Decorating the Wimple Honoring the Torah; Differing types of decorations and pictures; Decorating the name of the child and father; Decorating titles and last names (family names); Decorating the words: נולד למזל טוב; Decorating the date of the childs birth; Decorating the words: השם יגדלהו; Decorating the word: לתורה; Decorating the word: לחופה; Decorating the words: למעשים טובים; Blessings and additional decorations; Embroidering pictures of animals
12. Bringing the Wimple to Shul שול טראגן
Bringing children to Shul in the days of Chazal (the Sages); The educational value for the child as a result of bringing the Wimple to Shul; The manner of bringing the Wimple; מי שבירך and the blessing for the Rabbi; Age of the child appropriate for bringing the Wimple: one month, half year, one year, one two, two three, three, three four, four, five; Birthday, Bar Mitzvah, Marriage; Mistaken notions about bringing the Wimple(??)
13. The Spread of the Wimple and its Variations
Poland; Italy; Bohemia and Moravia; Hungry; England; America; Israel; Change of name from cover (מפה) to Wimple;
14. Manner of Folding the Wimple
Folding and attaching (tying); Tying on the upper third or the bottom; Tying with two Wimples; The nice side of the Wimple: to which side? Tying the Torah with straps
15. Safeguarding the Wimple
Jewish law concerning washing the Wimple; Washing the blood out of the Wimple; The Wimple as a Segulah (merit) for healing from sickess; The length of the Wimple; Gathering the Wimples after the Shoa (Final Solution/WWII)
16. Rolling the Wimple, the Individual that gives over the Wimple, Holding the עץ חיים
Rolling/folding the wimple to give over to the one doing Gellilah (rolling); The Individual that gives over the Wimple to the Gollel; Others holding the עץ חיים as the Gollel rolls the Torah
Shorshei Minhogei Ashkenaz - Volume 3
1. Recitation of Shema Using the Cantillation Notes
The distinction between Recitation and Praying; Connection between reading Shema and reading the Torah; Reciting holy verses (פסוקי קדושה) and the 13 attributes (י"ג מידות) by an individual; Reciting verses with the cantillation notes while learning Torah; The strictness of the Cabbalists on using cantillation notes; Reciting Shema with the cantillation notes; One who will become confused should read without cantillation notes; Reciting Shema using music/song (and not the cantillation notes); Israel, Spain, Yemen, Poland, Lithuania, Germany (Ashkenaz)
2. Raising ones Voice while Reciting Shema
Reciting Shema loud enough that ones ears hear what is being said; Reciting Shema in a measured tone; Reciting Shema quietly; ש"ץ reciting Shema aloud while the congregation recites silently; The first verse out loud; Israel, Babel, Yemen, Spain, North Africa, Southern Europe, France, Austria and Hungry, Poland, Lithuania, Germany (Ashkenaz)
3. Haftorah Book (ספר אפטרתא) (in scroll form)
The source for reading the Haftorah; The Haftorah book; Written on parchment and rolled (like a Torah); Rolling the Haftorah book with the coverings made for the Torah; Stakes/pillars for the Haftorah book (עצי חיים); Adding vowels and accent marks (trup/טעמים); Lifting and rolling the Haftorah book; An ark to guard the Haftorah book
4. Haftorah Book (in book form) on Parchment and Printed
Folded parchment book form; Haftaros in book form; Printed holy books; Compiling printed Haftorah books; Haftoras as part of a complete printed Tanach; The printed form of G-ds name in books; Reciting the Haftorah by heart
5. Books of the Prophets after the Enactment of the Haftorah Book
The opinion of the Levush and Gra; The strength of the enactment due to A time to act for G-d the Torah is being destroyed Enactment 1 saying Shalom Writing Shalom Saying Shalom in a bath house; Enactment 2 writing matters meant to be orally transmitted; Enactment 3 Haftorah book; Wealthy communities not acquiring the Prophets
6. The Haftorah Book throughout the Generations
Babel, Spain and North Africa, Israel, Yemen, Italy, France, Provence, Austria, Bohemia, Hungry, Poland, Lithuania, Germany (Ashkenaz)
7. The Permissibility of Writing Sidurim (prayer books)
Praying by heart in the times of the sages; The first written Sidurim; The permissibility of writing Sidurim due to A time to act The opinion of those who do not allow Sidurim to be written; The constructiveness as a result of praying from a Sidur; The connection between writing Sidurim and writing Haftorah books;
8. Cutting a Childs Hair without חאלאקא (upsherin)
The time to celebrate cutting the hair of children; The Haircut of the Arizals son; Doubt and astonishment concerning upsherin; Age of haircutting in the Ashkenaz tradition
9. The Sequence for Shavous Night
Learning on the night of Shavous; The spread of the order of the learning; Content of the learning; The learning according to the order of the Shla; Megillos: Rus and Shir Hashirim; Learning Mishnah; Learning the 613 commandments; Learning the secrets/depths of the Torah; Learning with an assembly of people; 13 Kaddishim; The song/tune of the learning; Standing while reciting the ten commandments and generally while reciting the sequence of the night; Prayers connected with the learning; Location of the learning; Eating and drinking during learning; Expounding during the learning; Involvement of children in learning; Women and the night of Shavous; Immersing ones self in the morning; Reciting the sequence on the second night of Shavous; Learning other topics (not of the sequence) on Shavous night; The exalted status resulting from reciting the sequence
10. Singing for the Groom when he is called up to the Torah
Poetry and singing when the groom is called up to the Torah; Poetry of Spanish Jewry; Rabbi Avigdor Kara author of the song אחד יחיד ומיוחד קל The song אחד יחיד ומיוחד קל; How אחד יחיד became written; The Parallel of אחד יחיד in Yiddish; The relationship between אחד יחיד and a groom; Recitation of אחד יחיד when the groom is called up to the Torah; The regression of the song אחד יחיד; Selected tunes to honor a groom
11. Chupas Tallis (Canopy for a wedding made from a Tallis)
Spreading a veil before the giving of the Torah; Spreading part of a garment after the giving of the Torah; Spreading part of a garment in the days of the Judges and Prophets; Spreading a Tallis in the times of the Sages; The idea of Chupah in Tanach and the language of the Sages; Chupas Tallis in the Geonic era; Spreading a Tallis with Tzitzis (as apposed to a regular garment); Spreading the womans garment; Two coverings for a Chupah; The groom spreading the מטרון (garment for mourning) on the bride; Chupas Tallis among Spanish Jewry in later times; Chupas Tallis among Ashkenazic Jewry in later times; Chupas Tallis currently practiced by Spanish Jewry; Chupas Tallis currently practiced by Ashkenazic Jewry
12. Spreading a Sheet between Poles
Spreading a sheet over poles for a Chupah; The source for a sheet on top of poles; Walking the bride to the canopy in the times of the sages; The bride entering under the canopy; Chupas Tallis in addition to the canopy; The marriage of Spanish Jews without a canopy; Doubts about the sheet spread over poles; The strength of Chupas Tallis; The implication of spreading the sheet; The Chupah of a widow; The use of a sheet or the curtain from the Ark; The pole bearers
Shorshei Minhogei Ashkenaz - Volume 4
1. Praying in a Relaxed and Slow Manner
The prayers of Moses our Teacher short and long; Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai and his companions without any prayer; The original Chasidim lengthy praying; Controversy between the two approaches; The middle road: having a specific time to pray and reciting prayer in a relaxed manner; Praying in depth as a result of lengthening ones prayer; Praying in one breath; Israel; Spain; Turkey; Babel; Yemen; France; Italy; Austria, Bohemia, and Hungry; Poland; The Chasidic movement in Poland and surrounding countries; Lithuania and Russia; Ashkenaz (Germany).
2. Waiting for the Greatest Person in the Congregation to Finish His Prayer
The congregation being burdened by an individual lengthening his prayer; The congregation being burdened by the Shatz (prayer leader) lengthening his prayer; Burdening the congregation: perspective of degrading the honor of the congregation; Burdening the congregation to wait for the greatest individual; Slowing the congregations prayer; Waiting for the most esteemed of the congregation; Moving ones feet to give the appearance of having concluded praying; Indicating to the Shatz not to wait; The Rav (Rabbi) instructing the congregation no to wait for him; A separate minyan (quorum of 10); If the congregation must wait for the Rav if he is taking an extraordinarily long time; Waiting after the recitation of Shema; Waiting for the Rav to enter the synagogue (before beginning).
3. The Ravs Recitation from למען ירבו
Forgetting the cantillation notes with the advent of cantors; The paragraph of Tzitzis: fluent or not? Remembering the departure from Egypt is a Torah law; The Rav blessing the congregation; Reciting verses of rebuke quietly; Reciting the paragraph of Tzitzis quietly; The custom of the European congregations.
4. One who Reads the Torah
One who is called to the Torah reading himself; The cantor ascending with the one called up to the Torah; The cantor assisting the reader quietly; The cantor and the one called to the Torah both reading out loud; Only the cantor raising his voice during the Torah reading; The one called to the Torah reading quietly with the Cantor; The one called to the Torah remaining silent while the cantor reads; Opposition to the one called up remaining silent; The cantor dictating to the one called up from a Chumash; The one who calls to the cantor from a Chumash 'דר ור לייאר'; The reader glancing/using a Chumash while reading; A set cantor the one who reads the Torah; The 'בעל קורא' (Torah reader) a purpose in and of itself.
5. Bringing in a New Sefer Torah on Shabbos
Bringing in the Torah by Moses our Teacher; The death of Moses our Teacher on Shabbos; The death of Moses our Teacher on Friday; Writing before Shabbos and death on Shabbos; The giving of the Torah on Shabbos; The prayer 'ישמח משה' (Moses rejoiced) to remember the giving of the Torah; Verses of prayer on Shabbos in commemoration of the giving of the Torah; Studying Torah on Shabbos; Bringing in a Torah on Shabbos; Ashkenaz (Germany); Austria, Moravia and Bohemia; Hungry; Poland; those from Spain and Yemen; Israel; Shavous; Simchas Torah; Hoshana Rabah; Chanukah; Purim; Pesach; Rosh Chodesh; Setting up a canopy on Shabbos in honor of the Torah; Walking with a Torah on Shabbos without an Eruv; Walking with a Torah on Shabbos on a Holiday without an Eruv; Weekdays.
6. The Time for the Evening Prayer on Shavous Eve
The novel idea presented by Rabbi Yaakov Pollack: Kiddush at nightfall; Continuation of the old custom to recite Kiddush early in the day; Is it possible to fulfill Temimos at the commencement of Sefirah? Is it possible to fulfill Temimos at the conclusion of Sefirah? Spread of the custom to recite Kiddush at night; The extra novel idea presented by the Taz: Evening prayers at nightfall; Objections to reciting the evening prayer at nightfall; Spread of the custom to recite the evening prayer at nightfall; Reciting the evening prayer early in later times.
7. The Sound of the Tekiah
From were do we know the Tekiah for Rosh Hashanah? Peshutah straight sound; Peshutah long sound; The Tekiah brings rejoicing; Rejoicing from the Tekiah of Rosh Hashanah; Raising and lowering the sound of the Tekiah.
8. Throwing Wheat on the Groom and Bride
Roasted grain and nuts custom of the Rabbis; Wheat and barley custom of the early halachists (Rishonim); Additions to Wheat: salt, money, rye; Substitutes for wheat (in other countries): apples, rice, hopfen, nuts, almonds, sugar, poppy, sweets, confetti; Limiting degradation of food; Calling out פרו ורבו! (Be fruitful and multiply)! The time for throwing wheat; The ones who throw the wheat.
9. Throwing Sweets in the Synagogue
Fruits on Shavous; Fruits on Simchas Torah inside the Synagogue; Fruits on Simchas Torah outside of the Synagogue; Sweets among Spanish Jewry; Sweets in Eastern European Synagogues; Sweets being thrown by women; Throwing sweets at a Bar Mitzvah and its issues; Degrading food, eating before Kiddush, and carrying in a public domain; Those that hold back from throwing sweets.
10. Two Canopies on the Day of Marriage
The wedding blessings morning and evening; Who are our Rabbis in Tractate Soferim? Canopy in the morning and evening in the Geonic era; Canopy in the morning and evening during the time of the Rishonim (early Rabbis); Canopy in the morning and evening during the time of the Acharonim (later Rabbis); The morning Canopy the beginning of entering the Canopy; The time period for the Chupas Mein: the morning.
11. Chupas Mein
Order of the Chupas Mein; Giving the bride over to the Groom; Taking the hand and joining arms among Easter European congregations; Sitting in the courtyard of the synagogue custom of (?)Magentsa(?) and surrounding towns; Sitting in the wedding hall custom of Worms and surrounding towns; Sitting on a chair or a bench; Sitting under a covering or on a platform; Candles and torches; Musical instruments; The accepted tune used for the Chupas Mein; Enactments regarding eating and drinking; Connotation/pronunciation of the term Mein; Differences in customs regarding the Mein among small congregations; Discontinuing the Chupas Mein in large cities; Chupas Mein in later generations (today).
Last updated 11 October '07