Fellow bloggers Dov Bear and Eliyahu Fink have been tweeting and blogging about some strange or over the top frum beliefs out there and I guess they want me to enter the mix of things. My facebook status update received 73 comments of people trying to kill each other for me suggesting that things certian poskim have told us to do are strange and the funny part of it is the entire religion is strange and quite frankly, religion in general is strange, but we do it because we were brainwashed y our local community kiruv kollel, are convinced we will be damned to gehenom if we don’t, grew up with it or married into it. So what are the strangest frum beliefs, practices and superstitions?
If a woman drinks the havdalah wine she will grow a beard
That everyone in the shtetl knew shas by the age of 13
Properly disposing of your nail clippings so pregnant ladies don’t have miscarriages
Wearing jeans is ossur
The halachic way to wipe your butt
The dinosaur bones were planted by God to make the non-Jews laugh at us
Listening to a woman singing will make men want to have sex with her
That water needs a hechsher
That women are on a higher spiritual level than men (as an apology for not allowing them to do any learning or leave the kitchen)
That the Lubavitcher Rebbe is still alive and is moshiach
Toiveling dishes and utensils in the mikvah
Transferring sins to an animal and than killing it
Using a slotted spoon for coleslaw on shabbos is considered work
Not putting food under ones bed
Not sleeping with your head to the door
Not touching your eyes in the morning
Modern day non-mevushal wine concerns (so many idol worshipers lurking around Napa)
Not being able to cuddle with your wife after wedding night sex
Rabbis not believing in science
That Reform and Conservative Jews are less Jewish
That black hat Judaism is authentic Judaism in any way shape or form
Refusing to eat fish and meat together for health reasons
Drinking bottled water on pesach, because back in the shtetl days the goyim would put bread down the well
Refusing to eat gebrokts
That black hats make you more religious
Eruv – because putting up a string makes those 400,000 daily people passing through your neighborhood into a private domain
Violence against women in the name of tznius
Chassidim that go crazy to finish the leftovers of the rebbe – like getting kugel or fruit the rebbe made a bracha on at a tish
Keeping molestation hush hush for fear of shidduchim
The following are taken from the comments on the Dov Bear blogpost
If you have a court case against a non-Jew and it takes place during the Jewish month Addar, the Jew will win.
[-ReMa in Shulchan Arukh O.C.]
My bubbie always told me that women should eat the heel of a challa loaf because its pointed edge represents the male anatomy (!), and the woman eating this part of the challa would thus bear male children. No joke!
Another “absurdity” mentioned is the consumption of sliced onions left overnight.
Some thoughts about the above.
One principle discussed in Cha’zal, is “chamira sakanta me’isura” – laws regarding danger are more stringent than those regarding prohibition— make food safety a primary consideration.
here is a disagreement among later Poskim about this question and other details of the prohibition. The following is a summary of these views:
The Gemara (Niddah, 17a), notes that a person who eats shelled eggs, peeled onions or garlic that had been left overnight, endangers his life and will be judged as a person who took his own life. The Gemara explains that the danger associated with these foods is ruach ra’ah.
Yad Meir and Shevet HaLevi hold that this halacha is no longer relevant because Tosfos states that certain ruach ra’ah do not descend in “these countries”. We can infer from Tosfos that we do not have to be concerned for any ruach ra’ah unless we have a mesorah that that specific form is still prevalent. Yad Meir and Shevet HaLevi cite Hago’os Mordechai as a source for adopting such an approach regarding leaving eggs, onions and garlic overnight. They are supported by the fact that the Shulchan Aruch cites certain dangerous activities listed in the Gemara but not these. Minchas Yitzchok discusses this issue and concludes that there is basis for those who are lenient.