[Avodah] Minhagim for Baalei Teshuva

Kenneth Miller kennethgmiller at juno.com
Sun Mar 24 16:59:25 PDT 2013

In the thread titled "Kitniyot", R"n Lisa Liel wrote:

> Not to mention the fact that baalei teshuva, not having a
> family minhag of kitniyot avoidance, should certainly not
> be bound by it.

If a baal teshuva doesn't have a family minhag of avoiding music during sefiras haomer, should he be bound by that minhag anyway?

If a baal teshuva doesn't have a family minhag how long to wait between meat and milk, can he just make up his own minhag?

If a male baal teshuva is from a family where the minhag is to have his head covered only in shul, can he continue that minhag?

My understanding is that in all of these cases, he should try to determine where his ancestors are from, and try to follow the minhagim of that place. As stronger question might be for a person who has no ancestors - a ger - but my understanding is that the established practice is for a ger to take on the minhagim of the beis din that converted him.

In any case, I would be surprised to learn that baalei teshuva of Ashkenaz ancestry, or geirim of Ashkenaz batei din, are allowed to simply choose to decline accepting any established Ashkenazi minhag such as kitniyos. But I have learned a lot here on Avodah, and I'm eager to lean more.

Akiva Miller
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