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Shabbat Candles

Candle Lighting Times - I say that Shabbat begins 18 minutes before sundown. My son says it begins after lighting the Shabbat candles. Who is right? More
Husband Lighting - My wife is going to be away for Shabbat in a few weeks. Am I supposed to light in her absence? Is there any difference between a wife and husband lighting? More
Shabbat Candles & Havdalah on Chanukah - During the Shabbat of Chanukah, which is lit first - the Menorah or the Shabbat candles? And then on Saturday night, which do we do first - the Menorah or the Havdalah service? More

Kiddush

Kiddush Without Wine - I am allergic to grapes. Is there an alternative way I can make Kiddush – perhaps on a different beverage? More
Kiddush – Drinking the Wine - I tend to get dizzy when I drink wine too quickly – though in general I tolerate wine very well. How much of the Kiddush cup do I need to drink? Is it sufficient to take just a few sips – or to drink it... More
Kiddush – How Much Wine - I own two very nice Kiddush cups – I believe both were wedding presents. One happens to be quite large and the other fairly small. Is there a minimum or maximum size a cup must be? Also, when I use the... More
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Shabbat Meals

Challah – Breaking Bread on Shabbat - Whenever I attend a Shabbat meal, the process of making the blessing (bracha) on the challah and cutting it seems detailed. Can you give me the rundown of how it’s done? More
Covering the Stove (Blech) - My brother observes Shabbat and he has a “blech” – a large flat plate used to cover the stovetop. All his hot Shabbat food is placed there, and sometimes returned there. Can you give me a quick rundown of... More
Not Hungry for Third Meal (Seudah Shlishit) - After the Shabbat day meal with that heavy cholent, I often have no appetite for the final meal. Is one required to eat it if he isn’t hungry? More
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Shabbat Prayers

Driving to Synagogue on Shabbat - I enjoy attending synagogue services on Shabbat, but the rabbi told me that it's better to pray at home than to violate a prohibition of Shabbat. I couldn't really see how that’s more important than... More

Havdalah

What to Use for Besamim (Spices)? - Whenever I go to a religious home for havdalah, I notice that they use whole cloves for the blessing on the spices (besamim). Is there some special significance to this, or can any spice be used? More
Women Making Havdalah - I am a single woman and I usually try to hear Havdallah on Saturday night at the synagogue. But sometimes I don’t feel like going out. So when I say Havdallah by myself, should I say all the... More
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Forbidden Activities

Carrying Keys on Shabbat - I’d like to know if there is any way I can carry my house key to the synagogue and back on Shabbat. The typical trick of hiding it under the mat just doesn’t feel so secure to me (we actually don’t have a... More
Carrying: Using a Cane on Shabbat - Unfortunately, my legs have been giving me a lot of trouble lately and I am unable to walk unaided. Is there any way I can walk outdoors using a walker or a cane, or is that an issue of carrying on... More
Food with Writing - We recently bought cookies with writing etched into them. That got me thinking that perhaps one shouldn’t eat them on Shabbat, since writing and erasing are forbidden. I’m especially concerned because we... More
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Misc.

Fingernails - I know that Judaism has something to say about every aspect of existence and our lives. But I never imagined there was something to know about fingernails, until my friend said there is a specific order... More
Shabbat Hospitality - I bought a plane ticket to fly around the world. The ticket is good for one year. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. My concern is how I will find the Jewish community in each place,... More

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