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Prayer - General

Eating Shabbat Morning Before Prayers - In our community Shabbat morning services only begin at 9:00 and the lunchtime meal does not begin till well after 12:00. Can I eat before morning prayers if I make kiddush first? More
How to Pray Well - How does a person pray well? I understand the Hebrew of the prayers pretty well, but I can’t really get myself excited about saying them. Are there any good ideas for helping a person pray with emotion?... More
Prayer at Graves of Righteous - I often receive emails from different organizations offering that a rabbi will pray for me at this or that great rabbi’s grave. Does it really make a difference where one prays? Isn't praying to a dead... More
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Daily Prayers

Blessing After Washing for Bread - I noticed that whenever we wash our hands – both in the morning and before eating bread – we make the blessing “al netilat yadayim” after washing. But don’t we always make blessings before doing a mitzvah... More
Earliest Time for Morning Prayers (Shacharit) - I’ve noticed that our synagogue has morning services (Shacharit) quite early during the workweek, after which most of the congregants hurry off to work. During the winter months it is still dark outside... More
Praising the Rooster’s Crow - I was recently spending some time with my friend, the singer Matisyahu and his beautiful family on his tour bus before a concert in Dallas. While we were discussing the morning blessings, Matisyahu raised... More
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Synagogue & Minyan

Blessing for New Rabbi - I am the cantor's wife and I make the candle blessing before Rosh Hashana. We have a new young rabbi. Do you have a suggestion for a prayer or greeting that would include our new rabbi for me to say along... More
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
Kaddish - Minyan - What should an individual do if he cannot say Kaddish on a regular basis? Is it better to pray from home if you must drive to Shul on Shabbat? More
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Mourning & Kaddish

Completion of Kaddish - My father passed away on June 14, which was 24 Sivan, but was not buried until the Sunday after, 27 Sivan. Until when should I recite the kaddish? More
Convert – Mourning & Kaddish for Non-Jewish Parent - I am a convert but I still have a good relationship with my parents, who are very decent people and who were very supportive of my religious transformation. Unfortunately, my father is not doing well. In... More
Kaddish for Abusive Parent - My father was violent and abusive. He suffered from depression and other psychological disorders, and growing up was very difficult for me and my sister. He died fairly recently. We sat shiva for him and... More
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Torah Reading

Completing a Book of the Torah - I am a lay leader at my temple. Since our rabbi is away, I will be leading this week’s Shabbat service. I have beginner-intermediate skills for chanting Torah. Your pasha page was very helpful.... More
Double Torah Portion - I enjoy attending synagogue every Shabbat morning. When it comes to the weekly Torah reading, sometimes we read two parshas. Why is that? More
Mismatched Torah Portions - I flew to Israel last week and on Shabbat they read a different Torah portion than the one they were reading at my synagogue back home. What gives? More
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Blessings Over Food

Blessing on Ice Cream Cone - I know the basic rules for the blessings on food, but I’m often stumped when dealing with mixtures. One of my kids wanted to know the blessing (bracha) on an ice cream cone. Does one make a blessing on... More
Eating While Traveling - After the Little League baseball game, my father and I stop in a store to order an ice cream, then go to the car and return home. Can I make a blessing on the ice cream in the store? Or is leaving the... More
Not Talking After Washing for Bread - I know that after washing for bread one should not speak until after he has taken a bite of the bread. My difficulty is that on Shabbat when we’re waiting for everyone to wash, my ADHD kids (yes, they... More
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Misc.

Blessings on Thunder and Lightning - Yesterday evening a powerful thunderstorm came out of nowhere. I found myself jolted to attention and literally cowering – covering my ears at every blast of thunder. I was curious if the Sages have... More
Prayer for Taking Medicine - I just began taking an antibiotic for a minor ailment. Is there anything religious I should be doing together with taking the medicine? It seems odd that we turn to doctors for our healing but not to... More
Shehechiyanu Blessing on Major Purchase - I just bought a used car. Is there any sort of blessing or prayer I say for it? More
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