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Adding Personal Requests to Daily Prayers - I understand there are places in the Amidah where one can insert personal prayers – apart from the standard prayers it already includes. How do I do this? More »
Adopted Children – Parents’ Names - I was not raised by my biological parents and was adopted as a baby. For my Jewish name, am I considered the son of (“ben”) my biological parents or my adoptive ones? I’m very close to the latter and feel they are my... More »
Ashkenazi versus Sephardic Jews - Can you explain to me something about the difference between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewry? What exactly do those terms mean and what are the general differences between the two groups? More »
Asking Forgiveness from the Deceased - In my past I wronged someone who is unfortunately no longer alive today. Is there any way I can make amends? More »
Aufruf Before Wedding - My wedding is God willing in a few weeks, and I know that on the Shabbat beforehand I am called to the Torah for my “aufruf”. Why is a celebration held in honor of the groom the Shabbat before his wedding? And what... More »
Bar Mitzvah Speech - I have to speak at my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah in a few weeks. Can you give me some suggestions what I should talk about? More »
Book of Enoch (Sefer Chanoch) - What is the Book of Enoch? It seems to contain fascinating content and I’m wondering if you recommend I buy it for study. More »
Desiring Sin - I have a general question about spiritual growth. We all have desires for forbidden acts. Should our attitude be that we’d love to do them but we don’t because God forbade it? Or are we supposed to somehow grow out of... More »
Dizzy & Sick From Fasting - It’s almost impossible for me to survive fast days. I get dizzy, sweaty, and nauseous to the point of throwing up. And I’m sick for two days after. I certainly wouldn’t be able to go to synagogue this Yom Kippur if I... More »
Dolls, Figurines - Are having dolls or figurines a contradiction to the Torah’s command not to have images? More »
Eating Before Hearing the Megillah - Ta’anit Esther doesn’t end that late, but another hour goes by until the synagogue finishes the Megillah, especially with all the carrying on. This makes the fast much longer and more difficult. Is it possible to eat... More »
Engagement Party on Nine Days - I have a friend who is getting married shortly after Tisha B’Av. My friends wanted to celebrate a bachelor party for him next week, during the Nine Days. I didn’t feel it was appropriate but they claimed that so long... More »
Fruit Trees for the First Three Years (Orlah) - We just planted a few fruit trees in our back yard (we recently moved to California). Are there any issues with the fruit of the trees for the first three years? They were delivered as saplings (with the roots in bags... More »
Genizah (Sheimos) – Burial Procedure - I have some printouts with Torah content which I don’t have use for. Do I have to bury them? I don’t live near a synagogue so I would have to do it myself. More »
Human and Animals Medical Experimentation - I’m wondering what the Jewish view is on animal as well as human medical experimentation. More »
Is There an Obligation to be Happy? - Please explain how God can command us to be happy? Let’s say a person is not happy? What should he do about it? He can’t just turn it on! More »
Kashering a Sandwich Maker - Someone used my sandwich maker with non-kosher meat. Can I make it kosher again? More »
King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba - I just watched a program that claims that King Solomon had a child with the Queen of Sheba who was named Menalik. This Menalik was entrusted with the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple which is now hidden in Ethiopia.... More »
Mars Colonization - I know this is a hypothetical question, but let’s say living conditions become too difficult on Earth and people begin colonizing other planets such as Mars. Would there be any concerns in Jewish law with doing so?... More »
New Fruit on Second Night of Rosh Hashanah - When do we eat a new fruit on Rosh Hashanah – on the first night, the second night, or both? Is this done in addition to the special fruits we eat as a sign for the new year? More »
Non-Kosher Oven – Kashering - I’m moving into a new house and the oven is included. Is there a way I can make it kosher? More »
Number of Sheva Brachot for Second Wedding - I am God willing to be married in a few months. My fiancé and I are very looking forward to building a proper Jewish home together. Unfortunately, neither of us was religious in our younger years and we have both had... More »
Psalm 110 – Two Lords - Please explain what this verse means: “The Lord said unto my Lord, "Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1). Doesn’t this verse imply there is another Lord besides God?... More »
Recommended Tehillim (Psalms) Lists - I have several frustrating issues going on in life today, as well as a relative who is really not well. I’d like to recite Tehillim. Is there a recommended list I should say? More »
Round Versus Square Matzah - What is the difference between the round and square matzot? When I grew up, our family always took square matzot for the Seder, but I see that many use round ones for the Seder, but square for the rest of Passover.... More »
Saying God’s Name in Vain - In my country, people invoke the name of God often in ordinary conversation. They say such things as: “OMG! That is so expensive!” “For God’s sake, please forgive me!” “Thank God, I am well.” If God wants, I will buy... More »
Seventieth Birthday, Significance of 70 - I am about to celebrate my 70th birthday God willing. Does Jewish law prescribe any practices or customs for such an event? More »
Studying for a Test on Shabbat - I am a college student and I wanted to know if it’s permitted to study for a test on Shabbat. I used to do so, but then became concerned that perhaps it was an issue of preparing from Shabbat to the week. Sometimes,... More »
Sukkah from Pergola - We have a pergola next to our house. Can I convert it into a Sukkah? What do I need to know? One reason I’m concerned is because we park a car under it during the rest of the year. Can something which was not built for... More »
The Borders of Israel Promised to Abraham - What exactly is the extent of the land promised to Abraham in Genesis 15:18-21? It doesn’t seem to be identical to the Land of Israel God later promised to Israel and outlined in Numbers 34. More »
The Cherubim Versus Idols - What exactly were the Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant? It seems strange to me that they were part of the Tabernacle and Temple. Aren’t they basically a form of idol? More »
The Purpose of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) - I’ve heard that the Mishkan (Tabernacle) served as an atonement for the Sin of the Golden Calf. But if so, why is it commanded in Exodus before the story of the Golden Calf? It seems like they were going to have the... More »
The Torah’s “Rediscovery” in Josiah’s Time - I have heard the claim that we believe the Torah is true because millions witnessed the Revelation at Sinai and the Jews have remembered this event ever since. It is further impossible that such a story could have been... More »
Uncleanness and Pure Blood After Childbirth - I was studying Leviticus 12 and came across the notion of a woman’s impurity after childbirth. What is the notion of her observing days of “pure blood?” Also, why is it that a woman is impure for a longer period if she... More »
Washing for Pizza - I’ve heard many different things about the status of pizza. It seems to me the equivalent of bread, yet most people say Mezonot on it and eat it without washing. Can you explain to me what the issue is with it?... More »
What Happened to Dinah After Her Abduction? - What happened to Dinah after she was taken by Shechem? Does the Torah ever tell us anything about her life after? More »
What Happens Right After We Die? - I am very curious to know what happens to the soul after a person dies. Does it remain with the body, or does it go up to Heaven? When my parents died, I was insistent on having a proper Jewish burial (I’m in the... More »
Why Didn’t Joseph Contact His Family? - I was thinking about the story of Joseph in the Torah, and a thought came to me. Why didn't Joseph contact his father Jacob as soon as he became the viceroy of Egypt? Only after the brothers came did he arrange for the... More »
World War One Beginning on Tisha B’Av - I have heard that one of the tragedies which occurred on Tisha B’Av is that World War One began on that day. Can you tell me if that is actually true? On what date did Tisha B’Av fall out that year? More »
Wrong Sponge - I keep a strictly kosher kitchen. The other day a dairy sponge was accidentally used to wash meat dishes (porcelain). Is there anything I can do at this point? More »

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