Prayer - General

Exercising Before Shacharit (Morning Prayers) - I have a busy morning schedule and get up very early to exercise. Is there a problem with doing this before morning prayers? More »
Personal Prayers on Shabbat - I’ve heard that we are not allowed to pray on Shabbat except for the standard prayers in the siddur (prayer-book). Is this so, and why? I am recovering from an addiction, and an important part of the... More »
Prayer: Why Not Leave it up to God? - I’ve been told that it’s a good idea to add our personal requests to our prayers and not just recite the text of the daily prayers. However, whenever I try to do this I feel at a loss. All I want to say... More »
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Daily Prayers

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 »
Blessing Before Torah Study - I’ve begun studying Torah more regularly and wanted to know if there is some blessing I should say before doing so. More »
Reasons for Washing in the Morning - What are the reasons for the entire procedure of washing three times with a cup in the morning? Is it sufficient just to wash hands as regular in the bathroom? More »
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Synagogue & Minyan

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 »
Minyan of Ten - I was involved in a discussion with a friend and a question came up that we had no answer to: Why does a minyan have 10 people? What is the significance? More »
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Mourning & Kaddish

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 »
Grandson Saying Kaddish - My grandmother recently passed away. She only had one son, my father a”h, who passed away a few years ago. She also had two daughters. I am the oldest grandson. Should I say kaddish for my grandmother or... 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 »
Haftorah – Source for the Custom - What is the source of the custom to read from the Prophets on Shabbat and other occasions after reading from the Torah? Is it a recent custom? More »
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Blessings Over Food

Bracha Acharona on Hot Drinks & Soda - I was told that I shouldn’t say a bracha after drinking coffee at work. Is this true and why? More »
Bracha Acharona on Yogurt, Ice Cream, Ices - I heard that we do not say a bracha acharona (after blessing) on yogurt. Is this true and what is the reason? More »
Buckwheat Bread - What bracha (blessing) is said on buckwheat bread? And let’s say it is mixed with whole wheat flour? More »
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Misc.

Is Seeing a Rainbow Good or Bad? - Is seeing a rainbow a good or a bad thing? On the one hand, it’s a majestic creation of God and a beautiful natural phenomenon. On the other, we are taught that it’s a sign God wants to destroy the world... 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 »
Praying for the Terminally Ill - I have a friend who is dying from cancer. His condition is terminal and he realizes he only has a few months to live. Is it appropriate to add a request in my prayers that he recovers, knowing that this... More »
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