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Are Religious People Happy? - I grew up Orthodox but fell out of practice in my early 20s. In the few years since then I have dabbled with several other religious beliefs or just secular living, and I never really felt fulfilled. At this point,... More »
Carrying Child Who Can Walk on Shabbat - Regarding the law that one may carry a child who can walk by himself outside without an Eruv, how well does the child need to be able to walk? Let’s say he walks only with assistance. More »
Eating Restrictions on Friday - We have non-religious relatives staying nearby on vacation and we’ve been trying to invite them for a meal. They have a busy schedule so we’ve been having trouble setting a date and time. Is there any issue inviting... More »
Elijah’s Ascent to Heaven - I’m trying to understand what exactly occurred when Elijah was taken up in a fiery chariot (II Kings 2:11). The Torah states that he was taken up to Heaven in a whirlwind. Was this a form of death? Elijah is mentioned... More »
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 »
Glatt Kosher Meaning, “Treif” - I often see foods and establishments advertised as “glatt kosher.” I know what kosher is, but what is glatt kosher? 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 should one of... More »
Havdalah – Spilled Wine - I was watching a video about Shabbat and the rabbi mentioned a custom to spill some wine out before drinking it. Can you tell me the basis for this? More »
How Can We Recognize a True Prophet? - How do we know to trust the past prophets of Israel – or a future one if one comes along? I know that we consider the Revelation at Sinai historically credible because it occurred so publicly. But all the other... More »
Isaac’s Age at the Binding (Akeidah) - How old was Isaac when Abraham brought him to Mount Moriah and almost sacrificed him? Was he young enough that Abraham could overpower him? Did he understand what was happening? More »
Israeli in Diaspora, Second Day Yom Tov - I live in Israel but will be in America for Shavuot this year. Would I be able to use my computer on the second day of Yom Tov – which for me is a regular day? It will be in a private room not... visible from the outside. More »
Jacob’s Possessions and Having it All - When Jacob first meets Esau after having spent years in Haran, he gives him a large gift of animals. At first Esau refuses the gift, but then Jacob convinces him to take it. I know there is a nice lesson derived from... More »
Jethro’s Many Names - I have been studying Scripture, and it seems that Jethro, Moses’s father-in-law, seems to have different names in different places. Did he have multiple names? What was his actual name? More »
J’s Replacing Y’s in Hebrew - Why is our forefather Yaakov called “Jacob” in English? How did the ‘y’ get transliterated into a ‘j’? More »
King Saul Conjuring Samuel’s Soul - How was King Saul permitted to go to a witch and have her conjure up Prophet Samuel’s soul (I Samuel 28)? Aren’t such practices forbidden? That story altogether has some details which I couldn’t really understand, such... More »
King Solomon’s Non-Jewish Wives - If the Torah forbids intermarriage, how could King Solomon have married Pharaoh’s daughter and other non-Jewish women? Does that imply that intermarriage was permitted until a later time in history? More »
Kippah – Source of Obligation - Where does the Torah say that a Jewish man must wear a kippah? More »
Lying, Providing False Information - I’m trying to open a certain computer account and it’s asking for my age. Is there anything wrong with lying to a computer? More »
Man’s Past Powerful Drive for Idolatry - It’s clear from the Bible and our knowledge of ancient history that idolatry was rampant among primitive man all throughout the world, roughly till it began to be replaced by Christianity in Roman times. What did our... More »
Mezuzah Covers - We are now in the process of purchasing mezuzahs for our new home. We are buying the mezuzahs themselves from a reputable seller, but we don’t know anything about buying the covers! Are there are any laws or... More »
Mezuzah in Office - I own a small company. I rent office space for it in a nearby business park. Does it require a mezuzah? More »
Mezuzahs During Renovations - We will be moving into our new home shortly. We will be moving into the downstairs only while the main floor is being renovated. Does it require mezuzahs before we move in? Also, the downstairs will be painted at a... More »
Posting Negative Online Reviews - It’s very common to write an online review of any business you patronized, product you purchased, or hotel you visited (on Google, Yelp, Amazon, etc.). How is doing so consistent with the laws against lashon hara –... More »
Psalms about Future Events - If King David authored Psalms, how is it that several of the Psalms talk about events which occurred long after David’s time. Some examples are Psalm 74 which talks about the destruction of the Temple, and Psalm 137,... More »
Rosh Hashanah – God’s Kingship (Malchut) - I know one of the big themes of Rosh Hashanah is God’s kingship, that we proclaim God as king. To me it feels kind of meaningless, just stating the obvious. Is there any real purpose to our calling God king? Is there... More »
Sewing Clothes on the 9 Days - Are we allowed to sew during the Nine Days? More »
Should We Hate Receiving Gifts? - I often hear people quoting the verse “One who hates gifts shall live” (Mishlei (Proverbs) 15:27). This implies our attitude should be that we do not want to receive from others but should make do with what we have.... More »
Sleeping Facing the Door - Is it true that you’re not supposed to sleep with your feet towards the door of your bedroom? Or is this just a superstition? More »
Tallit – Required Size - I have a Tallit which is long and narrow, which covers my head, shoulders and some of my upper body. It’s as large as a good pair of tzitzit. Is that big enough? More »
The Books of the Maccabees - I’ve been reading about the history of Hanukkah and found that a lot of the material comes from the Book of the Maccabees. What is that work? Is it a sacred work, part of the Torah, or just a work... of history? More »
The Creation of Man and the Animals - In our weekly Torah study session, the question came up why the Torah makes special mention of God’s blowing a soul into Adam after creating him (Genesis 2:7). The animals are living beings as well but their bodies and... More »
The Origins of 17 Tammuz - I notice that in the list of tragedies which occurred on the 17th of Tammuz, it states that Moses broke the Tablets of the law when he descended from Mount Sinai – after he saw the Children of Israel worshiping the... More »
The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9 - I’m curious to know the Jewish understanding of Daniel 9:24-27. It seems such a clear reference to Jesus that I don’t understand how Jewish scholars can disagree. It speaks of the Messiah who will live 483 years after... More »
The Shabbos Queen - My Bible class went to visit a synagogue Friday night. At a point during the services, we all turned to face the back of the synagogue while singing. I was told it was to welcome the Shabbat Queen. What is the notion... More »
Using a Non-Kosher Microwave - At work, there is a microwave in the kitchen which people use to heat up food, much of it not kosher. Could I use it as well, if I cover up my food first? More »
Whipped Cream Charger - Are you allowed to use a whipped cream charger on Shabbat? It involves puncturing a canister, and then gas is released into a thick cream which bubbles it up and turns it into foam. More »
Why Married Women Cover Their Hair - Why must married women cover their hair? More »
Will There be Sacrifices in the Third Temple? - Will there be sacrifices in the Third Temple? I heard that they were only necessary in the olden days when people were more primitive and felt a need to offer sacrifices to God, as the pagans of the time were doing.... More »
Working on Shabbat - I recently started a new job at a child care center and it turns out I need to come in briefly once in a while on Saturdays. Is there any way I’d be allowed to go in? I’m careful to keep Shabbos but I really don’t want... More »
Yom Kippur for Two Days - I was wondering why Yom Kippur is not observed for two days as the other major holidays in the Diaspora. I know it would be almost impossible, but if there is a doubt when Rosh Hashanah is (and so we keep it for two... More »

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