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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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Chametz – Deeper Meaning - Is there a deeper meaning behind the law that we may not have chametz on Passover – beyond that this is what the Jews ate when they left? More »
Cleaning the House Before Going Away for Passover - I am leaving for Israel a few days before Pesach and returning after the holiday. Do I still have to clean for Pesach? 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 »
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 »
Is the Messiah Alive Today? - People often say that the Era of the Messiah is close. Does this mean that the Messiah is alive today, already among us? Or will he magically descend from Heaven or something like that? Does anyone know when he is... 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 »
Items Doomed to God - I’m trying to make sense out of Leviticus 27:28-29. It seems to state that all items doomed to God, whether people, animals, or fields, may not be redeemed. They are most holy to God and must be destroyed or put to... 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 David Descended from Lot’s Daughters - Yesterday I was reading in Genesis the story of Lot’s daughters who bore children from him and begat the nations of Amon and Moab. It then struck me that since King David’s great-grandmother was Ruth the Moabite, it... 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 »
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 »
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 »
No Hebrew Name – Writing Ketubah - I grew up in an entirely secular family and was never given a Hebrew name. My son will be married God willing in about two weeks, and his future mother-in-law wants to know his and his father’s Hebrew name for the... 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 »
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 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 Reasons for the Mitzvot - Why does the Torah not give us the reasons for the mitzvot? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful for us to know the whys? 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 »
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 »
World to Come not Mentioned in the Torah - If the belief in the World to Come is so central to Judaism, why does the Torah never mention it? 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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