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Accidental Carrying on Shabbat - What do you do if you realize you’re carrying something outside on Shabbat, such as if you have something in your pocket you didn’t know about? More »
Carnivorous Animals - Why did God create the world that some animals are carnivorous – and hunt and kill other animals for their food? Couldn’t the world have been created differently? 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 »
Descent From King David Today - Is there any way to research if you’re a descendant of King David? I feel I really relate to him in so many ways! More »
Determining Relative’s Hebrew Name - Our father passed away recently and we want to determine his Hebrew name for his tombstone. He was entirely secular and none of us know if he even had a Hebrew name. What should we do? More »
Did Judaism Used to Practice Patrilineal Descent? - I just made a bet with a friend for a cup of coffee. He is asserting that Judaism used to be a patrilineal religion in the beginning, and then changed to being matrilineal. I never heard this and find it hard to... 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 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 – and is only... 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 »
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 »
Keturah’s Origins - Who was Abraham’s second wife Keturah? The Torah writes nothing about her background and origin – although if she was a wife of Abraham and mother to six of his children, she must have been a pretty... important person! 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 »
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 »
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 »
Opening Folding Bed on Shabbat - I live in a small apartment and I want to have guests who may stay overnight. Would I be allowed to open a sleeper sofar for them on Shabbat? (Because my apartment is small, there isn’t room to keep it open the entire... 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 program is to pray... 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 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 Tabernacle’s Construction and the Shamir - When the Children of Israel constructed the Tabernacle, some of the tasks required doing very fine, delicate work – which seems to be beyond the technology that existed in those days. How for example were they able to... 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 »
Year and Date of Aaron’s Death - In what year did Aaron die? Numbers 33:38 writes explicitly that Aaron died in the 40th year in the desert, at the age of 123. But Deuteronomy 10:6 seems to say Aaron died in the second year in the desert, right after... 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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