About the Author


Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld

Dovid Rosenfeld, a native of the Washington, D.C. area, works both as a programmer for aish.com and as a responder for its Ask the Rabbi service. He also serves as a volunteer writer for Torah.org. He lives with his wife and family in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.

ring of fate cover Rabbi Rosenfeld's son Zvi recently published his first book, The Ring of Fate, a riveting, fast-paced fantasy novel which is also completely kosher in both language and subject matter. It is available as both book and ebook. It is sold by Booklocker.com, as well as by Amazon.com and all the major on-line sellers.


Why Can't God Just Reward Us?

I recently read an Aish article which explained quite cogently why God cannot simply reward man...

Jewish DNA

I did DNA testing recently and was surprised to find that I am partially “Ashkenazi Jewish.” I...

Repeating Havdalah for Others

We have several older neighbors in our building who ask me to make Havdalah for them. I try to...

Jacob Buys the Birthright for Soup

I’m studying the story of Jacob and Esau and I am so bothered by the simple storyline. Imagine the scenario. Two brothers, one is sitting at home studying and the other returns from an exhausting day at work. He asks his brother for something to eat. Does the brother help him, as any good brother should? No, he takes advantage of Esau’s weakness and only agrees to give him food if he parts with his most precious asset – his birthright. How can Jacob act so unethically?

What is the Behemoth?

Job 40:15-24 discusses the Behemoth – a massive, powerful beast. Someone suggested that this is a...

Who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus?

I always had the impression that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was Ramesses II, but that doesn’t seem...

Abraham: Discovering God at Three

I had always heard that Abraham recognized God when he was three years old. Was that really the...

Significance of Hebrew Year

I know the Hebrew calendar year is counted from Rosh Hashanah, and the current year is 5778. But...

Why Do Mourners Recite Kaddish?

We are saying Kaddish for my father this year unfortunately. I would like to understand the...

Why Do We Shake the Lulav?

Why do we shake the lulav in different directions? What is the significance of... it?

Adam’s Children’s Marriages

I was wondering who the children of Adam and Eve married. If they were the world’s first people,...

Are We Obligated to Forgive?

I was hurt very deeply by another person. She either isn’t aware how hurtful her actions were or...

Jacob Steals the Blessings

How could Jacob have been so dishonest as to steal Esau’s blessings from his father Isaac? It certainly paints him as the bad guy and not the hero!

The Cruel Death of the Scapegoat

In the Yom Kippur service with the two goats, one of the goats – the se’ir la’azazel – was taken out to be pushed off a cliff – and would be broken to pieces. What was the point of doing something so cruel?

Balaam’s Lack of Surprise at Donkey’s Speech

In Torah study group last week, we were discussing Balaam and his attempt to curse Israel. One...

Shabbat Without Gluten

I am celiac and am allergic to all foods containing gluten. Thus, I never eat bread. What should I...

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...

End of Slavery in Egypt

When did the slavery end in the Egypt – at the start of the plagues or when they finished?

Food Cooked in a Dairy/Meat Pot

If a non-dairy food, such as pasta, was cooked in a dairy pot, can it be eaten... together with meat?

How Miraculous was the Splitting of the Sea?

There is a Midrash that Nachshon was the first to jump into the sea. When the water reached his nostrils, it miraculously split into two. This seems to contradict what the Torah itself says – that God brought a powerful east wind which drove back the sea the entire night?

Eating Shabbat Morning Before Prayers

In our community Shabbat morning services only begin at 9:00 and the lunchtime meal does not begin...

Covering Mirrors in House of Mourning

I recently visited the shiva house (house of mourning) for a coworker. One of the more striking...

Eating a Limb from a Live Animal

All the Noahide Laws seem very basic and fundamental – not killing or stealing, setting up courts, etc. But one of them – eating a limb from a live animal – just doesn't seem to fit. What is so significant about it?

Angel injuring Jacob’s Thigh

When the angel fought against Jacob, why specifically did he injure him in his thigh? Is there a...

Blessing After Washing for Bread

I noticed that whenever we wash our hands – both in the morning and before eating bread – we make...

Mice and Uncleanness

I’m very uncomfortable. Our house is infested with mice and I know the Torah says that mice are...

Jeremiah 31 and the New Covenant

How do you understand the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31? Doesn’t that supersede God’s original...

Cooking and Using Fire on Yom Tov

I recently read that you are allowed to use fire on Yom Tov, unlike Shabbat. Can you explain if...

Urim and Thummim

What exactly are the “Urim and Thummim” of Aaron’s breastplate? The Torah mentions it without any...

Lag B’Omer on Sunday

I notice that Lag B’Omer falls out on Sunday this year. Is anything different... on account of this?

The Life of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

A glimpse into the greatness of this towering scholar whose yahrzeit is commemorated on Lag B’Omer.

Moses’s Cushite Wife

Who was the Ethiopian (Cushite) wife that Moses took (Numbers 12:1)? Is she the same wife as...

Washing Before Touching Bread

I understand that we must wash our hands before eating bread because our hands are ritually...

Shabbat Candles in a Hotel

We will be staying at a hotel for Shabbat in a few weeks. How can my wife best fulfill the mitzvah...

The Book of Job and Satan’s Power

The Book of Job begins with God and Satan making a wager over Job, in which God gives Satan permission to test Job, giving him terrible affliction. Does Satan really have the right to harm an innocent man like that?

120 Year Lifespan

I was curious about the blessing we give people to live till 120 years. What is the origin of the...

Tzitzit – Size of Garment

I was always told that the size of the tallit katan (the small four-cornered garment worn under...

Unleavened Dough of Exodus

I have what I believe is a very simple question on the Torah. Exodus 12:33-34 states that the...

Meat with Soy Milk and Non-Dairy Products

Now that I live on my own I have been using soy milk instead of dairy to avoid problems of milk...

Cruelty of Capital Punishment

I have heard people claim that the death penalty of the Torah was barbaric, and man has progressed...

Sacrifices versus Idolatry

I’ve never really been able to wrap my head around the concept of korbanot (sacrifices). To me it...

Jacob’s Embalmment

How was Joseph allowed to embalm his father Jacob? Is that permitted according... to Jewish law?

Enosh, Calling God’s Name, and the Origins of Idolatry

I was studying the book of Genesis and came across the statement that in the time of Enosh, Adam’s...

Two Yuds for Name of God

I see that prayer books often show God’s name with two letter yud‘s together. Is that one of God’s...

Firstborn (Bechor) Privileges

I’ve been studying Deuteronomy with my children and was at a loss to explain why the firstborn...

Kohen Higher Status

My mother is Jewish and my father is not. I have been told that I am 100% Jewish, yet at the same...

Remarrying One’s Divorcee

I have been studying the Bible much more seriously in recent months to try to understand Moses’s...

Why is Sukkot Celebrated in the Fall?

I noticed that of all the major holidays, Sukkot does not really seem to correspond to the time of...

How to Pray Well

How does a person pray well? I understand the Hebrew of the prayers pretty well, but I can’t...

Covenant of Salt

I see the Torah occasionally refers to covenants of salt – such as the covenant of priesthood with...

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