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Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer In Shul (Part II)

QUESTION: I enjoy your weekly column. You not only give an answer, but also provide an in-depth discussion of the subject matter, including many different views. My question, which relates to the upcoming mitzvah of counting the Omer, is as follows: In my synagogue, and I assume in most others, we all stand at attention as the rabbi or chazzan recites the blessing of Sefirat HaOmer and then proceeds to count the Omer. How can we recite the blessing afterwards when we already clearly heard it before (and thus, presumably, were yotzei with it)? M. Goldblum Miami Beach, FL

Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer In Shul (Part I)

Question: I enjoy your weekly column. In addition to answering questions, you also discuss the subjects you are asked about in depth, covering many different views. My question is as follows: In my synagogue, and I assume in most others, everyone stands at attention as the rabbi or chazzan recites the blessing for Sefiras HaOmer and then counts the Omer. How can we recite the blessing afterwards ourselves when we already heard it (and thus, presumably, were yotzei with it)? M. Goldblum Miami Beach, FL

Q & A: Selling One’s Chametz

Question: Please explain why we sell our chametz. Wouldn’t it simpler to just discard it before Passover? Why do we go through this charade every year? Malka Berg

Q & A: Tachanun During Nissan (Part II)

Question: Why do we say Tachanun on some days and not on others? What are the rules? When do we not say it? M. Solow

Q & A: Tachanun During Nissan (Part I)

Question: Why do we say Tachanun on some days and not on others? What are the rules? When do we not say it? M. Solow

Q & A: A Bar Mitzvah Boy And The Four Parshiyot (Part II)

Question: Is a bar mitzvah boy allowed to read the four parshiyot in shul on behalf of the congregation? Elimelech Feldman

Q & A: A Bar Mitzvah Boy And The Four Parshiyot (Part I)

Question: Is a bar mitzvah boy allowed to read the four parshiyot in shul on behalf of the congregation? Elimelech Feldman

Q & A: Batei Din (Part I)

Question: I anticipate soon dissolving a business partnership. How should I expect to be treated in a beit din? No Name Please

Q & A: Matanot La’evyonim

To whom does one give on Purim? Must one give to someone who, one suspects, may not really be poor? Is there a minimal amount one must give? Also, what about boys collecting for yeshivot or other institutions – may one discharge one’s obligation by giving to them? Menachem

Q & A: Who Was Achashverosh?

Question: We read in Megillat Esther that the name of the king of Persia who ruled a vast empire that extended from India to Ethiopia was Achashverosh. Who was he? Where did he come from? Fran Hager Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: Stepping Back At The Amidah’s Conclusion

Question: I’ve noticed in shul that at the conclusion of Shemoneh Esreh some people take three steps back but do not take three steps forward. Is this practice acceptable? Zelig Aronson

Q & A: Tanach’s ‘Hidden Women’

Question: At work, people sometimes argue that the Torah doesn’t regard women highly, only mentioning them in passing, almost begrudgingly at times. They cite, for example, the Torah’s treatment of Serach bat Asher and Yocheved bat Levi. I would appreciate very much if you could provide me with “ammunition” to refute them. Mrs. C. Grosz

Q & A: Covering The Challah

Question: Why do we cover the challah when we make Kiddush? Why don’t we cover any other foods on the table? Zelig Aronson

Should The Chazzan Say ‘Ga’al Yisrael’ Out Loud? (Part IV)

Question: In the course of my travels, I have discovered that some chazzanim say “Ga’al Yisrael” right before Shemoneh Esreh aloud while others say it with their voices fading. Is one practice correct and the other incorrect? M. Goldman

Q & A: Should The Chazzan Say ‘Ga’al Yisrael’ Out Loud? (Part III)

Question: In the course of my travels, I have discovered that some chazzanim say “Ga’al Yisrael” right before Shemoneh Esreh aloud while others say it with their voices fading. Is one practice correct and the other incorrect? M. Goldman

Saying ‘Ga’al Yisrael’ Out Loud (Part II)

Question: In the course of my travels, I have discovered that some chazzanim say “ga’al Yisrael” right before Shemoneh Esreh aloud while others say it with their voices fading. Is one practice correct and the other incorrect? M. Goldman

Q & A: ‘Ga’al Yisrael’ Aloud (Part I)

Question: In the course of my travels, I have discovered that some chazzanim say “ga’al Yisrael” right before Shemoneh Esreh aloud while others say it with their voices fading. Is one practice correct and the other incorrect? M. Goldman

Q & A: How Could Jacob Marry Two Sisters?

Question: If the Patriarchs kept the entire Torah before it was given on Mount Sinai, how could Jacob have married two sisters? S. Friedman

Q & A: Did Abraham Daven Minchah?

Question: We are taught that the Patriarchs kept the entire Torah even before it was given to the Jewish nation on Mount Sinai. If so, why do our Sages say that Abraham was the originator of Shacharit, Isaac was the originator of Minchah, and Jacob was the originator of Maariv? That seems incongruous given the fact that the Patriarchs kept the entire Torah. S. Friedman

Q & A: A Kohen’s Prayer (Part IV)

Question: Sefer Chareidim (ch. 67) cites a Midrash that Eliyahu once testified that a certain kohen who begged G-d for righteous sons merited to see all of them serve as high priests, and none of them died during his lifetime. Where exactly is this Midrash? Nathan

Q & A: A Kohen’s Prayer (Part III)

Question: Sefer Chareidim (ch. 67) cites a Midrash that Eliyahu once testified that a certain kohen who begged G-d for righteous sons merited to see all of them serve as high priests, and none of them died during his lifetime. Where exactly is this Midrash? Nathan

Q & A: A Kohen’s Prayer (Part II)

Question: Sefer Chareidim (ch. 67) cites a Midrash that Eliyahu once testified that a certain kohen who begged G-d for righteous sons merited to see all of them serve as high priests, and none of them died during his lifetime. Where exactly is this Midrash? Nathan

Q & A: A Kohen’s Prayer (Part I)

Question: Sefer Chareidim (ch. 67) cites a Midrash that Eliyahu once testified that a certain kohen who begged G-d for righteous sons merited to see all of them serve as high priests, and none of them died during his lifetime. Where exactly is this Midrash? Nathan

Q & A: Where To Light Shabbat Candles? (Part II)

Question: My husband and I are frequent Shabbos guests at our children’s homes nearby. Where should I light Shabbos candles – in my home or theirs? Name Withheld

Q & A: Where To Light Shabbat Candles? (Part I)

Question: My husband and I are frequent Shabbos guests at our children’s homes nearby. Where should I light Shabbos candles – in my home or theirs? Name Withheld

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