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17 Tishri 5779 -
? Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Q & A: Two Adars (Part II)

QUESTION: I have a few questions regarding the Jewish leap year. Why do we always add a second Adar as opposed to adding a second Tevet or Iyar for example? Why do we call it Adar Alef? Why is Purim celebrated in the second Adar? And which Adar is the real Adar?Shea Aronovitch(Via E-Mail)

Q & A: A Missed Torah Reading (Part XII)

Question: If a person was ill on Shabbos and unable to go to shul to hear Keri’at haTorah, must he have someone read it to him in shul upon his recovery? Sincerely, Isaac Greenberg

Q & A: A Missed Torah Reading (Part II)

Question: If a person was ill on Shabbos and unable to go to shul to hear Keri’at haTorah, must he have someone read it to him in shul upon his recovery. Sincerely, Isaac Greenberg

Q & A: Arabs Circumcise At 13 (Part XIV)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity. M. Goldman (Via E-mail)

Q & A: The Hereafter – Olam Haba (Part X)

Question: How do we know that there is an olam haba – a world to come? L. Papirmeister

Q & A: Sabbath Shuttle? (Part V)

Question: Is it permitted on the Sabbath or holidays to take a shuttle to synagogue? The neighborhood shuttle runs from 9-5 daily, is driven by a gentile, has a designated stop schedule, and is free of charge.

Q & A: Staying Awake Shavuot Night

Question: Many people stay awake Shavuot night and learn Torah. Is this proper considering that one’s davening the next morning may lack kavannah as a result? Wouldn’t it make more sense to get a good night’s sleep and then learn with more fervor the next day? No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Ayin Hara (Part I)

Question: I know there is a dispute in the Gemara regarding ayin hara, the evil eye. Can you discuss the origin of it? Ben Glassman (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Sabbath Shuttle? (Part VII)

Question: Is it permitted on the Sabbath or holidays to take a shuttle to synagogue? The neighborhood shuttle runs from 9-5 daily, is driven by a gentile, has a designated stop schedule, and is free of charge.

Q & A: Sabbath Shuttle? (Part IV)

Question: Is it permitted on the Sabbath or holidays to take a shuttle to synagogue? The neighborhood shuttle runs from 9-5 daily, is driven by a gentile, has a designated stop schedule, and is free of charge.

Q & A: Tractate Avot

QUESTION: Why is Avot prefaced with a mishna from another tractate? Also, why do we refer to this tractate as Avot, meaning "fathers"?Shlomo FeivelsonCoconut Creek, FL

Q & A: Arabs Circumcise At 13 (Part XII)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity. M. Goldman (Via E-mail)

Q & A: Shema Koleinu (Part II)

Question: When the cantor says Shema Koleinu during the High Holiday season, he skips several lines during the interactive recitation. Why? A Reader Wilkes Barre, PA

Q & A: The Hereafter – Olam Haba (Part XV)

Question: How do we know that there is an olam haba – a world to come? L. Papirmeister

Q & A: Attending Weddings During Sefirah (Part I)

Question: My friends are getting married on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. I tried to convince them to do otherwise, as many people have a minhag not to attend weddings until three days before Shavuot. They told me they spoke to rabbis who allowed it. Is this right? May I attend? Name Withheld By Request

Q & A: Standing During Birkot Keriat Shema (Part I)

Question: I have noticed that some people stand during the Birkot Keriat Shema. I was always under the impression that one is supposed to sit for Shema and its berachot. Is there a source that allows one to stand during this part of the prayer? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: L’David Hashem Ori (Part II)

Question: In “L’David Hashem Ori” – which we recite from the beginning of Elul until Shemini Atzeret – we read the following: “Bikrov alay me’reim le’echol et besarai – When evildoers approach me to devour my flesh.” Why does the verse use the word “me’reim”? Why not use “resha’im” or “anashim ra’im” instead? Tzila Kleinbart Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: ‘The Scepter Shall Not Depart From Judah’ (Part V)

Question: As Shavuot is fast approaching – a holiday on which we dwell on the story of Ruth and the origins of the royal house of David – I was wondering if you could help me resolve something. The Mishnah never makes any mention of the Hasmonean kings, the mitzvah to light a Chanukah menorah, or the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days. Some people say that Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi – the redactor of the six orders of the Mishnah and a scion of King David – omitted these topics because the Hasmoneans improperly crowned themselves, ignoring the rule that all Jewish kings are supposed to come from the tribe of Yehudah. They argue that this is also why the Talmud does not include a separate tractate on Chanukah. Is this true? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

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: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part VI)

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men? Menachem

Q & A: A Sabbath Desecrator Leading Services (Part V)

Question: May someone who desecrates the Sabbath lead the services if he has yahrzeit? If yes, may he replace someone else who has yahrzeit? Hayim Grosz (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: The Leap Year At Adar (Part IV)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Tzedakah (Part V)

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah? Zvi Kirschner (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Joshua Marries Rahab (Part II)

QUESTION: I recently attended a lecture where the speaker discussed great Jewish women in history. He specifically singled out the biblical heroine Rahab who, he said, married the great leader and prophet Joshua.I had previously heard that Rahab was a woman of ill repute, a harlot, who surely was not suitable for a righteous person like Joshua. Also, when Rahab is mentioned (Joshua ch. 2), there is no indication that she married Joshua. How do we know it?Sandy Hart(Via e-mail)

Q & A: Birkat HaGomel (Part X)

Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait? Name Withheld (Via E-Mail)

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