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Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part I)

25 Sivan 5776 – June 30, 2016
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: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part I)

18 Sivan 5776 – June 23, 2016
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: Erecting A Monument Over A Grave

11 Sivan 5776 – June 16, 2016
Question: Recently it came to light that there is no memorial stone over the grave of a family member who passed away some time ago. He has children, but, unfortunately, they refuse to do anything to rectify this matter. Worse, they say that erecting a monument is not a requirement. I don’t agree with them. Please quote sources so that I can prove to them that they must erect a memorial stone. Name withheld by request

Q & A: Ruth’s Conversion

4 Sivan 5776 – June 9, 2016
Question: When did Ruth convert – before or after she married Naomi’s son? Also, what is the earliest reference in Jewish sources to a formal conversion process? Lazar Rozenblat Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: More Sefirah Questions (Part III)

26 Iyyar 5776 – June 2, 2016
Question: Is there a requirement to say “Hineni muchan u’mezuman…” before Sefirat HaOmer? Also if a person arrives late for Maariv, should he count sefirah first with the minyan or proceed immediately to Maariv? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: More Sefirah Questions (Part II)

19 Iyyar 5776 – May 26, 2016
Question: Is there a requirement to say “Hineni muchan u’mezuman…” before Sefirat HaOmer? Also if a person arrives late for Maariv, should he count sefirah first with the minyan or proceed immediately to Maariv? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: More Sefirah Questions (Part I)

12 Iyyar 5776 – May 19, 2016
Question: Is there a requirement to say “Hineni muchan u’mezuman…” before Sefirat HaOmer? Also if a person arrives late for Maariv, should he count sefirah first with the minyan or proceed immediately to Maariv? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer Questions (Part II)

5 Iyyar 5776 – May 12, 2016
Question: What if someone counted the Omer but forgot to utter the blessing – has he fulfilled his obligation? Also, why is a blessing necessary altogether? There is no blessing for the counting of the zayin nekiyim. M. Goldman Miami Beach, FL

Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer Questions (Part I)

27 Nisan 5776 – May 5, 2016
Question: What if someone counted the Omer but forgot to utter the blessing – has he fulfilled his obligation? Also, why is a blessing necessary altogether? There is no blessing for the counting of the zayin nekiyim. M. Goldman Miami Beach, FL

Q & A: The Plague Of Locust

21 Nisan 5776 – April 28, 2016
Question: When the Torah describes the 10 plagues with which Egypt was afflicted, we find the Hebrew preposition “ba” only in connection with the plague of locust: “Vayomer Hashem Moshe, ‘Neteh yad’cha al eretz Mitzrayim ba’arbeh’ – And Hashe said to Moshe, ‘Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt with locust.” Is there a specific reason for this anomaly? A. Lieb Brooklyn, NY

Q & A: Seder Requirements

14 Nisan 5776 – April 21, 2016
Question: What is the minimum amount of matzah a person must consume if he finds eating it difficult? Additionally how absolute is the requirement not to eat anything after the afikoman? Menachem

Q & A: Joshua Marries Rahab (Redux) (Part III)

7 Nisan 5776 – April 14, 2016
Question: I am a psychology professor at McGill University who is doing an MA in Jewish studies. My thesis topic is the history of interpretation of the story of Rachav Hazona. In the course of my research I was trying to understand how the Midrash derived that Rahab converted.

Q & A: Joshua Marries Rahab (Redux) (Part II)

29 Adar II 5776 – April 7, 2016
Question: I am a psychology professor at McGill University who is doing an MA in Jewish studies. My thesis topic is the history of interpretation of the story of Rachav Hazona. In the course of my research I was trying to understand how the Midrash derived that Rahab converted.

Q & A: May A Girl Share Her Mother-In-Law’s Name?

15 Adar II 5776 – March 24, 2016
Question: I am seriously dating a girl who has a similar name to my mother. My mother’s name is Pischa and the girl’s name is Pesha. Since both names arguably derive from the word Pesach, would it be a problem for me to potentially marry this girl? Name Witheld Via E-Mail

Q & A: Purim Se’udah At Night?

8 Adar II 5776 – March 17, 2016
Question: Taking into account the fact that one might have to travel on Purim day, may one make one’s Purim se’udah on Purim eve? No Name Please

Q & A: Amen (Part X)

1 Adar II 5776 – March 10, 2016
What is the exact meaning of amen and where does the word come from? David H. (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Amen (Part IX)

24 Adar I 5776 – March 3, 2016
What is the exact meaning of amen and where does the word come from? David H. (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Amen (Part VIII)

17 Adar I 5776 – February 25, 2016
What is the exact meaning of amen and where does the word come from? David H. (Via E-Mail)

Q & A: Leap Year Yahrzeit Observance

10 Adar I 5776 – February 18, 2016
Question: I just read your wonderful article on which Adar to observe a yahrzeit in a leap year. Would one make a hazkara in both months or only during the first Adar? Thank you for your time.

Q & A: Amen (Part VII)

3 Adar I 5776 – February 11, 2016
What is the exact meaning of amen and where does the word come from? David H. (Via E-Mail)

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