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May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
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A Night of Revelation and the Musical Spirit of Israel
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Posted on: April 25th, 2012

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

Question: I find it very difficult to understand the punishment of death that was meted out to Rabbi Akiba’s students. If he was so great, we can assume that his students were of a superior caliber as well. If so, why did they deserve such a harsh punishment? Zelig Aronson Queens, NY

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Posted on: April 18th, 2012

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

Question: I find it very difficult to understand the punishment of death that was meted out to Rabbi Akiba’s students. If he was so great, we can assume that his students were of a superior caliber as well. If so, why did they deserve such a harsh punishment? Zelig Aronson Queens, NY Answer: The Aruch […]

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Posted on: April 12th, 2012

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Question: Why do we read Shir HaShirim on Pesach? Also, why do we generally read it on the Shabbat of Chol HaMoed as opposed to the first days of Pesach? Finally, why don’t we recite a blessing over the reading of Shir HaShirim as we do for Megillat Esther? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: April 5th, 2012

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Question: In the Torah’s description of the ten plagues Hashem inflicted upon Egypt, we find the Hebrew preposition “beit” [meaning “in” or “with”] only in connection with the plague of locust: "Neteh yadcha al eretz Mitzrayim ba'arbeh." Why is this so? And why do most of the commentators on Chumash ignore this question. Menachem (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: March 28th, 2012

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Question: Why do we read four special Torah sections between Purim and Pesach. Also, why do we call each of the four Shabbatot on which we read these sections by a special name – such as Shabbat Shekalim, Shabbat Zachor etc.? Celia Gluck (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: March 22nd, 2012

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

Question: Why do we read four special Torah sections between Purim and Pesach. Also, why do we call each of the four Shabbatot on which we read these sections by a special name – such as Shabbat Shekalim, Shabbat Zachor etc.? Celia Gluck (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: March 14th, 2012

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The Shulchan Aruch (Hilchos Chanukah, 685:7) writes that some authorities maintain that there is a biblical obligation to read Parshas Zachor and Parshas Parah.

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Posted on: March 7th, 2012

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

Question: I read The Jewish Press’s Luach of February 17 with much interest. You write, “We daven Shacharis as usual.” I find it difficult to understand why you don’t mention reciting the special yotzrot for Parshat Shekolim. Are yotzrot a relic of history? I’m a senior citizen who remembers saying yotzrot as a child. But now, they seem to have disappeared from Orthodox synagogues. Milton M. Adler Cherry Hill, NJ

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Posted on: February 29th, 2012

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The term yotzrot refers to a grouping of special prayers that all fall under the same heading, and are also referred to as piyutim. Rabbi Yosef Grossman discusses this topic at length in his masterful work “Otzar Erchei Ha’Yahadut” ot peh, 377). He writes: “Piyut – these are prayers, poetic refrains, or sanctified songs that entered the liturgy of our special machzorim for festivals and special occasions, for the Days of Awe, as well as those solemn fast days that mark our national tragedies.”

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Posted on: February 22nd, 2012

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Question: Since my daughter in high school started researching the topic of shemot for her school newspaper, I have become more and more confused. Does shemot only include items, such as books and sheets of papers, with Hashem’s name on them? Or does it even include items containing Torah concepts or even just Hebrew letters? For example, how do you advise I dispose of The Jewish Press? Finally, concerning Hashem’s name, must the name be spelled out fully in Hebrew to constitute shemot? What if it is in English in abbreviated form – “G-d,” for example? Shlomo Newfield (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: February 15th, 2012

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

Does shemot only include items, such as books and sheets of papers, with Hashem’s name on them? Or does it even include items containing Torah concepts or even just Hebrew letters?

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Posted on: February 8th, 2012

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

Question: Since my daughter in high school started researching the topic of shemot for her school newspaper, I have become more and more confused. Does shemot only include items, such as books and sheets of papers, with Hashem’s name on them? Or does it even include items containing Torah concepts or even just Hebrew letters? For example, how do you advise I dispose of The Jewish Press? Finally, concerning Hashem’s name, must the name be spelled out fully in Hebrew to constitute shemot? What if it is in English in abbreviated form – “G-d,” for example? Shlomo Newfield (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: February 2nd, 2012

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Question: Why is Tu B’Shevat, known as the New Year for Trees, in the middle of the month and not at the beginning of the month – like all other New Years? Pesach Bernstein (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: January 26th, 2012

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Question: My son recently stopped wearing a necktie and lace-up shoes on Shabbat. He explained that he doesn’t want to transgress the prohibition against tying knots on Shabbat. Is tying a necktie or shoelaces really forbidden? “A Mother in Israel” (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: January 20th, 2012

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Question: My son recently stopped wearing a necktie and lace-up shoes on Shabbat. He explained that he doesn’t want to transgress the prohibition against tying knots on Shabbat. Is tying a necktie or shoelaces really forbidden? “A Mother in Israel” (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: January 18th, 2012

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In February we conducted a thorough discussion of the mitzvah of techeilet. The following guest piece by Baruch Sterman, marking 20 years since the establishment of the Ptil Tekhelet Foundation (www.tekhelet.com), is a follow up to that discussion.

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Posted on: January 11th, 2012

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Question: My son recently stopped wearing a necktie and lace-up shoes on Shabbat. He explained that he doesn’t want to transgress the prohibition against tying knots on Shabbat. Is tying a necktie or shoelaces really forbidden? “A Mother in Israel” (Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: December 29th, 2011

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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)

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Posted on: December 21st, 2011

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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)

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Posted on: December 15th, 2011

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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)

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