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Posted on: September 22nd, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: Upon concluding the Shabbat morning services at our local synagogue, we have an informal kiddush during which our rabbi discusses the Parasha of the week. At the conclusion of his talk he opens an informal discussion, inviting questions or comments. Occasionally I will make a brief comment relating to the rabbi's talk, sometimes quoting an applicable passage from the Torah. Recently a friend told me that it was not proper for me, a lay person, to comment even briefly by directly quoting the Torah, as quotes should be stated exclusively by the rabbi.I believe, however, that lay people are to be encouraged to study and quote relevant passages from the Torah. Additionally, the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) encourages us to "... teach it (Torah) to your children, to speak of it in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you arise..." Thus, it seems the Shema is urging us all, including lay persons, to quote the Torah. My rabbi told me he was not bothered by my quoting Torah verses during these discussions, but I would also like to know your opinion.Name Withheld by Request

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Posted on: September 8th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I am about to get married and it appears that my name is the same as my fianc?'s mother's name. I've been told that this is problematic. Please advise as I urgently need an answer.No Name, Please

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Posted on: September 1st, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: Why is there so much pain and suffering in this world? Could not a world be created by G-d that is devoid of pain, suffering and sickness?Y. RappaportVia E-Mail)

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Posted on: August 25th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: If the fast of Tisha Be'Av (the ninth day of Av) concludes the mourning period for the destruction of the Temple, why do we wait until the fifteenth of Av to rejoice? Is there a distinct significance to this date? Please discuss this in your insightful column.Sara Gutman(Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: August 18th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: May leftover meat from the Sabbath during the Nine Days be used during the week so as not to violate "bal tash'chit" - the prohibition against wastefulness?Rabbi Yaakov Spivak, Rosh KollelKollel Ayshel AvrahamMonsey, NY

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Posted on: August 11th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: May leftover meat from the Sabbath during the Nine Days be used during the week so as not to violate "bal tash'chit" - the prohibition against wastefulness?Rabbi Yaakov Spivak, Rosh KollelKollel Ayshel AvrahamMonsey, NY

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Posted on: August 4th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I am presently nursing. I would like to know until what age it is permissible to nurse my child soon after feeding him chicken. In general, how long do we wait between eating meat and dairy?A Concerned Mother New York City

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Posted on: July 28th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I am presently nursing. I would like to know until what age it is permissible to nurse my child soon after feeding him chicken. In general, how long do we wait between eating meat and dairy?A Concerned MotherNew York City

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Posted on: July 21st, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I am presently nursing. I would like to know until what age it is permissible to nurse my child soon after feeding him chicken. In general, how long do we wait between eating meat and dairy?A Concerned MotherNew York City

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Posted on: July 14th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I am presently nursing. I would like to know until what age it is permissible to nurse my child soon after feeding him chicken. In general, how long do we wait betweeneating meat and dairy?A Concerned MotherNew York City

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Posted on: June 30th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I am presently nursing. I would like to know until what age it is permissible to nurse my child soon after feeding him chicken. In general, how long do we wait between eating meat and dairy?A Concerned MotherNew York City

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Posted on: June 16th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I have numerous questions regarding Pirkei Avot. First, is there a specific reason that the last chapter is read on the Sabbath before Shavuot, or is this just a quirk of the calendar? Second, in that last chapter we find a listing of qualities that enable one to acquire Torah knowledge, including anava (humility). I find this difficult to believe in light of the Gemara in Gittin that chastises one of the scholars for his anava, which ultimately caused the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.Zvi Kirschner(Via E-Mail)

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Posted on: June 2nd, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

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

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Posted on: May 26th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: My friends are getting married on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. I tried to convince them to do otherwise, as many people have a minhag (custom) 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

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Posted on: May 19th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I was at a kiddush recently where a lot of food (hot and cold) was served. Kiddush on wine was made, but no one washed the hands for eating bread. I am sure that most people were unable to eat a seuda afterwards. This seems to be a trend which is far from the kiddushim of the past, when a piece of herring and kichel and shnaps were the fare.As I do not wish to denigrate my hosts, who were so gracious in spite of what I see as doing something incorrect, please omit my name.Name Withheld On Request

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Posted on: May 12th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: What if one counted the Omer but forgot to utter the blessing - has the obligation been fulfilled? Why do we recite a blessing for this counting, when we find that for the zayin nekiyim - the seven clean days - there is no such blessing? Is the counting not similar?M. GoldmanMiami Beach, FL

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Posted on: April 28th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: Does a katan (minor) exempt the father or leader of the Seder from having to recite the Mah Nishtanah? The father could continue with Avadim hayyinu, as stated in the Shulchan Aruch (473:7, Hilchot Pesach). The poskim bring proof from Tractate Pesachim (116a), where R. Nachman continued with Avadim hayyinu, as did Abaye and Rava. I put this question to my grandfather, Reb Beryl Ackerman, and he responded that in the margin of the Shulchan Aruch the Chatam Sofer quotes Rambam, who states that the reader of the Haggadah must repeat the Mah Nishtanah. His Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Binyomin Paler, understands Rambam to mean that since a child is not a bar chiyyuva, the father must repeat the Mah Nishtanah, and the cases cited in the Talmud do not deal with a minor. In light of the above, why do certain poskim such as the Mishna Berura state that he does not have to repeat the Mah Nishtanah?Pinchus CynamonBais Medrash of Flatbush

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Posted on: April 21st, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I would like to know why there are four special readings of the Torah during the period between Purim and Pesach. Also, why do we call each of those four Shabbatot by a special name, such as Shabbat Shekalim, Shabbat Zachor etc., which we don't do otherwise?Celia Gluck(via e-mail)

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Posted on: April 14th, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I would like to know why there are four special readings of the Torah during the period between Purim and Pesach. Also, why do we call each of those four Shabbatot by a special name, such as Shabbat Shekalim, Shabbat Zachor etc., which we don't do otherwise?Celia Gluck(via e-mail)

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Posted on: March 31st, 2004

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: We are ba'alei teshuva in the process of becoming more observant. We wish to "kasher" our home and utensils for Passover with minimal expense. Do you have any suggestions? Names withheld by request

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