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Destroying the Chametz Within and Truly Preparing for Pesach
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Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Jungreis’s Viewpoint

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Q & A: A Kohen Traveling By Airplane To Israel

Posted on: December 17th, 2003

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I am a kohen and will soon be traveling to Israel for the first time. I have been told that very often EL AL and other carriers transport remains for burial in Israel, and therefore I must check the flight. Is that so?

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Yeshiva Pressure – At What Price? (Continued)

Posted on: December 17th, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

In last week's column I published a letter from a mother who was concerned about the school pressures with which her 14-year-old yeshiva student son had to contend.

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Q & A: ‘Tal U’Matar’ When A Person Leaves Israel After The 7th Of Cheshvan

Posted on: December 10th, 2003

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: What does a person do if he left Israel after the 7th of Cheshvan (which was on November 2 this year), where they already commenced saying "Ve'ten tal u'matar," but before they start doing so in the diaspora (typically on December 5, but on December 6 at Maariv this year, since the evening of December 5 is a Sabbath)?Isaac HagerBrooklyn, NY

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Yeshiva Pressure – At What Price?

Posted on: December 10th, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis: I am not a native New Yorker. I was born and raised in a small out-of-town community. We were the only shomer Shabbos family in the neighborhood, and I never had friends. My parents struggled to give us a Torah education - it wasn't easy. When it came time to attend high school, we were sent away, and that was tough. I always envied my classmates who were able to return home from school every night to be with their families.. How lucky they are, I would think, since I was able to go home only on Yom Tov and other special occasions. I would tell myself that one day, with G-d's help, when I married, I would make certain that my husband and I would live in a community that provided a good choice of yeshivot so that our children would not be deprived of living at home and the pleasure of having friends with whom to socialize.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Is This Something To Parade About?

Posted on: December 3rd, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis: I am writing to you from Jerusalem. My family and I made aliyah 15 years ago. One of the reasons why we took this step was because we wanted our children to be raised and nurtured in the holy air of Jerusalem, in a Torah atmosphere, and above all, to share in the incredible return of our people to the land.

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Q & A: Kiddush Levana (Conclusion)

Posted on: December 3rd, 2003

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QUESTION: Why do we say Shalom Aleichem at Kiddush Levana, when we bless the new moon, and why do we do so three times? Is it because we have not seen a new moon for a whole month? Can you explain a little more about this mitzva?Ira WarshanskyPhiladelphia, PA

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Q & A: Kiddush Levana (Part I)

Posted on: November 26th, 2003

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: Why do we say Shalom Aleichem at Kiddush Levana, when we bless the new moon, and why do we do so three times? Is it because we have not seen a new moon for a whole month? Can you explain a little more about this mitzva?Ira WarshanskyPhiladelphia, PA

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Even Our Enemies Sing Our Praises

Posted on: November 26th, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

At the genesis of our history, we encountered the heathen prophet, Bilaam, who was bent upon cursing our people. But despite himself, G-d placed blessings on his lips, and to this very day, we repeat those blessings in our prayers. Many centuries have passed since Bilaam spoke, but alas, evil people remain - people who are determined to curse us. But like Bilaam of old, despite themselves, they sing our praises. So it was when Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir, one of the third world's most popular statesmen, addressed the leaders of 57 Islamic nations at a conference that he was hosting.

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Q & A: Yom Kippur Katan

Posted on: November 19th, 2003

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: What are the origins and customs of Yom Kippur Katan, lit. "the lesser Yom Kippur?"Ben GlassmanBrooklyn, NY

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Lack of Chizuk (Conclusion)

Posted on: November 19th, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

Special Note: In last week's column I published two letters from disenchanted singles. They expressed their concern, their loneliness, their pain - but more significantly, they blamed family members and friends for lack of chizuk - sympathy, understanding and support. The female writer complained that at family simchas, her suffering intensifies because no one bothers to acknowledge her presence, and she becomes invisible.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

The Lack Of Chizuk (Part I)

Posted on: November 12th, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis; I won't be seeing my husband and children this Shabbos. I won't see them next week either. As a matter of fact, I won't be seeing them next month either. That's because I don't have a husband or children yet.

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Q & A: Noy Sukka – Sukka Decorations (Conclusion)

Posted on: November 12th, 2003

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: Is decorating the sukka part of the mitzva, or does the mitzva only require the sukka itself?Moshe JakobowitzBrooklyn, NY

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Erev Yom HaKippurim Memories

Posted on: November 5th, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

This is a season when memories crowd my mind - so many memories that are bittersweet -bitter, because they are now only memories, and sweet, because just recalling them infuses me with strength. I rush to the cemetery - I pronounce a prayer, I spill out my heart, I wash the grave with my tears, and I depart with an ache in my soul. If only they could be here.... if only I could see their saintly faces and hear their wise gentle voices.

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Q & A: Noy Sukka – Sukka Decorations (Part I)

Posted on: November 5th, 2003

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: Is decorating the sukka part of the mitzva, or does the mitzva only require the sukka itself?Moshe JakobowitzBrooklyn, NY

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Second Guessing G-d

Posted on: October 29th, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

In my last column I wrote of the anguish and sorrow that fills the hearts of our brethren in Israel nowadays, and I wrote of the all-too-real curses that are enumerated in Parashat Ki Tavo. There is one curse however, that at first glance, may be difficult to understand, but if you take a moment to think about it, you will realize how poignantly it speaks to us: "And it shall be, if you will not hearken to the voice of the L-rd your G-d to observe and perform all His commandments and all His decrees that I command you today, then all His curses will come upon you and overtake you" (Deuteronomy 28:58).

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Q & A: ‘Bal Tosif’ And The Shofar Blasts (Conclusion)

Posted on: October 29th, 2003

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I do not understand the practice of blowing so many extra blasts of the shofar, as is done in most synagogues on Rosh Hashana. Is that not in violation of the command bal tosif, as stated in Deuteronomy (13:1), "You shall not add to [G-d's commandments]"?Elliot Solomon(Via E-Mail)

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Have We Turned Into Wood?

Posted on: October 22nd, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

Parshas Ki Tavo has come and gone. The tochacha - the curses - were read in our synagogues, but who was listening? Who heard them? If you were among those who did listen, the words had to have a chilling, eerie effect. Alas, they were not far-fetched predictions, but had an all-too familiar ring. We are the generation that can vividly recall the Holocaust. We are the generation that lives with the constant nightmare of yet more carnage. It is with trepidation that we tune into the news from Israel. Who and what will be next?

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Q & A: ‘Bal Tosif’ And The Shofar Blasts (Part I)

Posted on: October 22nd, 2003

JudaismAsk the Rabbi

QUESTION: I do not understand the practice of blowing so many extra blasts of the shofar, as is done in most synagogues on Rosh Hashana. Is that not in violation of the command bal tosif, as stated in Deuteronomy (13:1), "You shall not add to [G-d's command-ments]"?Elliot Solomon(Via E-Mail)

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
 

Superstition Or … (Conclusion)

Posted on: October 15th, 2003

JudaismRebbetzin's Viewpoint

Special Note: In last week's column, I published a letter from a ba'alas teshuva of Russian descent. She wrote that her parents, having been raised in a communist totalitarian society, were atheists. In Russia, her parents were professionals, but here in the United States, they were unable to find employment in their given fields. This made them very bitter, and was the cause of much anger in her home.

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Q & A: Tractate Avot

Posted on: October 8th, 2003

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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

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