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Q & A: The Gabbai’s Dilemma (Part I)

19 Shevat 5764 – February 11, 2004
QUESTION: If the rabbi of a shul (or a minyan) does not indicate to the sheliach tzibbur to go ahead at the end of the Shema or at the beginning of Chazarat HaShatz (the Reader's Repetition), should the gabbai tell him to go ahead or does he wait until the rabbi finishes? To which should greater consideration be given by the gabbai: kibbud HaRav or tircha detzibbura?Steven LittwinRiverdale, New York

Q & A: The Hoopoe

12 Shevat 5764 – February 4, 2004
QUESTION: Why is the hoopoe (lapwing) bird, known in the Bible as the duchifat, considered unclean (see Leviticus 11:19 and Deuteronomy 14:18)? It does not seem to be a bird of prey or a carrion- eating bird. There's a purpose for everything G-d commanded us and I would like to understand the reason for this law.Robert A. WeilerBlue Grass, IA

Q & A: On The ‘Evergreen Tree’ In A Jewish Home

5 Shevat 5764 – January 28, 2004
QUESTION: I am active in kiruv work in a neighborhood where there are many Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Unfortunately, these people were kept ignorant of their Jewish heritage.Lately I've noticed a new phenomenon. At this time of year, many of them seem to be bringing evergreen trees into their homes. They claim that they always did this in Russia in celebration of the "winter festival".What should my attitude be as a kiruv professional?Name WithheldBrooklyn, NY

From Csenger To Jerusalem

20 Tevet 5764 – January 14, 2004
I am interrupting the sequence of my articles to share with you some of my experiences in Europe. During the past few days, I have had the privilege of addressing the members of the Jewish communities of Amsterdam, Budapest, Berlin and London. While each community has its own unique character, there is a common denominator that connects them all, and that is the "pintele Yid," that spark from Sinai that HaShem engraved on the heart of every Jew, which, if ignited, can become a glorious flame of Torah.

Spoiling Our Children – Another Aspect Of The Shidduch Problem

13 Tevet 5764 – January 7, 2004
Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis: I believe that my desires are very basic - world peace and good health, a big fridge for Yom Tov and a Passover kitchen (which I feel is a must for every home). So why am I writing you this letter, Rebbetzin?

Q & A: Brit Milah – A Unique Mitzva (Conclusion)

QUESTION: Why did Abraham originally not observe brit milah? I have heard that he observed the whole Torah based on his own understanding.Arye Reed(via e-mail)

Look In The Mirror

7 Tevet 5764 – January 1, 2004
Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis: I have long been an admirer who has followed your work for many years, but this past week, you really outdid yourself. You were right on the mark!

Q & A: Brit Milah – A Unique Mitzva (Part II)

QUESTION: Why did Abraham originally not observe brit milah? I have heard that he observed the whole Torah based on his own understanding.Arye Reed(via e-mail)

‘It’s Real Cool’

29 Kislev 5764 – December 24, 2003
It is 30 years this month since I spoke in Madison Square Garden and had the zchus (merit) to launch Hineni, our Kiruv-Outreach organization. In those days, the Jewish world was very different. Kiruv - outreach was virtually unknown, so I knew that something different had to be done to awaken our people.

Q & A: Brit Milah – A Unique Mitzva (Part I)

QUESTION: Why did Abraham originally not observe brit milah? I have heard that he observed the whole Torah based on his own understanding.Arye Reed(via e-mail)

Yeshiva Pressure – At What Price? (Continued)

22 Kislev 5764 – December 17, 2003
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.

Q & A: A Kohen Traveling By Airplane To Israel

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?

Yeshiva Pressure – At What Price?

15 Kislev 5764 – December 10, 2003
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.

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

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

Q & A: Kiddush Levana (Conclusion)

8 Kislev 5764 – December 3, 2003
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

Is This Something To Parade About?

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.

Q & A: Kiddush Levana (Part I)

1 Kislev 5764 – November 26, 2003
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

Even Our Enemies Sing Our Praises

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.

Q & A: Yom Kippur Katan

24 Heshvan 5764 – November 19, 2003
QUESTION: What are the origins and customs of Yom Kippur Katan, lit. "the lesser Yom Kippur?"Ben GlassmanBrooklyn, NY

Lack of Chizuk (Conclusion)

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.

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