Q & A: Tying Knots On The Sabbath (Part I)

My son recently stopped wearing a necktie and lace-up shoes on the Sabbath. He explained that otherwise he fears transgressing the prohibition against tying knots on the Sabbath. I am concerned, as I do not wish that he appear slovenly, especially on the Sabbath, which might not reflect well on him regarding possible shidduchim. Is he correct in this matter? A Concerned Mother Via E-mail

Q & A: Mano’ach’s Wife (Part II)

Question: Recently we read the haftara of Parashat Naso. I am puzzled by the fact that the wife of Mano’ach was given to see things her husband did not see, yet only his name is mentioned. What was the name of Mano’ach’s wife? Yossy Guttman Via email

Q & A: Manoach’s Wife (Part I)

Question: Recently we read the haftara of Parashat Naso. I am puzzled by the fact that the wife of Manoach was given to see things her husband did not see, yet only his name is mentioned. What was the name of Manoach’s wife? Yossy Guttman Via Email

Q & A: We Don’t Proselytize

Question: Lately, various missionary groups have been very active in my neighborhood and other Jewish areas, anxious to convert our brethren to their way. Why don’t we, in turn, seek to convert them? This should be correct especially in light of the Yom Tov of Shavuot that we are celebrating when we read of the conversion of Ruth the Moabite, a woman of such exceeding piety that she proved to be the ancestress of King David and his dynasty, from which will sprout the ultimate king and redeemer, Melech HaMashiach. Moshe Jakobovitz Via email

Q & A: Attending Weddings During Sefira (Part II)

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

Q & A: Attending Weddings During Sefira (Part I)

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

Q & A: Why We Count (Only) 49 Days – And Why We Celebrate...

Question: Why do we only count the Omer after the first day of Passover, and why for 49 days only, when the Torah commands “Fifty days shall you count?” Additionally, what is the reason for the special celebrations of Lag Ba’Omer? Harvey Abramson Via Email

Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer In The Synagogue (Part II)

Question: In my synagogue, and I assume in most others, we all stand at attention as the rabbi or chazzan recites the blessing of Sefirat HaOmer and then proceeds to count the Omer. How can we recite the blessing afterwards when we already clearly heard it before (and thus, presumably, were yotzei with it)? M. Goldblum Miami Beach, FL

Q & A: Sefirat HaOmer In The Synagogue (Part I)

Question: In my synagogue, and I assume in most others, we all stand at attention as the rabbi or chazzan recites the blessing of Sefirat HaOmer and then proceeds to count the Omer. How can we recite the blessing afterwards when we already clearly heard it before (and thus, presumably, were yotzei with it)? M. Goldblum Miami Beach, FL

Q & A: Sefirah Catch-Up On Shabbat Eve

Question: What if one forgot not only to recite the bracha on a Friday, but the actual counting for that day as well, and then after having gone to the synagogue to accept an early Shabbat, suddenly reminded himself? May he then count the missing sefirah before it turns dark so that he would be able to continue counting with a blessing? Pesach Bernstein Via Email

Q & A: Shir HaShirim on Pesach

Question: Why do we read Shir HaShirim on Passover and more specifically the Sabbath of Passover? Also, being that it is one of the five Megillot, why don’t we recite a blessing over the reading of Shir HaShirim as we do for Megillat Esther? Menachem Via Email

Q & A: Why Don’t We Say Tachanun During Nissan? (Part II)

Question: After the Amida on most mornings we recite Tachanun. It seems that there are many days, including the entire month of Nissan, when such is not the case. My question is, what are those days and why don’t we recite on those days? M. Solow Via Email

Q & A: Why Don’t We Say Tachanun During Nissan? (Part I)

Question: On most mornings, after the Amidah we recite Tachanun. It seems that there are many days, including the entire month of Nissan, when such is not the case. My question is, what are those days and why don't we recite on those days? M. Solow Via email

Q & A: The Arba Parshiyot: Four Special Torah Readings (Part II – Conclusion)

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 Email

Q & A: The Arba Parshiyot (Part I)

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

Q & A: Intercalating The Leap Year At Adar (Part V)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar? Menachem via email

Q & A: Intercalating The Leap Year At Adar (Part IV)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar? Menachem Via Email

Q & A: The Leap Year Specifically At Adar (Part II)

Question: Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? And why specifically Adar? Menachem Via email

Q & A: The Leap Year Specifically At Adar (Part I)

Question: Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? And why specifically Adar? Menachem Via email

Q & A: Marrying A Girl With The Same Name As His Mother

Question: Please see my personal situation. If you have time to answer that would be great. I am seriously dating a girl who has a similar name to my mother. Would this present a problem? Name Withheld Via email

Q & A: When The Entire People Is In Need Of Prayers

Question: Is there a special prayer or specific role for prayer when the totality of the Jewish people is in danger?

Q & A: Which Is Preferred For Kiddush Levana: B’rov Am Or Zerizin?

Question: When approaching the mitzvah of Kiddush Levana, should priority be granted to performing the mitzvah at the earliest time – Zerizin u’makdimin l’mitzvot – or to such time as the most people would be available to join in together – B’rov Am hadrat Melech? Michael Katz Via Email

Q & A: In Memory Of My Uncle, Rabbi Sholom Klass, zt”l

While my uncle at times remarked that my writing style differed from his, he nevertheless would also note that the Torah has 70 facets (Zohar, Bereishit 47a) and is thus a vast resource for countless opinions.

Q & A: Tu B’Shevat: The Hidden And The Revealed

Question: Tu B’Shevat is soon upon us. I am intrigued by the fact that Tu B’Shevat, also known as the New Year for Trees, is in the middle of the month and not at the beginning of a month as all the other New Years. Even the gentiles begin their New Year at the start of a month. Do you have an explanation for this? Pesach Bernstein Via Email

Q & A: World Reaction To October 7 Is No Surprise

Question: How has it been that in such a world where we are but a very small minority, and after so many generations though the world keeps changing, yet the Jew remains and is the same constant whipping boy? What is the miracle of our survival? Gedalia Estra Via Email

Q & A: Holding, Gazing At The Tzitzit (Part II)

Question: Is it proper to look at tzitzit and kiss them during the recitation of the Keriat Shema? M. Stern Via email

Q & A: Holding And Gazing At The Tzitzit (Part I)

Question: Is it proper to look at tzitzit and kiss them during the recitation of the Keriat Shema? M. Stern Via email

Q & A: Praying For The Government During Tefillah

Question: Should we be reciting the prayer for the welfare of the government? Is it a hefsek during the tefillah, or is it important during wartime? Martin Kahn Via email

Q & A: Ner Ish U’Beito – How Many Light The Menorah At Home?...

Question: My husband and I are Ashkenazi, yet my children go to school with Sefardim. My son came home and said that only my husband is to light the Chanukah candles. In my parent’s home, we all lit our own candles on Chanukah to celebrate the great miracle that saved our people for all future generations. Who is correct? Name Withheld Via E-Mail

Q & A: Ner Ish U’Beito – How Many Light The Menorah At Home?...

Question: My husband and I are Ashkenazi, yet my children go to school with Sefardim. My son came home and said that only my husband is to light the Chanukah candles. In my parent’s home, we all lit our own candles on Chanukah to celebrate the great miracle that saved our people for all future generations. Who is correct? Name Withheld Via E-Mail

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