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Q. Do you know of algorithm to figure our day of week for Jewish dates?

A. I don’t know of an algorithm, but Chabad.org has a date converter tool to figure these type of things out. I’m not sure how they do it. Back in our yeshiva days we had a classmate who had a brilliant mind especially for certain areas of study and he’d be able to calculate this kind […]

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Q. Why is the Locust exemption only in Leviticus & not in Deut?

Q. That’s a careful reading of the Chumash! You are right: Leviticus (Parshat Shmini) spells out the permissible of (certain) locusts, while Deut (Parshat Re’ah) does not. And yes, it is true that certain species of locusts are permitted by the Torah, exempted from the prohibition against eating crawling and flying insects. Most Jews do not eat […]

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Q. I’m having a hard time with G-d because of the Holocaust.

A. No doubt, the horrifying horrors of the Holocaust and the magnitude of its devastation leaves much questioning about why bad things happen to good people, and where was G-d, among other such legitimate and oft-asked questions. But here’s something to think about, and for whatever reason isn’t spoken of enough: Think of Holocaust survivor […]

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Q. If I’m a “Gilgul” am I living someone else’s life?

A. “Gilgul” is a Kabbalistic term for reincarnated souls, who have been to this world before in different bodies and returned to this world in new bodies to continue their mission. It’s an abstract esoteric concept, but one that troubled this questioner and her sense of personal identity. I’m not a maven on “Gilgul” but […]

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Q. What’s up with the mid-Summer Laundry Rush?

A. Funny to hear it from your perspective running a laundromat in the vicinity of several Jewish summer camps. Yes, there’s a sudden boost in business in the few days leading up to “The Nine Days” which begin on the first of the Hebrew month of Av (usually mid to late July or early August) which […]

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Q. Are Blood Drives Kosher? Is it OK to give blood?

A. Yes, yes, it’s a Mitzvah! There is Halachic dispute about organ donation if one can not live without that organ (this is a complex issue that has to do with the official designation of death, brain death or cessation of breathing etc) but all rabbinic opinions agree that kidney donation (as opposed to say […]

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Q. Can BT’s marry FFB’s?

A. Translation: BT’s are Baalei Teshuvah (Jews who have made life-transformative choices to return to Jewish observance on their own, later in life) while FFB’s stands for Frum From Birth (Jews who were born to observant families and raised that way). Can they? Certainly yes! And it is now happening more and more (especially in […]

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Q. Is G-d Jewish?

A. How about this analogy: Think of G-d as the god of computing. There are Apple computers and PC’s. Think back to the day when these two systems were more unique and distinct and less compatible (when Macs couldn’t run Windows, and Apple devices weren’t as mainstream as today, etc). Both are functioning and useful […]

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Q. Why don’t Orthodox Men wear Wedding Rings?

A. Many Orthodox men DO wear wedding rings.  There is nothing wrong and many things right with men wearing a wedding band to show fidelity, love, commitment etc. Although I must add, there’s no double-ring ceremony under the Chuppah in an Orthodox service. That’s not allowed for Halachic reasons stemming from the biblical text on marriage. […]

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Q. Is there anything wrong with wearing red clothing?

A. The Code of Jewish Law advises against it, especially if it is flashy and bright. There may be a number of historical factors here (based on various Rabbinic texts): Red (back when clothing dyes were expensive) was considered to be a distinctive non-Jewish coloring at the time. Red also had some historical association with […]

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