no comments

Q. I’m a lapidary, and I’d like to make a Mezuzah Cover for my neighbor. I know a scribe needs to hand-write the scroll, but are there are any laws concerning the outside cover?

A. Not really. It should have an opening within that’s large to properly fit the Mezuzah scroll they will be using. Also many Mezuzahs have the Hebrew Letter Shin on the outside, but this not an absolute requirement. And it … Read the rest

...
no comments

Q. I’m writing a paper on “Tithing Today”, what can you tell me?

A. Agricultural tithing only applies in the Land of Israel (which is why in Israel they have kosher tithing certification on fruit stores). While voluntary charitable giving is a very popular Jewish phenomenon and exists across the Jewish spectrum, the … Read the rest

...
no comments

Q. What happens to old Torahs once they can no longer be used? Is there a Torah Retirement place?

A. Well, at first they can be restored by an expert scribe. Letters fade and crack, but they can be repaired. Sometimes whole sections of parchment can be replaced. But you are right, there comes a time when they can … Read the rest

...
no comments

Q. Though I narrowly escaped the Holocaust in 1939, I still enjoy listening to Wagner’s music. Is that sin?

A. This is simply a matter of sensitivity. There are no Jewish laws prohibiting his music, but for those who suffered through the Holocaust and saw their loves ones go to their death while Wagner’s music was played by their … Read the rest

...
no comments

Q. What is the difference between a Tallit and Tzitzit?

A. Literally, Tzitzit refers to the fringes themselves, while Tallis is the cloak-cloth part we wear. But in today’s common religious lingo, Tallis refers to the larger outer garment (prayer-shawl), worn over one’s clothing during prayer. Tzitzit refers to a … Read the rest

...
no comments

Q. Which two Kings of Judah had the same mother?

A. See Kings I Chapter 15. Kings Asa and Aviyam had the same mother, Maacha daughter of Av(i)shalom.… Read the rest

...
no comments

 Q. I began wearing Tzitzit all the time, is it still OK to wear a Tallit in the synagogue at the same time?

A. Sure. I do that every time I pray, since I wear Tzitzit all the time, but a Tallit only during prayer. It’s recommended!… Read the rest

...
no comments

Q. My neighbors insist I light “holiday luminaries” outside my home, and will be upset if I don’t. 

A. Lights are popular this time of year, many of these traditions can be traced back to the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. Local custom might not connect it with religion, but simple online research makes it obvious that these luminaries … Read the rest

...
no comments

Q. The lobbies at my apartment complex are decorated in holiday fashion, and they’ve asked me to include an electric, decorative Menorah within their Christian display. Is that where a Menorah belongs?

A. The Mitzvah of Menorah is to publicize the miracle and spread the light. A main lobby with lots of passersby seems like a great place to do it.  Think of how it will fill the hearts of Jews with … Read the rest

...
no comments

Q. Looking at the menorah, we light from left to right, correct?

A. We begin by inserting the candles starting on the far-right side of the Menorah, adding a new one towards the left each night. But we always light the newest candle first (on the left) and light it going towards … Read the rest

...