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Q. I’m a former UA professor, now teaching at W. – where do you get “Mini-Latkes”?

A. Oh, we got them at our local supermarket – Price Chopper (in their Kosher, holiday freezer section). They are Kineret Brand and are not really home-made style Latkes but kind of mini-tater-tots. Reheated on a griddle, the students really … Read the rest

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Q. Do Orthodox people have an official way to determine the exact time of Sunset?

A. Today, scientists do that research. Jewish organizations knowledgeable of these matters get the times for each locale from the US Naval Observatory or other agencies who do the same. Then, using calculations from Talmud and Jewish Law, various times … Read the rest

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Q. What does it mean “where there are no people, be a man”?

A. Of course, there are people around in that quote from Hillel in Ethics of Our Fathers (2:5 or 2:6, depending on your edition). It means if people are not living up to what they should be doing – even … Read the rest

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Q. Are all Kosher Dill Pickles Kosher?

A. “Kosher Dill” is a flavor, and not a sign of Kashruth. Look for a Kosher symbol to be sure.… Read the rest

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Q. Why does Raizy cover her eyes when lighting the Shabbat candles?

A. Two reasons why all Jewish women lighting candles (not just Raizy) do this:

(1) It solves a Halachic problem. We’re generally supposed to make the blessing BEFORE we do the Mitvzah. But if we do that, it will already … Read the rest

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Q. How did you get the domain name “Shabbos House”?

A. Easier than you think. Most Chabad Houses on College Campuses are not called Shabbos House, this is a unique name that stuck here at Albany. When we started this website back in 1999 it was out there for the … Read the rest

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Q. I noticed in the prayers we call G-d “Our Rock”. Why?

A. Chevy Trucks say “Like a Rock”, and Prudential Insurance advertises using a massive boulder. It symbolizes permanence in a changing world. A indestructible core upon which to depend, and seek strength in. TANYA (the classic Chabad Chassidic work of … Read the rest

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Q. Where does the word “Chulent” come from?

A.  Could come from the Hebrew sh’lahn, meaning ” it stayed over-night.” Some say it comes from the French chaud lent meaning hot-slow. It refers to the hot stew that we eat on Shabbos Day, which began cooking (in … Read the rest

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Q. Which Jewish Holiday is not biblical in origin?

A. There’s more than one. Chanukah and Purim are not, and the same goes for Tu Bishvat and other holidays instituted post Biblical era.… Read the rest

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Q. I don’t get it. Was it Cyrus or Herod who rebuilt the 2nd Temple?

A. Neither. Cyrus was the Persian King who gave the go-ahead but it was built by Jews, led by Ezra and Nehemiah. Herod was King (vassal to the Romans) a few dozen years before the Common Era, who despite his … Read the rest

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