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Q. My uncle has a tattoo, can he be buried in a Jewish cemetery?

A. I get this question all the time, and the answer is Yes. While Jewish Law forbids permanent tattoos, and that’s clear in the Torah – having one does not disqualify a Jew from being buried among his/her people. You … Read the rest

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Q. Why do we cover the Challah on Friday Night?

A. Challah recalls the manna bread that sustained the Jews in the wilderness. The Friday double-portion of manna is why we have two loaves of challah on Sabbath. The Manna was covered with a thin layer of dew, which is … Read the rest

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Q. Are animals allowed in a Synagogue?

A. To enter the building you’d have to ask the folks in charge – or whatever appropriate board. To enter the actual room of worship (especially while services are underway) is a different matter. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (renown halachic authority … Read the rest

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Q. Who was Rabbi Yitzchak Arama?

A. A famous Spanish Rabbi, author of the “Akeidas Yitzchak” (Binding of Issac) or “Akeda” for short. It is an important inspirational classic work of Jewish Thought, written prior to the Expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and the … Read the rest

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Q. How can this be… I used a website to calculate my Torah portion, and it lists one for a BAR-mitzvah, and another for a BAT-Mitzvah! What difference would that make?

A. Torah portions for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are determined by matching the Hebrew Date of your 12th or 13th Birthday to the portion which falls that week. The portion may vary on a given Hebrew date from year to … Read the rest

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Q. Why do some Orthodox Jews wear 2 sets of Tefillin? Isn’t one enough?

A. One is certainly enough to fulfill the halachic obligation. The 2nd pair is named “Rabbeynu Tam’s” for the 12th century Rabbi who disagreed with Rashi in the order of the Torah portion placed in the head-tefillin. Both agree on … Read the rest

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Q. What’s wrong with Plain “K”?

A. You can’t copyright a letter of the alphabet, and therefore any company can put a “K” on their product without proper certification and assurance that it is indeed kosher. FYI – there are some products which do have reliable … Read the rest

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Q. Why doesn’t it say “it was good” on the 2nd day of Creation?

A. This was a day of separation (between the waters below and the waters above) and while this was necessary and purposeful, being that the purpose was not fully achieved until the following day (when the heavens and seas were … Read the rest

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Q. How many times am I supposed to shake the Lulav?

A. At least once each day of the Sukkot holiday, aside for Shabbat. At the very least, once during the holiday. It’s a beautiful and easy Mitzvah with a great message and enjoyable vigor.… Read the rest

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Q. Why would different calendars list different times for the end of Yom Kippur?

A. (1) Check to be sure they’re from the same region. Depending on the longitude and latitude – timing differs. (2) There are several opinions in Jewish Law in terms of defining “dark” and “nightfall”. While the times we use … Read the rest

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