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Q. Why is “Tuesday” a lucky day in Jewish Folklore? 

A. In the Biblical account of Genesis, at the end of each day G-d says: “And it was good”. Only on 2 days: Tuesday and Friday, does it say “And it was good” TWICE. Double-good. If the Rebbe spoke publicly … Read the rest

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Q. I have a friend in the art department who wants to know about the “Burning of the Aleph”? 

A. I’m not sure, but since he’s from the art department, it seems that it’s from a story in the Talmud (Avoda Zara 19a). Rabbi Chanina ben Tradyon was so dedicated to teaching Torah publicly that he disregarded the Roman … Read the rest

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Q. If Chassidic Jews are from Europe, why do they pray using the Sefardic prayer rite? 

A. The Kabbalists felt that the Sefardic version is a bit more spiritual, more in-line andcompatible with Kabbalistic interpretation. Chassidim like to follow the Kabbalists when possible. But, the “Nusach Sefard” that Chassidim pray is not the same as the … Read the rest

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Q. Though this question is out of season, it’s been bugging me for years. How could Jews kill a whole Ram just to get the horns for the Shofar?

A. We don’t. Shofars are taken from Rams who died naturally, or from those slaughtered for food. P.S. No question is ever out of season.… Read the rest

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Q. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

A. Why not? It is the most universal of all American holidays. Jews celebrate Thanksgiving everyday, as we have a multitude of blessings and prayers thanking G-d for all the good in our lives. Our family hasn’t always had Turkey, … Read the rest

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Q. Is there anything about Democracy in Today’s America that you think isn’t good for the Jews?

A. There’s something I think is no good for all of us, not only Jews. Because American education has gradually removed any mention of G-d from the picture (although the Declaration of Independence* does feature G-d prominently) there can be … Read the rest

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Q. If there indeed was an era of Prophecy, why did it end?

A. According to our historic tradition, from the time of Moses until the Rebuilding of the 2nd Temple, we enjoyed an era of Prophecy. (While this era did end, prophetic individuals and Jewish leaders throughout the generations are an important … Read the rest

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Q. Is America good for the Jews?

A. It’s easier to be Jewish here than anywhere else in the 2000 year Diaspora (excluding modern Israel of course). It’s also easier to assimilate here than ever before. So while America is good for the Jews, it is up … Read the rest

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Q. Are archeological digs permitted in the Shmitta year?

A. Once in 7 years, Torah directs us to let the land lie barren in Israel. We don’t plant or harvest that year (which happens to be the Jewish Year 5761/2000, which was the year when this question was first … Read the rest

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Q. I’m invited to a Bar-Mitzvah, do I have to bring a present?

A. It’s nice to, and in some circles expected, but not a must. Most understand that students have limited resources. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just a token of your thoughtfulness for this new young man, embarking on … Read the rest

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