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Q. What does Judaism say about Capital Punishment?

A. The Torah enumerates specific offences, both religious and civil, punishable by the death penalty. However as any student of the Talmudic tractate “Sanhedrin” (The Laws of Courts) knows, a myriad of complex conditions must be met for the courts … Read the rest

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Q. I’m going to Hawaii, is there Judaism there?

A. Go to www.Chabad.org and look up the Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi(s) there. The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged his Chassidim to take up life-time posts even in the most unlikely or difficult places, wherever Jews may be, so that’s your best bet.… Read the rest

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Q. Did Ezra write part of the Torah?

A. From a traditional historic perpective: No. Ezra, one of the leaders of the return of the Jews from the first Diaspora and builder of the 2nd Temple, brought a forgotten Torah to a generation who had neglected it, and … Read the rest

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Q. Rabbi, can you endorse my candidancy? 

A. I endorse you, and your commendable civic involvement, but can’t endorse your running for a specific office. I don’t get involved in these things, don’t take it personal.… Read the rest

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Q. My roommate isn’t cleaning up his Chametz, what should I do?

A. The Torah only forbids “your” Chametz, but not “other people’s” chametz (Talmud Psachim 6b, based on the addition of “to you” in the verse). Chametz that you are responsible for, although it belongs to someone else, is also considered … Read the rest

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Q. Can I sell the Chametz myself (w/o the Rabbi) to a non-Jewish friend?

A. The form you fill out to give to the Rabbi is not the actual sale document, it only authorizes the Rabbi to act as your agent. The document the Rabbi uses is a complex legal document that ensures that … Read the rest

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Q. Why are Sefardic Jews allowed to eat Rice on Passover?

A. The question is the other way around: Why can’t Ashkenasic Jews (of European descent) eat Rice, which is not included in the Torah or Talmud’s definition of Chametz? The answer to that is, European Rabbis of more than a … Read the rest

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Q. Why does Coke need to be Kosher for Pesach, is there leaven in there?

A. All kosher foods, especially for Passover require reliable kosher certification, due to a multitude of reasons including flavors, additives and equipment. Reading the label is never enough. But Coke has a different problem. All year long Coke uses Corn … Read the rest

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Q. What’s the Scribe looking for when he checks my Tefillin?

A. Cracked, faded or missing letters. Moisture, extreme Temps and time can adversely affect your Tefillin’s condition, so they need to be checked every couple of years. Think of it as a Tune-Up, to make sure all parts are in … Read the rest

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Q. Who wrote the Mishna?

A. Rabbi Judah the Prince or as he was called: Rebbe (teacher). He compiled the Mishna circa 218 C.E. He was the first to officially commit to writing the teachings of the Oral Law which was passed down, studied, discussed … Read the rest

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