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Q. Why mess with Chanukah candles? Why not light an Electric Menorah?

A. Electric Menorahs serve a great purpose of getting the Chanukah message out, and as the Talmud says: “publicize the miracle”. But sorry, an electric menorah is no substitute for good ol’ candles or oil. They’re closer to the original … Read the rest

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Q. Why does a “nick” in the ritual slaughtering blade render the animal unkosher?

A. One of the Ritual Slaughter’s (Shochet in Hebrew) main skills is to be able to sharpen/hone his blade to be perfectly smooth, even the slightest nick disqualifies the knife. The cut is to be as quick and painless as … Read the rest

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Q. What does Judaism have to say about “failing a class”?

A. Plenty. Here are 3 quotes.
1) If someone says: “I’ve tried, but not succeeded” Don’t believe him.
If someone says: “I haven’t tried, but I’ve succeeded” Don’t believe him either.
Only someone who says: “I’ve tried and succeeded” should … Read the rest

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Is it OK for a Jew to celebrate the Millenium?

A. These 2000 years count back to someone Jews don’t believe in. So this number doesn’t have much significance to us. On the other hand, the secular/non-religious hype isn’t traif (non-kosher). Jews love to utilize and channel all neutral things … Read the rest

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Q. How can there be a G-d, if the Holocaust can happen?

A. Why bad things happen to good people is an old question. But we can only ask that question, if we believe in G-d. If we, and the world we live in, is only a statistical improbability that came about … Read the rest

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Q. Is Gambling “Kosher”?

A. Not really. Due to the high stakes and irrational risks involved, few give up their money whole-heartedly. Exceptions include when (smaller amounts of) monies go toward a charity, people are more willing to give it up as goes to … Read the rest

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Q. Why doesn’t the Rabbi shake hands with women?

A. My mother taught me: Don’t touch what doesn’t belong to you. Where I come from, all physical affection takes place in private, and is reserved to the person we’re married to. It’s just a handshake, you say? That’s the … Read the rest

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Q. Why do we wash our hands before eating bread?

A. It’s a continuation of the ritual washing the priests did in the Temple. Eating can be more than wolfing good food down, with the proper perspective and setting it can become a noble, holy service. We dip our bread … Read the rest

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Q: I’d like to wear Tefillin but not up to praying for an hour. Can I?

A: Absolutely! Tefillin and Prayer are separate Mitzvahs (commandments) that are best done together. Tefillin itself shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes (wrap on, say the 1st part of the Shema and wrap up). POT! (Put On Tefillin) – it’s … Read the rest

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Q: Do we believe in Hell?

A: Not the hell others believe in. Belief in the Afterlife and in Reward & Punishment (consequence of our choices) are in Maimonides’ basic 13 Principles of Judaism. But there’s no eternal damnation in our books, and hell is more … Read the rest

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