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Q. Where is that verse about Rachel crying for her exiled children?

A. Jeremiah 31:14. A very moving verse, it is prominently inscribed on Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem.… Read the rest

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Q. I always thought Megillah referred to the Book of Esther, and now I hear there’s five such books?

A. There’s only one Book of Esther and Purim story, but there are five books in Jewish scripture which bear the name Megillah. But you are right, when people say Megillah they are almost always referring to the Book of … Read the rest

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Q. What’s a “Psak”?

A. This refers to a clear decisive authoritative ruling on a Halachic issue by a respected expert Rabbinic figure. It also has a Yiddish slang meaning a firm and decisive punishment.… 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. 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. I’m writing a paper on the advantages of Youth, I need a few Torah quotes.

A. For starters here’s a few quotes:
(1) “Those who study AS a child are compared to ink written on fresh paper” – Avot 5:20 (2) “For Israel is young, therefore I love him” – Hosea 11:1 (3) “The studies … Read the rest

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Q. Why is Rashi such a famous Jewish scholar?

A. He wrote a basic, yet brilliant, clear and explanatory commentary on all of the 24 books of the Jewish Bible, as well as almost the entire Talmud. (This by the way before word-processors or even the ball-point pen). His … Read the rest

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Q. Is the number 42 special in Judaism?

A. Actually it is. The Jews rested / camped in 42 places on their way from the Exodus to the Land of Israel. Also, one of our prayers, “Ana B’Koach” said on Friday Night, has mystical background, and is comprised … Read the rest

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