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Q. Where’s the source for “Greater understanding was bestowed on Woman, more than on Man”? 

A. Talmud Niddah 45b. It is quoted in the name of Rebbe Judah the Prince, who was the editor of the Mishna, close to 1900 years ago.… Read the rest

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Q. What’s the source for the quote “If not now, when?”

A. Hillel, an famous, early Mishnaic sage said it in Ethics of our Fathers 1:14.… Read the rest

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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. Does the Talmud say anything about the shape of the world?

A. Sure does. The Jerusalem Talmud (1900 years old), quoted in Tosefos (900 year old commentary printed alongside the Babylonian Talmud) says “the world is circular as a ball” (Talmud Avodah Zara 41a).… Read the rest

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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. 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. 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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Q. Some of the Talmud’s extensions of Torah’s prohibitions seem like a stretch to me?

A. It all depends how we view the Torah. In Hospitals extremely strict precautions are taken to avoid the slightest possibility, however remote, of contamination by disease. If you take the Torah seriously enough, all the safeguards and precautions the … Read the rest

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Q. How is “don’t cook a kid-goat in its mother’s milk” a source for not mixing milk & meat?

A. The written Torah is complemented and explained in great length in the Oral Torah (which shares the same source at Sinai). Think of it like opening a folder on a friend’s computer (with permission, of course). Dozens of file … Read the rest

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