A Chanukah Primer for 2017

Question: This Chanukah I plan to visit relatives who are newly-observant and have learned a lot about Judaism, while I have not yet learned as much and would like to be "up to speed" when it comes to observing Chanukah properly with them. Would you please tell me about the observance of Chanukah in a [...]

By | 2017-12-04T10:46:03+00:00 December 4th, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on A Chanukah Primer for 2017

Speech Therapy

Question: I was wondering about how Judaism views the issue of not speaking negatively about others when dealing with clinical therapy. Are there parameters governing what may and may not be said during therapy? For instance, what if I’m having trouble with my dad or my sister, and there are issues about them that I [...]

By | 2017-11-27T15:06:09+00:00 November 27th, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on Speech Therapy

Kosher Gobbling (Thanksgiving 2017)

Question: Hi Rabbi. Do observant Jews celebrate Thanksgiving Day? I “thank you” in advance for taking my question! AskTheRabbi.org answered: Most American Jews observe Thanksgiving the same way most Americans do. They take the day off from work and use it as a time to gather with their family. In addition, they may offer a [...]

By | 2017-11-21T15:56:03+00:00 November 21st, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on Kosher Gobbling (Thanksgiving 2017)

Mercy and “Richer Fruits”

Question: Dear Rabbi, I have a relative who is an alcoholic. He has minimal income and spends his money on his addiction — and then turns to me to help out with bills and normal basic needs such as medical or dental expenses. What do you suggest I do? Thanks. AskTheRabbi.org answered: Being merciful and [...]

By | 2017-11-15T04:27:52+00:00 November 15th, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on Mercy and “Richer Fruits”

The Revolutionary War and Jewish Patriotism

Question: Hi. Do you know if there is any truth to the following article that I read? "West Point had a display about Hyam Salomon and the Revolutionary War. He died penniless, having used all his resources to aid the newly formed and poorly supplied American army. The following story is told about him: General [...]

By | 2017-10-30T12:22:26+00:00 October 30th, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on The Revolutionary War and Jewish Patriotism

Will They Look Down on Me?

Question: I’m at an early stage of considering becoming observant in Jewish lifestyle and practices, but something is on my mind that I think holds me back. If I go ahead and follow Jewish Orthodoxy, will I be looked down upon as a “second class citizen” by others who were born observant? Maybe this shouldn’t [...]

By | 2017-10-29T12:09:41+00:00 October 24th, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on Will They Look Down on Me?

This Land is God’s Land, This Land is Our Land

Question: Since the Torah is a special covenant between God and Jewish People, why does it begin with “In the beginning…” instead of the first commandment that God taught the Jewish nation? Thank you. AskTheRabbi.org answered: What a fascinating and thoughtful question! Since we are at the beginning of a new Jewish year, and a [...]

By | 2017-10-17T10:54:08+00:00 October 17th, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on This Land is God’s Land, This Land is Our Land

Dancing in the Streets

Question: Why is the holiday of Simchat Torah so happy? AskTheRabbi.org answered: The reading of the Torah is both completed and begun again on Shemini Atzeret (in Israel on the eighth day, and in the Diaspora on the ninth day). This occasion is known as Simchat Torah, the "Joy of the Torah." Jewish sources trace [...]

By | 2017-10-09T14:22:00+00:00 October 9th, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on Dancing in the Streets

A “Five-Star” Succah

Question: Should dwelling in a Succah booth be a comfortable experience or a rough and tumble “camping out” experience? AskTheRabbi.org answered: A little bit of both. It certainly needs to be comfortable and homey enough that we feel good about being there. This is because Jewish law requires that a person not be uncomfortable due [...]

By | 2017-10-08T15:29:55+00:00 October 3rd, 2017|JustAsk|Comments Off on A “Five-Star” Succah