Ancestral Merit

From: Bracha Dear Rabbi, Would you please explain to me the notion of ancestors’ merit benefitting or affecting a person? How does this work and in what ways is it expressed? Dear Bracha, The notion you refer to is called zechut avot in Hebrew, or the merit of one’s forebearers. It describes the general or[…]

Stones of Sinai

From: Mordechai Dear Rabbi, Is there such a thing as special rocks from Mt. Sinai? I heard that there is an image of a bush ingrained in the stones of Sinai that are supposed to be reminiscent of the burning bush. Is there such a connection between Sinai and the bush? Have you actually seen[…]

The Land of Israel

From: Lenny Dear Rabbi, Would you please explain to me why the Land of Israel is considered more important in Judaism than other lands and why Jews consider their connection to it to be unique? Dear Lenny, Judaism considers the Land of Israel to be unique, and uniquely related to the Jewish People, for many[…]

Animal Talk

From: Saul Dear Rabbi, Do animals talk? Has G‑d gifted the power of speech to animals? We read stories such as Bilam’s talking donkey and about King Solomon knowing the language of the animals. We also read in Perek Shira that they sing praises to G‑d, is this to be taken literally? Dear Saul, Animals do[…]

Don’t Say That

From: Melissa Dear Rabbi, Is there anything wrong with saying negative things in the form of an exaggeration, or as a manner of speech, when one doesn’t really literally mean what he’s saying? For example, “I’ll go crazy if she tells my mother”, or “When you die, your soul goes to heaven” (suggesting the person[…]

Astonishing Blessing

From: Michael Dear Rabbi, I recently got a blessing from a Chassidic Rabbi. This blessing was quite astonishing (in a good way). What is the significance of a blessing from a Chassidic Rabbi? Dear Michael, I am inspired that you had such a moving experience! The blessings of the holy and pious are very powerful,[…]

Real Talk

From: Scott Dear Rabbi, What’s the Jewish idea of how people will interact with each other after Resurrection. Since there will be bodies, will the interaction be as it is now, or since people will be so spiritual, the interaction will be more on the level of the soul? Dear Scott, This is a very[…]