Temple Service

From: Harry Dear Rabbi, All the recent events regarding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem have peaked my interest as to what role the Temple played in our past. As the holiday of Passover approaches, could you perhaps describe what it was like in Temple times? Dear Harry, The number of people who went up to[…]

A Tale of Two Cities

From: Allen Dear Rabbi, It seems to me that the ancient Greeks promoted good things like Science, the Arts and Physical fitness. Why does Chanuka “celebrate” the opposition to, and victory against, ancient Greek culture? Dear Allen, The ancient Greeks are viewed as descending from Yafet, the son of Noach. The name Yafet is related[…]

Lighting Left

From: Chava Dear Rabbi, It seems to me that the right side is usually given precedence in performing mitzvot. Why is the Chanuka menora lit on the left side of the doorway? Dear Chava, Many people nowadays light inside the house either on a table or in the window. But it is correct that according[…]

Yom Kippur Bow

From: Allen Dear Rabbi, Why do we bow down on the floor during the Yom Kippur prayers, (I think we do it several times), which is something we never do during the rest of the year? Is there nothing idolatrous about this? Dear Allen, You are referring to a specific part of the chazan’s repetition[…]

Shade of Faith

From: Gary Dear Rabbi, Why is the holiday of Succot and the succah associated with happiness? Personally I view being exposed to the elements or other dangers to be unsettling, at the least. Dear Gary, The way of the nations is not the way of Israel. It is the way of most people to feel[…]

Tactical Teshuva

From: Marcia Dear Rabbi, I’m sure you’re familiar with the following phenomenon: Every year at Rosh Hashana time I make grandiose plans to improve myself but after all is said and done, I accomplish very little change. Could you help me with this? Dear Marcia, Sure I’m familiar with this, from personal experience, as most[…]

Shabbat Money

From: Tal Dear Rabbi, A friend told me that there is no blessing in money that is earned on Shabbat. I understand that according to the Torah certain acts are prohibited, but how does that affect the money that’s earned through doing the acts? And more, one sees that work brings income, so more work,[…]

White Seder Night

From: Harry Dear Rabbi, What is the reason for wearing the white “kittel” at the Seder table on Passover night? Since we wear our festive best during the prayers, what’s the reason for changing into this relatively simple garment for the Seder? Dear Harry, Although it is a mitzva to adorn oneself on this night[…]