Please Note:  Since I am not a Rabbi you should consult your own Rabbi regarding the answers to these questions, especially those answers which do not refer you to another web site for the answer.


bulletWhy do we take three steps back after the Kaddish?
 
bulletWhy do we take off the tefillin before starting Musaf on Rosh Chodesh?
 
bulletHow can we have a minyan present during the entire Torah Service but when the Kaddish Shalem (Full Kaddish which is recited just before returning the Torah to the Ark during the weekday Shacharit Service) is to be recited, it is not said?
 
bulletHarvesting on Shabbat is prohibited. There is one situation whereby it was not only permitted but was mandatory and overrode the Shabbat. What was it?
 
bulletWho wrote Psalms 90-100?
 
bulletPsalm 92 "Mizmor Shir L'Yom HaShabbat" is a psalm and a song for the Sabbath day, yet it does not contain any direct reference to Shabbat. Why is it then a psalm and a song for Shabbat?
 
bulletWhy is the Maftir a repeat of a part of the Aliyah before it?
 
bulletWhat are Maimonides Thirteen Principles of Faith?
 
bullet What is the only holiday for which the Torah does not give a specific calendar date, has no special Mitzvot for the holiday (eating specific food does not count), is only one day (in Israel) - while the other Shalosh Regalim (Pilgrimage Festivals) are seven days each and is the only holiday that does not have a tractate in the Talmud named after it? 
 
bullet What are the four instances when one is obligated to say the gomayl blessing (blessing of thanksgiving on deliverance from danger)?
 
bullet Why don't we say Tachnun the first 12 days of the month of Sivan?
 
bullet Two men are in Oxnard on the 36th day of the counting the Omer.  That night one man counts the 37th day and the other man counts the 38th day.  Both men are correct.  How can this be?
 
bullet Some headstones in Jewish cemeteries contain the Hebrew letters tav, nun, tzadee, bet, hey underneath the inscription  What do these letters stand for?
 
bullet Who was King David's great-grandmother?  Who was his great- grandfather?  What was his mother's name?  Where is her name mentioned? Who was Goliath's great-grandmother? 
 
bullet Moses is called Moshe Rabbeinu, Abraham is called Avraham Avinu, what is Joseph called?
 
bullet 1.  Who were the five Maccabee brothers and what were their names?
2.  Which one did not die in the Hasmonean revolt?
3.  How many years into the revolt did the miracle of the lights occur?
4.  How did Elazar die? 
        
                    
 
bullet 1.  What was Esther's relationship to Mordechai?
2.  What do King David and King Saul have to do with Purim and what do we learn from this?
3.  What is unique about the Book of Esther?
4.  What is the similarity between the Purim story and the giving of the Torah at Sinai?
 

 
bullet Which Musaf Service is the longest of the year?
 
bullet What Biblical holiday is celebrated in the Hebrew month of Iyar and what 4 post-Biblical events are commemorated in that same month?
 
bullet Why is there a hechsher (certificate of kashrut) needed, by Orthodox Jews, on fruits and vegetables grown in Israel but none needed on fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S.?   
 
bullet According to the Gemara who were the seven prophetesses of Israel?
 
bullet What does the Hebrew expression "I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me" have in connection with the Hebrew month of Elul and what does it teach us?

 

bullet 1.  What are the 15 Psalms (120-134) known as?
2.  Where were they sung?
3.  What is their significance?
4.  Why do they begin in the plural?
5.  What Hebrew date of the month are they recited? 

 
bullet An Orthodox custom before writing your name in a book is to write the Hebrew letters Lamed, Hei, Vov, separated by quote marks and then you write your name.  What do these Hebrew letters represent?   
 
bullet Why is the contract between Shylock and Antonio, in The Merchant of Venice, regarding a pound of flesh, an unenforceable contract according to Jewish Law?  The answer has nothing to do with the fact that Antonio is not Jewish.    

 

bullet 1.  According to the Midrash, which Patriarch agreed to a change in the spelling of his name and caused the period of slavery in Egypt to be  210 years long instead of 400 years long?
2.  Where do we find the instance of this spelling change?
3.  How was the change in the number of years from 400 to 210 arrived at?

 
bullet According to some of our Sages what Mitzvah is best done through an intermediary, however, you can do it yourself if no intermediary is available?
 
bullet What prohibition must we be mindful of in feeding pets during the entire year and what additional prohibition must we be mindful of during Passover?  
 
bullet Why is it forbidden on Shabbat to pick meat out of a thick stew, containing other foods, in order to put it into a refrigerator so it will not spoil and under what circumstances would this also not be permitted on a Yom Tov?
 
bullet Psalm 126 and Psalm 137 are recited before what prayer, under what circumstances, and why the difference? 

 

bullet Why are there two names of G-d (Hashem and Elokim; Elokeinu is a contraction of Elokim shelanu) in the first line of the Shema?
 
bullet Which Psalms are read as the "Song Of The Day" for each day of the week?
 
bullet It states in Deuteronomy 6:16 "You shall not test Hashem your G-d....".  It is explicitly written, however,  that in the case of one commandment we are to test Hashem.  What is the commandment and where in the Jewish Bible is this written?
 
bullet We don't say Avinu Malkeinu on Shabbat, yet during the Ne'ila Service on  Yom Kippur, which in 2007 was on a Shabbat, we did recite a short Avinu Malkeinu.  This was recited before Shabbat was over.  Why were we able to do this?  Why isn't Avinu Malkeinu recited on Shabbat?

 

bullet 1. What is the position assumed in the synagogue when saying the section of the Siddur (found after the Amidah) beginning "To You, O Lord, I lift my soul."
2.  Why do we assume this position?
3.  When is this said?
4.  What position do we assume if this is said where there is no Aron Kodesh and why?

 
bullet Why is the Jewish calendar set up so the first night of Chanukah can't ever be on a Monday night?
 
bullet  1.  In Parasha Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43) why did Jacob go back across the river to retrieve a few small jars?
 2.  Who was the angel he wrestled?
 3.  Why did the struggle take place at night and how does it relate to the history of the Jewish people?
 4.  What do the letters on a dreidel (used outside of Israel) have to do with Moshiach?
 5.  Where in Parasha Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8) is there an allusion to Chanukah?
 6.  Where in Parasha Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27) is there an allusion to Chanukah?

 
bullet One of the Ten Commandments is not to take G-d's name in vain.  This can inadvertently happen if one says a blessing over food, forget it was previously said and repeats the blessing again.  If we catch ourselves after saying Baruch Atta Hashem the second time we can get around the prohibition by completing a verse in Psalms.  Which psalm and verse is it?  (Hint, the psalm is referred to in the Talmud as t'maniah apin, the repetition of eight.)  
 
bullet Why do some Orthodox Jews not specifically invite guests to a Bris but instead just tell them when and where the Bris is to be held?  

 

bullet When Shabbat falls on a Festival why do some Orthodox Jews recite certain prayers only applicable to Shabbat (e.g. Shalom Aleichem, Eishet Chayil) in an undertone instead of aloud?  
 
bullet When we are counting the Omer if we miss counting for a complete day we cannot say the blessing when we continue the count and, in fact, will not have fulfilled the mitzvah of counting seven complete weeks.  What happens in the following situations (i.e Is a blessing said each day, what day starts the count, what about the count for the previous days, and why)?  Would your answer be different if, in the case of A. and B. the count was started from the beginning of Sephira before they became obligated to count?
A.  A non-Jew is converted during Sephira (the period of counting the Omer).
B.  A boy becomes Bar Mitzvah during Sephira.
C.  A person, G-d forbid, is in a coma and awakes from the coma during Sephira.

 
bullet What two tractates of the Talmud are studied during Sefirah and why?
 
bullet What was the first day of the creation of the world (Hebrew day and month)?
 
bullet What was the day that man was created (Hebrew day and month)?
 
bullet Why do we celebrate Rosh Hashanah on the date we do?  (Hint, other than it is specified in the Torah on that date)? 
 
bullet Why do some Jews have the custom of eating carrots on Rosh Hashanah?  
 
bullet The psalms for which day of the Hebrew month contain the Hallel ?   
 
bullet

 Why is there no Shabbat Mevarchim for the month of Tishrei?

 
bullet How does the shaking of the lulav remind us of the High Holy Days?
 
bullet What does the Sukkah remind us of (besides that we lived in them after the Exodus from Egypt)?
 
bullet How is the answer to the above question connected to the shaking of the lulav?
 
bullet There was a minyan in the morning during the recitation of the Amidah yet it was not repeated by the Chazzan nor was the Kaddish recited after the completion of the Amidah.  Why?
 
bullet Why is there  a mitzvah to have a festive meal on Purim but there is no such mitzvah associated with Chanukah?  This seems to go against the saying for each Holiday "They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat! ".
 
bullet
What is the blessing we recite before eating a banana or pineapple?  Hint: It is not the one that you would normally think that we recite.

 

bullet

The reading of the Torah is a Rabbinic commandment.  Who instituted it?

Although the reading of the Torah is a Rabbinic commandment there is one Torah reading that is a Biblical commandment.   What is that reading?
Even if a synagogue allows a pre-Bar Mitzvah boy to be counted for a minyan, on one Shabbat he cannot be counted for a minyan and in fact a post-Bar Mitzvah boy called to the Torah must have at least some hair on his chin.  Which Shabbat is this?

 

bullet In what city in Israel must one observe the first two nights of Passover just as if he/she would be outside of the Land of Israel and why?
 
bullet Why is the 2nd of Sivan a "special day"?
 
bullet The prayer "Av Harachamim" is not recited on Shabbat Mevarchim except for Shabbat Mevarchim Sivan.  Why?
 
bullet Which  aliyah is always the bridge between two Torah Portions when we have a double Torah Portion on Shabbat? 
 
bullet Which is the longest aliyah of the year?
 
bullet Where do we find a reference to Chanukah in the Torah Portion of Massei?
 
bullet Why is the Jewish calendar set up so that the first day of Rosh Hashanah will never be on a Sunday?

 

bullet Why is the first letter in the Torah an extra large letter?
 
bullet

How does the name of the holiday of Chanukah tell us the Hebrew date of the first night it is celebrated?

 

bullet
Why do we stand while saying the Amidah and why is it recited silently?

 

bullet

What blessing is recited when one builds in the Holy Land and why is this particular blessing recited?
 

bullet
What do Moses and Pharoah have to do with Matzah and Chametz?

 

bullet  A midrash states that the reason that Adam sinned was because he only saw two, and had he seen three he would not have sinned.  What does this mean?
bullet
What Biblical figure was born on the first of Tammuz and died on the same date?  How old was he when he died? 

 

bullet
We are supposed to answer Amen when we hear someone recite a blessing.  What do we answer if we hear two blessings at the same time?
 
bullet In Megillat Eichah (Lamentations) Chapter 1 verse 2 is  translated as "She weeps bitterly in the night.....".  In the Hebrew the double form of weeping is used in  both the present and future tense.  What does this signify?   

 

bullet What is the most important change to the Amidah prayer from Rosh Hashanah until the end of Yom Kippur?
bullet
At what times during the Service do Orthodox men pull their tallit over their heads?
 
bullet
In the merit of an act by Abraham of spiritual selflessness the Jewish People received two commandments that epitomize the value of sacrificing one's own spiritual wellbeing for the sake of others.

           1.  What was this act of spiritual selflessness by Abraham and where is it found in the Torah?
           2.  What were these two commandments and who performed them?

bullet It is said that the 10 Commandments encompass all of the 613 Mitzvot.  How is this so?
 
bullet What are 3 differences between the Jewish 10 Commandments and the non-Jewish 10 Commandments?
bullet
 Why is the Shehechiyanu blessing not recited when lighting the candles and chanting the Kiddush during the last two days of Passover?  

 

bullet When is Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) usually studied and where is Tractate Avot found?
bullet The custom in many communities is for children to begin the study of Talmud with what Tractate and why?
bullet

Why is there no mourning on Shabbat?

 

bullet Why does the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz end before 3 stars appear at night?  (Because we are hungry is not the answer!)
bullet
Why is there no blessing of the month of Tishrei said on the Shabbat before Tishrei as is said on the Shabbat before every other month?

 

bullet
What does the light of the Chanukiah represent?

 

bullet What is special about the 5th night of Chanukah?
bullet If someone already has davened at an earlier Service and in fact has been called to the Torah then and subsequently that day goes to another shul for the same Service can he be called to the Torah again?
bullet
 You are reciting the Amidah and are a slow davener.  The Chazan has finished his  recitation and starts the repetition of the  Amidah.  He comes up to the Kedushah and you are still not finished with your recitation.  What do you do?

bullet  How many individual letters make up the Hebrew version of the Ten Commandments and what do they refer to?   

 

bullet
In what circumstance must an Ashkenazi Jew daven by himself even if there is a minyan next door?

 

bullet What Jewish figure's birthday is on Tisha B'Av?

bullet Blood relatives cannot receive an aliyah one after the other.  There is one instance where this is permitted.  What is it and why ?
 
bullet According to the Vilna Gaon's chronology , on what date did the Clouds of Glory reappear after the Sin of the Golden Calf and what Holy Days does this date join?

 

 

  
  
  
  


Q: Why do we take three steps back after the Kaddish?
A: This practice is from the last verse of the Amidah where the "oseh shalom" is recited. There we step back three steps because when we say the Amidah we are in the presence of The King and at the end of the Amidah we retreat from the presence of The King. Another reason given is that the daily prayers are the substitution for sacrifices. When the priests left the courtyard they had to step across three rows of steps to get back to the courtyard. An excellent explanation of the Kaddish and all of the underlying customs can be found in the book "Kaddish" by Rabbi Nosson Scherman, published by Artscroll/Mesorah Publications.
 
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Q: Why do we take off the tefillin before starting Musaf on Rosh Chodesh?
A: The Kedushah in the Musaf Amidah for Rosh Chodesh begins with the word "Keter" (a crown). Since the head tefillin are also referred to as keter we cannot have two crowns so we remove the Tefillin.
 
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Q: How can we have a minyan present during the entire Torah Service but when the Kaddish Shalem (Full Kaddish which is recited just before returning the Torah to the Ark during the weekday Shacharit Service) is to be recited, it is not said?
A: The Kaddish Shalem is tied to the Amidah. If there was no minyan present during the recitation of the Amidah, the repetition of the Amidah is not done and the Kaddish Shalem is not recited, even though there is a minyan present when it would be said. The Kaddish Shalem is a public expression of faith and there must be a public recitation of the Amidah (the repetition of the Amidah aloud) in order for it to be said.
 
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Q: Harvesting on Shabbat is prohibited. There is one situation whereby it was not only permitted but was mandatory and overrode the Shabbat. What was it?
A: The harvesting of the omer, the meal offering of barley that was brought on the 16th of Nissan, the second day of Pesach. This offering was to be harvested the night before it was offered. So, when the 16th of Nissan fell on Shabbat, it was mandatory to harvest the barley on Friday night for the meal-offering brought the next morning.
 
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Q: Who wrote Psalms 90-100?
A: Moses wrote these Psalms.  They were incorporated into the Book of Psalms by King David.
 
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Q: Psalm 92 "Mizmor Shir L'Yom HaShabbat" is a psalm and a song for the Sabbath day,  yet it does not contain any direct reference to Shabbat.  Why is it then a psalm and a song for Shabbat?
A: The song was sung by the Levites for the Shabbat Service. Rashi explains that this psalm does not refer to the weekly Shabbat but to the World to Come, when man will achieve the spiritual perfection we only glimpse during the Shabbat.
 
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Q: Why is the Maftir a repeat of a part of the Aliyah before it?
A: The person who reads the Haftarah (Ba'al Haftarah) also gets the Maftir Aliyah. In Talmudic times the person saying the Aliyah blessings would additionally read the portion. The reason that the Ba'al Haftarah receives the additional Maftir Aliyah rather than one of the seven mandated Aliyot is to avoid giving the impression that the Haftarah (which comes from the prophetic section of the Hebrew Bible) is of equal sanctity as the Torah portion. By reading both a short repeat of the Torah reading and a section of Prophets (thus equating the Haftarah with a less important Torah portion), the Haftarah demonstrates that the Haftarah is less sacred than the main Torah reading.   Incidentally, both 'Maftir' and 'Haftarah' mean the same thing -- concluding portion.  
 
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Q: What are Maimonides Thirteen Principles of Faith?
A:

Maimonides, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, (the Rambam) wrote his thirteen foundations in his Commentary on the Mishnah in the tenth chapter of tractate Sanhedrin. The Thirteen Principles fall into three general categories: (a) the nature of belief in G-d; (b) the authenticity of the Torah, its validity and immutability; and (c) man's responsibility and ultimate reward.

1. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is the Creator and Ruler of all things. He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.

2. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is One. There is no unity that is in any way like His. He alone is our G-d He was, He is, and He will be.


3. I believe with perfect faith that G-d does not have a body. Physical concepts do not apply to Him. There is nothing whatsoever that resembles Him at all.

4. I believe with perfect faith that G-d is first and last.

5. I believe with perfect faith that it is only proper to pray to G-d. One may not pray to anyone or anything else.

6. I believe with prefect faith that all the words of the prophets are true.

7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses is absolutely true. He was the chief of all prophets, both before and after Him.

8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moses.

9. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will never be another given by G-d.

10. I believe with perfect faith that G-d knows all of man's deeds and thoughts. It is thus written (Psalm 33:15), "He has molded every heart together, He understands what each one does."

11. I believe with perfect faith that G-d rewards those who keep His commandments, and punishes those who transgress Him.

12. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah. How long it takes, I will await His coming every day.

13. I believe with perfect faith that the dead will be brought back to life when G-d wills it to happen.

 
 
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Q: What is the only holiday for which the Torah does not give  a specific calendar date, has no special Mitzvot for the holiday (eating specific food does not count), is only one day (in Israel) - while the other Shalosh Regalim (Pilgrimage Festivals) are seven days each and is the only holiday that does not have a tractate in the Talmud named after it? 
A: Shavuot
 
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Q: What are the four instances when one is obligated to say the gomayl blessing (blessing of thanksgiving on deliverance from danger)?
A: 1.  When you have traveled across a sea, whether by ship or plane.

2.  When you have traveled through a wilderness and reached an inhabited area.

3.  When you were held captive or imprisoned and your life was in danger.

4.  When you were seriously injured or bedridden due to an illness for more than three days and have recovered completely.

 
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Q: Why don't we say Tachnun the first 12 days of the month of Sivan?
A:
When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, and all Jews would come there for the three annual "pilgrimage festivals" (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot), Sivan 12 was the last of the seven days allotted for the offerings brought in conjunction with the Shavuot pilgrimage (unlike the 7-day festivals of Passover and Sukkot, Shavuot consist only of one day; hence the additional six days of tashlumin or "fulfillment").

Thus we do not recite the tachnun (confession of sins), and the other prayers omitted on a festival or joyous commemoration, from the 1st of Sivan until and including the 12th, as all these days bear a connection with the festival of Shavuot.   (From www.chabad.org)

 

 
 
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Q: Two men are in Oxnard on the 36th day of the counting the Omer.  That night one man counts the 37th day and the other man counts the 38th day.  Both men are correct.  How can this be?
A: The man counting the 38th day traveled from West to East (in this case from Australia to Oxnard during the counting of the Omer (Sephira)) and crossed the International Date Line.  When he first started counting the Omer he was a day earlier than those counting in Oxnard and he has to continue counting as if he was home.
 
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Q: Some headstones in Jewish cemeteries contain the Hebrew letters tav, nun, tzadee, bet, hey underneath the inscription  What do these letters stand for?
A: The Hebrew letters stand for "tehi nishmato tzeruah betzror hachayim".  "May his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life."
 
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Q: Who was King David's great-grandmother?  Who was his great- grandfather?  What was his mother's name?  Where is her name mentioned? Who was Goliath's great-grandmother? 
A: King David's great-grandmother was Ruth.  His great-grandfather was Boaz.  His mother was Nitzevet bat Adel.  You can read about King David's sad childhood here. His mother is mentioned on the Talmud (Tractate Bava Batra 91a).  Goliath's great-grandmother (some say mother) was Orpah (sister and sister-in-law of Ruth, so David and Goliath were cousins). Because Orpah shed four tears when she parted from her mother-in-law Naomi, she was granted the privilege of giving birth to four giants. Goliath was the strongest and the greatest of these. And because she walked forty steps with Naomi before turning back to Moab, Goliath was permitted to show off his great strength and skill to the Israelites for forty days before being killed by David.
 
 
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 Q: Moses is called Moshe Rabbeinu, Abraham is called Avraham Avinu, what is Joseph called?
A: Yoseph Hatzaddik (Joseph the Righteous).
 
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Q: 1.  Who were the five Maccabee brothers and what were their names.?
2.  Which one did not die in the Hasmonean revolt?
3.  How many years into the revolt did the miracle of the lights occur?
4.  How did Elazar die?          
A: 1.  The five sons of Mattisyahu the Hasmonean, son of Yochanan The Kohen Gadol.  They were Shimon, Yehudah the Maccabee, Elazr, Yochanan and Yonasan.

2.  Shimon.

3.  Three years.

4.  Killing a war elephant in battle.

 
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Q: 1.  What was Esther's relationship to Mordechai?
2.  What do King David and King Saul have to do with Purim and what do we learn from this?
3.  What is unique about the Book of Esther?
4.  What is the similarity between the Purim story and the giving of the Torah at Sinai?
 
A: 1.  She was his wife.  Our Sages say not to read 2:7 "like a daughter" but "like a home", meaning as a wife.

2.  When David's son Absalom rebelled and drove David from Jerusalem he was pelted with stones and bitter curses by Shim'i ben Gera.  David's followers begged him for permission to kill Shim'i but David had compassion on Shim'i and refused to let them kill him. One of Shim'i's descendants was Mordechai of the Purim story.

    King Saul was commanded to wage war against Amalek and to spare no one.  He spared one man, King Agog because he thought he would be more merciful than G-d.  One of Agog's descendants was Haman of the Purim story.

    From the above we learn that there are people to whom we should show mercy  and those to whom we shouldn't show mercy.  Our Sages tell us that if we show mercy to one who we shouldn't that we won't show mercy to one that we should.

3.  The name of G-d is not mentioned in it, although there are instances where it appears in acrostic form (e.g. 5:4, the first letters of the Hebrew words yavo hamelech v'haman hayom form the name of G-d).

4.  In the Purim story the Jews reaffirmed the acceptance of the Torah which was given at Sinai. In both instances it was preceded by a battle with Amalek.

 

 
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Q: Which Musaf Service is the longest of the year?
A: On Rosh Hashanah, the Musaf prayers are the longest of the year. Musaf is divided into three parts: Malchuyot, Zichronot and Shofarot.
 
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 Q: What Biblical holiday is celebrated in the Hebrew month of Iyar and what 4 post-Biblical events are commemorated in that same month?
A: Pesach Sheini (14 Iyar) is Biblical.  The other post-Biblical events are Yom Hazikaron (4 Iyar), Yom Ha'Atzmaut (5 Iyar), Lag B'Omer (18 Iyar), and Yom Yerushalayim (28 Iyar).
 
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Q: Why is there a hechsher (certificate of kashrut) needed, by Orthodox Jews, on fruits and vegetables grown in Israel but none needed on fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S.?   
A: Because of the laws of Shemitah, the fields may not be planted in the seventh year and the fruits that grow are considered "hefker" (ownerless and may be picked by anyone.  These laws only apply to the Land of Israel.  A hechsher is required by Orthodox Jews to insure that the laws of Shemitah have been strictly complied with.
 
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Q: According to the Gemara who were the seven prophetesses of Israel?
A: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah (mother of the prophet Samuel), Abigail (a wife of King David), Huldah (II Kings, Chapter 22), Esther.
 
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Q: What does the Hebrew expression "I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me" have in connection with the Hebrew month of Elul and what does it teach us?  
A: The four letters of the name Elul are an acronym for the initial letters of the phrase in the Song of Songs (6:3): "I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me." "I am to my beloved" in repentance and consummate desire to return to my soul-root in G-d. "And my beloved is to me" with Divine expression of mercy of forgiveness.   A time to bring our love of G-d to a deeper level!
 
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 Q: 1.  What are the 15 Psalms (120-134) known as?
2.  Where were they sung?
3.  What is their significance?
4.  Why do they begin in the plural?
5.  What Hebrew date of the month are they recited? 
A: 1.  Songs of Ascents.

2.  The Temple.

3.  In the Temple the Jew was catapulted to successively higher spiritual summits.  In the Temple the nation of Israel declared that man must not be spiritually stagnant, that the world is composed of infinite degrees of goodness, and man's mission is to scale the spiritual heights, which rise from earth heavenward.

4.  The Levites would sing these Psalms as they ascended the 15 steps of the Temple.  Also because when the Jewish people are worthy to ascend they do not climb one step at a time, they ascend many rungs at once.

5.  The 27th day of each Hebrew month.

 
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Q: An Orthodox custom before writing your name in a book is to write the Hebrew letters Lamed, Hei, Vov, separated by quote marks and then you write your name.  What do these Hebrew letters represent?  
A: It stands for La'Hashem Ha'aretz Um'loah; The world and all therein belongs to Hashem.
 
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Q: Why is the contract between Shylock and Antonio, in The Merchant of Venice, regarding a pound of flesh, an unenforceable contract according to Jewish Law?  The answer has nothing to do with the fact that Antonio is not Jewish.  
A: Our bodies are not ours to do as we choose.  Hashem is a partner in every birth along with the father and the mother.  We cannot desecrate our bodies in any manner.  This is the reason for the prohibition against tattoos, excessive signs of morning by cutting our bodies, etc.  We therefore cannot remove a part of our bodies and cannot contract to do this.
 
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Q: 1.  According to the Midrash, which Patriarch agreed to a change in the spelling of his name and caused the period of slavery in Egypt to be  210 years long instead of 400 years long?
2.  Where do we find the instance of this spelling change?
3.  How was the change in the number of years from 400 to 210 arrived at?
A: 1.  Issac (Yitzchok) 2.  Psalms 105:9  3.  Yitzchok told Hashem that his name should have been Yishchok as it is written in Psalms 105:9 instead of Yitzchok.

The numerical value of the letter shin in Gematria is 300.  The numerical value of the letter Tzade is 90.  The difference is 210 which is the length of time of the period of slavery in Egypt.

 
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 Q: According to some of our Sages what Mitzvah is best done through an intermediary, however, you can do it yourself if no intermediary is available?
 
A: The giving of Shalach Manos, also called Mishloach Manos, for Purim.
 
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Q: What prohibition must we be mindful of in feeding pets during the entire year and what additional prohibition must we be mindful of during Passover? 
A: The prohibition against cooking together or eating together meat and dairy foods during the year. One may not even derive benefit from a combination of meat and dairy foods; for example, selling such a combined product or feeding it to a pet.  During Passover we have the added prohibition of owning or benefiting from having Chametz and we should be careful not to feed our pets any food that contains rye, wheat, oats, barley and spelt.
 
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Q: Why is it forbidden on Shabbat to pick meat out of a thick stew, containing other foods, in order to put it into a refrigerator so it will not spoil and under what circumstances would this also not be permitted on a Yom Tov?
A: This action violates the prohibition against Selection on Shabbat.  While selection is permitted in most cases on a Yom Tov it is not permitted if what is being selected is not intended to be used until after the Yom Tov.
 
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Q: Psalm 126 and Psalm 137 are recited before what prayer, under what circumstances, and why the difference?  
A: Psalm 137 is said before the Birkat HaMazon on weekdays in order to keep the memory of the destruction of the Temple fresh in our minds, even when our bodies are full and comfortable in exile.  Psalm 126 is recited before the Birkat HaMazon on Shabbat and Festivals since these days afford the downtrodden, exiled Jews a glimpse of their future elevation and glory.  Psalm 126 tells us that HaShem will return the exiled captive nation of Israel to tranquility in the Land of Israel.
 
 
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 Q: Why are there two names of G-d (Hashem and Elokim; Elokeinu is a contraction of Elokim shelanu) in the first line of the Shema?
A: Hashem refers to G-d's attribute of mercy and to G-d revealed by the open or revealed  miracles he performs (e.g.  10 Plagues, Splitting of the Seas of Reeds, Giving of the Torah at Sinai, etc).  Elokim refers to G-d's attribute of strict judgment and in Gematria has the same numerical value as HaTevah (the nature) which refers to G-d performing hidden miracles in what we call nature (e.g. the sun rising daily in the East and setting daily in the West).  In the Shema we are saying that G-d, who performs revealed miracles (HaShem) is the same G-d (Elokim) who performs hidden miracles through what we call nature.
 
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Q: Which Psalms are read as the "Song Of The Day" for each day of the week?
A: Sunday - Psalm 24, Monday - Psalm 48, Tuesday - Psalm 82, Wednesday - Psalm 94 and Psalm 95:1-3, Thursday - Psalm 81, Friday - Psalm 93, Shabbat - Psalm 92.
 
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Q: It states in Deuteronomy 6:16 "You shall not test Hashem your G-d....".  It is explicitly written, however,  that in the case of one commandment we are to test Hashem.  What is the commandment and where in the Jewish Bible is this written?
A: The commandment to give Tzedakah.  In Malachi 3:10 (Book of Prophets)Hashem says "Test me with this, referring to tithing.  If I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency."
 
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Q: We don't say Avinu Malkeinu on Shabbat, yet during the Ne'ila Service on  Yom Kippur, which in 2007was on a Shabbat, we did recite a short Avinu Malkeinu.  This was recited before Shabbat was over.  Why were we able to do this?  Why isn't Avinu Malkeinu recited on Shabbat?
 
A: You can recite Avinu Malkeinu on Yom Kippur after sh'kiah (sunset).  In fact you can also blow the Shofar on Yom Kippur after sh'kiah.  Avinu Malkeinu is not recited on Shabbat, nor on Yom Kippur which is referred to as Shabbat Shabatot (the Shabbat of Shabbaths) because it is an intensive listing of petitions.  Petitions to Hashem are not allowed to be made on Shabbat.
 
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 Q: 1. What is the position assumed in the synagogue when saying the section of the Siddur (found after the Amidah) beginning "To You, O Lord, I lift my soul."
2.  Why do we assume this position?
3.  When is this said?
4.  What position do we assume if this is said where there is no Aron Kodesh and why?
A: 1.  During the morning service when tefillin are worn on the left arm the congregant is seated, bent over, with face lowered.  The right hand covers the head with the tallit.  When tefillin are not worn the congregant lowers his head on his left forearm.

2.  The position is symbollic of Temple practice, in which the people knelt and prostrated themselves until their faces touched the ground.  This was a gesture of absolute humility and total self-effacement indicating total submission to G-d.

3.  Daily except Erev Shabbat afternoon, Shabbat, Motzaei Shabbat until midnight, Erev Rosh Chodesh afternoon, Rosh Chodesh, the entire month of Nissan, the afternoon of the 17th of Iyar and Lag B'Omer (19th of Iyar), from the afternoon of Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan through the 12th of Sivan, the afternoon of the 8th of Av and Tisha b'Av, the afternoon of the 14th of Av and 15th of Av, Erev Rosh Hashanah and Rosh Hashanah, Erev Yom Kippur through the end of Tishrei, Erev Chanukah afternoon and Chanukah, the afternoon of the 14th of Shevat and the 15th of Shevat, the afternoon of the 13th of Adar, Purim and Shushan Purim (in a leap year, also Erev Purim Katan afternoon, Purim Katan and Shushan Purim Katan), when there is a circumcision in the synagogue or in the presence of the father, the sandek or the mohel, when a bridegroom is present on the day of the wedding or during the week of the Sheva B'rachot.

4.  We do not assume the position in #1. above, This is in keeping with the spirit of the verse in Joshia (7:6), where it says that "he fell on his face on the ground before the Ark of the Lord."

The above is from "To Pray As A Jew" by Rabbi Hayim Halevey Donin, published by Basic Books.

 
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Q: Why is the Jewish calendar set up so the first night of Chanukah can't ever be on a Monday night?
A: You have to back into the answer.  The 5th night represents Galut (exile) and Shabbat represents a preview of Moshiach so the two can't be together.  Nowadays the 5th night is celebrated as the time during the holiday when we have more light than darkness (5 of the 8 candles are lit).  Working backwards, since the 5th night can't be on a Friday night, the first night can't be on a Monday night. 
 
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Q: 1.  In Parasha Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43) why did Jacob go back across the river to retrieve a few small jars?
 2.  Who was the angel he wrestled?
 3.  Why did the struggle take place at night and how does it relate to the history of the Jewish people?
 4.  What do the letters on a dreidel (used outside of Israel) have to do with Moshiach?
 5.  Where in Parasha Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8) is there an allusion to Chanukah?
 6.  Where in Parasha Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27) is there an allusion to Chanukah?
A: 1.  All of our possessions are granted to us by Hashem.  To willingly disregard them is to go against something that is bashert.

2.  Esau's guardian angel.

3.  Night, or darkness is symbolic of exile.  The struggle ended at daylight which is symbolic of Torah, Moshiach, redemption.  Even though we may be in despair in exile we know that Hashem is with us and we will survive no matter how dark it gets.

4.  In Gamatria the letters on the dreidel have the same numerical value as the letters of the word Moshiach.

5.  The 25th word in Bereshit is light which is an allusion to the Festival of Lights, Chanukah, which begins on the 25th of Kislev.

6.  In Genesis 46:29 the Hebrew word "Goshnah" (to Goshen) has the same letters as on the dreidel, nun, gimmel, hey, shin.  You just have to rearrange the letters of the word.

 
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Q: One of the Ten Commandments is not to take G-d's name in vain.  This can inadvertently happen if one says a blessing over food, forget it was previously said and repeats the blessing again.  If we catch ourselves after saying Baruch Atta Hashem the second time we can get around the prohibition by completing a verse in Psalms.  Which psalm and verse is it?  (Hint, the psalm is referred to in the Talmud as t'maniah apin, the repetition of eight.)
  
A: Psalm 119, verse 12 which states "Baruch Attah Hashem lamdeyni chukechah." "Blessed are You, Hashem, teach me your statutes."  If you catch yourself after saying Baruch Attah Hashem you can say lamdeni chukecha and you will have said a verse in Tehillim and not take Hashem's name in vain.  By the way, Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the entire book of Tehillim.  It has 176 verses.
 
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 Q: Why do some Orthodox Jews not specifically invite guests to a Bris but instead just tell them when and where the Bris is to be held? 
A: The Prophet Elijah is a guest at every Bris. If we invite someone and that person says he will attend and then doesn't come it is showing disrespect to Elijah.
 
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Q: When Shabbat falls on a Festival why do some Orthodox Jews recite certain prayers only applicable to Shabbat (e.g. Shalom Aleichem, Eishet Chayil) in an undertone instead of aloud? 
A: We don't want to embarrass the Yom Tov by saying these prayers aloud so we say them in an undertone.  Our Sages say that if we have such concern not to embarrass a day how much more so should we be careful not to embarrass a person.
 
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Q: When we are counting the Omer if we miss counting for a complete day we cannot say the blessing when we continue the count and, in fact, will not have fulfilled the mitzvah of counting seven complete weeks.  What happens in the following situations (i.e Is a blessing said each day, what day starts the count, what about the count for the previous days, and why)?  Would your answer be different if, in the case of A. and B. the count was started from the beginning of Sefira before they became obligated to count?
A.  A non-Jew is converted during Sefira (the period of counting the Omer).
B.  A boy becomes Bar Mitzvah during Sefira.
C.  A person, G-d forbid, is in a coma and awakes from the coma during Sefira.
A: The blessing is for counting seven complete weeks.  Once a complete day is missed you can still count the other days but without saying a blessing.  If the Bar Mitzvah started counting with a blessing and hadn't missed a day then he can continue counting each day after his Bar Mitzvah with a blessing provided he hasn't missed a complete day.  In the case of A. and C. they start counting but without saying a blessing.
 
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Q: What two tractates of the Talmud are studied during Sefira and why?
A: Tractate Pirkei Avos and Tractate Sotah. Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers) teaches us about refining our character, personality, morality and ethics.  Tractate Sotah (wayward wife who secludes herself with other men after being warned not to do so).  The Israelites, at the time of the Exodus, had sunk to the 49th level of spiritual degradation.  Had they reached the 50th level they would not have been saved.  Sefira is 49 days whereby we are to rise one spiritual level a day until the 50th day where we are spiritually ready to receive the Torah (Shavuot). In Kaballah we have 7 emotional attributes and each attribute contains all of the other attributes( 7 x 7 = 49).  One of the trials the Sotah has to go through is eating barley, which was considered as food for animals, because she acted like an animal and has to refine her neshamah.  Barley is the grain used for the Omer.
 
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 Q: What was the first day of the creation of the world (Hebrew day and month)?
A: 25th of Elul.
 
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Q: What was the day that man was created (Hebrew day and month)?
A: 1st of Tishrei.
 
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Q: Why do we celebrate Rosh Hashanah on the date we do?  (Hint, other than it is specified in the Torah on that date)? 
A: The world was created for man so that Hashem could have subjects who would serve Him.
 
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Q: Why do some Jews have the custom of eating carrots on Rosh Hashanah? 
A: Carrots in Yiddish is merren. Meren connotes "to multiply" or to "have many" of G-d's infinite, boundless blessings.
 
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 Q: The psalms for which day of the Hebrew month contain the Hallel ?
A:   25th of the month.
 
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Q: Why is there no Shabbat Mevarchim for the month of Tishrei?
A: G-d blesses the month of Tishrei on Shabbat Mevarchim and with this power we bless the rest of the months in the year.  Also , the 1st of Tishrei is not called Rosh Chodesh but Rosh Hashanah.
 
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Q: How does the shaking of the lulav remind us of the High Holy Days?
A: When we shake the lulav we always bring it back to our heart.  The same place that we strike when we say the Viduy and the Al Chet, the collective confessionals.
 
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Q: What does the Sukkah remind us of (besides that we lived in them after the Exodus from Egypt)?
A: It reminds us of the Clouds of Glory that enveloped the Israelites on all sides during the jorneys in the Wilderness as an expression of G-d's love for us.
 
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Q: How is the answer to the above question connected to the shaking of the lulav?
A: We shake the lulav while facing East and shake it to all 4 compass points plus up and down which are the directions that the Clouds of Glory protected us.
 
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Q: There was a minyan in the morning during the recitation of the Amidah yet it was not repeated by the Chazzan nor was the Kaddish recited after the completion of the Amidah.  Why?
A: In order to repeat the Amidah you need 6 men starting the Amidah at the same time.  In this instance there was less than 6 men starting the Amidah but there was a minyan at the end of the Amidah.  Because there was less than 5 men starting the Amidah the repetition of the Amidah could not be said and the Kaddish after the Amidah could not be recited because that one is tied to the repetition of the Amidah being said.
 
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Q: Why is there  a mitzvah to have a festive meal on Purim but there is no such mitzvah associated with Chanukah?  This seems to go against the saying for each Holiday "They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat! ".
A: In Purim Haman tried to physically kill the Jews, to desteroy our bodies but he failed.  Therefore our bodies celebrate by having a festive meal.  In Chanukah the Syrian-Greeks didn't want to kill us, at least not initially.  They didn't mind if we studied Torah or observed those mitzvot that they considered rational.  They only wanted us not to observe any mitzvot that they considered above the realm of reason like circumcision.  Therefore, since there was not an attempt, initially to destroy us there is no mitzvah to eat a festive meal.
 
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Q: What is the blessing we recite before eating a banana or pineapple?  Hint: It is not the one that you would normally think that we recite.
A: You would think that it is Borei Pree Haeitz (fruit of the tree) but the correct blessing is Borei Pree Haadamah (fruit of the ground).  This is due to the bark of the two trees.
 
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Q:

The reading of the Torah is a Rabbinic commandment.  Who instituted it?

 Although the reading of the Torah is a Rabbinic commandment there is one Torah reading that is a Biblical commandment.   What is that reading?

Even if a synagogue allows a pre-Bar Mitzvah boy to be counted for a minyan, on one Shabbat he cannot be counted for a minyan and in fact a post-Bar Mitzvah boy called to the Torah must have at least some hair on his chin.  Which Shabbat is this?

 
A: Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses) instituted it.

The Torah Reading that is Biblically mandated is Zachor ( to remember Amalek).

Shabbat Zachor, the Shabbat that precedes Purim.

 
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Q: In what city in Israel must one observe the first two nights of Passover just as if he/she would be outside of the Land of Israel and why?
A: Eilat because it is Halachically considered to be outside of the boundaries of ancient Israel so anyone staying there must observe two Seder nights just as if he/she is in Galus.
 
 
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Q: Why is the 2nd of Sivan a "special day"?
A: The second day of Sivan is known traditionally as the "Yom Hameyuchas," the "distinguished day," or "Yom Yichus," the "day of unique relationship," for it was on this day, prior to Mattan Torah, that the Holy One, Blessed be He, addressed the Jewish people with the famous pronouncement: You will be to Me a kingdom of kohanim and a holy nation. 
 
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Q: The prayer "Av Harachamim" is not recited on Shabbat Mevarchim except for Shabbat Mevarchim Sivan.  Why?
A: Because the massacres of Rhineland and French Jewry during the First Crusade reached their peak in the beginning of Sivan in the secular year 1096 when this prayer was instituted.
 
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Q: Which  aliyah is always the bridge between two Torah Portions when we have a double Torah Portion on Shabbat? 
A: The fourth aliyah.
 
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Q: Which is the longest aliyah of the year?
A: The fourth aliyah of Mattot-Massei.  It has 72 verses.
 
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Q: Where do we find a reference to Chanukah in the Torah Portion of Massei?
A: In the Torah Portion of Massei (Numbers 33:29).  The encampment is Hashmonah which is the 25th encapment,  Chanukah is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev.  The 5 sons known as Maccabees were of the  Hashmonayim dynasty.
 
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Q: Why is the Jewish calendar set up so that the first day of Rosh Hashanah will never be on a Sunday?
A: The first day of Rosh Hashanah can never fall on a Sunday, Wednesday or Friday.  For a complicated Kabbalistic reason click here.  The simple reason that it can't fall on a Sunday is because if it did then Hoshanah Rabbah would fall on Shabbat and we are precluded from carrying anything on Shabbat.
 
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Q: Why is the first letter in the Torah an extra large letter?
A: Beraishis can be read as Beis (the number 2) reishis (beginings).  Rashi says that Creation  was for two things called reishis.  The Torah, which is called "the beginning of His way" (Proverbs 8:22) and for Israel, the Jewish People, who are called "the first of his crop" (Jeremiah 2:3).
 
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Q: How does the name of the holiday of Chanukah tell us the Hebrew date of the first night it is celebrated?
A: The Hebrew name of Chanukah can be broken down as Chanu Chof Hei "they rested on the 25th".  The first night of Chanukah is on the 25th of Kislev.
 
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Q: Why do we stand while saying the Amidah and why is it recited silently?
A: The name "Amidah," which literally is the Hebrew gerund of "standing," comes from the fact that the worshipper recites the prayer while standing with feet firmly together. This is done to imitate the angels, whom Ezekiel perceived as having "one straight leg." As worshippers address the Divine Presence, they must remove all material thoughts from their minds, just as angels are purely spiritual beings.

The guideline of silent prayer comes from Hannah's behavior during prayer, when she prayed in the Temple to bear a child. She prayed "speaking upon her heart," so that no one else could hear, yet her lips were moving. Therefore, when saying the Amidah one's voice should be audible to oneself, but not loud enough for others to hear.

 
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Q:

What blessing is recited when one builds in the Holy Land and why is this particular blessing recited?

A: The blessing is "Baruch matziv gevul almanah" "Blessed is He who restores the borders of the widow." "This is our way of thanking Hashem for Israel's return to its land.  Like a broken, solitary widow with little chance to return to her borders and build a new home, we gain Hashem's mercy to return to and build anew in our homeland-despite being driven from our land,scattered about, and mocked by other nations."  Rabbi Menachem Porush, zt"l.
 
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Q:
What do Moses and Pharoah have to do with Matzah and Chametz?
A: Moses was the most humble of all men.  This character trait is represented by Matzah.  Pharoah was extremely arrogant.  This character trait is represented by Chametz, all puffed up.
 
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Q: A midrash states that the reason that Adam sinned was because he only saw two, and had he seen three he would not have sinned.  What does this mean?
A: Ethics of the Fathers 3:1 states that in order to avoid sin, a person must concentrate on three things; his humble beginning from a putrid drop, his ultimate end in the grave, and that he will stand before G-d to be judged.  Adam could only see two of these things.  He did not have a humble origin from a putrid drop, being the handiwork of the Creator Himself. Inasmuch as one must see all three items in order to avoid sin, and Adam could only see two of the three he was vulnerable to sin.  (From Visions of the Fathers, Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D., The Shaar Press)
 
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Q:

What Biblical figure was born on the first of Tammuz and died on the same date?  How old was he when he died?

A: Joseph.  He was 110 years old when he died.
 
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Q:
We are supposed to answer Amen when we hear someone recite a blessing.  What do we answer if we hear two blessings at the same time?
 
A: Amen v'Amen.
 
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Q: In Megillat Eichah (Lamentations) Chapter 1 verse 2 is  translated as "She weeps bitterly in the night.....".  In the Hebrew the double form of weeping is used in  both the present and future tense.  What does this signify? 
A: Mourning for the destruction of the First Temple (present tense) and for the destruction of the Second Temple (future tense).
 
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Q: What is the most important change to the Amidah prayer from Rosh Hashanah until the end of Yom Kippur?
A: The conclusion of the third b'rachah is changed from Ha-el Hakadosh to Hamelech Hakadosh because during this time Hashem sits on the throne of judgement and demonstrates his Kingship over the entire world.
 
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Q:
At what times during the Service do Orthodox men pull their tallit over their heads?
A: Customs vary and your local Rabbi should be consulted as to the minhag in your shul.  It can occur when you first put your tallit on.  Some keep it on during the entire Service.  Some only during the major portions of the Service (e.g. Borchu, Shema, Amidah, Recitation of the Amidah through Kedushah.  All cover their head during Duchaning (the recitation of the Priestly Blessing during Musaf of the Festivals by the Kohanim (Shacharit on Simchat Torah).
 
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Q:
 In the merit of an act by Abraham of spiritual selflessness the Jewish People received two commandments that epitomize the value of sacrificing one's own spiritual wellbeing for the sake of others.

           1.  What was this act of spiritual selflessness by Abraham and where is it found in the Torah?
           2.  What were these two commandments and who performed them?
 
A: 1.  Abraham interrupted his conversation with G-d to attend to the three strangers (angels) approaching his tent.  This is found in the opening verses of Parshah Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-2)

2.  Both of these were performed by the priests.  The first was the purification process of the Red Heifer whereby the priest automatically became ritually impure.  The second was by the priest preparing the solution to be administered to the Sotah (suspected wayward wife) and taking a parchment containing G-d's name written on it and submerging it in the solution thereby erasing G-d's name.

 
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Q: It is said that the 10 Commandments encompass all of the 613 Mitzvot.  How is this so?
A: The 1st Commandment is a positive commandment and encompasses all of the 248 positive commandments.  The 2nd Commandment is a negative commandment and encompasses all of the 365 negative commandments.
 
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Q: What are 3 differences between the Jewish 10 Commandments and the non-Jewish 10 Commandments?
A: 1st Commandment.  Some non-Jewish versions do not refer to the taking out of the land of Egypt.

6th Commandment.  Refers to Murder not Killing.

8th Commandment.  Refers to Kidnapping not Stealing.

 
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Q: Why is the Shehechiyanu blessing not recited when lighting the candles and chanting the Kiddush during the last two days of Passover?  
A: The first two days celebrate the Exodus which already happened so we can say Shehechiyanu.  The last two days celebrate the future redemption and the coming of Moshiach which has not yet happened so we don't say Shehechiyanu.
 
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Q: When is Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) usually studied and where is Tractate Avot found?
A: Pirkei Avot is usually studied between the Shabbat immediately after Passover through the Shabbat immediately preceding Rosh Hashanah. 

Tractate Avot is part of the Order of Nezikin (Damages) which deals with torts and civil law.

 
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Q: The custom in many communities is for children to begin the study of Talmud with what Tractate and why?
A: The second chapter of Tractate Bava Metzia, the second Tractate in the Order of Nezikin.  This is to teach children that a Jew must live by the Torah in the secular realm just as much as in the religious realm.
 
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Q:
Why is there no mourning on Shabbat?
A: Shabbat is a foretaste of the time of Moshiach (a day that will be all Shabbat) at which time there will be no illness or death.
 
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Q: Why does the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz end before 3 stars appear at night?  (Because we are hungry is not the answer!)
A: Since it is a Rabbinic Fast and not a Biblical Fast we are allowed to be less strict.
 
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Q:
Why is there no blessing of the month of Tishrei said on the Shabbat before Tishrei as is said on the Shabbat before every other month?
 
A: G-d blesses the month of Tishrei.  The rest of the months represent man's potential.  That is why we introduce each month with a prayer for success and achievement. Before Tishrei , however, we omit the prayer because Tishrei symbolizes G-d's flow of beneficence to man.  (Rosh Hashanah, Artscroll Mesorah Series)
 
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Q:
What does the light of the Chanukiah represent?
 
A: The light of Torah.
 
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Q: What is special about the 5th night of Chanukah?
A: It is the first night where there is more light than darkness from the candles.
 
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Q: If someone already has davened at an earlier Service and in fact has been called to the Torah then and subsequently that day goes to another shul for the same Service can he be called to the Torah again?
A: Yes he can.
 
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Q:
 You are reciting the Amidah and are a slow davener.  The Chazan has finished his  recitation and starts the repetition of the  Amidah.  He comes up to the Kedushah and you are still not finished with your recitation.  What do you do?
 
A: It depends where you are in the Amidah.  If you have not completed the Sim Shalom paragraph then you stand for the Kedushah without saying it and afterward you go back and complete the Amidah.  If you have completed the Sim Shalom paragraph then you can recite the Kedushah with the congregation.  As in any matter discussed here you should consult with the Rabbi of your congregation.
 
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Q:  How many individual letters make up the Hebrew version of the Ten Commandments and what do they refer to?   
A: 613 letters corresponding to the 613 Commandments of the Torah.  This is why it is said that the Ten Commandments encompass all of the 613 Commandments.
 
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Q:

In what circumstance must an Ashkenazi Jew daven by himself even if there is a minyan next door?

A: If the Ashkenazi Jew is visiting in Eretz Yisroel on a day that outside of Eretz Yisroel would be the second day of a Holy Day he must daven alone , or with an Ashkenazi minyan the Holy Day Service.  He cannot daven with a Sephardic minyan which is davening a regular day Service.
 
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Q: What Jewish figure's birthday is on Tisha B'Av?
 
A: Moshiach.
 
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Q:  Blood relatives cannot receive an aliyah one after the other.  There is one instance where this is permitted.  What is it and why ?
 
A: When the other relative has Maftir.  It is permitted because it is after the Chatzi Kaddish which is considered a break.
 
 
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