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Why do we keep kosher? Why so many "don'ts" on Shabbat? What is the deeper significance of the Tallit? Why do Chassidic Jews wear those long black coats?

Mitzvot & Jewish Customs

Mitzvot & Jewish Customs

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Why is Jewish Law so Petty Minded?
Why the obsession with such insignificant details as how many ounces of matza do I eat, which spoon did I use for milk and which for meat, what is the right way to tie my shoelaces? It seems to me that this misses the bigger picture by focusing on minutiae
Jewish customs: Too many reasons, or none at all!
I find it interesting that when we do have an explanation for a particular custom, there's usually more than one reason. And when we don't have a reason, we nevertheless continue with the tradition...
What’s With the Candles?
When you use something physical, it gets “used up” and diminished. With spiritual things, the very opposite is the case
Why Is Pressing a Button Considered Work on Shabbat?
Rabbi, do you honestly believe that pressing a button to cross the road is considered doing work on the Sabbath? It doesn't seem so strenuous to me...
Day of Rest
I like the idea of a day of rest. But why should I start my day of rest at a prayer service? Aren't there better ways to start my weekend?
The 613 Commandments
The Talmud tells us that there are 613 commandments in the Torah; 248 Positive Commandments (do's) and 365 Negative Commandments (do not's). Here's a complete list --as compiled by Maimonides.
Why Is Challah Braided?
The six days of the week are the paradigm of diversity. Perhaps the braiding of the challah represents the idea of unity, how we tie everything together . . .
Why Do We Keep Kosher?
It would be absurd to think that G-d gave us the Torah as a sort of bandage for His mistakes. "Oops! I didn't mean to put those nasty animals there! People might eat them! What do I do now?"
Is Pig More Unkosher Than Other Animals?
Why do Jews give the poor old pig such a hard time?
Is It True That It's Forbidden to Cut Down a Fruit Tree?
A closer look at a 3,300 year-old environmental protecttion law
Why the Long Black Coat?
Why Do Jews Love Jerusalem?
Why do we focus so much attention on one place? Is G‑d’s presence not found everywhere?
The Kabbalah of the Tallit
The garment surrounds our body, the fringes hang off it. They represent the two aspects of G-d's being: His true self that is totally beyond our grasp, and the tiny fraction of His being we can experience
Why Do We Wear a Kippah?
The tradition to wear a kippah developed as a sign of our recognition that there is Someone “above” us who watches our every action . . .
What's Up With the Kipah?
Why do I have to actually cover my head as long as I know G-d is above me in my heart and mind?
The Beard
I have often wondered why many religious Jews have long hairy beards. Is this, like the kipah, a means of identifying oneself as a Jew or do the beards serve some other purpose?
Shoelaces
I saw the craziest thing in the Code of Jewish Law. It tells you how to tie your shoes!
Why the Jacket and Black Hat?
"What should I wear today - the black jacket or the blue?" How boring! Where's the individuality? Where's the freedom of expression? Do you people have no originality at all?
Can Wine Be Holy?
I am a Muslim. In my religion, wine is forbidden. Does Judaism honestly believe that such a sensual indulgence can be considered holy?
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