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Did you ever wonder why we Jews do what we do? Just ask "Rabbi Y," a veteran of's acclaimed Ask the Rabbi team, who answers another "why" question every week. No question is too obscure, and no area of Jewish life is off-limits. Of course, we cannot promise to publish all questions received, but we do try to bring you the most interesting, important, and enlightening ones every week. Click here to receive “Ask Rabbi Y” every week by email, and join our growing group of learning, enlightened Jews.

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Why We Eat Round Challah on Rosh Hashanah
Many have the custom to begin the Rosh Hashanah meals with round challahs, often filled with raisins and sweeter than usual. Here's why.
And when do we double them up?
Why Do Many Chassidim Wear Shtreimels (Fur Hats)?
And why doesn’t Chabad wear them?
And why doesn’t Chabad wear them?
What Is Rashi Script and Where Did It Come From?
Can you please explain the origins of this script? Did Rashi have his own unique Hebrew script?
Why Is Impurity Not Observed?
The Torah contains a complex code of purity laws. Why are Jews not careful about these laws nowadays?
Why Sleep With Tzitzit?
I was under the impression that the mitzvah of wearing tzitzit only applies to the daytime. But then I heard that many have the custom to wear tzitzit during the night as well. Can you explain the reason behind this?
Why Say Shema at Bedtime?
Didn't we just say it in Maariv?
Shema is included in the evening service. Yet the Talmud states that before one goes to sleep to sleep, he should recite the Shema. Why?
Didn't we just say it in Maariv?
Why Two Rollers for a Torah and One for a Megillah?
Why does a Torah scroll have two poles or rollers, while the Megillah (Book of Esther), which is also read from a scroll of parchment, only has one rollers (or none at all)?
What Is the Jewish Approach to the Apocrypha?
The 24 books of the Bible were canonized by the Anshei Knesset Hagedolah. Any later works are not considered Divinely inspired.
Matzah on Pesach Sheini: When and Why?
The Paschal lamb was consumed on the evening of Iyar 15, but the custom is to eat matzah on Iyar 14. Why?
Four Holy Cities of Israel: What and Why?
The terms “four holy cities of Israel” or “four lands of life” refer to Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias.
Why Wait Eight Days for the Circumcision?
Although the verse itself does not reveal why we are instructed to circumcise specifically on the eighth day, many possible explanations are offered . . .
For Real, How Rare Is a Red Heifer?
A heifer is simply a fancy name for a young cow that hasn’t yet borne a calf. And the red is not ruby red.
Why Was Non-Kosher Dye Used to Build the Mishkan?
How could they use impure animals for the holiest of places?
What Is the Authentic Hebrew Script?
Ketav Ivri vs. Ketav Ashurit
I recently read about some ancient writings that were in a script called Proto-Hebrew, which the Jews supposedly used to write in before the current Hebrew script.
Ketav Ivri vs. Ketav Ashurit
What Is So Special About the 7 Species of Fruit With Which Israel Was Blessed?
The Significance of the Shiv'at Haminim
This isn’t just a flowery verse. These seven species are specifically connected to the Land of Israel . . .
The Significance of the Shiv'at Haminim
Why Get an Aliyah (or Maftir) Before a Yahrtzeit?
Before addressing this question, let’s recount a story that underscores the importance of a mourner reciting Kaddish and reading the haftarah throughout the year of mourning.
Do Jews Believe in Magic or Witchcraft?
If yes, how and why does it work?
The answer seems simple enough: The Torah itself references witchcraft . . .
If yes, how and why does it work?
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Vernard Latham 77328 February 28, 2017

Why not let people know the name of G-D Reply

Phil Greer S.C. December 23, 2016

Ezekial In chapter about 3 G D had Ezekial lay on his left side for 390 days ?? was that all day for 390 days? Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn, NY. October 5, 2016

3 fasting before your bar mitzvah R Y, i have a question: Do children fast? And what about boys who are 2 months before their Bar Mitzvah (Hanachas Teffilin)? And is it not true that 3 fasts before ones Bar Mitzvah he should fast? Is it also not true that one should practice before his Bar Mitzvah to fast Yom Kippur? Please send an answer. - Anonymous. Reply

Anonymous June 17, 2016

Lyama? Lyama I have more answers than questions? Reply

James Yorio Floral Park January 18, 2016

Does being Kosher make you closer to God? Reply

Anonymous June 23, 2015

Why Did God Choose Us? I have always been fascinated by this question, because I always wonder why did god choose to spread his message through one group of individuals. Why did god not spread his message to everyone? Reply

Anonymous uruguay May 6, 2015

typo typo
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