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Baruch S. Davidson

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Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson is a writer who lives with his family in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Dear Friend, The first day of school . . . smiling children proudly wearing their freshly cleaned backpacks full of brand-new pencils, crayons and spiral notebooks. As the new school year kicks off, there’s a message in this week’s Torah portion that says...
I noticed a footnote in my prayer book telling me to recite a verse corresponding to my name. Can you explain what this is about?
Question: As an agent of a large real-estate development company, I am often offered freebies and gifts by competing contractors in an attempt to attract me to take their bids over their competitors’. Lately, a friend of mine pointed out that the gifts re...
Why a skype minyan is not okay
Dear Rabbi, Is it possible to create an online synagogue where everyone would join for prayer through webcam? Could this be a legitimate replacement for group prayer at the synagogue? Answer: Judaism has had a strong presence on the internet since the ear...
It was never clear to me why some call the weekly Torah reading parshah and others call it sidra.  Are these two words synonymous?
Why is the kaddish prayer said in Aramaic? I understand that it was composed when Aramaic was the vernacular for most Jews, but why has it not been changed to Hebrew since?
The Division of the Aliyahs in the Weekly Parsha
As a regular attendee of Shabbat services, I know that the weekly Parsha is not read from the Torah scroll in one go, but is divided into seven portions, with seven different people called up to the Torah for an aliyah. I am wondering when the aliyah port...
I recently attended a tombstone dedication ceremony, and saw that many of the tombstones in one section in the cemetery faced a different direction than the rest.
Judaism’s take on redeeming prisoners
Redeeming captives is nothing new for Jews. What does our past experience and the decisions of our sages have to teach us about prisoner exchanges today?
Does Judaism have anything to say about hunting as a sport?
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