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Yehuda Shurpin

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Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin responds to questions for Chabad.org's Ask the Rabbi service.
The word has become synonymous with the small band of Jewish freedom fighters who freed Judea from the Syrian-Greek occupiers…
Traditionally, the chatan (groom) is honored with an aliyah at the Torah on the Shabbat before his wedding. This is known as an aufruf, Yiddish for “calling up.”
The sages of the Talmud take it as a given that tefillin are put on the left arm (or the right arm of a lefty) and offer several reasons…
The first, and perhaps the most famous, twins in the Bible are Jacob and Esau. The only other set is Peretz and Zerach.
Tearing garments upon the death of a close relative, "keriah" in Hebrew, dates back to biblical times.
The term “archangel” doesn’t actually have a Hebrew equivalent in Jewish Scriptures.
During the period when the nation of Israel was split into two kingdoms, Elijah the prophet had a showdown at Mt. Carmel with 450 false prophets of the Baal idol . . .
Long before the ancient Greeks, the Bible recorded that the dove brought an olive branch to the ark.
The sukkah serves to remind us of our humble beginnings as a fledgling nation, when we did not have any permanent dwellings and had to live in simple huts.
On Rosh Hashanah it is customary to eat foods with symbolic importance. According to some, these foods serve as cues to help us focus on the agenda of the day: prayer, repentance and resolution to do good. According to others, the physical act of eating t...
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