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Yehuda Shurpin

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Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin responds to questions for Chabad.org's Ask the Rabbi service.
How to calculate mizrach
Even when our compass or map shows that Jerusalem is to the east of our location, we still may end up facing another direction. Sounds confusing? Let’s start from the beginning.
Some call it “Cheshvan” and others say “Marcheshvan.” To complicate matters, on your own site, you have it both ways.
The Bible and Midrash Tell Us It’s Complicated…
As we go through his somewhat contradictory life story, I’ll leave it to you to decide . . .
First, we need to understand an underlying philosophical difference between the Constitution and the Torah.
Unlike some other mythical creatures found in fantasy books, there is reference to the phoenix in ancient Jewish sources.
Part of what makes this so shocking is that it seems to come out of nowhere.
Dear Friend, The story is told about a Chassidic Rebbe who would go to great lengths and expenses to obtain the most beautiful etrog available in order to perform the mitzvah in the best possible manner every Sukkot. Each day of the holiday, after he hims...
Other than the mitzvah of blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah, perhaps the most important observance of the day is found in the Rosh Hashanah Musaf prayers. Ordinarily, the Musaf prayer contains seven blessings: the standard three opening and three closin...
The earliest mention of the custom seems to be the work Sefer Shem Tov Katan, published in 1706.
Understanding the Enigmatic Mitzvah to Send Away the Mother Bird
The Torah Source: If a bird’s nest chances before you on the road, on any tree or on the ground, and [it contains] fledglings or eggs, if the mother is sitting upon the fledglings or upon the eggs, you shall not take the mother [from] upon the young. You ...
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