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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 custom of burying our loved ones specifically in Israel is as old as the Jewish nation itself.
In the morning, we alternate. But for bread, we wash each hand three times consecutively. Why the difference?
The Hebrew language is extremely potent. The Torah tells us that until the incident of the Tower of Babel, all of mankind spoke the same language: Biblical Hebrew.
How and why was the Oral Torah written?
As anyone who has learned the Bible can attest, there are certain verses where there is no way of knowing what it refers to by just looking at the verse. Examples include the commandment to circumcise oneself, or to put tefillin on the arm and head, or to...
In the worldwide debate over the tragic shooting of a gorilla in a Cincinnati zoo after a 4-year-old boy crawled into its enclosure, some have raised the question as to whether or not the gorilla should have been killed. Yet, it would seem that from a Jew...
A series of fascinating reasons culled from more than 2 millennia of Jewish scholarship.
Why so many customs? How did it all develop?
Dear Friend, Imagine you were a 40-year-old poor illiterate shepherd who found it very difficult to learn. Let’s say you were inspired by the steady drip-drop of water making a growing hole in a hard rock and went off to learn Torah. After 24 years, you b...
The Western Wall is one of the four walls that supported the Temple Mount. Why is it considered more special than the other three, all of which are clearly visible?
I recently started attending synagogue services on a regular basis. After we pray the Amidah silently, the chazzan (cantor) repeats it word for word. Why?
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