Dear Friend,

Judaism is all about asking questions. In fact, before the Internet was invented,’s founder, Rabbi Y. Y. Kazen, was fielding questions from all around the world via message boards and other precursors to e‑mail as we know it.

To this day, our Ask the Rabbi team replies to hundreds of questions on a daily basis on every topic imaginable. From the Jewish backpacker seeking a warm meal and a place to pray, to the curious gentile wondering about Jewish tradition—each and every one is answered with care and respect.

Since the early days of our site, we’ve been publishing some of these questions (of course, removing any identifying information to ensure the privacy of the questioner). Today, has a collection of thousands of such correspondences online for all to enjoy.

We’re thrilled to announce that Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin, who joined the Ask the Rabbi team in 2009, has begun a new column called Ask Rabbi Y. As you may have guessed, it will be a place where you can ask “why.” Why do we write Hebrew from right to left? Why do we make a blessing on fire on Saturday night? These are just some of the issues he’s been addressing on a weekly basis.

Is there something you’re wondering about? Just submit your “why,” and Rabbi Y will consider it for an upcoming column.


The Editorial Team

P.S.: Rabbi Shurpin also maintains another column, The Court of Jewish Law, where everyday questions are analyzed in the light of halachic tradition.