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Baruch S. Davidson

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On the two-day observance of the holidays in the Diaspora
I know that in Israel the Seder is only celebrated on the first night. For the rest of us living outside of Israel, is the second Seder as important as the first, or is it just a custom?
Explaining the hamantash
Why is the hamantash pastry, eaten on the holiday of Purim, named after Haman, the wicked advisor in the story of Purim? Also, why is it triangular?
Should we be giving mishloach manot only to the poor?
In a recent meeting of our temple sisterhood, the issue was raised that the giving of gifts at Purim, mishloach manot, is really only meant for the poor and that the modern way of giving doesn’t benefit anyone.
On the use of the word “Hashem”
Throughout the Bible, the L‑rd is instructing the people to “call His name.” Why don’t the Jewish people obey Him and “call and praise His name” instead of beating around the bush?
It seems that G-d limits man's lifespan to 120 years, yet after this statement the Torah specifies life spans exceeding 120 years, including the life-spans of Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and Aaron.
Why is there no mention of Isaac returning with his father?
Question: Why do we omit Avinu Malkeinu from the Yom Kippur prayers when Yom Kippur is on a Saturday? Response: One of the highlights of the High Holiday service, the Avinu Malkeinu is a beautiful prayer in which we beseech G‑d for healing, sustenance and...
Shiva, the seven-day period of mourning, is observed upon the passing of the seven close relatives listed in Leviticus: father, mother, wife (or husband), son, daughter, brother, and sister. 21:1-3. These relationships are enumerated within the context of...
The Jewish name of Deborah (Devorah)
Yes, devorah is Hebrew for “bee.” It’s also the name of two great women mentioned in the Torah. The first was the nursemaid of our matriarch Rebecca. The more famous Devorah, however, was Devorah the prophetess, who judged and taught the Jewish nation for...
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