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Throughout history, many societies have had secret, and not-so-secret hand signs. Jews are no different.
Letters and Numbers of Torah - Acharei
Before the scapegoat was taken into the wilderness, “Aaron the High Priest placed his hands upon its head and confessed all the sins of the Jewish People." (Leviticus 16:21) The verse is written "yado" meaning "his hand," the way we recite it, however, is...
Question: Why do some people open their hands during the Ashrei prayer? Answer: According to the Talmud Berachot 4b., this prayer is recited three times every day partly because it contains the verse “You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every liv...
Parshat Bo
Mitzvot Done with the Right Hands, and Guidelines for Left-Handed People.
Rabbi Yisroel Shusterman is left handed. Since mitzvos are usually to be done with the right hand, as a young man, he asked the Rebbe for direction in this matter and about the ramifications of being a lefty. At the time, the Rebbe sent him to the local R...
Why not keep our ring on our first finger? Our pointer may be our strongest and most passionate. But, our fourth finger, our ring finger, is our gentlest...
And when are we to cut our nails?
There is indeed an ancient custom of not cutting nails sequentially. The earliest mention seems to be in a version of Masechet Kallah quoted by the Machzor Vitry, written by Rabbi Simchah ben Shmuel of Vitry (who passed away in 1105, the same year as his ...
Question: I have been told that one must never let his nail clipping lying around as they pose danger to fetuses. How does that work? Response: The Talmud Moed Katan 18a; Niddah 17a. tells us that "the righteous bury their nails, the pious burn them, and ...
The basic reason is that one should be close enough to the flame's light to benefit from it.
Or: G-d's Sticky Fingerprints
What's the difference between No-thingness with a capital N and vanilla nothing with a lower case n? What makes one Nothing G-d and the other just nothing?
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