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Yehuda Shurpin

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A noted scholar and researcher, Rabbi Yehuda Shurpin serves as content editor at Chabad.org, and writes the popular weekly Ask Rabbi Y column. Rabbi Shurpin is the rabbi of the Chabad Shul in St. Louis Park, Minn., where he resides with his wife, Ester, and their children.
Nowadays, there is really no reason why a person would prevent himself from becoming ritually impure. An exception is the male kohen, descendant of Aaron, brother of Moses.
Sacrifice One Life to Save Many?
Ethics professors often frame this conundrum as a battle between “utilitarianism” and “deontology.” What does Torah say?
And what does it have to do with counting to Shavuot?
Contemporary Jews associate the Omer with the mitzvah of Sefirat Haomer, counting the days from the second day of Passover until the holiday of Shavuot. In truth, the Omer is the name of a special offering that was brought on the second day of Passover. A...
The splitting of the Red Sea, Jordan and Euphrates Rivers
We’re familiar with the story of the Exodus and how, when the Jewish nation was trapped between the Egyptians and the Red Sea, the sea miraculously split. What is perhaps less known is that when the Jews were about to enter Israel, G‑d again performed a m...
The Passover Seder is a time when family and friends from all walks of life come together to celebrate our shared heritage and retell the story of our Exodus from Egyptian bondage. It is in this spirit of unity and togetherness that we present 15 short in...
While this custom is simple enough and pretty universal, its reason is far from elementary.
Universal custom is to wash before eating the karpas vegetable and again before making the hamotzi on the matzah
To get some understanding of the varying customs, let’s begin by explaining why some repeat it at all.
Rabbi David Abudraham (14th century, Spain) writes that there had been an earlier custom for children to draw a picture or write the name of Haman on wood or stones
Queen Esther petitioned the sages to have it included in Scripture. The Men of the Great Assembly then rewrote it.
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