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An observant Jew recently joined my staff. He is a reliable employee, an honest man and a hard worker. But for the past few weeks he has been telling us that he needs to leave early on Fridays to be home in time for the Sabbath and the same on the eve of ...
Why do Jewish holidays begin at nightfall? For example, Purim starts this Monday night, and is over Tuesday night, and that is considered one day.
The Talmud Brachot 26a. asks the same question, and answers that the source is the verse: "And it was evening and it was morning, one day." Genesis 1:5. From there the Talmud infers that the day follows the night. See also Why do Jewish holidays begin at ...
Shabbat lasts from nightfall to nightfall—as does every Jewish calendar date. But when exactly is nightfall? When the sun sets or when darkness sets in? Well, this is an age-old question, a halachic grey area. So we cover all our bases just to be safe. We...
The time for reciting maariv (the evening prayers) extends throughout the night. Nevertheless, the sages were concerned that people would delay the recitation of the biblically mandated nighttime Shema – which is recited as part of the maariv – until the ...
Rochel Question: Does the Torah discuss or allude to the fact that the Shabbat is to be kept according to Jerusalem time or should it be kept according to one's local time? Are we to honor Jerusalem by keeping Shabbat on her time? Answer: Your question is...
Question: Are you sure your candle-lighting times for Palm Springs, CA are correct? The times provided on the Chabad.org candle-lighting times page seem to be a half hour off other California cities. Please advise. Answer: Yes, Palm Springs has special ru...
Space travel presents its own unique challenges to the Jewish astronaut: How can one procure kosher space food, as well as all the other necessities of Jewish life? How does one face Jerusalem when praying in orbit? However, the greatest challenge of all ...
Since the Jewish day changes at nightfall (and the night generally begins when the stars come out), this brings to mind a number of halachic challenges for observing mitzvot.
Moshe Question: I read somewhere that it is inappropriate to give tzedakah (charity) during the night. Can you explain why? Answer: In the Jerusalem Talmud there is a story told of Rabbi Chiya bar Pappa who gave tzedakah at night, and the leader of the ev...
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