General

Jewish Holidays and Celebrating our Enemies’ Destruction - I have a coworker who has some pretty anti-semitic views about a lot of things. I’m not Jewish either but I’ve tried my best to defend the Jews against him. Most of his “claims” are patent nonsense and he probably… More »
Hamentaschen and Haman’s Three-Cornered Hat - Is there a deeper meaning behind Haman’s 3-cornered hat? Why do we eat hamentaschen in memory of that of all things? More »
Mishloach Manot - I know that people exchange gifts and food baskets with each other on Purim. Are there specific requirements for this? Is this just a nice practice or does it have a basis in Jewish law? More »
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Fast of Esther

Eating Before Hearing the Megillah - Ta’anit Esther doesn’t end that late, but another hour goes by until the synagogue finishes the Megillah, especially with all the carrying on. This makes the fast much longer and more difficult. Is it possible to eat and drink after… More »
Exemptions from Fasting - I tend to get bad headaches when I fast. Am I obligated to fast on the Fast of Esther? Likewise, I have a friend who is pregnant. What is her status? More »
Cosmetic Surgery - What does the Torah say about nose jobs – both from a legal and philosophic point of view? Are they permitted, or is this considered tampering with Creation? More »
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Scroll of Esther

Banging for Haman - I find going to the synagogue on Purim to hear the Megillah an unnerving experience to say the least. Why do the children have to set off explosives and make such a ruckus at various times during the reading? More »
Don’t Miss a Word - I see many people in synagogue who bring their own Megillah scrolls for the reading. Is there any reason for that? I mean, shouldn’t they be quietly listening to the reader the entire time? Isn’t the reader’s scroll sufficient? More »
Esther & Achashverosh - In the Purim story, how do we understand that Mordechai handed over Esther to Achashverosh? I remember in the synagogue years ago, no one could agree on just what their relationship was. But I have read on a few occasions… More »
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