Prayer - General

Ashkenazi-Sefardi Pronunciation – I've noticed that Ashkenazi synagogues pronounce some words differently than Sefardi synagogues. What is the halachic status of these two variants? Do Ashkenazim who speak "Israeli" on a daily basis act consistently if they use a different pronunciation only for… More »
Eating Shabbat Morning Before Prayers – In our community Shabbat morning services only begin at 9:00 and the lunchtime meal does not begin till well after 12:00. Can I eat before morning prayers if I make kiddush first? More »
Exercising Before Shacharit (Morning Prayers) – I have a busy morning schedule and get up very early to exercise. Is there a problem with doing this before morning prayers? More »
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Daily Prayers

Adding Personal Requests to Daily Prayers – I understand there are places in the Amidah where one can insert personal prayers – apart from the standard prayers it already includes. How do I do this? More »
Ashrei - Nun – The verses in the prayer of Ashrei follow an alphabetical pattern, yet I see that the Nun is missing. Why? More »
Bedtime Shema – I know that a Jew is to say the Shema prayer twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. But I recently saw mentioned that it is said a third time, at bedtime. What's this all about? More »
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Synagogue & Minyan

Blessing for New Rabbi – I am the cantor's wife and I make the candle blessing before Rosh Hashana. We have a new young rabbi. Do you have a suggestion for a prayer or greeting that would include our new rabbi for me to say… More »
Driving to Synagogue on Shabbat – I enjoy attending synagogue services on Shabbat, but the rabbi told me that it's better to pray at home than to violate a prohibition of Shabbat. I couldn't really see how that’s more important than attending synagogue, which gives me… More »
Kaddish - Minyan – What should an individual do if he cannot say Kaddish on a regular basis? Is it better to pray from home if you must drive to Shul on Shabbat? More »
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Torah Reading

Completing a Book of the Torah – I am a lay leader at my temple. Since our rabbi is away, I will be leading this week’s Shabbat service. I have beginner-intermediate skills for chanting Torah. Your parsha page was very helpful. Could you define the words "Chazak… More »
Double Torah Portion – I enjoy attending synagogue every Shabbat morning. When it comes to the weekly Torah reading, sometimes we read two parshas. Why is that? More »
Haftorah – Source for the Custom – What is the source of the custom to read from the Prophets on Shabbat and other occasions after reading from the Torah? Is it a recent custom? More »
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Mourning & Kaddish

Completion of Kaddish – My father passed away on June 14, which was 24 Sivan, but was not buried until the Sunday after, 27 Sivan. Until when should I recite the kaddish? More »
Convert – Mourning & Kaddish for Non-Jewish Parent – I am a convert but I still have a good relationship with my parents, who are very decent people and who were very supportive of my religious transformation. Unfortunately, my father is not doing well. In the event that matters… More »
Grandson Saying Kaddish – My grandmother recently passed away. She only had one son, my father a”h, who passed away a few years ago. She also had two daughters. I am the oldest grandson. Should I say kaddish for my grandmother or should one… More »
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Blessings Over Food

Blessing After Washing for Bread – I noticed that whenever we wash our hands – both in the morning and before eating bread – we make the blessing “al netilat yadayim” after washing. But don’t we always make blessings before doing a mitzvah rather than after? More »
Blessing on Chewing Gum – Do we recite a bracha on chewing gum, being that we never actually eat it? More »
Blessing on Ice Cream Cone – I know the basic rules for the blessings on food, but I’m often stumped when dealing with mixtures. One of my kids wanted to know the blessing (bracha) on an ice cream cone. Does one make a blessing on the… More »
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Misc.

Blessing on Niagara Falls – We’re planning a trip to Canada soon and we’ll be stopping at Niagara Falls. Is there a blessing to say on such an awesome sight? More »
Blessing on Sex – I know about many of the blessings recited for various events and daily occurrences, but in all my studies, I have yet to find mention of a blessing for marital intimacy. We have a blessing for using the bathroom, for… More »
Is Seeing a Rainbow Good or Bad? – Is seeing a rainbow a good or a bad thing? On the one hand, it’s a majestic creation of God and a beautiful natural phenomenon. On the other, we are taught that it’s a sign God wants to destroy the… More »
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