About the Author

Rabbi Mordechai Becher

Rabbi Mordechai Becher, originally from Australia, is an instructor at Yeshiva University and alumni Rabbi of Neve Yerushalayim College. He received his ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and holds an MA in Medieval Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School where he is a doctoral candidate. He taught at Ohr Somayach and Neve Yerushalayim in Jerusalem and served in the Israel Defense Forces. Rabbi Becher has answered thousands of questions on AsktheRabbi.org, presents a Talmud class, Dimensions of the Daf, for the Jewish Broadcasting Service and was senior lecturer for Gateways for 20 years. Rabbi Becher’s latest book, Gateway to Judaism, published by Artscroll, is in its tenth printing. He has taught in the USA, Canada, England, Israel, South Africa, Australia and Russia, and is a scholar in residence for Legacy Kosher Tours. He has led tours in Africa, Australia, Czech Republic, China, England, Hungary, India, Italy, Israel, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Russia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Jews of Oz: A History of the Australian Jewish Community

How did Jews get to Australia?

Angel Meets Ape: The Body/Soul Conundrum

The uncomfortable conclusions of a purely physical universe.

Pivotal Shofar Blasts throughout Jewish History

The shofar has become the voice of the Jewish people at different occasions throughout history.

Saadiah Gaon, Rashi and Maimonides: How Three Rabbis Revolutionized Judaism

How three great Jewish scholars transformed our views of the Bible, education, Judaism, science and life.

Prayer: a Strange (Yet Very Popular) Human Activity

If we assume that God is good, He will always do what's best for us. If that's true, then why do we need to pray to Him?

The Not-So-Dead Sea Scrolls

How the Dead Sea Scrolls, considered by many to be the most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century, speak to Jews in the 21st century.

Why We Can’t See True Reality

Is reality determined only by that which can be measured and quantified, or is there an aspect of reality that transcends measurement?

The Scandalous History of the Aleppo Codex

How the oldest, most complete and most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible founds its way back to Jerusalem.

The Jews of India: A Tale of Three Cities

Jews have been in India for over 2,000 years.

Apologizing for God

Many great thinkers consider the question "Why do bad things happen to good people?" to be the most perplexing question in philosophy and theology. Are there any truly good answers?

The Jews Didn’t Build the Pyramids

And other things that Egyptian culture reveals about the Book of Exodus


The Importance of Questions at the Seder

It’s far deeper than keeping the children awake.


Eichmann and the Question of Revenge

Is revenge ever legitimate? In Memory of Rafi Eitan, legendary Mossad agent.


Amazing Purim Artifacts

The Cyrus Cylinder, Purim wine cup and what the pur (lottery) looked like.


Witnessing a Miracle: My Son the Israeli Paratrooper

Coming back to the land of Israel defended by a Jewish army.


The Jewish Stench Libel

Rebirth of a medieval canard: The Jews cannot justify anything they do.


My Experience in India

A timely lesson from the incredible traffic in India: community, ego and flexibility.


Why Do We Bless God?

Exploring the Jewish meaning of blessings.


God and the World Cup

Is there anything spiritual about the World Cup?


Twitter & Your Responsibility

Just because you think it doesn’t mean you should write it.


Why the Afterlife Isn’t Mentioned in the Torah

Three classic explanations.


Is Judaism Concerned with Conservation?

Does it really matter when a species goes extinct?


The Importance of Silence in Jewish Thought

Silence is necessary to attain wisdom.


What is the Holiday of Purim?

Get the information you need to know to understand this enigmatic holiday.


Music in Judaism

What is the Jewish attitude to music?


What Is Kosher and Why?

A quick overview and 5 basic reasons.


The Messiah in Judaism

Why do Jews believe in the Messiah?


What is the Jewish view of Divine Providence?

Three classical Jewish approaches.


Is Judaism a Race, Religion, Family or Nation?

What defines the Jewish People?


Does Judaism Believe in Reincarnation?

Fulfilling the soul’s unique mission may take more than one lifetime.


King David and the Art of Admitting Your Mistakes

Does a leader have to be perfect?


What’s Wrong with Pornography?: One Jewish Perspective

Holiness comes through giving, not taking.


Q&A: The Jewish Calendar

Why is it different and what is its significance?


Why the 4 Species on Sukkot?

Everything has its own part to play the Divine orchestra.


Q&A: Why Do We Fast on Yom Kippur?

For one day we single-mindedly focus on the soul.


Q&A: What is the Significance of the Shofar and Rosh Hashanah?

Proclaiming true freedom.


Q&A: Why Do Religious Jews Dress the Way They Do?

How clothes make the man.


Do We have Free Will? A Jewish Response

Do we have free will or are we biological robots?


Q&A: What Is the Purpose of Prayer?

God already knows what’s best for me, so why pray?


Q&A: Why Judaism’s Attachment to the Land of Israel?

If Judaism is a religion, why does it need a country?


Judaism and Individuality

With so many rules, doesn’t Judaism force everyone to be the same?


God’s Unusual Introduction to the Jewish People

Why did God introduce Himself as “God of Exodus” and not “God of creation”? Five short answers.

Why Are There Commandments?

The big picture of all those details.

Overview of the Entire Torah

A big picture look at the books of the Bible and the Oral Law.

Purim: The Miracle of Jewish Survival

A primer on the history and meaning of Purim.

Centrality of Israel

Why is Israel so important to Judaism, and why does the world pay it such an extraordinary amount of attention?


Explaining the Binding of Isaac

Where was Abraham's own moral sense when he agreed to murder Isaac?


The Real Messiah?

Why Jews don't believe Jesus is the Messiah.


Why Not Intermarry?

Isn't it racist not to intermarry?


613 Obstacles to Individuality

Doesn't adherence to Jewish Law make us all clones?

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