Answers to Jewish Questions

Have a question about Judaism? We have the answers!

Why Do Jews Eat Fried Foods to Celebrate Hanukkah?

Answered by
Rabbi Emily Langowitz
One of the most recognizable and tastiest Hanukkah traditions is cooking (and eating) fried foods. While frying up a fresh batch of Hanukkah treats is certainly delicious, this practice is also deeply rooted in the meaning of the holiday.

When is Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)?

On the Jewish calendar, Yom HaShoah falls on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which means the observance will begin at sundown on 26 Nisan. In 1951, when the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) established the observance, it did not want the day to interfere with Shabbat by coming either

How Do You Spell Hanukkah?

Because Hanukkah is a Hebrew word, there is no one correct way to translate the spelling of the word into English. So what spelling is best? As you see throughout this site, we use “Hanukkah,” which a non-scientific study revealed conducted in 2012 found to be the second most popular

What is the Jewish expression to refer to someone who has died?

Answered by
Rabbi Julie Zupan
In Judaism, when someone has died, it is customary to add the expression, “May their memory be for a blessing” after mentioning the deceased by name. In Hebrew, the expression is “ zichrona livracha” (feminine), “ zichrono livracha” (masculine), or “ zichronam livracha” (plural or gender-neutral) and is typically abbreviated

What is the Jewish symbolism of the pomegranate?

Answered by
Rabbi Julie Zupan
The pomegranate is one of the Seven Species mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as being native to the Land of Israel. The seeds of the pomegranate symbolize the 613 mitzvot (sacred obligations) attributed to the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible), which form the foundation of traditional

Where can I find the dates of the Jewish holidays for next year?

Answered by
Rabbi Julie Zupan
If you are planning a simchah (joyous occasion) or significant event and want to find the corresponding date on the Jewish calendar, check out our Jewish Holiday Calendar. To learn more about any individual holiday’s significance and customs, simply click on its name. As Shabbat and all Jewish holidays begin

What Is Elul?

Elul is the Hebrew month preceding Rosh HaShanah, during which one engages in self-reflection and evaluation in preparation for the High Holidays. Traditionally, the shofar is blown each day during the month.