Answers to Jewish Questions

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How many days is Sukkot?

Answered by
Rabbi Mark Washofsky, Ph.D.
Sukkot, the Jewish festival of booths (a harvest holiday of thanksgiving), begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei.

Why do we observe Shavuot by studying all night?

Answered by
George Robinson
Since the Rabbinic period, Shavuot has been tied to the story of receiving the Torah. Connected to this, Shavuot has come to be dedicated to the idea of Torah study and Jewish education. One custom is an all-night [or late night] study session held on the first evening of the

Why is caring for the environment emphasized on Tu BiShvat?

Answered by
George Robinson
Tu BiShvat is a minor festival whose provenance dates only to the time of the Second Temple. However, the kabbalists who clustered around the great fifteenth-century mystic Isaac Luria of Safed placed great weight on the holiday, creating new festivities, gatherings at which hymns were sung, fruit (particularly carob) was eaten, and four cups of wine were taken (as in the Passover seder).