Answers to Jewish Questions

Have a question about Judaism? We have the answers!

Why do some people include an orange on the seder plate?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell
Many have incorporated new rituals as part of the Passover seder. Many seder plates include an orange, which is attributed to Susannah Heschel, professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College. Heschel included an orange in recognition of gay and lesbian Jews, and others who are marginalized in the Jewish community.

I want to observe Shabbat. Where do I begin?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell
The best way to begin observing Shabbat is by starting small and adding to your Shabbat observance as you grow more comfortable. If you are interested in ritual, try learning the blessings of the Shabbat table.

Why do Jews wear head coverings?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell
The custom of covering one’s head is based on custom, a minhag, that first appeared during the Rabbinic Period (roughly, from the beginning of the Common Era to 500 C.E.).

Are resolutions a Jewish concept?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell
It is always appropriate to commit to resolutions that will improve our lives, the lives of those around us, and the larger world.