Is there a Leap Day on the Jewish calendar? No, but there is a leap month! Because many Jewish holidays are tied to certain seasons, a leap month is added every seven years in a nineteen-year cycle so that the years stay long enough to keep the spring holidays in the spring and the fall holidays in the fall.
I’m a regular listener of your podcast On the Other Hand. Can you explain the meaning of the Hebrew sign-off/farewell phrase at the end of each episode?
The Hebrew phrase at the end of the podcast is “ L’hitraot." Here's what it means.
I plan to attend Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services this year for the first time. Will I be expected to donate money during the service, like in a church service? If so, what’s the "right” amount?
You will not be expected to give money during the Rosh HaShanah or Yom Kippur services. In fact, it is customary to not exchange money on Shabbat or major Jewish holidays.
On the Jewish calendar, holidays begin in the evening, at sundown, and they continue through the next day.
I'm preparing to make aliyah (move to Israel) and was surprised to read that I need to present a "Jewish certificate." I’ve been Jewish my entire life, but I’ve never heard of a certificate that proves it! How do I obtain that?
Your first step should be to approach the organization Nefesh B'Nefesh , which works with the Israeli government and The Jewish Agency for Israel to “remove or minimize the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles of aliyah and the move to Israel.” They will walk you through the process.
Is it Jewishly permissible for us to bury our beloved pet with my late mother? The dog meant a lot to her.
There are Jewish practices that can support those who experience the loss of pet.
While it is true that, historically, only Jews were permitted to be buried in Jewish cemeteries, the prevalence of interfaith families has necessitated new options.
On Purim, we can greet one another with “ Chag Purim sameach !” (Happy Purim!)
The Holocaust is an important topic not only in Jewish history, but in the history of humankind. The topic is disturbing, and it is appropriate to feel uncomfortable and upset by the stories, facts, and especially the images. A thoughtful approach is required when – not if – you teach your tween grandchild about the Holocaust.
Are we supposed to touch the mezuzah when we enter the room? What can we do for those who can’t reach the mezuzah?
How do we enable a person who uses a wheelchair to show their reverence and gratitude by kissing the mezuzah and show their feelings like Jacob?
With the caveat that we are not kombucha experts, we think kombucha is okay for Passover.