I’ve Always Wondered
The Rabbi’s Assistant answers questions that someone might be too shy to ask.
Please contact us if you have questions about Congregation Beth Shalom, synagogue life, Jewish history or practices, why we do what we do at the times when we do, etc. We can learn together.
In other words, if you are saying to yourself, “I’ve always wondered…” then you should be asking the Rabbi’s Assistant. I don’t let on as to who is asking!
Pirkei Avot פרקי אבות)), which translates to Chapters of the Fathers, consists of the ethical teachings which were passed down (it says) from Moses through
“Tefillin” is actually plural for tefillah, prayer, but the concept is really neither singular nor plural. The tefillin, which are also called “phylacteries” (a Greek
What is all the pomp and circumstance in the Torah service? Part 2 of 2 (last week had Part 1) Originally published January 19-20, 2018
The Sefer Torah is the only book we decorate with velvet mantel, velvet gartel (the belt that goes around its waist, literally “belt” in Yiddish),
What is all the pomp and circumstance in the Torah service? Part 1 of 2 (next week will be Part 2) Originally published January 12-13, 2018
The Sefer Torah is considered our most holy book. We dress it royally, carry it regally, and ritualize its taking out, opening and reading and
Many people believe that the Mourner’s Kaddish is the Kaddish, but although it is important, there are four other forms of Kaddish. So we say
Supposedly deriving from the root meaning “knee,” berekh, and thus reflecting genuflecting, “barukh” means “sanctified,” and sometimes we translate it as “blessed.” But just as