Question from a rabbi in Jerusalem: I am taking care of “Reuven”’s apartment in Jerusalem, but “Reuven” lives in New York. Reuven asked me to sell his hametz to a non-Jew. But Pesah in Israel ends 31 hours before it ends in New York – a seven-hour time difference plus an additional day of Yom Tov Sheni (the additional day of the Festival in the Diaspora). In other words, the hametz will revert to his possession in Jerusalem when it is still Pesah in New York. How, then, can I sell his hametz?
Why do Ashkanazic Jews refrain from eating rice, beans and kitniyot on Pesah? Is there any way of doing away with this custom which causes much hardship and also divides Jewish communities and even members of the same family?
hroughout the generations, Jews in different lands ate many different foods on Purim (see Ben Ezra for many examples). In this responsum, I shall give the history of three customs that are connected to today’s custom of eating hamentashen on Purim.
It is customary to serve meals and hold communal dinners in a synagogue sanctuary or Bet Midrash on Shavuot, Pesah, Shabbat and on weekdays. Doesn’t this contradict a specific law found in the Talmud and the Codes that it isforbidden to eat in a synagogue or Bet Midrash?
There is a custom to eat special foods on Rosh Hashanah. What are the sources of this custom? Why do Ashkenazim and Sefaradim eat different foods on Rosh Hashanah?
Do cosmetic products such as make-up, perfume and shampoo require a Kosher for Pesah label?
Few topics are covered as thoroughly as the Passover story in Jewish educational programs of all types: formal and informal, synagogue and school, religious and secular. Much of the Torah is devoted to the story of the Exodus. Jewish families all over the world devote an entire evening to discussion of the background of the festival. The Passover Haggadah is the first Jewish curriculum, designed to pique the interest of all Jews – from the child who knows not how to ask to the wise and insightful Torah scholar. One would expect after all the attention paid to the Feast of Unleavened Bread in Jewish education that one question, at least, would be easily answered: This matzah that we eat – for what reason? Why on all other nights do we eat both leavened and unleavened bread, but on this night – and this entire week – unleavened bread only?
Most of the laws of Hanukkah are related to the lighting of the menorah or hanukkiya [note]In the Diaspora, the Hanukkah lamp is called a menorah; in Israel it’s called a hannukiya. Technically speaking, the menorah is the seven branched candelabrum which was used in the Tabernacle and in the Temple in ancient times (Exodus 37:17-24; Numbers 8:1-4) and should not be used to describe a Hanukkah lamp.