Why do we Wear a Kittel and use White Torah Mantles, Table Covers and Ark Curtains in the Synagogue on the High Holy Days? Responsa in a Moment: Volume 10, Issue No. 1, September 2015

Asked by Rabbi Rachel Schwartz on the behalf of a pupil at a Hebrew school in the United States: Why is the kittel worn on the High Holy Days? When were Torah scrolls first dressed in white for the High Holy Days and what prompted this change?

The Confession of Sins on Yom Kippur Responsa in a Moment: Volume 6, Issue No. 1, September 2011

What are the sources for the viduy or confession of sins [note]Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine, New York, 1950, p. 140, note 11, says that the original meaning of viduy is “declaration”.[/note] on Yom Kippur?  Must we recite the very long confession of sins which is found in the Mahzor?

Blessing and Atonement: Blessings, Honoring Parents, Atonement and Closeness

If we stop a moment to think back and ask ourselves how our Jewish identity has been formed by our individual experience, what has influenced us to keep the tradition of our ancestors, and in rare cases to join the Jewish people in order to become part of its national and religious life – in most cases, we probably will recall childhood memories of our parents, who guided us to continue in their way of life. We each have our own childhood memory, distant or recent.

Is it Permissible to Change the Wording about the Sacrifices in the Middle Blessing of the Musaf Service? Responsa in a Moment: Volume 5, Issue No. 3, January 2011

In light of the fact that many modern Jews do not feel comfortable asking God to restore the sacrificial service in the Temple, is it permissible to change the wording of the middle blessing of the Musaf service which asks God to restore the sacrificial system? This responsum is based on my lecture at the conference “The Actuality of Sacrifice” which took place at the Schechter Institute on January 9, 2011.