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What Are Shmittah and Yovel?

Dear Jew in the City- What are shmittah and yovel? Thank you, Shira Dear Shira- Thanks for your question, which I assume was inspired by the fact that this year (Hebrew year 5782) is a shmittah year. Shmittah is a rest for the land of Israel once every seven years, just as Shabbos is a […]

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What Is The Meaning Behind Rainbows In The Torah?

Dear Jew in the City- Many people enjoy looking at rainbows. I know it’s meant to be considered a sign that we are supposed to repent. Are we allowed to enjoy them (or tell others about them)? Thanks, Darcy Dear Darcy- Thanks for your question. The rainbow is the topic of Genesis 9:12-16, following Noah’s […]

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Is it True That the Torah Was Lost and Then Found?

Dear Jew in the City- I’ve heard people say that the Torah was lost in Jewish history and then found, either in the time of Ezra or Josiah. Is this true or are they trying to discredit the validity of the Torah by claiming it was made up? Thanks, Dov Dear Dov- Thanks for your […]

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Why Do Jewish Men Wear Yarmulkes (Kippahs)?

Dear Jew in the City, When and why did Jewish boys and men start wearing yarmulkes, and are there any circumstances when a yarmulke need not be worn? M.L. Dear M.L., The practice of wearing a yarmulke (kippah in Hebrew) is an ancient tradition that has its roots as a “middas chasiddus” (an act of piety) before […]

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