Was the Kabbalah Written by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai?

Dear Jew in the City- I heard that the Kabbalah was written by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Is that the only opinion or are there other approaches? Thank you, Jake Dear Jake- Thanks for your question. Bar Yochai isn’t credited with writing “the Kabbalah” – kabbalah is the entire corpus of Jewish mysticism – he’s […]

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Why Do Orthodox Jewish Men Have Beards?

Dear Jew in the City- Why do a lot of Orthodox Jewish men have beards? Sincerely, Steve Dear Steve- Thanks for your question, which we intentionally arranged to answer following last week’s question, which was on payes (sidelocks). As we mentioned there, Leviticus 19:27 contains two prohibitions, not to round the corners of the head […]

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Why Are Some Changes To Judaism Acceptable & Others Are Not?

Dear Jew in the City, Why does Orthodox Judaism consider some changes – like Maimonides’ approach, kabbalah, or the Chasidic movement as “kosher,” but things like the Karaites’ philosophy and other non-Orthodox movements throughout history as non-acceptable changes? Thank you, Wondering in L.A.   Dear Wondering in L.A. Thanks for your question. It reminds me […]

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