Why Do Orthodox Jewish Men Wear Hats?

Dear JITC- Why do Jewish men wear hats? All the best, Carla Dear Carla- Thanks for your question. It has been asked before: A man asked his rabbi, “Why do Jewish men wear hats?” The rabbi replied, “Because our forefather Abraham wore them.” “How do you know that?” the man inquired. “The Torah says, ‘And […]

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What Are The Jewish Ways of Expressing Gratitude?

Dear Jew in the City- This week Americans will show their thanks by getting together and eating Turkey and stuffing. Are there any Jewish customs or rituals for expressing gratitude? Thanks, Adam Dear Adam- Thanks for your question. There is an important characteristic in Judaism called hakaras hatov, acknowledging the good. It is stressed that […]

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Why Do We Need Selichos Anyway?

Dear Jew in the City- What’s the history of Selichos? Why did it come about? Best, Mark Dear Mark- Thanks for your question. As far as the liturgy goes, Selichos are fairly contemporary. By that I mean that they are measured in mere centuries, rather than millennia. Some of the prayers we recite, like Shema, […]

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