R Ari Enkin

Cutting Nails

by R. Ari Enkin One should trim one’s fingernails as part of one’s Shabbat preparations in order to ensure that one has a pleasant appearance in honor of Shabbat.1 One should not trim them in the order of one’s fingers,2 finger after finger, as it is taught that doing so can lead to forgetfulness and bad luck.3 Some believe that ...

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Non-Jewish Religious Symbols

by R. Ari Enkin It is quite common to discover that items in one’s possession contain religious symbols. This is often the case with postage stamps, perfumes, and even some brand name clothing whose logos include a cross. One might also live in a country whose flag contains a cross, which appears on T-shirts, passports, knapsacks, and other items produced ...

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Fish and Meat

by R. Ari Enkin It was once believed that eating fish and meat together was the cause of a terrible skin condition and was extremely dangerous to one’s health.1 As such, the rabbis instituted a prohibition against eating fish and meat together.2 It is forbidden to eat fish and poultry together, as well.3 Although nowadays there are no known health ...

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Coffee

by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, it is forbidden to eat foods that were cooked by a non-Jew, a concept known as bishul akum. Even if all the ingredients of a cooked food are otherwise kosher, the food may be prohibited to eat if it was cooked by a non-Jew.1  The rules of bishul akum only apply to ...

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Unveilings

by R. Ari Enkin There are different customs as to when a tombstone should be erected over a grave, and by extension, when the unveiling ceremony should take place. Some authorities suggest that the tombstone be erected soon after the shiva period.  This is especially true according to kabbala which teaches that the soul has no “residence” in this world ...

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Tombstones

by R. Ari Enkin Erecting a tombstone or monument on top of a grave is an important Jewish custom. The practice most likely originated with Yaakov Avinu who erected a monument upon the grave of his wife, Rachel.1 Some suggest that God Himself instructed Yaakov to erect a monument on Rachel’s grave.2 In fact, some authorities argue that the requirement ...

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Bishul Akum

by R. Ari Enkin One of the lesser-known kashrut requirements is that food must be cooked by a Jew or for a Jew to at least participate in the cooking in some way.1 Food that was cooked by a non-Jew is referred to as bishul akum and may not be eaten. This is true even though the food is otherwise ...

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