Journal

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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Exposing Hypocrites

by R. Yisrael Herczeg The Rambam states in Hilchos Teshuvah 3:14: All the wicked and the transgressors and the apostates and the like who did teshuvah, whether in the open or in secrecy, are accepted, as it says, “Come back, unruly children” (Yirmiyah 3:14, 22). [This implies,] even though he is unruly, for he repents furtively and not in the ...

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When is Shabbat Over?

by R. Yaakov Hoffman Determining when Shabbat concludes has always been a weekly necessity for observant Jews. Thus, one might assume that everyone ends Shabbat at more or less the same time. In actuality, there is a great deal of variation. Some people commence weekday activities on Saturday night 40 minutes after sunset, while others wait longer—some as long as ...

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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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