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Askmoses scholars are carefully selected to bring the best of Jewish knowledge to you. Each scholar studied Judaism, Jewish History, Jewish Culture and is a recognized communicator and teacher in his or her community. Many are world-class authors and lecturers as well as practicing rabbis. The scholars live all over the world and express their knowledge to you from their point of view, 24/6. Get to know our scholars by reading their backgrounds.


Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

Rabbi Silberberg, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is a renowned scholar known for his sharp wit and vast Talmudic knowledge.

He resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Chaya Mushka and their three children.


Articles by this author:

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Why do people place pebbles on a tombstone?

According to Rabbi Maurice Lamm (author of "The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning") the custom of placing stones on the monument "probably serves as a reminder of the family's presence. [The evidence that this grave is attended, visited and cared for, is respectful for the deceased - NS]. Also, it may...

Does Judaism forbid suicide?

The Torah forbids suicide (see Rashi on Genesis 9:5). There are no accidents or coincidences, everything is planned by G-d. If you are in this world it is because G-d has a specific plan for you. There is something which you can, must, and will, accomplish which no one else can. G-d is good. Period. G-d did not...

Can a suicide victim be buried in a Jewish cemetery?

We do not bury one who has committed suicide in a cemetery together with other Jews; instead he or she is buried in an area of the cemetery removed from all others. Nor do we sit shivah for such a person. The rule is that we do not bury a Rasha (wicked person) together with everyone else, or sit Shivah for...

Is it forbidden to talk to the deceased?

There is no problem with talking to the soul of a departed person. The Torah (Deut. 18:11) tells us only that we are forbidden to "consult the dead." This means that one may not do any act with the goal of summoning the spirit of a dead person to ask them a question. The reason for this prohibition (see...

Is a Kohen allowed to be in the same room as a gentile corpse?

A corpse emits impurity. There are two ways one can be affected by this impurity: 1) Direct contact. 2) Being under the same roof (or other cover). (See What sort of contact with the dead is forbidden for a Kohen? ) One certainly becomes impure through direct contact with a non-Jewish corpse. There is,...

I was circumcised by a doctor. Am I all set?

Aside for the fact that there are several important differences between the methods employed by doctors and the halachically proper way to perform a brit, in order for a circumcision to be (halachically) valid, it must be performed by a Torah observing Jew. Otherwise, blood must be drawn in a procedure...

I'm a Jewish male without a Jewish name. How do I get one?

A Jewish name is so special it is given through a special ceremony. For a male that ceremony is Brit Milah, circumcision. 1   If you did not have a Halachic circumcision (and were therefore not given a Jewish name), there is a minimal procedure that is done under such circumstances called...

What is the appropriate way to invite someone to a Brit?

It is customary not to formally invite people to participate in the Brit. Instead we merely announce that the Brit will take place at such a time in such a place. This is done (so if someone can't accept the invitation, it should) not to seem disrespectful to Elijah the Prophet as Elijah...

What is a Shalom Zachar and what is the reason for it?

It is customary to make a party or get-together for friends and family on the first Friday night (Shabbat) after a baby boy is born. This is called a "Sholom Zochor," loosely translated as "a time for wishing peace to the male child." The Sholom Zochor is usually held in the home of the...

Why is G-d's covenant manifest in the male genitals?

There are two primary reasons why G-d commanded us to place the symbol of our covenant on the male sexual organ: 1. G-d wanted this sign to be in the very part of the body which symbolizes pleasure. This is supposed to be a constant reminder to us that we should be focused on our special relationship with G-d and...

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