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Why are certain words in the Torah pronounced differently than they are spelled?
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Scholars

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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What is the Fast of Esther?

The day before Purim, the 13th of Adar, is a fast day, the Fast of Esther. The fast starts approximately 72 minutes before sunrise and lasts until nightfall (approximately 40 minutes after sunset).  Click here for the exact times of sunrise and nightfall for any location in the world. If the 13th of Adar...

What is Chametz?

Chametz is any product that contains wheat, barley, oats, spelt or rye that has leavened (risen). Our Rabbis have determined that flour from any of these five grains that comes in contact with water or moisture will leaven unless completely baked within eighteen minutes. 1 The Torah commands us to abstain from...

What is a High Priest?

From amongst the Kohanim, the holy descendants of Aaron, one person was selected to serve as Kohen Gadol (High Priest). Ideally, this person was a great tzaddik who also served as the spiritual leader of the generation. The most significant task of the Kohen Gadol was the implementation of the Yom Kippur service...

Why do we eat Latkes on Chanukah?

The holiday of Chanukah commemorates a miracle that occurred with oil; the jug of oil which naturally should have lasted only one night, lasted eight. To commemorate this miracle, we eat "oily" foods including fried potato pancakes called "Latkes." This custom of eating oily foods on Chanukah...

Why do we wash our fingertips before Grace after Meals?

Prior to Birkat Hamazon (Grace after Meals), one is obligated to wash Mayim Acharonim, the “Last Waters.”  Before blessing G-d, we sanctify ourselves by washing our hands, removing any food remnants which may have remained from the meal. In times of old, many Jews were illiterate. Furthermore,...

How long do tefillin last?

The scrolls inside the tefillin will decay with age if not used on a regular basis. Therefore, tefillin which have been stored without use for an extended period must be inspected by a competent scribe twice every seven years. Tefillin which are used regularly (good for you!) technically do not have to be...

Should I pray in Hebrew, even if I don't understand the language?

If you feel more comfortable praying in your vernacular--go right ahead. If you wish to pray in Hebrew, you may do so provided that you understand the translation of the first section of the shema and the first blessing of the amidah. If you do not know the meaning of these sections, then they must be recited in a...

Have laws concerning usury in the Torah been replaced by secular laws?

No, they haven't been replaced--Torah laws are still in place. However, Torah says that in business issues, we ALSO have to follow the rule of the land. The halachic term for this concept is “Dina Demalchuta Dina,” one must abide by the laws of the country. This means that we always follow the...

Can I find the laws of usury in the Old Testament?

Certainly. The Torah discusses the prohibition against taking interest in many places: Exodus 22:24; Leviticus 25:36-37; and Deuteronomy 23:20-21. (See also Ezekiel 18:8-17; 22:12; Psalms 15:5; and Proverbs 28:8). As is the case with most laws of the Torah, to gain a full understanding of the laws of ribit...

Why don’t Jews believe that Jesus was the messiah?

Maimonides writes (Laws of Kings 11:4) the criteria for identifying the messiah: "If a king will arise from the House of David, diligent in Torah study and the fulfillment of mitzvahs - of the written and oral law – like David his ancestor, and will compel all the Jews to go in its [the Torah's] path...

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