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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 Moshe Miller

Rabbi Moshe Miller was born in South Africa and received his yeshiva education in Israel and America. He served as a rosh yeshiva in Israel and subsequently in America. He is a prolific author and translator, with some twenty books to his name on a wide variety of topics. He is a popular lecturer, mostly on Jewish mystical topics. He currently lives in Chicago.


Articles by this author:

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Are you allowed to exercise to music during the Nine Days?

One is allowed to exercise, of course, but it is preferable not to exercise to music of any type during these days, particularly live. However, if you go to a regular exercise class, and they play music as part of the class, you would not have to miss the class. This is not substantially different from shopping in a...

Why do people throw sweets at the groom on the Shabbat before his wedding?

The candy throwing ritual is known as an "Aufruf." It is customary to call up (aufruf = the Yiddish word which means to call up) the groom to the Torah on the Shabbat before the wedding. After his portion is read and he has recited the blessing after reading the Torah it is customary to sing and rejoice...

What is the meaning of the word "Rabbi"?

The Hebrew word "Rabbi" actually means "master" and/or "teacher." It also has the same root as the Hebrew word for greatness = rav. Moses was the first one to be called "Rabbi."

When did the Rabbi take the place of the high priest or priest?

These were always different functions. Moses was the rabbi, Aaron was the High Priest. The priesthood is an hereditary function -- anyone descended paternally from Aaron the Kohen is a kohen and nobody else. One cannot become a kohen if one is not his descendent. However, some kohanim are also rabbis.

Is there any explanation in Torah or Kabbalah about deja vu?

King Solomon declared: "That which was, will be again, and what was done will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Although this is not talking about deja vu, and there are many interpretations of the verse, nevertheless it does give some credence to the feeling that "we have been...

Were handicapped people refused entrance to the Holy Temple?

No! Handicapped people were certainly not refused entrace to the Holy Temple. Certain handicaps prevented a Kohen from performing certain aspects of the Temple Service, but he was not barred from all types of service. And, as aforementioned, this only applied to a Kohen and only as regards certain aspects of the...

Does the meal after Tishah b'Av have to contain meat?

On the contrary: we do not eat meat until after midday on the tenth of Av, and Sephardim do not eat meat the entire day of the tenth of Av. This is because the Holy Temple was set on fire towards evening on the ninth of Av and burned until sunset on the tenth. 1

Where did the Jews pray after the Temple was destroyed?

To answer briefly: in their hearts, which is where we always prayed. In fact the Temple Service did not include prayer. Those who were offering sacrifices did pray in the Temple area but prayer can be anywhere anytime for anybody. See for example Genesis 18:22 (Abraham stood - in prayer); Genesis 24:63 (Isaac went...

Can gentiles pray at the Western Wall?

Yes they can and often do. The verse states, "My house is a house of prayer for all peoples..." (Isaiah 56:7).

Could you tell me the blessing said on grasshoppers?

There are several species of grasshopper which are kosher, and the blessing recited would be shehakol ni'hya bidvaro. However, I hope you're not thinking of eating any! We no longer have the tradition as to which ones are kosher (unless you are a member of the Yemenite or certain other Sephardi...

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