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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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What do I bring to a house when they are sitting shivah?

Generally you would not bring anything to someone sitting shivah as it is not an appropriate time for gifts. Some people do bring food to the house especially if the person sitting shivah lives alone. However, if the person keeps kosher, it is best only to take fresh fruit. The purpose of going to visit is simply...

What is "chesed"?

Chesed simply means kindness. To do chesed means to do acts of kindness such as visiting the sick, helping the poor or the needy and so on. The Torah declares - "You shall go in His ways". 1 The Rabbis interpret this as meaning: Just as the Holy One blessed be He is called "Compassionate," you should be...

Is suicide forbidden under all circumstances?

To commit suicide is forbidden by Jewish Law, except for certain circumstances which we will address shortly. The Torah states: "However, your blood which belongs to your souls I (G-d) will demand". 1 This includes one who takes his own life. 2 The Talmud 3 also discusses the issue and comes to the...

Why is the Jewish soul called a portion of G-d?

Question: Since G-d not only creates everything, but He IS everything, why then is the Jewish soul called a portion of G-d? So is everything else. Answer: You are right, however, G-d is revealed in the soul of a Jew, but is concealed in all the rest of creation. The world was created with the divine name...

Do Jews believe in the concept of a "soulmate"?

The Talmud (Sotah 2a) declares: 40 days before a child is formed a Heavenly voice issues forth and declares "the daughter of X will marry the son of Y" (fill in the blanks). A person's soulmate (or "bashert" = Yiddish for designated) is therefore the one whom Heaven decides is the true match for...

Why are mezuzahs not attched to bathroom doorways?

Maimonides gives ten conditions which, if fulfilled, obligate the doorway of a room to have a mezuzah. One of them is that the room serves as a respectable living area, which excludes a bathroom. ("How would you like to spend some time in my newly remodeled bathroom ' it has gold plated fixtures"!)

Does reading Chinese fortune cookie messages transgress a Biblical prohibition?

Indeed, there is a prohibition against using soothsayers and fortunetellers: "You shall follow God with perfect faith [and not] hearken to astrologers and diviners (Deuteronomy 18:13-14). However, I doubt that anyone takes fortune cookies seriously. People only read them for entertainment. If this is so, then...

What is the significance of swaying back and forth during prayer?

The following is one of the explanations: The verse (Proverbs 20:27) states: "God's candle is man's soul." Just as a candle rises and falls as it illuminates the darkness, so too man's soul sways while in prayer. It rises up to cleave to God, and returns to the human body, as it hears the Divine message that...

Is a non-verbal promise considered binding?

Generally, a promise made in the heart is nothing, unless it was actually verbalized.   However, there is an exception to this rule -- regarding charity. If a person decided to give charity, even if he did not verbalize it, he is obligated to give it. [Although there is a dissenting opinion, the Rema 1...

What is the Jewish name equivalent (if any) of Raymond?

Not always are there direct correspondences between Jewish names and secular names. The name Raymond (from Old German and Old English), means "protector." There is no Jewish equivalent with this meaning, as far as I know. People often choose a name based on a corresponding first letter.  ...

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