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Is it true that in Judaism one can pray without believing? Does belief follow practice?
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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 Ari Shishler

Rabbi Shishler was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied in yeshivot in South Africa, Israel and New York and was ordained as a rabbi in 1996.

Together with his wife, Naomi, he directs Chabad of Strathavon in Johannesburg. He is also the educational director of Johannesburg's central Chabad House and a teacher in the Torah Academy.


Articles by this author:

1-10 11-17  

Why do chassidim wear a gartel (black sash/belt) when praying?

Have you never heard of a “black belt” in Judo-ism? Ok, seriously, the prophet Amos said: “Prepare to meet your G-d, of Israel! ” 1 Our sages interpret this to mean that you need gear up physically before you engage G-d through prayer. How does a Jewish man prepare for prayer? He puts on...

Can a vow be annulled?

For a start, our Sages advise you not to make vows in the first place. 1 If you have made a vow, there is a process available to annul it. We call this “ Hatarat Nedarim ”. As each Rosh Hashanah marks a fresh start on a new year, it is customary to perform Hatarat Nedarim on the morning before the...

100% pure - nothing less

We all know the Chanukah story. Or, do we? Here are some of the misconceptions: 1) There was no oil to be found anywhere in the Temple. The miracle was that they managed to find one small jug- just in time to light the Menorah. Actually, the place was full of jugs of oil; it's just that not one of them...

Why did Moses not enter the land of Israel?

At face value, the answer is simple. He didn’t listen to G-d. G-d instructed Moses to speak to a rock, which would produce water for the Jews in the desert. Instead, Moses hit the rock. G-d got angry and punished Moses by barring him from entering the Holy Land. 1 Had you or I hit the rock, G-d may...

What's the deal with carrying on Shabbat?

One word of introduction before we start: Shabbat is a day of “rest”. Not rest as in “weekly-vacation”; rather, Shabbat is a breather from the mundane things in life - to allow us to focus on our spiritual side. Accordingly, the Torah prohibits those activities that are normally associated...

How do I enjoy Shabbat with all its prohibitions?

The truth is that Shabbat can be enjoyed because of its prohibitions. We live in the 21st century, where stress is a way of life. We run around at a thousand miles an hour all week (except when we’re stuck, cursing, in traffic). Answering phones, checking emails, reading text messages, paying bills,...

How is Nissan considered the first month, if the year starts on Rosh Hashanah?

Jews are anything but straightforward. We celebrate the New Year in the 7th calendar month! Actually, Rosh Hashanah recalls when the world was created. In other words, it’s the New Year for the normal order of things. It’s the time of the year when G-d decides who will live or die (G-d forbid), how...

Which mitzvahs does a left-handed person do differently?

The rules for a lefty are simple: A left-handed male wears Tefillin on his right arm. The Torah insinuates that Tefillin go on your weaker arm. Every person, regardless of hand-dominance, washes his or her hands in the morning, before prayer and for bread, starting with the right hand. If a person is honored...

Why was Moses chosen to lead the Jewish People out of Egypt?

G-d didn’t need to take auditions for the role of “Jewish Redeemer.” I mean, He didn’t search for a candidate with the right qualities to pick as leader. From the beginning of Time, He had orchestrated the Egyptian Exile and Exodus, and had chosen the main actors. G-d had selected and...

Why is it so important to study Chassidut?

Of all the 613 commandments of the Torah, only six are relevant at any given time. 1 These include belief in G-d, knowing G-d, revering and loving Him. Every Jew has a personal responsibility to know G-d. Additionally, you cannot love or revere something you know nothing about. Chassidut examines these...

1-10 11-17