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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

Thousands of people enjoy the wisdom and inspiration of Rabbi Moss' weekly emails.

Why We Say Shkoyach!

 

Question of the Week:

 

My conversion process has been a huge learning curve. One of the many challenges is getting my head around all the terminology. I can finally pronounce Chanukah correctly, and I now know the difference between Kiddush and Kaddish (was embarrassing when I didn't), but there is one word that still confuses me: Shkoyach (spelling?). I hear people shout "shkoyach" after the rabbi's sermon, after someone gets called to the Torah, and sometimes even when I pass the herring at the Shabbos table. What exactly does shkoyach mean and when is the right time to say it?

 

Answer:

 

According to the Oxford Etymological Dictionary of Jewish Jargon[*], Shkoyach is a condensed version of the… Read More »

Is it Worth Worrying?

 

Question of the Week:
   

I am a constant worrier. I worry about everything and I know it. Everyone tells me to chill out but I can't. The problem is, I always feel if I don't worry and something bad happens, I will feel guilty forever more that I wasn't worried enough. Now I'm pregnant and am obsessing about what may go wrong. But if I don't worry, doesn't that mean I don't care? I am in therapy, but do you have any Jewish strategies for me to get out of this cycle?

 

Answer:

 

There is wonderful old Yiddish proverb, which is also said to be an ancient Chinese proverb, and a more recent Indonesian proverb, sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill, Socrates or Dr Seuss:

 

"There are two… Read More »

There's a Soul In Your Fire...

 

Question of the Week:
 
I notice that lighting candles is a big part of Judaism. We light candles every Friday for Shabbos, we light candles on every festival, and Chanukah is all about candles. What is the connection between candles and spirituality?
 
Answer:
 
There is something about a flame that makes it more spiritual than physical. 
 
When you use something physical, it is diminished. The more money you spend, the less you have. The more petrol you use, the emptier your tank becomes. The more food you eat the more you need to restock your… Read More »

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