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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

Can You Look Yourself in the Mirror?

 

Question of the Week

My late grandmother once told me not to put my baby in front of a mirror before he has grown his teeth. She said it will effect his development????  She didn't know why or where it comes from. Is there any basis for this?

Answer:

Many dismiss this as a bubbe maiseh, an old wives' tale. But if you heard it from your own bubbe, then perhaps you shouldn't be too quick to laugh it off. We take our grandmothers' traditions very seriously. 

One respected authority, Rabbi Moshe Stern, validated the custom of not showing babies their own reflection, saying it was practiced in his home town of Debrecen, Hungary. He quotes a 13th… Read More »

Is Hebrew the Original Language

 

Question of the Week:

I was very disturbed by something one of my professors said in a lecture. Here it is: 

"There was a Hebrew King a long long time ago, who was interested in discovering the basic human language. There are over 6,000 human languages on the planet at present. He wanted to find the original language.  

So he got a newborn, and he locked the newborn away in his castle with no human contact. The newborn developed Hebrew. So therefore Hebrew was the basic human language, of which all other human languages arose. His assumption was Hebrew was biologically defined, and everything else was a variant… Read More »

The Things We Do for Lulav

Question: 

Someone asked me why we wave the Lulav in six directions - right, left, forward, up, down, backward. I didn't really know how to answer. Is there a simple way to explain this?

Answer:

The four species that we bless on Sukkos correspond to the four letters in G-d's Hebrew name. Waving them in all six directions signifies our faith that G-d is everywhere. Specifically, we are saying that on every level, at every stage of life, in all that happens to us, G-d is there.

Right and left represent Chesed and Gevurah, the power of love and the power of discipline. G-d, like a parent, can be loving and can also be strict. Sometimes G-d's light shines on us and we feel close to Him, other times… Read More »

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