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 Tribute - Yosef Y. Kazen 1954-1998 An Explosion Of Knowledge

QUESTION:

I was listening to a tape by a Rabbi who says that even though the Ari z"l says not to say Tehillim at night, this doesn't include Tehillim for a sick person. Yet, there are those who hold that one should not, because it can harm the person.
ANSWER:

Night Tehillim has a special addendum at the end of the Tehillim to thwart any negative attributes.The Kabbalistic point of this is that until midnight, the forces of severity are in power... and since Tehillim has certain chapters that speak of the negative aspects of human folly, we should not give the "severity forces" any power of accusation.
QUESTION:

I went to a new eye doctor and one of the employees there (who is Jewish) wanted to know: From where did Cain & Abel's wives come? G-d created Adam & Eve, they had Cain & Abel, and then where did these women come from, and why are they not mentioned in the Torah?
ANSWER:

If I tell him the answer will he put on tefillin every day?
QUESTION:

I am a journalist doing a piece for ______ magazine on Jews and tattoos. What is the current halachic view of Jews receiving tattoos?
ANSWER:

There has not been any change to what it says in the Torah about tattoos. See Leviticus 19:28 and the commentary of Rashi. Those Jews who were "stamped" by the Nazi's with the numbers on their forearms can wear the tattoo proudly - having survived the attempt to annihilate them. The desire to have a tattoo is no different than other emotional desires that people may have and therefore the Torah tells us to control ourselves.
QUESTION:

(regarding a newly-born litter of puppies) The first born puppy was male. Does the concept of giving a first born (puppy) to a Kohen apply here? Add that one to your list of interesting questions!!
ANSWER:

No.It is only relevant to certain kosher animals and the donkey as the only non-kosher animal.
QUESTION:

I recall reading that one should not give Tzedakah at night? (From the Alter Rebbe or the Ba'al Shem Tov?) Does this include check-writing?
ANSWER:

The Rebbe taught us that we are not to worry about this any longer, and especially checks... which are only a means to the act, not the actual act.... you are giving someone the check which has yet to be deposited etc.
QUESTION:

Is it possible to toivel keilim in the snow???
ANSWER:

Keilim need a mikvah which is "Living Water".
QUESTION:

I have been a Reform Jew all my life and have not been very devout in learning. Recently, I was opened to Genesis and started reading. When I did, the pages seemed to come alive and I have been filled with an inexplicable desire to find answers WITHIN my Jewish faith. I have been very disappointed talking with other Reform Jews and Rabbis, discovering that many doubt the Torah as His Word, and some even deny His existence!
ANSWER:

This is the unfortunate truth and I hope our Gopher and weekly material from our listserve will be a source of learning for you, acquainting you with our glorious heritage at your very own pace.

If you would let me know which city you are in, I'll try to find a local Chabad Rabbi with whom you will be able to feel free to talk to and ask any/all questions on Judaism in addition to this format.

Also, as the holiday of Pesach is approaching, you might try to obtain Shmura Matza for the Seder and partake (if possible) in a Seder.

QUESTION:

Hello Yosef (Eli), you may remember me as the Australian Jew in Stockholm. I am soon heading back to Australia. However, I wish to volunteer for 2 months work in Israeli kibbutz, so, I was wondering, are there any Lubavitch Kibbutzim which are part of the Israeli program? If so, I would very much prefer to work there. I am not religious, but I am s-l-o-w-l-y learning.
ANSWER:

Lubavitch does not have "kibuttzim" but rather a village - Kfar Chabad - and there is a Yeshiva there for people like yourself where you will have the opportunity to learn more about Judaism slowly at your own pace.
QUESTION:

I am quite busy with business, and I don't know a more easy way to get involved and educated. I am an ignorant Jew. Any suggestions?
ANSWER:

Hi, I am pleased to note that you appreciate the material we are sending.

As for suggestions, I would venture to ask you in which city you are located, and perhaps I will be able to find someone close by who can find some time during the day to meet with you or once a week, so that you can have a "live" contact with Judaism.

What you can do "right now" is to begin by reciting the prayer of Shema every day - once in the morning and once at night.

You can set aside a small can or jar and drop in a few coins for the purpose of charity, every weekday, and when it fills up send the value of the contents to a charity of your choice. In this Mitzvah of Tzedaka - the amount is not the issue, but rather the commitment on doing it every week day with a few coins.

Now, here's a Cyberspace twist;

I have no idea if you are male or female, thus, I can suggest 2 more ideas on the fly:

If you are male, then endeavor to put on Teffilin every weekday when you recite the Shema in the morning. This will take a few minutes only.

If you are female, then I will suggest that you endeavor and commit yourself to lighting the Shabbat Candles every Friday 18 minutes before sunset.

I hope these "seemingly small" yet powerful Mitzvot will help you in their own way towards your goal. Feel free to write and ask about any subject.

 Tribute - Yosef Y. Kazen 1954-1998 An Explosion Of Knowledge

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