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     Hi.  I am a 15 year old girl who has been raised questionably Conservative.  I've been given a little more than a basic education, know how to read and am learning to speak Hebrew, and go to the occasional Shabbat service (when I can get my parents to take me).  My parents gave me what little Judiasm they believe in, but I want more.  I've been studying for quite a while and am looking for ways to increase my Jewish observances.  Unfortunately, I know my parents would not be very accepting of my decision to do so.  
     For instance, I have made my best attempt possible to keep kosher for the past month.  I know my mother thinks that's what I'm trying to do, but I didn't tell them for fear of having to listen to lectures on how irrational it is.  My mother refuses to 'notice' what is going on, and never seems to notice how I'm never hungry when it's pork chops or clams for dinner.  
     I understand that this is a tremendous request, but could you please try to give me some things that I could do to increase my level of observance, including prayers I could do alone, and basic mitzvot that I probably don't know?  Also, what and when should I tell my parents what is going on in my life?  We have an excellent relationship, but my views on religion were never things I could discuss with them. (Sex, ok.  G-d? Forget it!)
Please don't recommend any books because while I have a limited Jewish library of my own, I have no access to other Jewish literature.  Thank you very much for your time and help.  Rachel

I am a member of a Chevra Kadisha and desire any and all information on the proper rituals associated with the tahara.  Also the "whys" of such rituals would be helpful since I have learned all I know from the older women in the Chevra.  Thanks.

What is the tradition, or custom, relating to 'opshirenes' (sp?) - the first cutting of a boy's hair at age 3.  Where does this custom originate? Why, and when is it carried out?

Getting started

I read an article about your book which said that originally you made a tape for your friend.  Is that tape available, or do you plan to make a version of it?  I would be very interested in getting a copy.  TIA and kol tuv, Meredith

My daughter requires information about 'Jewish death as a rite of passage' for an essay she is doing at school.  Any information would be gratefully received.  Thanks.




Our chavurah will soon be discussing the Jewish view of creationism vs evolution.  What is the traditional view? How do those who believe in creationism explain scientific evolutionary facts?  How do those who believe in evolution explain the bible?

When did Jewish people start coming to Canada?


What does the word torah mean?

What are the celebrations / rituals / events carried out in a synagogue? 

Where do funerals etc. take place if not in the synagogue?  

Whereabouts is the holiest item kept?

What are Amidah and Haskalah?

My grandmother died on Sept 26 1994.  I assumed her yahrzeit would be that week. However, last nite while talking to my Dad he mentioned having gone recently to say kaddish.  When I asked he said the date was pushed back because of some holiday.  He didn't really know why and didn't know if it was just this year or if its always that way.  Could you help me out?

What is the etymology of the word 'latkes'? German or Hebrew?

Maybe, a Kabbalah question? My wife recently died and I felt that I was receiving communication from her nashama in the form of numbers, all being 4, 7, and 12.  So, I went looking for help on the internet and found a comment that angels travel in groups of 4, 7, and 12. I'm so sorry that I didn't print it for I have not been able to find it again since.  Question: Is this a familiar concept?  Where can I find more about it? Would you please contact me through e-mail?

We are a school in Shropshire, England. We are currently researching Jewish Marriage as part of our Religious Education course. Any details about Jewish Marriage and marriage vows would be useful. Thank you

What is a hadassah?  Is it a temple, or a special group of the temple?

I have a stepdaughter that is doing a school project in Norway (She speaks, reads, and writes in English), who needs information on American Jews - History and Lifestyle.  If this Website could provide any information it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!



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