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Ask Your Jewish Experts

HUC-JIR's thought leaders invite your questions and will share their expertise with you. Submit your question here >

 

How do I shake the Lulav on Sukkot?

Rabbi Wendi Geffen (HUC-JIR/NY '02), North Shore Hebrew Congregation in Glencoe, IL, shows us how to shake the Lulav on Sukkot. Watch >

 

Do Reform Jews celebrate two days of Rosh HaShanah?

Rabbi Mark Washofsky, Ph.D., Solomon B. Freehof Professor of Jewish Law and Practice at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati, explains:

The answer is: no, mostly. That is, most Reform congregations in North America celebrate Rosh HaShanah for one day. On the other hand, some North American Reform congregations, along with Progressive Jews in Israel and elsewhere, follow the traditional two-day observance of the New Year.  Read more >

 

What day of the week does a Jewish wedding normally take place? Historically, what day of the week did a Hebrew wedding occur?

Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, D.Min., Dr. Paul and Trudy Steinberg Chair in Human Relations and Founding Director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at HUC-JIR/New York, explains:

In reviewing Jewish wedding contracts from different centuries and different locations, one can see that Jewish weddings have taken place on every day of the week.  Custom dictated that weddings not occur on the Sabbath, holidays, or mourning periods (personal and collective).  Is some localities, it was common for weddings to take place on Sundays or Wednesdays, so if there was a legal issue it could be brought to the rabbinic court which met on Mondays and Thursdays.  Some chose Tuesdays, because it was seen as a particularly auspicious or "lucky" day, because in the Genesis story it was the one day which God described as good twice.