Question
The prayer of Birkat HaChodesh includes an announcement of when Rosh Chodesh will be. But, originally, the determination of which day Rosh Chodesh would fall out on would depend on the court's declaration. Even though Chazal knew when Rosh Chodesh should fall out, there was no guarantee that there would be witnesses to allow for the declaration to be made on that specific day. It therefore seems that the announcement of when Rosh Chodesh will fall out in the upcoming week is inappropriate.

Question
What is our duty to stand up and speak or act when we see oppression and injustice being done to non-Jews? It seems that many Jews of previous generations concerned themselves with global injustice, bigotry, etc given what has happened to us, but many of us today seem to feel that it is dangerous and unwise to concern ourselves in the affairs of others. I wonder if there is guidance on this? Thank you

Question
I’m doing historical research and found many records of Jewish marriages from the region historically known as Bessarabia. Where there is a record of a dowry amount, it’s always either 48 roubles or 24 roubles if a woman was previously married. This is from what was a large and diverse region and the records mentioning this span from mid 1800s to early 1900s. So it’s unlikely to have been just a local custom. What is the significance or origin of this number and/or custom?

Question
I read of a custom to bless one’s children on Friday night. Would you please tell me a little more about this practice? Thank you!

Question
Dear Rabbi, My son is marrying, God willing, in November, and we have heard of a pre-marriage ceremony called "The Breaking of the Plate." Would you be so kind as to share the significance of this ceremony as well as the actual performance (ritual)? Thank you.

Question
Hello, thank you for taking the time and for the constant wisdom that pours forth from you. I am challenged by some pretty serious mental health matters that I am receiving treatment for. Much of the time, these matters tend to overlap with my service of Hashem and the destructive forces within me will take advantage of my attachment to Yiddishkeit by drawing me into obsession, compulsion, isolation and other spirals. Truly, however, we are to serve Hashem with joy! I am not asking you to give me some piece of wisdom that will replace my family, friends, local Jewish community and the incredible nurses, doctors, social workers, etc. who have diligently supported me through this process. I would, however, appreciate some insight on this from our tradition if you know of any. Anything from books, to teachers, to words of wisdom from Torah and Chassidus etc. etc. I feel these items would make a big difference and help to integrate my treatment in a way that is even more apparent. Even a kind word is appreciated. Thank you very much.

Question
Shalom Rabbi. In Exodus 15:25, Moshe cried unto Hashem and Hashem "showed" him a tree. Moshe cast a "tree" into "bitter waters" and the waters were made "sweet". Torah is a "Tree of Eternal Life". Torah is honeycomb sweet. Could the tree Moshe cast into bitter waters "symbolize" Torah? Life issues are murky bitter waters we're often unable to drink. Torah is quintessential purified water. Every eternal living soul should drink it daily. Amen