Question
Dear Rabbi, Every Friday night after at the Shabbat meal, we say the blessing on the challah and dip it in salt before taking a bite. I don't know how this tradition came to be. Please enlighten me. Thank you

Question
When I came to synagogue on Shabbat, my makom hakavua was occupied by a visitor who was unfamiliar with the congregation. The only other seat in the vicinity that was vacant was the makom hakavua of man who is temporarily out sick. I sat there because the only other options were quite far from my makom hakavua. While I was sitting there, I felt bad about taking up a sick man’s place. He was hospitalized last week and is recuperating at home. He has already made a full recovery, but did not come in today as a precaution. Are there any issues with sitting in the makom hakavua of someone you know is absent due to illness?

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Hi, I'm wondering if it is permitted to write one's name, last name or something similar on the inside cover of a religious book and if so is there a specific way one should do this? Thank you

Question
I have a stairway in my home, which has entrances on each side. One ascends a smaller, 3-stair set, passes into an entranceway (essentially a lintel perpendicular to the stair entrance.) then turns to ascend the stairs. Picture an arch with a stairway initiating from inside of it. Do both sides get a mezuzah? Thanks in advance!

Question
Was remez—citing part of a scripture and knowing the audience would understand the reference—used by teachers in the first-century Jewish community? If not, when did it come into use?

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What do you think about me putting a mezuzah on my doorframe if I'm not Jewish? Would this be inappropriate? I believe in HaShem, and I don't believe in Christ. I don't eat kosher (but at least I don't eat pigs or shellfish). Thank you.  

Question
Hello, I was wondering about what is the custom for putting a stone on a gravestone. And also about the custom of using one set of dishes for milk and another one for meat. Is that a religious or hygienic reason? Thanks