Question
Shalom aleichem Rabbi Lauffer. Thank you for answering my last question. If one is saying shema without the accompanying brachos, for example the time for sof z’man kriyas shema is approaching and he wants to say shema in order to fulfill the mitzvah and he plans on repeating the shema later with the brachos during shacharis, would he still say “emes” at the end, or is this word only said when accompanied by the brachos. Thanks.

Question
Does a voluntary prayer ever become a mandatory one? For the past several years, I’ve been praying to G-d in my own words in English for something I have wanted very much. G-d has still not answered my prayers. I have lost nearly all hope that G-d will grant my wishes or that what I am praying for is meant to be. I still fully believe in G-d, though I have come to the conclusion G-d has not intended for my wish to come true. At first my prayers were heartfelt, but now I am just rushing through it as part of my daily routine that I say in identical, memorized words each day. I am tired of taking the time out of my day to recite this prayer and I feel like quitting. But I am afraid if I quit, I am going down the ladder.

Question
What is one supposed to do if he does not remember whether or not he davened Mincha or Maariv and he is still within the window of time to do so?

Question
If one is in the middle of Pesukei Dezimra and feels the need to use the restroom, which requires taking off their tefillin, do they put them back on after using the restroom?

Question
Rabbi, in the morning blessings in my siddur a man thanks God for "not making me a woman". Would you kindly explain this blessing?

Question
Is a synagogue whose seats do not face the direction of Jerusalem when facing the ark a kosher place to pray? Many people in the community I am in don’t think so.