Question
Shalom, I work a late shift at my job. I work for a local school and feel that my work is important, and I enjoy it, however it does require that I am there late into the evening every weekday, including Shabbos. I don't think I can just take that day off, and it may be hard to negotiate a more suitable schedule, but I do want to practice this tradition. What do you recommend I do? Is there a way for me 'make up' for these lost Shabbos evenings? Can I instead observe Shabbos on Saturday, when I'm free? I don't want to be disrespectful or impious, but I also can't just quit my job. I appreciate any advice, thank you in advance, -David.

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?

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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!

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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
One of my many business travels recently brought me to a small town that has only one synagogue that identifies as orthodox. Like any other orthodox synagogue, it has a mechitza. But besides the rabbi and maybe one or two others, everyone drives there on Shabbos. The shul is only able to get a minyan because of people violating Shabbos. They have chazzanim and Torah readers who drive there on Shabbos. And to get a mincha minyan, the rabbi asked a non-observing member to use his phone to call others and beg them to come. This is just what the meager number of Jews in this town are like. Is there any problem benefiting from a minyan that exists only because people are mechalel Shabbos? Obviously this rabbi doesn’t think so, but I’d like another opinion.

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