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Hi Rabbi, I find the concept of “rest” on Shabbat confusing. Why is walking up eight flights of stairs in my high-rise building considered not “work,” but pushing an elevator button is yes considered work? Thanks for any insight.

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Dear Rabbi, every Friday I make Challah for Shabbat. But I have no idea why I braid the Challahs I make, other than that’s what everyone else does! Is there any significance to braiding Challah?
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Shalom aleichem Rabbi Lauffer. Thank you for answering my last question. If a fly lands on one's piece of challah on Shabbos, would he be permitted to simply blow the fly off the challah, or otherwise shoo it away, or would this be prohibited as boreir. Thanks.

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Shalom. I named my daughter Isabella. In studying Hebrew, I have become concerned that her name does not mean what I had been told. I believed her name meant devoted to God. But I have since discovered that her name is the same as Jezebel איזבל I am getting several different interpretations of Jezebel, including island dwelling and the word dung -“zebul”. Is there another way to interpret her name, especially if I spell it in Hebrew differently using a shin? I have elementary Hebrew understanding at this point, but could not her name mean either “woman to God” or “salvation to God”? How would I spell it? אישהבעל או ישהבעל Also what alteration in meaning would occur to add ה to the end? One online translation interpreted Ishabela to mean “there is no God”! Which obviously I wish to avoid. Thank you!

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Hi, can you settle a debate I have been having with some of my friends? Is it permissible to 'light Shabbat candles' using electric bulbs? If so, would you be able to say the blessing? Thanks and Shabbat Shalom.

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Dear Rabbi: Unfortunately my wife (Yael bat Channah) is now already nearly a year in hospitals and Rehab Nursing Homes. She has many times been unconscious, not aware of what was going on, but thank G-d her health has improved and she understands now most of the things, that happen around her. At home I continued always to candle the lights for Shabbos and Chanuka, even when she couldn't. If I bring her electric Shabbos candles and an electric Menora, can she say the bracha over the light kindling? Real fire is not allowed in the Hospital or Nursing Home. Too dangerous.
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