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My six year old son asked me why some Hebrew letters have an “end letter” and others don’t. Thank you so much for your reply and for all your time that you put into answering all these questions!

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There is a special hand greeting done in the Star Trek series by Mr. Spock to "live long and prosper". I was told it’s a Hebrew blessing and I have also seen it on plaques and souvenirs in Israel. Would you please help me learn more about it? Thanks.

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I would like to know the source of the evil eye symbol and red strings that are sold as jewelry in Judaica stores. Is it permissible to wear them? Should it remind the wearer of something? Is it considered in any way to be idol worship?

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OS 283 I live in a Jewish town and go to a Jewish school where we study Torah daily. However, I'm still not sure as to the laws of Shabbat relating to my daily life. My friend said that if you have good intentions and stay home and rest but still use electricity that is still observing the Shabbat but I have trouble accepting this because it would contradict too many other laws that I observe. I do want to keep the Shabbat but I'm not sure how.
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I just attended my first Weekend Retreat, and I want to thank you all for a most wonderful and thought-provoking time. I have a few questions about my concept of Shabbos in the 20th and 21st centuries. I enjoyed Rabbi Becher's anecdote about walking up the 20 flights of stairs on the "day of rest", but the irony bothers me. Is climbing the stairs more "restful" than pushing an elevator button? I understand that closing an electrical switch may create a spark that might be equated to lighting a fire. An electrical capacitor across the contacts of the switch would eliminate any spark whatsoever. And the usual remedy, a Shabbos Elevator, gives money to the Arabs. In olden times when people did hard physical labor, a day of rest, prayer, and learning Torah would understandably be looked forward to. Today, Shabbos, with its proscription on driving, exercising for enjoyment, and using subterfuges such as timers for turning on lights seems to me to be more a nuisance than a joy.
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