The Ask the Rabbi tradition began many years ago, at Oorah’s very first Shabbaton. It wasn’t intended to become a mainstay, but that initial session was such a success that the program was soon incorporated into almost every major Oorah event.
The sessions have become a true highlight, with everybody from young children to adult volunteers participating, and using the forum as an opportunity to air any and all questions they’ve been wondering about. HaRav Chaim Mintz now holds Zoom question and answer sessions every Tuesday night, with a special YouTube channel dedicated to the most intriguing and thought-provoking moments that can be accessed whenever you have a spare minute or two.
The Ask the Rabbi book, recently printed, is a collection of questions handpicked from these well-known sessions, and is the fruit of the many years of participation, involvement, and enthusiasm.
This is a very unusual book. It’s a book of questions and answers about Torah, Jewish life, traditions, and practices. In close to 200 questions and answers, we will hear what the Torah says about so many things: The existence of good and evil. How to strengthen faith and connect to Hashem. Dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and confronting the Holocaust. Why women wear wigs, and why men grow beards. Every answer is brief and absolutely on target.
What makes it so unusual is that it’s a book for everyone: It’s for people who are simply curious about their Jewish heritage. For people who have decided they want to live a life of mitzvos and are beginning that exciting journey. And, yes, it’s also a book for people who have been living a Torah-observant life since they were children. And that makes sense — since everyone, no matter what their background, has questions — and everyone wants, and deserves, honest, authentic answers based on the Torah’s eternal wisdom.
Rabbi Chaim Mintz is the perfect person to answer our questions. As founder and spiritual leader of the successful Oorah organization, he knows the kind of questions that searching Jews are asking. And as the esteemed Mashgiach (Dean of Men) at the renowned Yeshiva of Staten Island, who studied under and consulted with some of the previous generation’s greatest Torah leaders, including Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman, and Rabbi Dovid Kronglass, he knows, too, that even people who grew up in Torah homes have questions and want answers. Yes, this is a book for everyone. Because everyone’s questions deserve an honest answer.