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Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Why isn't this site called the "Zecharia Project," for example?"
    Great question. 1) Zecharia 8:23 is about a personal relationship between a Jew and 2800 Gentiles, non-Jews. It is not about organizations. Every Jew must participate. Therefore, there should be hundreds of thousands and millions of sites like this where every Gentile/non-Jew can find the Jew right for them. If we would create the Zecharia Project, then many Jews might say "isn't that nice that so and so is taking care of this" and then exempt themselves from taking action. By calling it, we want to make it clear that this site is for Rabbi Smith and those who choose to connect with him and every other Rabbi should be doing the same.
  • Why do you spell G-d without an 'o'?
    The Torah requires us to treat G-d Almighty's Names with utmost sanctity and respect and we are not allowed to erase any of His Holy Names even when they are in languages other than Hebrew. Since the text on a website, letter, flyer, brochure or email can come to be discarded in the trash or perhaps read in a place where G-d's Names should not be spoken or read, we honor the holiness of G-d Almighty's name but not spelling it out fully, thus omitting the 'o.'
  • What is tithing?
    Tithe is derived from Old English and Old German words for “tenth” and refers to the Torah concept of Maaser (Hebrew for one tenth) which was the practice of our Patriarchs to donate to those dedicated to serving G-d Almighty. Avrohom Avinu (Abraham, Our Father) gave one tenth of the spoils to MalkiTzedek, the priest of G-d. ( Genesis 14:18-20) Isaac and Jacob also tithed: “If G‑d will be with me . . . and gives me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and I return in peace to my father’s house, then . . . from all that you shall give me I will give a tenth to you.” (Genesis 28:18-22). Tithing applies both to produce of the land and to monetary profits. Profits are calculated after paying taxes and operating expenses of the business. Giving one-tenth is an ordinary measure but the most desirable way of performing tithing is to give a fifth of one’s financial resources. (Rambam, Laws of Gifts to the Poor 7:5.) Giving less than one-tenth reflects stinginess and fear of scarcity. Tithes are given to the those who make it there occupation to serve G-d Almighty and teach Torah, to the poor and to worthy causes that seek to build G-d Almighty’s vision in the world. Tithing is an act of faith that G-d Almighty will provide ever more. It is an act of expansion in the face of the fear of scarcity. The result is greater expansion as it says "עשר תעשר – עשר בשביל שתתעשר"—“give in order to become wealthy.” (Taanis, 9a) While it is generally forbidden to test G‑d, in the case of tithing it is allowed, as it says, “‘Bring the full tithes into the storehouses . . . and try me now herewith,’ says the L‑rd of hosts, ‘if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall be more than sufficiency.’” Malachi 3:10
  • Suggested tithing is "$1.00 per day (plus card fees)." Is this truly a suggestion?  Or is it a firm minimum?"
    Yes, it is truly a suggestion because we don’t charge for teaching Torah. On the other hand it is reasonable amount for the average person to be able to set aside from their earnings or savings to support this work. If a person lives in a country where $1.00 is their daily income, for example, or they are out of work and have no income, then please email us.
  • Can I give more than $1.00 per day?
    Yes, you may at this link. We set the plan at $1.00 per day to put everyone on equal footing and decentralize the weight of a particular donor. At the same time your contributions in addition will help accelerate this work and are greatly appreciated.
  • If I already donate to support this work, should I also sign up for the Tithing plan?"
    I truly appreciate your generous support and may it continue and increase and may G-d Almighty bless you and your family with abundant income. The tithing plan on this site is not a substitute nor a replacement for your generosity. Rather it has a number of independent advantages: 1) It is meant as a daily tithing - the Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya that tithing frequently improves the impact of the giving both spiritually and physically. 2) It is an act of commitment on your part to the principles of the relationship described in our mutual understanding and our responsibilities to each other. 3) It opens a conduit of blessing for you and your family in the merit of your continuous support of Torah and Torah learning and teaching. 4) It is part of the decentralization of the financial model. While on one hand you are contributing generously at the same time you are like everyone else, contributing a dollar a day. You share something in common with everyone else who is enrolled togehter in this journey in the service of G-d Almighty. We see this in the Torah where certain basic contributions are required to be made equally by every person, not more and not less, and then separately, above and beyond that, people can contribute much more as their heart inspires them. 5) We pray that your income should only increase with greater and greater abundance. G-d forbid, sometimes a person can have a reversal in finances or even a short term liquidity cruch. The advantage of the $1/day tithing it is establishes a baseline that even if, G-d forbid, there is a temporary change in cash flow for the supporter, he is still tied into a minimum always-possible contribution which is already established and he can maintain without pressure or embarassment. Again, may G-d Almighty bless you abundantly in the merit of your support connecting every man, woman and child to G-d Almighty!
  • So much is available online for free, why enroll here?"
    Our goal is to build a relationship first and foremost. It is not merely about the transmission of information. You can watch and listen to many quality recordings for free but you don't have an ongoing relationship with the teacher. Here our goal is to create a relationship that will lead us both in the connection to G-d Almighty. Tithing is a way of showing appreciation and support for the relationship and the orientation in that connection to G-d Almighty. In addition, our goal is a decentralized financial model where the Rabbis that who will be setting up sites based on Zecharia 8:23 will be able to focus on their relationship with those enrolled full time and at the same time not be dependent on any one particular donor who then can have an effect on the rabbi he sponsors. Here you are the supporter along with thousands of others. Each supporter is essential but none have a greater role than another. As for my content, while I do have some online that is currently publicly available free of charge, my plan is to focus more on providing unique content for those who enroll in because not only are they showing appreciation through their support but they are showing commitment by signing up and I want to ensure that I am focused on my relationship with people who will have the commitment and follow-through to themselves become leaders and reach thousands, millions and billions more.
  • What does “ B”H ” mean?
    B”H is an acronym for Boruch Hashem, which is Hebrew for Blessed is the Name, the Name referring to G-d Almighty since we don’t pronounce His Name. Follow up Question: Is Baruch Hashem only used as a greeting, or can it also be used to say “good bye”? Answer: It’s not really a greeting but rather a declaration that I am acknowledging that what I am going to write now is by the Grace of G-d Almighty. So it’s not used to say good-bye.
  • Do I need to learn Hebrew?
    You do not need to learn Hebrew as many Torah resources are available in English and other languages today. However, you definitely can learn Hebrew if you feel so inspired to do so. I encourage you to learn Biblical Hebrew which is the Holy Language of the Torah and not Modern Hebrew which is a secular language created in the late 1800s borrowing many Torah words. A good resource is this book It's goal is to teach you Biblical Hebrew so that by the time you complete the book you can read on your own in the Hebrew original, the Book of Ruth.
  • I am feeling overwhelmed. There is so much material on this site and how do I learn it all?
    There is a lot of material and G-d willing there will be much more. I encourage you not to entertain overwhelming thoughts. Every word of Torah is pointing to the same reality - there is nothing but G-d Almighty - know that and live accordingly. Therefore, it does not matter where you start nor how much you information you acquire. This is not like secular studies where your brain is warped to think that the "amount" of information you have is what makes you valuable. In Torah it is not about the amount of information but rather the Divine quality of the insights that point to Divine Wisdom. You can get that from any portion of Torah even from reading one word. And G-d Almighty is always speaking to us, even when we are not learning from a book or from a teacher. There is a principle in Torah that a person should always learn where his heart desires, namely follow your interests. So I encourage you to engage and enjoy without the overwhelming thoughts. Of particular help starting out may be the classes on the weekly Torah portion, on faith and on prayer.
  • Are my communications with the Rabbi privileged communications?
    Yes, communications as part of your seeking and receiving religious counsel between you and your Rabbi are privileged and will not be disclosed. This privilege is honored in the common law of decent people.
  • I have been looking for a Rabbi who I can count on to teach the truth.  Will you be my Rabbi?
    Our goal is to teach the truth and connect you with the truth, which is the job of a Rabbi. Our goal is to set up the framework for such a relationship. You may have other Rabbis and you may only join this site to learn, study and pray, with another Rabbi as your primary Rabbi relationship. On the other hand, you may be looking for a Rabbi in these confusing times, and may choose to make this "your place."
  • Who can join?
    Every man, woman and child.
  • Is a person eligible to participate if they feel they are sinning?
    The Torah teaches that if a man's evil inclination is causing them problems, he should drag his evil inclination to the House of Torah Study. So yes, you should enroll. For example, if a person is involved in immoral or unlawful conduct, such as the way in which he makes his living, I believe he should come and learn how to pray to G-d Almighty to open his eyes to a way to provide a valuable service or product that will help people in a way that is accordance with G-d Almighty's vision for him. There is a general principle about not sinning with the expectation of being forgiven, however, that principle does not apply to studying the right thing to do. A person should always continue to study the right thing to do and connect himself with those are pointing him in the right direction and G-d willing his actions will follow shortly.
  • Rabbi Smith, Would it be ok for us to proceed in a manner that we understand that I would like to learn about the Torah from you in a religiously privileged relationship, but without my having to forfeit my own religious convictions and affiliations?  I would simply like to learn Torah and Chassidism, and be able to ask questions and seek your religious advice and I don't want to feel that my choice to learn with you is simultaneously a decision to abandon my own sincerely held religion."
    Thank you for your question. Yes, it will be ok to proceed in a manner that we understand that you would like to learn about the Torah from me in a religiously privileged relationship and your decisions about your religious convictions and affiliations will be made by you. I reviewed the “Sign Up & Agreement” page ( and it is consistent with this understanding. Your choice to learn with me is a decision to learn with me.
  • If a person is studying to convert to become a Jew, but have not completed the conversion, which track should they sign up for?"
    It is important for you to remember that until you have completed your conversion you still have an important role in the world as a Gentile serving G-d Almighty and that will continue to be even if you don't complete the conversion. In fact, this is why Judaism does not encourage conversion because there is no need to convert have a connection with G-d Almighty and to learn the Divine Wisdom of the Torah that applies to every man, woman and child, by virtue of their being created by G-d Almighty. The teachings of Judaism already apply to everyone and conversion is not needed. In fact, every Gentile who accepts and observes the Seven Laws of Noach because they were commanded by G-d Almighty through Moses, Our Teacher, on Mount Sinai, has a portion in the World to Come. As for enrolling in this site, I believe it is appropriate to sign up for both tracks - Zecharia 8:23 since you have not yet completed your conversion and you are a Gentile; and also for Ra'aya Mehemna/Shliach 2.0 because you are in the conversion process to become a Jew and it is important to learn about your responsibility as a Jew to be of service to every man, woman and child created in G-d Almighty's Image. You do not need to tithe twice. Just sign up for tithing for one of them and then send us an email and we will add you to the second subscription. If you do complete your conversion, we can adjust your subscription to only include Ra'aya Mehemna/Shliach 2.0. If you do not complete your conversion, we can adjust your subscription to only include Zecharia 8:23.
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