Answers compiled by Larry Padwa. KCT cannot vouch for the correctness of all of these, as we have received them from several different people (and some are our own). We think that most are correct, however.
================================================== 1. When can a person be called to the Torah for 3 successive aliyot on the same day?
a) If a Kohen receives the Maftir aliyah on Shabbat morning, and then at Mincha there is no Levi present, he will receive the first two aliyot at Mincha as well.
b) In a minyan of all kohanim, the same person who gets Kohen, can also get Levi and Yisrael. It doesn't work with a minyan of all Leviim or all Yisraelim. In those cases, you would call a either two or three people (two Leviim, three yisraelim).
c)Simchas Torah - regular aliya, Chasan Torah, Chasan Beraishis.
================================================== 2. Someday, if they colonize the moon and there is a Jewish community, what blessing will they be unable to recite?
==================================================== 3. How can you have a mixture which is dairy, and when meat accidentally falls in, the mixture becomes parve (neither meat nor dairy)?
The original mixture is 58 parts parve and 1 part milchig. If additional part (proportional, of course) fleishing falls into it, both the Milchig and the Fleishig parts become batel b'shishim.
==================================================== 4. What is the explanation of the following? "Shmini B'Shmini Shmini Shmini."
When sh'mini (the parasha) ba'shmini (is read on the eighth day of pesach) (then) sh'mini (the parasha is read) sh'mini (eight times). Now the explanation. In the diaspora if the last (sh'mini) day of pesach is on Shabbat we sometimes read parashat sh'mini at mincha(1x). It will also be read the following Mon & Thurs. mornings (2x, 3x) and the following Shabbat morning as the regular reading (4x). However, it will also have been read the first day of pesach, also a shabbat, at mincha (5x) as well as the shabbat minchah and the Mon & Thurs AM prior to pesach (6x, 7x, 8x). Thus, when sh'mini (the parasha) ba'shmini (is read on the eighth day of pesach) (then) sh'mini (the parasha is read) sh'mini (eight times). Sh'mini ba'sh'mini, sh'mini sh'mini.
========================================================= 5. One morning there were three people attending the same minyan. Each finished the silent amidah at the same time, yet, during the repetition of the amidah, one responded "amen" 26 times, the second only 22 times and the third only three times. Can you explain this? (By the way, none of these people fell asleep or failed to respond amen as required.)
N. REISS: Weekday Rosh Chodesh in Israel. A Davener says Amen 26 times (19 after each Brocho, 3 for Yaaleh V'Yovoh, and 4 for Birchas Kohanim. A Kohen says Amen 22 times (Doesn't say it for Birchas Kohanim). The Ba'al Tefilah says Amen 3 times (During Birchas Kohanim, after 'V'Yishmere-cho', after V'chune-kah' and after Shalom).
==================================================== 6. What is the shortest word in the Torah?
In the beginning of HaAzenu. The one-letter word is Ha, spelled with a heh
===================================================== 7. The year 2000 is generally thought to have no particular significance to Jews, yet, the year 2000 is special in one respect: there is a particular commemoration that will not be observed in that calendar year. What day is it?
Asarah B'Tevet (a week or so after Chanukah ends) falls out in December 1999 and January 2001.
===================================================== 8. On what date in the Jewish calendar do we sometimes recite Hallel while, in other years, on the same date, we recite Tachanun?
3-Teveth. In an abundant year (ie 30 day Kislev), 3-Teveth is an ordinary day and Tachanun is said. In a normal or deficient year (ie 29 day Kislev), 3-Teveth is the eighth day of Chanukah, and Hallel is said.
====================================================== 9. Triplets and their cousin are born within two hours of each other. Yet their circumcisions are on four consecutive days. How can this occur? (No consideration need be given to the international date line or any possible health related issues.)
a)The triplets are born starting late Friday afternoon (Erev Shabbos)in the the United States, the cousin is born by C-section in Israel a couple of hours later, and the following week is a 2-day yom tov (Shabbos and Sunday).
For the triplets, the one born late Friday afternoon, will have his Bris the following Friday. If the second is born bein Hashmoshot, the bris would be the Monday after the Sunday yom tov. It cannot be Sunday because it's yom tov. If the third is born a little later on Friday night when it's already Shabbos, the bris is the next Shabbos. The cousin who is born by C-section in Israel during Bein Hashmoshot in the US which is 100% Shabbos in Israel, will have his Bris on the following Sunday, because it ain't yom tov there.
b) The triplets are born in the twilight period ("bay'n hashmashot) a week before erev yom tov. The first one is born before sunset. The second is born in the "doubtful" period and the third is born after dark. The first one's brit is on erev yom tov. The third one's is on yom tov. The second one's is postponed to the day after yom tov because of the uncertainty.
Now consider that the above scenario took place in Israel, and a cousin Of these triplets was born in Galut but in the same time zone as Israel (say South Africa). If he were born in the doubtful period, his brit would=20 be postponed TWO days (yom tov sheni shel galut) as opposed to the one day postponement for Israeli triplet #2.
============================================================= 10. Twins are born on the same day, Shabbat, yet their circumcisions are NOT on the same day. (The health of neither baby is an issue.)
One was born natural, and the other by c-section.
I feel that for the purposes of this question, Bein Hashmoshot is not Shabbos. Therefore...
=========================================================== 11. Generally because Jerusalem is in an earlier time zone, rituals are performed earlier there than in New York. What celebration occurs earlier in New York than in Jerusalem.
Purim. Jerusalem is a walled city.
======================================================= What single verse (i.e. the same verse, not different verses with the same words) is read publicly from the Torah most often?
a) It's in B'Midbar (Numbers) Chapter 28, possuk (verse) 3. In a year when at least one day of each two-day Rosh Chodesh and each one-day Rosh Chodesh falls on a weekday, this verse is read 23 times.
========================================================== 13. We read the next regular Shabbat weekly Torah reading at Shabbat mincha. What weekly parashah is read at Shabbat mincha in Israel but NEVER in the diaspora?=20
Breishit. When Shmini Atzeres comes out on Shabbos in Israel, they read Breishit during Mincha. In the United States, they would read V'zos Habracha. There is no possibility to ever read Parshat Breishit on Shabbos Mincha in the US. =======================================================