Plane Shabbat

Q. If someone has a journey and their plane is delayed to the point of which there flight lands in to Shabbat but they need to get on to a second plane are they allowed to get on the plane? [Joel aged 11]

A. They wouldn’t be allowed to get onto the second plane on Shabbat and would have to wait until after Shabbat to take another flight. [Children's Rabbi]

Ona’at Devarim

Q. What is the meaning of ona’at devarim? We’ve been learning about it at school and we have a test on it, but I really don’t understand it. Help! [Sammy aged 11]

A. Ona’at devarim refers to the prohibition of hurting other people with words, saying something that will upset them.  This is based on a verse in the Torah that says: ‘You shall not wrong one another.’ (Vayikra/Leviticus 25:17)  So teasing someone, even a friend, would be included in this or even just saying something as a joke that might embarrass them.  As a guide, if you wouldn’t like it said to you, then don’t say it to someone else as it’s probably ona’at devarim.
Hope that helps
Good luck with the test! [Children's Rabbi]
 

Dinosaurs

Q. I have always wondered this and my Jewish Studies teachers always say that it’s too complicated. For years we have had scientific facts that Dinosaurs once roamed the Earth but the Torah never mentions this. Does the Torah discreetly mention this or do we as Jews not believe that Dinosaurs ever existed? [Jessica aged 13]

A. There is a reference in the Torah (Bereishit/Genesis 1:21) to G-d creating ‘taninim gedolim’ which can be translated as ‘giant reptiles’ or ‘sea monsters’ on the fifth day of creation.  This is actually the definition of the word ‘dinosaur’ so yes, dinosaurs did once roam the earth, we don’t need to believe it because we find it in the Torah. [Children's Rabbi]