Kosher: Meat and Milk

I would like to better understand the reason for the Jewish practice of waiting six hours after eating meat before eating milk products. Where is this in the Torah? Is eating them close together considered like cooking them together, which is very hard for me to digest (pardon the pun)?

Matrilineal Descent

Why do the orthodox base a Jew’s status on the mother and not the father? Shouldn’t the father be at least as important as the mother? Does the father have any effect at all on the status of the child?

Prohibition of Leather Shoes During Shiva

I recently sat shiva for my father, may he rest in peace, and was reading the laws of mourning. One thing that struck me was the instruction to refrain from wearing leather shoes. It offered no explanation, so I did it just because it says so, but it’s been bothering me ever since. What do leather shoes have to do with mourning? Why are other leather garments such as belts and jackets permitted?

Mother’s Day

Is it Jewishly acceptable or advisable to celebrate Mother’s Day?

Monetary Compensation for Damages, Pt. 5

My neighbor entrusted me with money to pay his bills while he was away for a couple of months in Israel. I neglected to pay his electric bill, which resulted in his having to pay late fees upon his return to Dallas. Does Jewish law require me to reimburse my neighbor for his late fees, since it’s my fault?