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Goodbye and oy vey, Yahoo Answers

Yahoo Answers, the pioneering online question-and-answer platform, will shut down permanently this May, forever erasing from the internet one of the original places for people to solicit unverified information from strangers.

What was once an actually useful and occasionally thoughtful place for users to ask questions ultimately became yet another internet punchline, with greatest hits including “How is babby formed? How girl get pregant?”

I took a spin through some of Yahoo Answers’ inquiries about Judaism, and found, as expected, a number of uninformed and offensive inquiries about Jews. But I also found earnest, and thought-provoking queries about the faith and culture of the Jewish people.

Below, I’ve compiled a few of the questions I found on Yahoo Answers. They’re plotted on a matrix — the Y-axis plots questions on a scale from “a shverer inyen” (serious subject) to “a narishkeyt” (silly subject), and the X-axis places them on a scale of “a klots-kashe” (ridiculous question) to “a gute kashe” (thoughtful question). You can roll over each point in the matrix to see the question and a featured response.

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