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Death - Misc.

120 Year Lifespan - I was curious about the blessing we give people to live till 120 years. What is the origin of the expression? Is that just a nice, very high number, or is that considered the upper limit? I wouldn’t think... More
Martyrdom & Sanctifying God's Name - In the Yizkor memorial prayer which we say on the holidays, we commemorate the souls of the martyrs who were "killed, murdered, slaughtered, burned, drowned and strangled" for the sanctification of the... More
Saving Your Life over Another’s - One of the most beloved ideals that Jews uphold is the utmost value on human life. What do we do when we have to choose between two innocent lives? Here’s an example: Someone is driving along a narrow... More
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Burial & Graves

Jacob’s Embalmment - How was Joseph allowed to embalm his father Jacob? Is that permitted according to Jewish law? More
Largest Jewish Funeral? - I saw on the news that the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was attended by 850,000 people. What amazed me even more is that funeral was held just 4 hours after he died! I was wondering – when was the... More
Mice and Uncleanness - I’m very uncomfortable. Our house is infested with mice and I know the Torah says that mice are unclean. Does this mean I shouldn’t be living in my house? Am I not allowed to eat food they come in contact... More
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Mourning & Kaddish

Convert – Mourning & Kaddish for Non-Jewish Parent - I am a convert but I still have a good relationship with my parents, who are very decent people and who were very supportive of my religious transformation. Unfortunately, my father is not doing well. In... More
Covering Mirrors in House of Mourning - I recently visited the shiva house (house of mourning) for a coworker. One of the more striking things I noticed was that all mirrors were covered. It felt a little spooky. What is the reason for this? Is... More
Kaddish for Abusive Parent - My father was violent and abusive. He suffered from depression and other psychological disorders, and growing up was very difficult for me and my sister. He died fairly recently. We sat shiva for him and... More
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Yahrtzeit & Yizkor

Attending Wedding on Yahrtzeit - I am invited to a wedding in a few weeks and I realized it falls out on my father’s yahrtzeit (the anniversary of his date of death). Am I allowed to attend? More
Yahrtzeit Candle – First Wife - My husband and I married 6 years ago. My husband's first wife passed away from an illness 2 years before we married. Should he continue to lighting a yahrtzeit candle for his first wife even though he is... More
Yahrtzeit Commemoration - My mother passed away last year and now it is coming up to her yahrtzeit. Are there special things I should be doing on that day? What about the yahrtzeit of a grandparent or cousin, etc.? More
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Suicide

Assisted Suicide - I am a university student in Alberta, Canada and I am doing a research paper on euthanasia from the Jewish perspective. Can you direct me to more information? Thank you. More
Jumping from the Tower - In the terrible 9-11 terror attack on New York, some people jumped from the burning tower. On one side was a raging fire with no escape, and on the other side was a jump to near-certain death. What does... More
Suicide - A guy who works at the same company just committed suicide. Some people are saying that this is a terrible crime, while others say it's okay because he didn't harm anyone. Can help put this into... More

Inheritance (Yerusha)

Firstborn (Bechor) Privileges - I’ve been studying Deuteronomy with my children and was at a loss to explain why the firstborn receives a double portion of the inheritance (21:17). What is the basis for this? More

Soul & Afterlife

Afterlife Video - I was interested to read your explanation on the afterlife. However, perhaps you could clarify one point. I heard that "time" is a concept unique to this world, not existing in the World to Come. How,... More
Cloning & Immortality - In the various life choices I’ve made – career, family, etc – I notice one common denominator: I am on a quest for immortality. I want to leave a legacy. Wouldn’t it simply solve... More
Dybbuk - I recently received tickets to a ballet called "The Dybbuk," with music by Leonard Bernstein. It sounds like something like the "Jewish Exorcist." Please tell me what this is all about. More
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