Baal Teshuva Under Attack-
I recently became a baal teshuva and on my first trip back home, my friends and family started peppering me with questions: Why do I do this, and why do I do that? I'm really new to this, and I could not...More
Exodus - Blood on the Doorpost-
The Torah describes (Exodus 12:6-7) how each Hebrew family designates a lamb, and sets it aside. On the evening of the Israelites' deliverance from slavery in Egypt, they slaughter the lamb, roast and eat...More
Faith vs. Knowledge-
My Christian friends are always speaking about “faith.” To me this sounds a lot like blind faith. Is that really the essence of religion?More
In the Image of God-
Maimonides' 13 Principles of Faith states: "I believe with perfect faith that God does not have a body. Physical concepts do not apply to Him. There is nothing that resembles Him at all."
What, then, is...More
Sanctity of Human Body-
You recently referred to the “Bodies” exhibit in which you elucidated your opinion that it flies in the face of the sanctity of the human body. I have trouble fathoming what sanctity there is to the human...More
I was visiting a synagogue this week and after the silent Amidah everyone sat down and put their heads on their arms, like a sleeping position. I have never seen that before. What is the reason for this?
Praying for Smaller Needs-
We had a discussion in our class in religious school if it's right to ask God to help us with everyday activities, like getting to school safely, doing well on a test, getting a summer job, or getting...More
Shema - With All Your Soul-
In the "Shema" prayer, the Jewish "Pledge of Allegiance," we are commanded to "serve God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deut. 6:5). What does it mean to love God with all your soul?
Prayer at Graves of Righteous-
I often receive emails from different organizations offering that a rabbi will pray for me at this or that great rabbi’s grave. Does it really make a difference where one prays? Isn't praying to a dead...More
Sacrifices versus Idolatry-
I’ve never really been able to wrap my head around the concept of korbanot (sacrifices). To me it seems like such a primitive act, offering meat to God, a throwback to pagan practices. Where is the room...More
What does the Torah say about nose jobs – both from a legal and philosophic point of view? Are they permitted, or is this considered tampering with Creation?
Effort versus Trust in God-
I heard a joke about a man who wants to win the lottery. Each week he prays to win, and after many weeks go by, he finally complains to God, "Why haven't I won?" Replies God, "You should have bought a...More
Life's Big Picture-
My credo in life has always been: Work hard, plan, and struggle. Yet I find that things often just end up a big mess. The righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. How can the pieces of this puzzle...More