Spiritual Growth

Abraham & Independence - I notice that the first “command” given to the first Jew, Abraham, is to "Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father's house to the land that I will show you." (Genesis... More »
Desiring Sin - I have a general question about spiritual growth. We all have desires for forbidden acts. Should our attitude be that we’d love to do them but we don’t because God forbade it? Or are we supposed to... More »
Foul Language - I am always bothered when I hear Jews using foul speech, or when they use such pejoratives as “nigger.” It led me to wonder: Does the Torah actually forbid such behavior? I can’t really think of what... More »
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Soul & Afterlife

Reincarnation and Dreams - I have been reading about the Jewish idea of reincarnation and this has raised a few questions: Does reincarnation explain why it is believed that we were all at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah? Secondly... More »
Singularity Theory - Time Magazine recently ran an article on Singularity Theory, which was new to me and very fascinating, and scary at the same time, that human intelligence is about to be surpassed by machines. Are you... More »
Source for Afterlife - I know that Judaism believes in the afterlife, but in reading the Torah I did not see any mention of that. You would think such major, essential, fundamental ideas would be openly stated. Where is this... More »
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Reward & Punishment

Adam’s Sin and the Decree of Death - The Torah states that on the day Adam would eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge he would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Yet although he was punished when he sinned, he didn’t die on that day, but lived... More »
How Our Forefathers’ Merit Helps Us - I see we often ask in our prayers that God remember the righteousness of our ancestors and as a result treat us mercifully. I'd like to understand how this works. Just because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob... 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 »
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Suffering

Handicap: Why? - A woman in our neighborhood has spina bifada. It's so heart-breaking to see. And it has me wondering: Why do some people suffer and others seem to have it so easy? It is not evenly divided between "good"... More »
Natural Disasters - I have watched the horror of hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, plus hundreds of thousands of people wiped out in a tsunami. What is the spiritual reason behind all this? More »
Suffering: Why? - I have had a very difficult life, beset by illness, unemployment, and disappointment from those who had pledged to care for me. I am having trouble seeing the benevolent God in all this. What do you say,... More »
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Good & Evil

Absolute Truth - I'm struggling with the sense on one hand that I want to instill Jewish beliefs in my children, but on the other hand I feel that would be diminishing the value and equal importance of the beliefs of... More »
Choosing Good Over Evil - For a long time it has bothered me what the Torah means by: "God created man in His image" (Genesis 1:27). Given that human beings are finite and corporal, how are we created in God's... image? More »
Downfall of the Enemy - I married a negative person who has a very negative attitude. All these years whenever his meanness or negativity was pointed in my direction, I would scream and cry and pray to God to help me. Never in... More »
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Free Will & Predestination

Hardening Pharaoh's Heart - After the sixth plague – boils – the Bible says that, "God hardened Pharaoh's heart" (Exodus 9:12). This seems grossly unfair! How can God warn Pharaoh to obey and then harden his heart so he can't listen... 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 »
Optimism and Pessimism - Time Magazine recently ran an article based on the book "The Optimism Bias." The subtitle, which sums up the article, read "Those rose-colored glasses? We may be born with them. Why our brains tilt toward... More »
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Teshuva (Repentance)

Asking Forgiveness from the Deceased - In my past I wronged someone who is unfortunately no longer alive today. Is there any way I can make amends? More »
Cheating on Tests – Repentance - I cheated on a school test recently and I feel guilty about it. What should I do now? Should I confess to the teacher? More »
Great Teshuva - My friend and I are having a disagreement about degrees of righteousness in God's eyes. Who is greater: One who is virtuous by inclination, or one who is virtuous by choice - i.e. one who must struggle... More »
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