Aging and Youth-
I've seen and heard lots of talk recently about attempts of the increasingly aging population to "stay young." To me, as a baby boomer, some of it seems enticing but some of it feels inappropriate. Does Judaism have...More
Everybody in my high school is getting their body parts pierced. I think some of the piercing is attractive – like multiple earrings or the navel. But some of them are gross – studs in the tongue or pierced...More
Burning of Woodstock-
I always imagined the icon of "Woodstock" to represent peace, love and goodwill. But that image exploded when I watched the 1999 edition of the rally turn into a spontaneous riot. Large fires were set,...More
Buying German Products-
I’ve heard the argument made that Jews should not buy German products, for example Volkswagen cars which used Jewish slave labor during the war. It is wrong for Jews to support German industries?
My cousin says...More
I recently heard a rabbi speak about returning stolen funds. He said that rather than calling the police, the money could be returned anonymously. What is wrong with facing any criminal charges that you may deserve?...More
I am looking for Torah sources that speak about nature, respect for life and animals, sustainability, etc.
Do we as Jews have a responsibility to nature and to preserve the other species of life on this planet? I am...More
Eye for an Eye-
I recently heard a talk explaining "an eye for an eye" in the Torah. As society has become less barbaric, the rabbis reinterpreted the verse to mean one pays the damages for the eye, instead of actually taking out the...More
I grew up in the era of feminism, and while I am thrilled at the vistas of opportunity it opened up for me and so many others, I have grown somewhat disenchanted after having seen so much negative fall-out: the rise in...More
Fixing the World – Tikkun Olam-
I often feel like I’m just spinning my wheels in the daily grind: Get up, shower, eat, go to work, come home, eat, go to sleep. And then do it all over again. Isn’t there more to life? How do I find it?
There’s a lot of talk about restricting gun ownership in the U.S. What does Judaism say about this?
Homosexual - Is Change Possible?-
The Torah says that homosexuality is an abomination; but isn’t there a more modern view? Aren't people compelled to engage in homosexuality? Isn't a clear percentage of any given population of homosexual...More
Homosexuals - Equal Rights?-
Recently a friend and I had a long discussion about the appropriateness of homosexuals as teachers and rabbis, etc., and on how Judaism should deal with homosexuality in general. It seems that there is a conflict...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 Jewish law...More
Life in Perspective-
I'm in high school and am starting to think about life. Everything seems so superficial - relationships, the media, fashions. I don't want my life built around that. What advice can you offer?
I have always smoked marijuana. I find it to be less harmful then alcohol. I want to know if there is any Jewish law against doing this. I feel the civil laws against this are ridiculous. I know three cancer patients...More
Marital Relations – Mitzvah-
What is the Jewish view of intimacy? Is sex just for procreative purposes, or is it all right to have relations with one's spouse for recreation and intimacy?
Men's and Women's Clothing-
I was in a vintage clothing store and saw a great shirt that looked comfortable. I was about to buy it and the salesperson said, "Is this for you? You know, this is a woman's blouse." I was surprised, and...More
I was raised in an Orthodox home and the idea of being physical with guys was discouraged until after marriage. Now I met a guy at school and I figure that some innocent hugging would probably be all right, I don't...More
Nostradamus the Prophet?-
Someone forwarded me an email that showed how Nostradamus predicted the attack on the World Trade Center. Already in the first line he predicts the date: "the first year of the new century" (2001), and...More
It happened again. I opened the newspaper to find that an Orthodox "rabbi" was arrested on corruption charges, suspected of passing bribes to a local official. What is going on with these people? They hold...More
I've been thinking a lot about all the strife in this world - between individuals, between countries, between races. I understand that hatred occurs when there is hostility between two people, and neither have a desire...More
Society seems so driven by materialism. Who can get ahead of who! I try not to get caught up in this, but I frequently find myself getting jealous of what others have. How do I stop being jealous of them?
I was reading in an online forum that Judaism advocates that a rapist marry his victim. This sounds so backward and oppressive, and difficult to reconcile with the compassionate Judaism that I know and love. Is what I...More
Responsible One for Another-
I am involved in Jewish communal work and it really makes me crazy when I see one Jewish group disparaging another. Even worse, people will look at a situation of need and say, “Oh, that’s not my...More
I have often thought about the tragedy in Columbine and other schoolyard shootings. My impression is that these boys want to create an awesome experience, to impress the world with their power, their genius. Maybe they...More
I grew up in the United States and at around age 20 became disillusioned with society. I just felt that the materialism and commercialism was breeding too much greed and corruption. So I have been traveling the world,...More
Sexual Immorality – Giving Up One's Life-
I read that all the Torah's commandments "can be broken to save a life" except for three. I think I understand two of the three:
1) Idolatry - this would threaten the very fabric of Judaism and therefore...More
On an intuitive level, I believe that intimacy should be reserved for a husband and wife. But on a philosophical level, I have no good reason to explain why to friends (or my children!) who insist on a more liberal...More
Shooting Down the Plane-
Shortly after the September 11 terror attacks, I read that if U.S. intelligence had known that a commercial plane was on a mission to crash into the White House, they would have shot down the plane, thereby killing the...More
In my college days, I stole approximately $300. This was 7 years ago. I have wanted to give it back all this time. But I am too embarrassed to tell the guy I stole from. Also, he might go to the police or something....More
The Ethics of Cloning-
My experience is that scientific breakthroughs (e.g. man on the moon, invitro fertilization, etc.) are greeted by the general public with accolades and enthusiasm. The idea of human cloning, meanwhile, has been...More
Waging War Against Canaan-
In 2009, when Israel went into Gaza and killed a lot of people, I was discussing religion with one of my friends, and he said that in the Torah, God told us to go out and murder people that we don't like. The verse he...More
What is a Man?-
I was born and raised on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. It appears that in the Western world, a "man" is expected to be macho, keep up with the latest fashion, smoke, drink alcohol, be a womanizer,...More
Who is a Leader?-
How does one become a Jewish leader? Is there particular career path that you would recommend following?More
Whose Blood Is Redder?-
I recently read that one person may not take another's life to save his own (other than in self-defense), because we can't judge another person, and can't possibly know which of the two is more precious to God. Could...More