Being a Good Jew-
I am 50 years old and am on a path back to the Judaism that I was raised with, but unfortunately abandoned for so many years. I am asking lots of people this question, and now I'll ask you: How do I become a better...More
Blessings on Rabbinical Mitzvahs-
On Chanukah and Purim, we say the blessing, Asher Kidishanu - "Which God has commanded us..." Yet aren't those words inappropriate, given that nowhere in the 613 mitzvahs of the Torah are these holidays...More
Book of Life-
I heard the idea that during the High Holidays, God writes one's name in a book. Where does this concept come from, and how can this concept bring meaning to the holidays for me?
I understand that every phenomenon in our physical world has a corresponding message in the metaphysical world. Could you please tell me why some people are color blind, and what this indicates in a spiritual sense?More
Driving to Synagogue on Shabbat-
I enjoy attending synagogue services on Shabbat, but the rabbi told me that it's better to pray at home than to violate a prohibition of Shabbat. I couldn't really see how that’s more important than attending synagogue...More
Immutability of Torah Law-
I was born with a neuromuscular disease known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy and have been confined to a wheelchair my entire life. Unfortunately my sister and I were raised without any religious instruction or guidance....More
Is Jewish Law Unchanging?-
I am writing to take issue with some language in your Ask the Rabbi answers that I personally believe is loaded in a way designed to lend a degree of certitude to one viewpoint that I don't believe history or logic...More
Jephthah Sacrificing Daughter-
My Bible class is studying the Book of Judges and we recently covered the story of Jephthah (Judges 11). Jephthah promises to God that if the Amonites would be delivered into his hands, then on his return home he would...More
Listening to the Rabbis-
The Torah instructs us to “do everything according to what the rabbis say... do not deviate to the right or left."
This raises a basic and important question. I'll listen to God. But why should I listen to the...More
Mezuzahs and Apartment Complexes-
You may have heard about the new statute in Texas allowing tenants to put mezuzot on their exterior doorways. Apparently, this was in reaction to a situation where a resident was prohibited from putting up a mezuzah by...More
I am interested in the idea that Jews, living in the Diaspora, have modified their observance of Jewish holidays as they have become influenced by the cultures of the countries they live in.
I'm in a two-year adult...More
I can appreciate the rules and mitzvot as they appear in the Torah. But when the rabbis start adding their own layers of restrictions, I feel encroached upon. What is the point of all this?
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 cliff road....More
After the nomination of Sen. Joseph Lieberman as the first Jewish Vice-Presidential candidate - and a Shabbat observant one at that! - one question raised was his ability to conduct affairs of state only six days a...More
My husband and I are Christians and our neighbors are Orthodox Jewish. Sometimes on any given Saturday, our neighbors knock on our door and ask us to turn on the air conditioning, etc. We've always helped them out, not...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
A case of Siamese twins has hit the media and I wondered what the Jewish position would be.
The twin girls are joined at the lower abdomen. One has no heart or lungs and is being kept alive by her sister. The medical...More
The Power of Mitzvot in Israel -
I am in Israel at the moment, where I have been attending various programs. I heard a class on the topic of mitzvot which said that the Torah commands are only for the land of Israel, and doing them outside of Israel...More