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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Zeev Smason (Emeritus)

Question: For many years I have stayed up most of the night. I am concerned that this is a sin against G-d. If i worked on it I could sleep at night like other people and be more active during the day. I wonder about this - what does Jewish tradition or law say about this?
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Question: I am on the personnel committee of a small synagogue. We recently heard that our rabbi may have taken financial advantage of someone he met through employment at another synagogue. We feel he has violated his covenant with us by financially obligating our synagogue in a contract that we cannot afford. He refuses to acknowledge his part in this unfortunate situation. Can you point us towards ways that we can confront him that will be within the bounds of Jewish tradition/law? On many levels he is a good man, but this behavior has really upset our committee and the few other congregants who are aware of the situation. We are afraid that this will cause a rift in our congregation if not handled in a just manner.
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Question: In the Torah, God promises prosperity if we keep the Torah and destruction if we violate it. But how can we still believe that, when weíve seen over the centuries that our actions and our reward or punishment donít always correlate?
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Question: I am a Catholic. I love the "whoever saves a life saves the world" passage. My daughter is a health care professional and saves many lives. Is it disrespectful for me to use [a quote of] that passage on a gift to her?
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Question: When I was young, I was abused by my father. My mother, who knew, did nothing. Must I still honor them?
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Question: Our Orthodox Jewish neighbor always knocks on our door during their sabbath to turn on lights, turn off things. This happens every weekend and it is driving us nuts. We live in a Condo and they live below us. What is the Jewish view on this use of someone as a 'Shabbos Goy'? Is this ethical and in line with Jewish values?
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Question: Can we (those of us who feel support for it) feel justified with our sense that Netanyahu was correct in his decision to finally cut privileges of jailed Hamas militants in response to the Palestinian Islamist movement's refusal to allow Red Cross visits to Gilad Shalit for over 5 years? What does Judaism say about this?
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Question: Naama Shafir, an Orthodox Jew, has recently gained stardom by scoring 40 points to lead the University of Toledo to victory in the Womenís National Invitational Tournament championship, a game that took place on Shabbat. She was crowned the basketball tournamentís MVP. After the game, she walked about two miles home, and did not take part in any interviews. Would it be fair to say that Naama is a great role model to all girls in general, because she is pursuing her dreams, while holding steadfast to her Jewish values and commitment to religion? Or is there a problem with her actions because she apparently violated the Sabbath restrictions by playing? How should we view what she did?
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Question: What is the position of Judaism on the reaction to Osama Bin Laden's death? It's so complicated, a murder for justice. I'm not sure if it is correct to be glad or not about it. Is it really justice? Is there justification for this in or beyond Jewish values?
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Question: How can we theologically understand weather disasters - from hurricanes and earthquakes to deadly blizzards and droughts?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Is There Anything All Jews Share?

Posted on 08/21/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
We are in the middle of an age of intense disagreement. Between politics, religion, and other public topics - it seems that...

The Hate That Is Being Revived Before Our Eyes

Posted on 08/17/2017 by Carol Silver Elliott in Beliefs and Practices
My father was born in Poland, born at a time when anti-Semitism was not just prevalent, it was a fact of life. Yet while Dad...

Criticizing Critics of Biblical Criticism

Posted on 08/14/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
One of the reasons why I love the Jewish blogging world so much is that at any given time there is a whole array of topics...

Social Media and God

Posted on 08/14/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
It is easy to tell what a society is deeply worried about by the entertainment it produces. In this case, it is clear that...

National Despair

Posted on 07/27/2017 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
During these Three Weeks which we are presently experiencing on the Jewish calendar, we are not just marking the historical...

Intermarriage: The Beginning of the End

Posted on 07/23/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Believe me, I completely understand why a Jewish community would want to do away with the ethnocentric notion of Jewish...
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