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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Lev Baesh (Emeritus)

Question: It's tough to draw the line between socio-cultural practices and food wastage. Should we draw a line when preparing meals for Shabbat?
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Question: Should we continue to mourn the destruction of the Temple in this day and age, when the Jewish people once again have sovereignty in the land of Israel?
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Question: Should we be proactive and try to explain our customs to non-Jews, or is it better not to, since many of our customs may seem strange and be viewed negatively by the larger world? For examples: circumcision, and waving the Lulav & Etrog (palm branch and citron - four species).
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Question: At what point should parents give up their efforts to “control” how their children observe religion? For example, if a child decides they do not want to attend weekly Shabbat services or wants to stop wearing a kippah, what should the parents' response be?
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Question: How should donors to synagogues be thanked?
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Question: Lag Baomer - the 33rd day of the 7 weeks observant Jews count between Passover and Shavuot - is a total mystery to me. The celebrations, what seems to border on pagan ritual at rabbis' graves - all of it...very odd. Can you provide clarity / insight / rationale?
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Question: Is there validity to the debate within small pockets of the Jewish world to fold Yom Hashoah into another remembrance day such as Tisha B'Av or the 10th of Tevet?
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Question: Can someone transfer their obligation of saying kaddish for parent over a 12 month period to another person or organization for pay (Tzedakah)? Or is this just a tradition with no real obligation?
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Question: Purim (as I understand it) celebrates Jewish victory over enemies who sought to destroy us. We killed a bunch of them before they killed us. Two things: What's with the costumes? And: In this day and age where we actually have a sovereign state with an army, isn't it rather insensitive to celebrate this holiday?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

The Jewish View of Life After Death

Posted on 03/26/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Reviews
When I was just starting to learn about Judaism as an adult, I took a 3-week course called “The Jewish View of Life...

When Someone You Know Has a Disabled Child

Posted on 03/24/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
It's not uncommon to be uncomfortable around people with disabilities. Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer opens her recent ELI Talk...

Is Eating Meat A Jewish Thing To Do?

Posted on 03/22/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
After watching a series of documentaries about the negative health consequences of a meat-heavy diet, I gave up eating meat...

Are Jews of Color Really Jews?

Posted on 03/17/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
In a brand new ELI Talks video, social activist MaNishtana talks about the necessity for Jews to examine their attitudes...

On Separation

Posted on 03/13/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Reviews
One of the special pleasures of Purim in my community is that I can fulfill the requirement to listen to the Megillah read...

Who’s That Knocking At My Door? A Jewish Dilemma

Posted on 03/01/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
If you live outside an Orthodox community, you may not be aware of how, in many (most? all?) Orthodox communities, people go...
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