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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Ute Steyer

Question: What is the Jewish view point of having adult children living at home with parent(s)?
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Question: What is word origin of the Hebrew term 'yibum'?
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Question: I have been curious about what happens when a Jew decides that Jesus is the "messiah", or accepts any other religion. Does he/she immediately became Christian or something else, and stop being a Jew? I think it is a confusing topic and I was hoping someone could explain please.
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Question: What happens at a Jewish funeral?
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Question: My father died suddenly 10 days ago. What are my obligations or what is custom for an adult daughter to be doing after sitting shiva? Thank you in advance for your help.
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Question: In my girlfriend's parents' Orthodox community, it's fairly common for people to refuse to eat at other families' houses. Sometimes it's for kashrut [keeping kosher, observing the dietary laws] concerns (disagreements over acceptable heckshers) [hecksher=notation indicating supervision for Kashrut by a known group or organization], but the majority of the time it's for seemingly unrelated issues (e.g., the wife not covering her hair or wearing pants) that somehow also reflects on that family's kashrut observance for these people. I find that kind of divisiveness disturbing -- wasn't it "because of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza Jerusalem was destroyed"? [Administrators note: this refers to a story about sinat chinam - baseless hatred and shaming another.] Which is the more important Jewish value -- unity among Jews [klal yisra'el] or strictly maintaining your religious standards? Can they be reconciled?
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Question: What does the Jewish quote from Abraham Joshua Heschel "wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge" mean?
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Question: Israel's Interior Minister said that he is putting the needs of Israel first by sending back illegal African immigrants. But does Israel, of all countries, have a right to be xenophobic? Do we concentrate on our internal problems at the expense of isolating ourselves from the needs of others?
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Question: How does the Jewish ownership of slaves reconcile with the celebration of fleeing slavery in Egypt [as told in the book of Exodus and recounted at the Passover seder]?
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Question: I am dating a non-Jewish man who I love deeply. I'm still a virgin but thinking about having sex sometime soon. I still want to marry a Jew in the end, so if I've had sex with a non-Jew, will a Jew still marry me or would I be considered tainted?
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Question: I am a non-Jew who is considering proposing to my girlfriend, who is Jewish. She has said she wants to be married in a Jewish temple/synagogue. Are we able to be married there if I am not Jewish?
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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: What’s the Torah view on the “green” movement, such as recycling and electric cars?
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Question: I know this has been asked before, but my situation seems "impossible" though I believe with G-d all things can be done! I am a married woman, currently Catholic, married to a devout Catholic man with six devout Catholic children. I KNOW I am supposed to be Jewish. I cannot any longer set aside G-d's calling, much like He called Samuel and after three tries or so, Samuel finally realizes that it is G-d who is calling him. I desperately want to convert and am now, after all this time ready. My husband will be supportive and will come with me to classes, though I am not certain he will convert. The children will be another story. Can we lead two lives--them a Catholic life and me a Jewish life--but as a family celebrate both? (Though I will choose not to participate at Mass or rosary or anything Christian-related). I pray and hope with all my heart that this is possible.
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Question: My parents are quick to disbelieve any medical issues I have, and often get angry when I seek treatment. They think I'm a hypochondriac, though I usually only seek medical attention after I'm sick enough that my friends start to get worried. This came to a head last summer, when I was suffering from clinical depression. My mother vehemently argued with me about whether I was depressed and told me not to get counseling, when I was in fact suicidal, and those arguments drove me further into depression & towards hurting myself. I'm seeing a therapist now, and the mental issues are clearing up. However, I'm still in a bind about how to deal with my parents. I know that honoring your father & mother is a mitzvah, but how do I honor my parents when listening to them -- or, sometimes, even speaking with them at all -- can be hurtful or even dangerous? What can Jewish values, ethics and law tell me about how to handle this?
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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: What is your view on child marriages?
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Question: Hi. I met this girl, she is amazing to me, she feels like the one. I've got a problem: I'm a kohain (Kohen), and her mother converted. While her mother was far into the conversion process, this girl was born. Is she considered Jewish, or a convert? Please send me this answer soon. I would not go against my religion, but I feel that Hashem tests us in such hard ways and so many times.
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