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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi David Wolkenfeld

Question: I work in a fast-paced, fairly "cutthroat" world. Is there a Jewish perspective on balancing personal ambitions, and needing to be aggressive to achieve those, with building and maintaining positive relationships with colleagues and co-workers?
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Question: How (should or) does a father make amends to an adult son regarding what the (near adult) son feels are boundary issues around school, work ethics, respect for others, use of free time, etc.
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Question: Why should we make the extra effort to daven (pray) with a minyan (quorum of 10) 3 times a day? It's much more convenient to just daven “alone” at home, in the office, or wherever we happen to be.What Jewish values are in play with this?
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Question: I was adopted at birth, and had little religious teaching as a child. As a young adult I explored Christianity, but I was never able to fully embrace the concepts and beliefs that they expressed. At 40 years of age I established contact with my birth mother, who informed me that I am Jewish (she is not a practicing Jew, but is Jewish by heritage). After finding out where I come from I have spent the last few months looking into what Judaism is and what it means to be a Jew. I must admit it has awakened something inside of me, and I now think I know why I was never able to engage with Christianity. My question is how do I prove the bloodline, I have gotten mixed answers ranging from “a letter from my birth mother stating that that she gave birth to me and that she is Jewish” to “It cannot be proven and conversion is the only way,” or consult “genealogy records.” I would convert if that is the only way, but I would prefer to prove that I am Jewish by birth as I have daughters who will carry on the bloodline. What can you tell me?
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Question: I will start sitting shiva at my brother's house and conclude it in my own. Is it permissible to bring some of the food to my house?
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Question: Is it religiously permissible in Jewish law for a(n) (Orthodox) Jewish woman to make derogatory statements about another Jew (i.e., listing the individual's full name) on a blog that is viewable by the entire public? Wouldn't this be lashon hara (evil speech) or motzei shem ra (causing a bad name), especially in such a large forum?
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Question: What is the reason for the shemittah [7th year of lying fallow] year? Doesn’t it cause hardships to farmers, who can’t work their fields for a year?
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Question: Discussion about the status of women in Israel has been featured heavily over the years. What is the biblical and rabbinic view of the status of women in Jewish society? What do the various movements in Judaism say about this?
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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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