blog | about | contact | origins | help
 
All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Adam Greenwald

Question: I am a single Orthodox convert in a country with a few hundred Jews. Because of this, and because my conversion is not accepted elsewhere, I will probably never get married. I have trouble finding a job because of Shabbat. I know prostitution is frowned upon but how bad would it be if I gained some money through prostitution?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: The following question is based on an inquiry to The Ethicist column in the Sunday New York Times Magazine. When there are scientific studies that point to the media having an impact on violent behavior, is it unethical to write, produce or direct violent films and TV shows?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: I want to be cremated,but my sister is very upset with my decision as she thinks if one is cremated one loses one's soul whereas if one is buried she says we'd be united again in heaven. She is Orthodox and I am a Reform Jew. Does she have any validity according to Jewish law?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Both my parents are Jewish. I live as a Jew, embrace Jewish values and culture, and believe in Jesus as the Messiah. I identify as a Messianic Jew. My question: Most rabbis dispute the validity of my faith and assert that I have lost my right to be called a Jew. I am troubled and perplexed by this prejudice. Why is there an empathetic understanding towards Messianic Chabadniks or Jewish Buddhists (JUBUs) but not towards Messianic Jews? Why am I ostracized while secular, atheist and non-believing Jews are accepted? [Administrator's note: A very similar question was posted and answered at http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=139. Messianics are not Jews by the definition of any branch of Judaism.]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: I have been raised a Roman Catholic my entire life. I have always loved the Jewish faith and customs. I have recently discovered that my mother and her parents and her entire ancestry were Jewish. They converted to Christianity to avoid persecution in Poland before coming to America. I now have a whole history, culture and way of being that I was unaware of. I want to study and learn more of Judaism. I do not yet know if I want to convert. What should I do? Thank you for your answer. Eleanor
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: If Adam and Eve didn't have any girls, who did, or who had the next generation? [JVO Kids: 4-6]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Hello rabbi, I will apologize ahead of time for the words I'm about to write. I'm 14 years old, and from what I know masturbation is against Jewish law, but I find it really hard not to do so when my body really demands it. Maybe I could do it one last time because I haven't done so in three months. Please tell me what I can do that is acceptable within Jewish law and thought. [Admin Note: A similar question was answered on Jewish Values Online previously; see - http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=153.]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Why are closed adoptions discouraged in Jewish law?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Can one have an unveiling (of the monument) after the first yartzheit (year anniversary)?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: During the High Holidays, in the process of teshuvah, we repent for past sins. I understand that in our (Jewish) view, repentance means that we are sorry for the sins that we have committed, we try to repair the injuries we have caused, we ask forgiveness from God and man, and we resolve to do better in the future. Christianity appears to have a very different idea of what it means to repent and atone for a sin, and how a sin is forgiven. Can you try to explain this difference, please (I understand that I am asking Jewish rabbis, and not Christians to speak to these differences)?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: What is the Jewish perspective on the illegal immigration crisis in Israel? The Torah commands us to care for the foreigners and immigrants among us. Does that extend to illegal immigrants? Is it right to send them back, as is happening now, or are we obligated to take them in and help them?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

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?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: My three Reform Jewish children have each married non-Jews. Each of them are raising their children as Jews. What is the best practice with respect to Christmas trees in their homes? [Administrator's Note: A question on this topic arises periodically, particularly in the December timeframe (for obvious reasons). For related responses that may offer additional information, please see other questions on the JVO website that address this topic.]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Small groups of violent ultra-Orthodox in Israel seem to have strayed from Torah values, which is a chilul Hashem. Are there collaborative or independent initiatives from the three main denominations to meet with and inform the ultra-Orthodox leadership how their violent actions (rock throwing, spitting on others, verbal abuse) negatively portray the Jewish people to the world?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Is there a special Jewish prayer that we can say at Thanksgiving dinner in commemoration that we were granted religious freedom in America?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: The rabbi of our synagogue is always exhorting the members to come to services. Come for selichot, for shacharit every morning, for mincha/maariv on Shabbat afternoon. Honestly, Iím busy, I have work and family, and I donít find prayer services particularly meaningful. Why should I go to shul? Whatís in it for me?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

The Value of Disagreement

Posted on 12/17/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
While I am not an overly emotional person, there are a couple of stories that get me every time. Now the Talmud is generally...

Chanukah with the Governor of Rhode Island

Posted on 12/14/2017 by Rabbi Elan Adler in Holidays
Growing up as an observant Jew in Providence, Rhode Island, I attended the Providence Hebrew Day School, in which my father,...

Ten Expressions You Didn't Know Come From The Bible

Posted on 12/12/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
My husband and I were on a long road trip recently when he casually mentioned that the expression "cream of wheat"...

Hanukkah: The Jewish Christmas

Posted on 12/11/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Holidays
“Happy Hanukkah!” I have begun to hear these words with increased frequency as I go about my daily schedule....

Finding Our Purpose

Posted on 12/05/2017 by Marcia Goldlist in Beliefs and Practices
In our modern world new inventions are brought to our attention almost every day. And discoveries which will hopefully lead...

Why I Don't Decorate For Chanukah

Posted on 12/04/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Holidays
I’m in a Jewish Facebook group that, over the past few days, has had a series of posts with hundreds of comments about...
JVO Panel  of Scholars
           
 
NOW ADD JVO CONTENT TO
YOUR WEBSITE A FREE SERVICE
 
Click here for instructions to embed the
JVO "JEW Q's" widget on your website.
 
Jewish Values Online | email: info@jewishvaluesonline.org

Home | Search For Answers | Ask A Question | About | Contact Us | OriginsUseful Links | Blog | Help | Site Map

Copyright 2014 all rights reserved. Jewish Values Online
 
N O T I C E
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN ANSWERS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL JVO PANEL MEMBERS, AND DO NOT
NECESSARILY REFLECT OR REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE ORTHODOX, CONSERVATIVE OR REFORM MOVEMENTS, RESPECTIVELY.