blog | about | contact | origins | help
 
All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Aaron Schonbrun

Question: How does Judaism view the occult and "new age" practices and ideas? For example, Tarot cards, ceremonial or folk magic, or astrology. I don't believe these things have actual supernatural powers, but I do find a lot of symbolic value in them. Provided one is not worshiping other gods or practicing another religion, can one be a Jew and still take part in these things for self-exploration or purely out of curiosity? If not, where would a Jew draw the line today?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: How can I earn (re-gain?) trust if I lied to a loved one? How do I tell the truth after a lie if no one trusts me? [JVO Kids: 4-6]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: In Judaism, when someone dies, how soon can/should you donate their clothing?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: May a couple who have been converted in Masorti (connected with Conservative) Judaism celebrate a Jewish marriage ceremony in an Orthodox synagogue?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: How should someone in the modern world fulfill the mitzvah for every Jew to write his own Torah scroll? If it's figurative or outdated, what's the modern-day equivalent? If one fulfills it literally, by commissioning or writing a Torah, can the Torah be donated or loaned to a synagogue, or must one retain ownership of one's Torah?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Hi. I have been dating a boy 7 months now and we were planning on marrying until we found out that my great grandmother on my father's side's conversion was done wrong which makes the rest of the family down not Jewish on that side. The problem is the boy I am dating is a kohen (Priest, descendant of Aaron). Would an orthodox rabbi marry us? I have very severe heart problems and every time I have to think about not marrying him it stresses me to the point that I have to go to the hospital and receive IV medicine if not worse. What can we do?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: What is structured (fixed) prayer all about in Judaism? Canít we just speak directly to Hashem (G-d) in our own words and language?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: I recently lost my 23 years old son, suddenly and unexpectedly. I am inconsolable. Friends from school, work, and the neighborhood that are Afro-American have shown great love which I appreciate more than words can express, but they don't know of our different customs. I am getting cards with cash in them to help pay for the funeral. I am very uncomfortable. I don't want to insult anyone. Gentile fiends are also sending traditional Christian baskets with floral arrangement of lillies, etc. What should I do?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Should we still be spending time and resources on prosecuting Nazi war criminals, many of whom are old and sick?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Is it permitted for a practicing Conservative Jew (or others) to follow a Western Sephardic minhag (customs, other than their own family's)? I am Conservative through and through, but follow a Spanish-Portuguese minhag at home and with children and grandchildren. I don't make an issue of this in the community (which is largely Ashkenazic, not Sephardic), but prefer to attend a Spanish-Portuguese synagogue during the High Holidays if possible.I feel the two traditions are very close. Please understand, I am clear that I am a Conservative Jew. Is there any problem with this?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Labor union strikes can paralyze a local economy. What is the Jewish position on striking and work stoppages?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: In my spiritual journey to find what traditions are meaningful to me and enhance my understanding of Judaism, I've considered starting to cover my hair (I'm married). How do I reconcile my feminist values with Jewish ideas of Tzniut and practices such as hair covering?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: According to Jewish law and custom, may I buy a plastic Buddha head for a house decoration?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Many of the movements, and even individual congregations, are writing their own prayerbooks/siddurim. Is this valid and inline with Klal Yisrael (All Israel) and other Jewish values?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

A Quick Lesson from Dog Poop

Posted on 10/22/2017 by Aliza Gable Lipkin in Beliefs and Practices
Last Erev Shabbat I was rushing around all day trying to finish the cooking, laundry, cleaning while handling assorted mini...

A Jewish Perspective on Columbus Day versus Indigenous People's Day

Posted on 10/20/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Another thing to add to the rampant bipartisanism within America is the debate over Columbus or Indigenous Peoples’...

Freedom Is Not Free

Posted on 10/17/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
“he shall not bring the people back to Egypt..for the Lord said to you, "You shall not return that way any...

An Accidental Messiah

Posted on 10/08/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Reviews
Many Jews associate the idea of a messiah with Christianity. The truth is, the concept of a messiah is actually very Jewish....

On Kneeling, Kippot and National Anthems

Posted on 10/06/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
For the past couple of years, my attention towards the NFL has been steadily decreasing. The games are extremely long with a...

Sukkot: The Quintessential Biblical Holiday for the Nations

Posted on 10/03/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Holidays
If you’re a Jew and you’ve never heard of any of what I’m about to show you, hold on to your hat, because...
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.