blog | about | contact | origins | help
All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Question: I am 79 yrs old an recently remarried. My eldest child, age 47 is not excepting and even shunning my wife. Should I leave him out of my will and trust according to Jewish Law?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Should I refrain from consuming media produced by celebrities who later became known as Anti-Semites? For example, the Lethal Weapon series includes Mel Gibson, although it was produced before he became known as an Anti-Semite. Another example is the music of Pink Floyd, which included Roger Waters, but was produced before Waters became known as an Anti-Semite. [Administrator's note: This issue appears in various forms. For example, one question on the website has to do with purchasing German-made autos (and other products): In another context, many rabbis advise the couples they counsel not to use any music at their wedding composed by Wagner or Mendelsohn because they either worked with/supported the Nazi regime, or they were seen as destroyers of Judaism - which is why it is rare to hear "The Wedding March" by Mendelsohn at a Jewish wedding. Not too long ago, a fashion designer expressed vile anti-Semitic views, and there were repercussions, including at least one famous person publicly refusing to wear anything by him, or from the design house he worked for, raising a massive amount of negative publicity for that fashion house. The issue that underlies this question is whether the person, and their actions/politics, can be separated from the art they create. It deals with memory, repentance, forgiveness, compassion, and punishment, among other matters.]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: This question appeared in the New York Times Magazine: Is it ethical to buy something at a yard sale or a flea market at the seller's asking price if you know the value of the item to be significantly higher than what is being asked? Let's say, for example, someone is selling an old comic book worth thousands of dollars but asks for only a quarter because he or she does not know the true value. Is it incumbent on the seller to do his or her research? If the seller does not, is it fair game? Does the buyer have any obligation to inform the seller?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: In prison, must someone eat their kosher meals in their cell to keep (observe) kashrut? Or can they eat these meals in the common area, as long as the food is heated and served in Styrofoam or plastic containers, with plastic utensils (using separate dishes and utensils to avoid mixing meat and milk, and to avoid any forbidden foods being included), and wear a yamulke (often called a kippah, or head covering) and say the appropriate prayers?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: How long is too long to date before two Jewish adults decide to get engaged? Is this a matter of Jewish law or of custom?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: A few months ago, I accidentally discovered that my wife of almost 3 years (the complete love of my life) was having an affair with another man. The circumstances were just horrific. I was just stunned and devastated to learn all this. I had no idea of my wife's frustrations, and no idea she was someone that was even capable of doing such a thing. We have been to regular counseling for months now, and even now my wife is still at a loss to completely explain what happened and how it evolved. Here is my question... Now, 3-4 months removed from the affair, I am still occasionally dealing with hurt and pain that I may never fully get over 100%. Nonetheless, I have forgiven my wife and chosen to stay with her. In spite of what occurred, I do love her tremendously. I do believe she is my beshert/soulmate. I am happiest when I'm with her, and I still see my future with her, and I believe that she feels the same way about me. Tears beyond tears have been cried by both of us, and my wife has expressed an enormous amount of regret, remorse, and an appropriate amount of self-loathing, all of which I judge to be genuine. At times, she has even suggested attending Shabbat services at our local synagogue to atone and ask G-d for forgiveness. For sure, I am not fully over what happened, and I may never be fully over it altogether. Likewise, she may never be able to get over the fact that she committed adultery and betrayed and acted against someone she loves. It is a terrible tragedy in both our lives that can never be undone. But I'm pleased to say that my wife and I are currently in a very good place. We are extremely happy with one another and extremely in love. And ironically, the communication which has resulted since the affair (which should have come prior to the affair) has taken our relationship to an even far better place in so many ways than where I perceived it to be prior to the affair. In short then, I have forgiven my wife. I hope that she can eventually forgive herself. Will G-d do the same? What does Judaism say about this situation?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: How important should the Israel factor be when deciding who to vote for during a presidential election? Do American-Jewish voters have an obligation to vote for the most pro-Israel president, even if he conflicts with them on other values?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

The Hidden Irony of Chanukah Decorations

Posted on 11/21/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Holidays
Every year around this time, Jewish people begin to comment on social media about the availability, or lack of availability,...

One of my Favoriate Torah Scenes

Posted on 11/17/2019 by Marcia Goldlist in Beliefs and Practices
One of my favorite scenes in the Torah is in the portion of Vayeira which we read on Shabbat. God is about to destroy Sodom...

The Ancient Jewish Debate about Modern Israeli Politics

Posted on 11/17/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
“...Now appoint us a king to judge over us (so we can be) like all other nations” (1 Sam 8:5)But the Jews...

The Wisdom of a 41 Year-Old Jew

Posted on 11/14/2019 by Hillel Fuld in Beliefs and Practices
How much better is it to acquire wisdom than gold! And to acquire understanding is preferable to silver. - Mishlei...

Moving On

Posted on 11/10/2019 by Marcia Goldlist in Beliefs and Practices
An extended stay at the hospital for my husband in a ward generally meant for people who stay no more than a few days had me...

Jewish Practice and Abolishment of Human Sacrifice

Posted on 11/10/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Right outside of the southern wall of the old city of Jerusalem lies a deep valley known as the Valley of Hinnom (Gei...
JVO Panel  of Scholars
Click here for instructions to embed the
JVO "JEW Q's" widget on your website.
Jewish Values Online

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

Copyright 2014 all rights reserved. Jewish Values Online