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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Dan Danson

Question: What is the Jewish perspective on genetic sex selection of children? Would the latitude (if any) given to genetically select against diseases apply to selecting for desired properties like intelligence or height?
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Question: Can an atheist be a Jew? [Administrators note: similar questions exists on JVO at http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=142, and http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id-48.]
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Question: Is is proper to send an e-mail invitation to an unveiling? [Admin. Note: Similar or related questions are found at: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=608 and http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=666.]
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Question: I have a question regarding my status as a Jew and whether it is proper to call myself one. My father is Jewish, my mother is not. I had a bris milah performed by a rabbi shortly after I was born, but was then raised Catholic by my mother. I always identified with being a Jew and when people ask I answer affirmatively. I have made aliyah to Israel and am studying in ulpan if that makes any difference. If I am not considered Jewish, I plan to undergo a recognized conversion. What is involved in that?
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Question: What is the Jewish response to this question in the "New York Times Magazine" Ethicist column, May 19, 2013? It is common practice to decline to give colleagues and students a reference if one has nothing positive to say about them. When someone looks good on paper but is less competent in real life, is it ethical to act against someone to ensure that the work goes to someone who is a better fit? [There are related questions at: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=31 http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=354.]
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Question: In the story of Purim, why was Esther willing to marry a non-Jewish king? What do we learn from this?
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Question: If ones daughters married non-Jews, can their children and spouses attend the Pesach seder according to Jewish law and custom? [Administrator's note: See http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=384 for a similar question answered on JVO earlier.]
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Question: My uncle's family is holding a one-year memorial and stone unveiling honoring my uncle... on Yom Kippur! I was not close to my uncle but my mother was, and she is urging me to go to this event. I am thinking I should be at services, including yizkor to honor my father, whom I was extremely close with. They are even planning to make it into a celebration of my uncle's life and have food afterwards. My uncle was Jewish and my mom is, but these family members arranging the event are not. What are the principles I should consider and is there a clear imperative in what I should do? What would Jewish law and thought tell me is the way to proceed?
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Question: I want to know something about Jewish prayer. Do Jews praying have a ritual like 'wudu' (as Muslims do), the washing of their hands, in preparation to pray? Is it thrice right hand, thrice left hand? Before praying and/or after praying? Have you an online reference, with a picture, that you could direct me to view? Arash from Iran
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Question: I was wondering. I've heard different things from different people, and was told a lot of different opinions. In Judaism, among Jews, what is considered as 'losing your virginity', particularly for a girl? I've always viewed it to be when a girl's hymen is broken by a man in a sexual act, but some people have been telling me otherwise. So my question is, 'What constitutes 'losing your virginity' for a girl?' What would change her status from 'virgin' to not?
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Question: What is the Jewish perspective on trust? Is it ever permitted to betray someone's trust? What type of person should be trusted? Is being trustworthy a mitzvah (commandment)?
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Question: Where does the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) originate, and is it a mitzvah (commandment) or does it hold the same level of importance as a mitzvah?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

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...

On Female Torah Scholarship

Posted on 02/26/2017 by Rabbi Johnny Solomon in Beliefs and Practices
Recently, my Facebook feed has been buzzing with reflections and responses to the Orthodox Union’s position paper...
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