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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Joshua Cahan

Question: What qualifies a cemetery as a "Jewish cemetery"?
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Question: I am a Hispanic male that decided to convert to Orthodox Judaism. My best friend belongs to the Reform movement of Judaism and she told me that Hispanics are not allowed to convert to Orthodox Judaism and that only the Conservative and Reform movements allow Hispanics to convert. I wanted to see what Rabbis from the various movements would say, and if an Orthodox rabbi agrees with her.
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Question: Can a non-Jew (or a person studying for conversion, but not yet converted) lead prayers? Is there a difference for different parts or prayers (e.g. Kabbalat Shabbat vs Amidah)? Is there a difference if there is a minyan or not?
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Question: At the beginning of my relationship, I communicated clearly to my s.o. that I considered pornography to be infidelity. My partner agreed that he would stop. He continued for years without my knowledge, even lying about his computer being broken in order to hide his use. At points he even described his use an an addiction. This deceit went on for 6 years. According to Jewish Law, is it fair to consider this infidelity equal to a physical betrayal? [Administrator's note: See an earlier related question and answer on JVO at http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=304]
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Question: Does it go against Jewish law (Halachah) for a Jewish teen to wear a "purity ring" that features no Christian symbols?
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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?
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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: What is the concept of "ohr lagoyim/le'ohr goyim" [a light to the nations], and how much should it be emphasized as an ultimate purpose of the Jewish nation/people, and/or the Jewish state of Israel? Did the concept exist before the time of the prophets, as an underlying, obvious, goal, or was it something new from those times? Is it something we are supposed to bring about on our own, and work for, or something that will naturally happen through miracles of G-d's will? What are the sources and the different ways of understanding it since the times of the prophets? -thank you! chag pesach sameach/moadeem le'simcha!
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

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...

Open Letter To The Women Who Sit In My Seat In Synagogue From The Deaf Woman Who Needs It

Posted on 09/27/2017 by Guest Blogger in Holidays
You do not know me, at least not by name. This year, for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, my assigned seat is directly behind...
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