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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

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...
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