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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

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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THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN ANSWERS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL JVO PANEL MEMBERS, AND DO NOT
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