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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

Campus Anti-Semitism: The Low-Down on Wearing a Kippah at UC Berkeley

Posted on 10/11/2018 by Jacob Schwartz in News & Updates
I am a Kippah wearing Orthodox Jew at UC Berkeley and I am not afraid. I am one of 2 undergraduate students who regularly...

Saying Kaddish for My Mother

Posted on 10/07/2018 by Guest Blogger in Beliefs and Practices
By Rivka Tibber (Rivka Leah bat Esther Rachel) Saying kaddish (Jewish memorial prayer) for my Mom z"l (of blessed...

Elokeynu Echad - Yes! But Judaism as the source of Monotheism NOT!

Posted on 10/04/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
A common refrain tells us that Judaism was the first monotheistic religion and that our ancestors were the first to...

Sukkot - Jewish Fountain of Youth?

Posted on 10/03/2018 by Jacob Schwartz in Holidays
The holiday of Sukkot is the holiday of happiness. Literally - when we recite the prayers for the holiday we constantly...

A Funeral And The Mitzvah Of An Ordinary Jew

Posted on 09/17/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Israel
Do you know this man? His name is Ari Fuld. And yesterday, in front of a grocery store just south of Jerusalem, this Jewish...

What I Did When Someone Wounded Me

Posted on 09/13/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Holidays
Recently, someone took a pretty enormous swipe at me online, accusing me of a serious breach of trust and of causing...
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