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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Gilah Dror

Question: What sacred text is prophetic vision contained in, as well as where is the concept of tikkun olam (repair of the world)?
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Question: I am a religiously-unaffiliated philosophy professor seriously considering conversion to Judaism, and am currently learning as much as I can in order to make a decision. My reasons for wanting to convert are entirely my own - I find myself drawn to the religion's beliefs and practices and feel it may be where I belong. In my research I have found numerous books on the subject of conversion, however they normally focus on the process of conversion itself - the 'how'. Whilst this is certainly important, I feel I first need to tackle the question of 'should' on a deep and careful level. I would like to make a sincere spiritual and moral commitment, and I know that converting to Judaism is not a small or trivial commitment to make. Are you able to recommend any reading material that explores the question of 'should I convert?' in a deep and contemplative way? Something that explores not just the practicalities of the decision, but its deeper meaning in terms of one's moral commitments and relationship with God? I am particularly interested in the pros and cons in this respect, as I have sometimes encountered dire warnings that "It is better to be a righteous Gentile than to make a commitment that you cannot keep". I feel I will need to study and contemplate the pros and cons of conversions very deeply in order to choose wisely. Thank you for your time (and feel free to edit this overly-long question for clarity).
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Question: How do I respond to my adult children's objections to burying my husband's ashes at Arlington vs. the local cemetery (that is out of my price comfort level). My husband served 2 years as LCMC. [Admininstrators note: Related questions are found on Jewish Values Online here: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=178 and http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=223.]
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Question: My father was Jewish. I am married to a Jewish man. My children were raised in a very Conservative Jewish way, and have married into almost Orthodox families. I consider myself a Jew. Where can I convert to be accepted as fully Jewish in ALL Jewish communities?
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Question: If three people are in love and respect, and accept not being in a monogamous relationship, can they have that relationship in Judaism? Would that be accepted by halachah? Our patriarchs were not monogamous. Why them do we understand only monogamy as the acceptable practice today? Would not acceptance of non-monogamous relationships help to address and reduce the pain of betrayal, which is unfortunately so common, because we are subjected to the ideology and restrictions of monogamy? Is it time to return to the idea of a concubine or pilegesh within halachic Judaism?
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Question: Wouldn’t the Jewish people and Israel be better served to solve the Women of the Wall dilemma quietly through political and legal channels? Israel is a democratic country where citizens can make change with their vote for political parties that represent their beliefs.
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Question: Does a funeral arranger (who is in constant contact with the deceased, caskets, etc) remain in a state of permanent uncleanness? Are there certain practices or principles that ought to be observed from a Jewish perspective as regards shaking other people's hands, handling food etc, or is regular washing of the hands acceptable?
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Question: My son wishes to volunteer to help disabled children in a program that takes them in a pool in a local church. Given halacha re: entering churches and mixed swimming is this permissible?
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Question: Is it a Jewish value to support the notion that government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor?
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Question: I am an adult woman with a developmental disorder (autism/asperger's Syndrome). I have two young adult children who both also have this disorder. It is genetic in our family. What does the Torah/Talmud say (if anything) about such disabilities and how disabled people should be treated?
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Question: I had a child with a Jewish man 33 years ago. At the time he wanted me to get an abortion, but I did not, and I did not tell him. He just found out of our son's existence a year ago. What if any are his obgligations to this child? He left when he found out I was expecting. We are now in contact with each other, and he came to meet his son this last month. Is this child entitled to have his father's last name? The child has always known who his father was. I raised this child by myself as I don't believe in abortion. His father and I do talk often now. For a lot of years I had no way to contact his father. didn't know where he was, but recently I found him and told him he has a son. I am not Jewish and don't know the laws in that faith, or if he has any obligations to his son. Any answers would help me. Thanks.
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Question: What is the connection between the Land of Israel, the natural cycle, and Jewish practice? Especially for Jews living outside the land of Israel, is this still important?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

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I find the High Holidays extremely difficult to connect to. See the vast majority of Jewish holidays incorporate...

My Soul Needed To See That

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Yesterday, an image came up on my Facebook newsfeed that stopped me in my tracks. This amazing painting was done by...

The KKK, a Black Musician and the Bible

Posted on 08/28/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
What do the KKK, a black musician, and a misinterpretation of a Biblical story have in common? A few nights ago, I watched a...
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THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN ANSWERS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL JVO PANEL MEMBERS, AND DO NOT
NECESSARILY REFLECT OR REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE ORTHODOX, CONSERVATIVE OR REFORM MOVEMENTS, RESPECTIVELY.