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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Corey Helfand

Question: I have a question for a rabbi. In a world where space is at a premium and I don't want to cause great financial strain for my family, why does Jewish tradition forbid me from choosing cremation as an option when I die? [JVO Kids: 4-6]
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Question: What role may a Christian stepfather play in or during the ceremony celebrating a Bar Mitzvah? [Administrator's note: A somewhat related question regarding names is found at: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=152]
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Question: What are three questions I can ask on a date or in a relationship if I'm seeing someone who isn't Jewish to understand how compatible or incompatible our values are? For example, I know I'm uncomfortable with the symbol of a crucifix, but I'm not really sure why. I am hoping for questions I could ask or scenarios I could present that really flush out the core value differences between Jews and non-Jews.
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Question: I'm a Russian Jew. I see myself as Jewish, even though I don't live Jewishly. I practice Buddhism, have non-Jewish boyfriends, and think that believing in G-d the way prayers show me makes man into a weak and helpless being. And yet I feel united with all Jewish women through the centuries when I light Chanukah candles, get liberated from Egypt and certain personal slaveries each Pesach (even though I don't keep any Pesach mitzvoth), and etc. It hurts me to feel that I would not be accepted as I am by other Jews. I don't want to comply and be "a good Jewish girl" just for the sake of it - it's not the kind of life I see for myself. Yet I want to find my place among my people and I don't know where it is... What can you tell me to help me? How can I find a way to fit into Judaism?
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Question: My first wife and I divorced many years ago. My oldest son (from that marriage) sided with her at that time, and still has no contact with me today, more than twenty years later. What action, if any, is necessary on my part in order to rectify this situation?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Your Anti-Zionism is quite possibly Anti-Semitic

Posted on 01/16/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in News & Updates
High on the list of ironies surrounding anti-Israel organizations is their vocal criticism of the way that Israel has...

Secret Jewish Druggies

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[Ed Note: This entry to the Jewis Values Online blog addresses some difficult and troubling issues, from a rather personal...

Why Be Jewish? [Part 2] The Forces Within and the Forces Without

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
In our opening discussion on this topic (please see Why Be Jewish? - Defining the Question), we raised the issue that,...

Yes, You Can Be A Jewish Atheist

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
To say that Judaism is a religion is to misunderstand two things. First, the term “religion” is a new word...

Prayer as a Form of Wishes

Posted on 01/03/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
January 2019For a curriculum that I created many years ago concerning Jewish identity, I proposed that one can draw...

A Biblical Commentary for Rationalists

Posted on 01/02/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
"an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot" - Shemot (Exodus) 21:24 Along with...
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