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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

The Temple & the Future of Judaism

Posted on 10/21/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
An hour before sunrise Shabbat morning Eli woke up with a mixture of nervousness and excitement about the upcoming day....

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...
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