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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

National Despair

Posted on 07/27/2017 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
During these Three Weeks which we are presently experiencing on the Jewish calendar, we are not just marking the historical...

Intermarriage: The Beginning of the End

Posted on 07/23/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Believe me, I completely understand why a Jewish community would want to do away with the ethnocentric notion of Jewish...

You Donít Know What You've Got ĎTil Itís Gone

Posted on 07/21/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
Every night, in my dreams, I walk around like an ordinary person. Then I awaken and I struggle to get up off the makeshift...

Moving On From Destruction

Posted on 07/18/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Holidays
They say that history is written by the winners. This was the sentiment that I felt exactly two years ago when I was sitting...

Criticize with Kindness

Posted on 07/09/2017 by Rabbi Elan Adler in Beliefs and Practices
“There’s always a nice and decent way to say something.” This is a lesson we repeated to our girls,...

American Jew or Jewish American?

Posted on 07/06/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Growing up, there was always the looming question of whether or not one was an American Jew or a Jewish American. The...
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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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