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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

Detoxing From Israel

Posted on 06/13/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Israel
On a recent trip to America from our home in Israel, I read a handful of local Jewish publications. I want to tell you about...

How Brave Would I Be - Wearing a Kippah in Germany

Posted on 06/11/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
I have had a safer, more privileged, unconfined, and all around freer upbringing than any previous Jewish generation before...

Counterpoint: The Traditional Jewish View of Moshiach

Posted on 06/05/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
In a recent post, fellow Jewish Values Online blogger Moshe Daniel Levine echoed the liberal Jewish perspective that there...

Sinai – The Binding of Belief and Knowledge

Posted on 06/05/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Holidays
One of the difficulties in approaching the Biblical text is that it describes realities that are vastly different than our...

SIN AT THE DOOR, SINAI AT HEAVEN’S GATE: A TEACHING FOR SHAVUOT.

Posted on 06/02/2019 by Rabbi Dan Ornstein in Holidays
Here is one part of the Torah’s aching narrative about what Elie Wiesel called the world’s first genocide: In...

The Importance of the Messiah is That He is Never Coming

Posted on 06/02/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
In the late 18th century a small group of European Jews made a radical and heretical claim. There is no Messiah, he...
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