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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Simcha Cohen

Question: Ethically, should an observant (traditional or trthodox) Jewish man attend a shiva minyan when it is not known if there will be a mechitzah (divider separating the genders during prayers)? If there isn't one, can he still attend & be counted, even if he doesn't daven (pray)?
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Question: Is it acceptable to read instead of chant Torah for a public reading? When a person celebrating a bar or bat mitzvah wants to read Torah or haftarah instead of learning the chant, what can one say other than "It's tradition!"
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Question: Is it okay to shave your face with a razor instead of an electric shaver? I understand the electric shaver acts more like scissors than a blade, but I also understand the Halachah (Jewish laws) pertaining to this custom is intended to avoid a pagan practice. I used a razor for years, and changed to the electric shaver - the razor was much more efficient. Can you explain this, and comment on why it is so - what is the reason for this practice in Judaism, and is it universal?.
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Question: Why do women cover their eyes when lighting the Shabbat candles?
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Question: Hi. I met this girl, she is amazing to me, she feels like the one. I've got a problem: I'm a kohain (Kohen), and her mother converted. While her mother was far into the conversion process, this girl was born. Is she considered Jewish, or a convert? Please send me this answer soon. I would not go against my religion, but I feel that Hashem tests us in such hard ways and so many times.
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Question: [According to traditional Judaism] At what age can a Jewish boy have his first haircut? What is the reason this might differ for the different streams in Judaism?
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Question: Purim (as I understand it) celebrates Jewish victory over enemies who sought to destroy us. We killed a bunch of them before they killed us. Two things: What's with the costumes? And: In this day and age where we actually have a sovereign state with an army, isn't it rather insensitive to celebrate this holiday?
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Question: Can you explain what is written in these new (Orthodox and other) marriage “prenups” that more and more young religious people seem to be signing? Is this in line with Jewish law? Is it appropriate to contemplate the end of the marriage before it even begins in Jewish thought?
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Question: Is it true that the giving of presents instead of gelt (money) on Chanukah is a borrowed tradition from Christmas?
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Question: If I develop a screenplay/script to a movie, and my friend took my script/screenplay and actually made a movie out of it, without my permission, and if he made money from the movie, what do Jewish laws say that could help me prove that I am the rightful owner of the script and should be paid by my friend?
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Question: My grandfather celebrated a second bar mitzvah. Can you explain the reason behind his doing so and if this is a ceremony expected of all Jews of a certain age?
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Question: I sometimes feel disrespected by my bosses, but am hesitant to defend myself. What does Jewish law say about how employers should treat employees? Are there a set of rules that one should follow?
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Question: Why cannot Ashkenazic Jews be named after a living person? Why are Sephardic Jews named after a living person? Is this law or just custom?
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Question: What is the Jewish view on abortion? If abortion is not allowed, what if the baby was conceived out of wedlock?
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