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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Joan Friedman

Question: The following question appeared in "the Ethicist " column of the New York Times Magazine. "Some knowledge about hypothermia comes from brutal Nazi medical experiments conducted on prisoners of war. Considering the data came from the destruction of their lives, are there ethical issues when modern-day scientists use it? Could it be considered a form of collaboration with the Nazis? Or does the origin of the data matter if the data is useful? Declaring the data off-limits could lead to preventable deaths, while using the data seems coldheartedly clinical." What is the Jewish response to this seeming dilemma?
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Question: A person buys merchandise and pays fair value, only to suspect that the seller may have stolen the goods. The buyer feels guilty about keeping the goods. Throwing them away does not right the situation. Selling them to someone else is no better. Reporting the seller seems hypocritical - there is no evidence. What is the buyer's obligation according to Jewish values? (This question is based on an inquiry appearing in the "New York Times Sunday Magazine" The Ethicist column.)
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Question: If a medicine is applied to the skin near the mouth, and some is accidentally swallowed, is it a problem if the ingredients may not be kosher? [Administrators note: A related question is found at http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=123.]
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Question: Can and should a woman nominate someone to say Kaddish on her behalf?
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Question: I work in a fast-paced, fairly "cutthroat" world. Is there a Jewish perspective on balancing personal ambitions, and needing to be aggressive to achieve those, with building and maintaining positive relationships with colleagues and co-workers?
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Question: Are there any limitations about having sex during marriage? Is it ok to use birth control?
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Question: What are the basic differences between Christianity and Judaism (apart from the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ)? How do these differences show up in what we are told is ethical and correct behavior?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Is There Anything All Jews Share?

Posted on 08/21/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
We are in the middle of an age of intense disagreement. Between politics, religion, and other public topics - it seems that...

The Hate That Is Being Revived Before Our Eyes

Posted on 08/17/2017 by Carol Silver Elliott in Beliefs and Practices
My father was born in Poland, born at a time when anti-Semitism was not just prevalent, it was a fact of life. Yet while Dad...

Criticizing Critics of Biblical Criticism

Posted on 08/14/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
One of the reasons why I love the Jewish blogging world so much is that at any given time there is a whole array of topics...

Social Media and God

Posted on 08/14/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
It is easy to tell what a society is deeply worried about by the entertainment it produces. In this case, it is clear that...

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...
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