blog | about | contact | origins | help
 
All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Peter Knobel

Question: Is lust identified as the cause of masturbation in the Talmud or other rabbinic writings, or is masturbation considered as separate from lust? What do Jewish texts teach about these topics? [Administrator's note: Questions that are related to these topics are found at: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=1074 & http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=153.]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: How can a socially isolated Jew with Asperger syndrome find a Jewish soulmate? [Administrator's note: A related question can be found on Jewish Values Online at: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=860]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: My beloved mother, 97 years old, is in intensive care in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I am in Canada, and also sick with bronchitis. My question is: if she seems to be ready to pass (go to olam habah) and wants me to come see her before that happens, but I am not able to go, what should I do. [What obligations do I have to honor my mother's wishes when it affects my own health?]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: My mother was Jewish (I didn't know her) my father gentile. Does that make me Jewish? Also what does that make my son and daughters?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: I would like to name my daughter Ava. My grandfather's (living) name is Avraham but his nickname is Ava. Would it be okay to name my daughter Ava if it's a variation of grandpa's name? (Ashkenazi tradition). [See also the following questions already on Jewish Values Online: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=59, http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=184, http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=840. Administrator]
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

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)?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: I recently lost my 23 year old son to an unintended drug overdose. My family is all beyond consolation. He did not "appear" to have a drug problem. He was living with his family post-college, in which he did well. He never pushed himself or really had goals, but he was so bright he always excelled. He held down a full time job after graduation, but he was caught 6 months ago stealing medication and other things in the home. He constantly lied to everyone. He started taking substances in his room and appearing "totally wasted". I started to get into conflicts with him over this not being acceptable. I consulted experts about what I should do. For his stealing I wanted him to show remorse and take responsibility for his actions by helping people less fortunate than himself - I wanted him to do do volunteer work at a hospice for people dying of AIDS, to maybe lessen his selfish self-destructive behavior, and because I thought he might learn what the fruits of drug abuse are. My wife said I was too severe on her baby,and a hospice was depressing. I wanted him to get in touch with Jewish culture and values. My wife laughed at me. I arranged for him to see a psychiatrist, but she did not learn enough about him in 6 months to help him. I am furious at my wife for undermining my efforts to help him. No one will know if my efforts would have have helped. But maybe they would. My wife refuses to say she might bear any responsibility for what happened because she sabotaged my efforts to help him.We have been married 35 years and have one living child, a 21 year girl who is much that our son was not. More pious than me. A scholar who hopes to go soon to medical school. She studied Hebrew and Yiddish and speaks to family in Yiddish. I know that I am just so angry, etc. Am I being unfair to my wife? Does it make any difference if she takes responsibility for prior actions? Unfortunately, it was never her nature to own up to the things she did. What should I do now?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Why is sefirat haomer (the time of counting the omer - the period from the second night of Pesach/Passover to Shavuot/Feast of Weeks) considered a period of mourning?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: How do you fulfill a sense of obligation and emotional ties when a person is narcissistic and self-serving?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: Recently, certain whiskey distillers in Scotland made a decision to boycott Israeli products. Is a boycott the best/most effective response to a boycott? Is there a better way for Jewish leadership to guide their constituents to express their unhappiness or displeasure with a decision?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: I am uncomfortable to the degree to which the Holocaust is used to justify [the existence of the modern state of] Israel. I feel the linkage between the two is often overplayed. Is there a way to remember the Holocaust and also fully justify the Jewish homeland without necessarily always linking the two?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: I'm very torn about recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan. On one hand, I'm thrilled that the Arab world is finally insisting on democracy. On the other hand, I am disheartened by the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment I see reported from these democracy seekers. Who are we, as Jews, supposed to "root" for? Seekers of fairness, or what is best "for the Jews"? (I feel awful even asking the question - there should be no difference in the two ideas.).
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: How can Jewish values help us repent for our sins?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

Question: What does Judaism say about intermarriage? What if the couple intends to raise their child to be Jewish?
Click here to view all of the answers for this question.

LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Fidget Spinners and the Jews

Posted on 05/24/2017 by Dina Newman in Beliefs and Practices
If you’ve seen a kid lately, you’ve probably also seen the newest craze in the toy world: the Fidget Spinner!...

Happy Jerusalem Day!

Posted on 05/21/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Israel
Photo Credit: Sharon Marks Altshul of Real Jerusalem Streets If you look at any newspaper in the world, it certainly seems...

The Marital Cucumber Clue

Posted on 05/17/2017 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
If I spend too much time spent on Facebook, my interpersonal sensitivities can get dulled. I sometimes find myself making...

A Jewish Take on the Netflix Show 13 Reasons Why

Posted on 05/16/2017 by Dina Newman in Beliefs and Practices
If you’re at all clued in to the pop culture world, you might be hearing the number 13 a lot lately. Schools,...

Tel Aviv Drunk. Tel Aviv Sober.

Posted on 05/12/2017 by Ben Emerling in Israel
Where can you find the best beaches, food, and people in the world? Look no further than Tel Aviv, Israel. Tel Aviv is known...

What Am I? Denominational Affiliation in a Post-Structuralist World

Posted on 05/11/2017 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
“How would you describe your Jewish affiliation?” or more bluntly “I don’t get it, what are...
JVO Panel  of Scholars
           
 
NOW ADD JVO CONTENT TO
YOUR WEBSITE A FREE SERVICE
 
Click here for instructions to embed the
JVO "JEW Q's" widget on your website.
 
Jewish Values Online | email: info@jewishvaluesonline.org

Home | Search For Answers | Ask A Question | About | Contact Us | OriginsUseful Links | Blog | Help | Site Map

Copyright 2014 all rights reserved. Jewish Values Online
 
N O T I C E
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN ANSWERS PROVIDED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL JVO PANEL MEMBERS, AND DO NOT
NECESSARILY REFLECT OR REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE ORTHODOX, CONSERVATIVE OR REFORM MOVEMENTS, RESPECTIVELY.