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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Harold Kudan (Emeritus)

Question: My neighbor strongly objects to my planting of a specfic grass type (Zoysia grass) saying that it will eventually overtake his lawn and he does not want Zoysia grass. Is there any Jewish moral reason why I must be considerate of his feelings?
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Question: Can you explain the value behind various Kosher certifications? Do all of them take the same things into consideration? If so - why so many? How did a commandment get politicized? And if not - what are the various considerations?
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Question: What is the Jewish view on royalty and all its ceremonies? Watching the rotal wedding I was struck by how very worship-y it all seemed....
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Question: I recently offered to help at the house of a close relative that was sitting shiva for her mother. Both non-kosher food trays and kosher food trays were being brought into the house. The people sitting shiva were not shomer kashrut. I felt uncomfortable with the situation as I didn’t want to serve the people sitting shiva from the non-kosher food trays, and I also didn’t want to make them feel uncomfortable or embarrass them during their shiva period. Would it be permissible for me to serve them food if they requested food from the non-kosher food tray? Are there less stringencies if the food tray was dairy versus meat?
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Question: Many families sing Chanukah songs before lighting the menorah, unlike on Shabbat, when the candles are lit before we say the blessings. Is that how it should be or are we supposed to refrain from singing songs and reciting the Chanukah blessings until the menorah has been lit? What is the proper way to do this in Judaism?
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Question: Everyone knows most affairs happen at work and its easy to see why. Now that I am married, I'd like avoid that ever happening to our marriage, but I am so used to the banter and the latent sexual edge of office life. Are there any Jewish guidelines that can help me stay true to myself, true to my wife, and still a part of the office crowd?
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Question: I work for a web marketing company and I know that they work with casinos, which I don't love, but can live with. However, I just learned that they have taken on a porn site as a client. My job is to build links and it doesn't require me viewing the material. But is it forbidden for me to in any way aid this industry? Or is it just part of my job?
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Question: Is there a problem accepting a business loan from a close Jewish relative with the understanding that the loan will be paid back with an extemely low interest rate, considering that Jewish law prohibits a Jew from charging another Jew interest.
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Question: I am very disturbed by the wasteful behavior at my synagogue. Every Kiddush after shul uses tons and tons of disposable goods, throws out a lot of half eaten food and half consumed plastic bottles of soda. Isn’t there a massive level of communal sin in this type of disposable behavior, particularly as our landfills overflow and our economy is so bad. How is this Jewish behavior?
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Question: Given the serious commandment of kibud av' v'em (honoring father and mother), ought a person attend the interfaith wedding of his or her parent, even if they don't "agree" with intermarriage per se?
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Question: Is there such a thing as a “chained man”? What happens in Jewish Law when a wife refuses to grant a divorce?
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Question: Should American Jews in positions to be heard – communal leaders, writers, editors – refrain from criticizing Israel’s policies in public, or from publishing negative stories (i.e., the ‘racist rabbis letter’), for fear that others will take this critique and use it for anti-Semitic ends?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Two Jews, Three Opinions: Social Media as Bully Pulpit

Posted on 05/17/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
The quip, “Two Jews, Three Opinions” is such a truism that I would guess there’s barely an...

Shavuot: Holiday of Intermarriage?

Posted on 05/15/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Holidays
The vast majority of Jews who study the Hebrew Bible do so, often unknowingly, through the lens of over 2,000 years of...

Why Secular Jews Should Celebrate Yom Yerushalayim

Posted on 05/08/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Israel
Unlike many liberal American or secular Jews, I will be proudly celebrating Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) this year. Let...

Israel Must Act Quickly To Win Back American Jewish Support

Posted on 05/06/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Israel
It is no secret that criticism of Israel has been proliferating from the mainstream American Jewish community over the past...

Live And Let Live

Posted on 05/04/2018 by Irene Rabinowitz in Israel
Recently I attended an event in Jerusalem during which acclaimed Israeli singer David Broza was interviewed. He is known for...

A Modest Proposal: Advertise Kosher Restaurants to Muslims

Posted on 04/29/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Want to keep your kosher restaurant open? Advertise to Muslims. It is no secret that kosher restaurants and businesses...
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