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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Herbert (Emeritus) Bronstein

Question: What does Jewish law (Halachah) say about combat sports like boxing?
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Question: If a person advanced money for the care of his mother [parent], can he then say that he wants the whole sum returned, and not agree to be part of a 4 way division of the estate to the four siblings? This would effectively mean that he would not contribute at all towards the costs of the care of his mother, because he is charging his siblings for the cash he forwarded to the estate to pay for the care of his mother. Is that money he does not pay considered interest, and would it be excessive usury (25%) and not allowed? What do Jewish values say about this situation? CLARIFICATION: This is the fuller scenario: My mother a'h' was hospitalized and then sent to a nursing home where we supplied extra aides for the night shift to watch her. It was very costly. I suggested to my 3 siblings that we should sell my mothers house, or take out a mortgage or an equity loan or a reverse mortgage on her home to cover these costs. My brother said no, he would not do that. I pointed out that our mother had a house, social security, some other money, and a rental income from a lease on the first floor of the home, so no one should be responsible to pay from their pocket for her care because she has income and can afford it herself. He (on his own) decided to shell out the cost of her care from his own pocket, rather than take it out of the value of the property. The total bill for expenditure that he gave out from 2004 till 2008 was $300,000 for aides in the home. Now skip to the present. Mother died in 2008. It turns out that my brother had been given a power of attorney over the property, though he did not tell us this. We want to settle the estate. We finally sold the house. He wants the whole sum of money he shelled out paid back to him, before we settle. The result would be that he would not pay his one-fourth share of the $300,000 costs ($300,000 divided by 4=$75,000). He refuses to accept anything less than the $300,000 amount because he shelled out the total amount, and now he says he is exempt from paying his share for the care of my mother. In other words, effectively, he is charging the estate $75,000 dollars for the use of his money, or a fee of one-fourth (25%). Is this legitimate per Jewish law (Halachah)?
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Question: When buying a new car, I know it is the right thing to do to think of environmental concerns - miles per gallon of gas, CO2, etc...But are there any Jewish directives here? A What Would Moses Do kind of thing?
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Question: My 6 year old asked me how it is we have free choice if God knows everything in advance, and while I'm so proud of him for his advanced thinking, I am embarassed that I don't know the answer! Can you help? What does Judaism say?
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Question: I see a lot of my friends posting “status updates” about their parents, kids or spouses – anecdotes that are funny, but at times seem to be bordering on derogatory. Where is the line between sharing things with friends, or insulting your family or friends in public?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

A Little Story About What Meir Said

Posted on 03/18/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Israel
A few days ago, my husband and I had just finished a meeting in Kikar HaMusica - Music Square - in Jerusalem with some new...

From Heresy to Heresy – The Case of Uriel da Costa

Posted on 03/17/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Portugal, along with a whole host of sister counties in Christendom, was not an easy place to be Jewish in the late Middle...

When Sephardim Wear Black Hats

Posted on 03/13/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Perhaps there is no era of Jewish history as hotly debated as the Golden Age in Spain. After the rise and spread of nascent...

Wearing a Kippah in a Non-Kosher Restaurant

Posted on 03/07/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
It’s the classic case. A Jewish man walks into a non-kosher restaurant to grab some food with a friend and...

Sacred Space is Safe Space

Posted on 03/06/2018 by Rabbi Alan Yuter in Beliefs and Practices
Question: There is an individual in the community bullying other members of the kehilla, as well as maligning the shul to...

A Little Bit of Purim

Posted on 03/04/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Holidays
I was home sick and all but missed Purim this year. A friend and neighbor came and read the Megillah for me at home. She did...
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