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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Joshua Cahan

Question: What qualifies a cemetery as a "Jewish cemetery"?
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Question: I am a Hispanic male that decided to convert to Orthodox Judaism. My best friend belongs to the Reform movement of Judaism and she told me that Hispanics are not allowed to convert to Orthodox Judaism and that only the Conservative and Reform movements allow Hispanics to convert. I wanted to see what Rabbis from the various movements would say, and if an Orthodox rabbi agrees with her.
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Question: Can a non-Jew (or a person studying for conversion, but not yet converted) lead prayers? Is there a difference for different parts or prayers (e.g. Kabbalat Shabbat vs Amidah)? Is there a difference if there is a minyan or not?
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Question: At the beginning of my relationship, I communicated clearly to my s.o. that I considered pornography to be infidelity. My partner agreed that he would stop. He continued for years without my knowledge, even lying about his computer being broken in order to hide his use. At points he even described his use an an addiction. This deceit went on for 6 years. According to Jewish Law, is it fair to consider this infidelity equal to a physical betrayal? [Administrator's note: See an earlier related question and answer on JVO at http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=304]
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Question: Does it go against Jewish law (Halachah) for a Jewish teen to wear a "purity ring" that features no Christian symbols?
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Question: In prison, must someone eat their kosher meals in their cell to keep (observe) kashrut? Or can they eat these meals in the common area, as long as the food is heated and served in Styrofoam or plastic containers, with plastic utensils (using separate dishes and utensils to avoid mixing meat and milk, and to avoid any forbidden foods being included), and wear a yamulke (often called a kippah, or head covering) and say the appropriate prayers?
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Question: I will start sitting shiva at my brother's house and conclude it in my own. Is it permissible to bring some of the food to my house?
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Question: What is the concept of "ohr lagoyim/le'ohr goyim" [a light to the nations], and how much should it be emphasized as an ultimate purpose of the Jewish nation/people, and/or the Jewish state of Israel? Did the concept exist before the time of the prophets, as an underlying, obvious, goal, or was it something new from those times? Is it something we are supposed to bring about on our own, and work for, or something that will naturally happen through miracles of G-d's will? What are the sources and the different ways of understanding it since the times of the prophets? -thank you! chag pesach sameach/moadeem le'simcha!
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Women, Wine and Feminine Wiles: A Chanukah Tale

Posted on 12/04/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Holidays
Every Hebrew School child knows about Yehudah (Judah) HaMaccabee, the Kohen (Jewish priest) who led the Maccabean Revolt...

“Jews” for Jesus? No Way!

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
The term “pluralistic institution” can often seem quite oxymoronic. Pluralism is generally defined as a state...

Feeling Deep Compassion for the Oppressed

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
A particularly moving paragraph that is recited by the entire congregation of pray-ers as part of the Shacharit (morning)...

Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, Both, or Neither

Posted on 12/02/2018 by Jacob Schwartz in Beliefs and Practices
B”SDAnti-Zionism is not inherently anti-Semitic. If you don’t agree with that sentiment, you may want to open...

Haters and Lies about Judaism & Jews

Posted on 11/29/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in News & Updates
Many absurd and dangerous conspiracy theories have intellectual or otherwise benign origins. In the late 1990s a team of...

Why Be Jewish?

Posted on 11/29/2018 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
Defining the Question Why be Jewish? It seems to be a simple, straightforward question, often employed to begin a...
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