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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

The Bible and Political Arguments

Posted on 07/13/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Last week I was sitting in a coffee shop talking about the politics surrounding the Israeli city of Hebron. One of the...

A Jewish Perspective on the Immigration Crisis

Posted on 07/11/2018 by Jacob Schwartz in News & Updates
Any of us who have been on the Internet at all during the last month or so have surely seen the countless articles, video...

The Importance of Jewish Family Traditions

Posted on 07/10/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
When I was a child, my sister and I had two narrow wooden chests of drawers in our shared basement bedroom. I knew they had...

A Premature Apocalypse

Posted on 07/09/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Reviews
Can a novel be a good way to learn about what Jewish tradition teaches about the End of Days and the Final Redemption? Dan...

When Bigots Run for Office....

Posted on 07/02/2018 by Moshe Daniel Levine in News & Updates
Initially, Judaism was never meant to be a religion disconnected from a land. The early prophets, priests, temple, Kings,...

What’s a Rabbi to Do?

Posted on 06/28/2018 by JVO Staff in Beliefs and Practices
Ed. Note: This is based on real situations, though all of the identifying facts and the timeframe have been changed to...
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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.