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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Corey Helfand

Question: I have a question for a rabbi. In a world where space is at a premium and I don't want to cause great financial strain for my family, why does Jewish tradition forbid me from choosing cremation as an option when I die? [JVO Kids: 4-6]
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Question: What role may a Christian stepfather play in or during the ceremony celebrating a Bar Mitzvah? [Administrator's note: A somewhat related question regarding names is found at: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=152]
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Question: What are three questions I can ask on a date or in a relationship if I'm seeing someone who isn't Jewish to understand how compatible or incompatible our values are? For example, I know I'm uncomfortable with the symbol of a crucifix, but I'm not really sure why. I am hoping for questions I could ask or scenarios I could present that really flush out the core value differences between Jews and non-Jews.
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Question: I'm a Russian Jew. I see myself as Jewish, even though I don't live Jewishly. I practice Buddhism, have non-Jewish boyfriends, and think that believing in G-d the way prayers show me makes man into a weak and helpless being. And yet I feel united with all Jewish women through the centuries when I light Chanukah candles, get liberated from Egypt and certain personal slaveries each Pesach (even though I don't keep any Pesach mitzvoth), and etc. It hurts me to feel that I would not be accepted as I am by other Jews. I don't want to comply and be "a good Jewish girl" just for the sake of it - it's not the kind of life I see for myself. Yet I want to find my place among my people and I don't know where it is... What can you tell me to help me? How can I find a way to fit into Judaism?
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Question: My first wife and I divorced many years ago. My oldest son (from that marriage) sided with her at that time, and still has no contact with me today, more than twenty years later. What action, if any, is necessary on my part in order to rectify this situation?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Women’s Only Spaces And Spaces Without Women

Posted on 05/24/2018 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Israel
Last night, I went to a Jewish concert by Ayelet HaShachar, a three-woman Baltimore-based band that I have been following...

Refuting Shavuot: Holiday of Intermarriage?

Posted on 05/24/2018 by Devorah Fastag in Holidays
NOTE: Jewish Values Online received an extensive refutation of a recent post and we are publishing it on its own, much as we...

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...
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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.