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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Lev Baesh (Emeritus)

Question: It's tough to draw the line between socio-cultural practices and food wastage. Should we draw a line when preparing meals for Shabbat?
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Question: Should we continue to mourn the destruction of the Temple in this day and age, when the Jewish people once again have sovereignty in the land of Israel?
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Question: Should we be proactive and try to explain our customs to non-Jews, or is it better not to, since many of our customs may seem strange and be viewed negatively by the larger world? For examples: circumcision, and waving the Lulav & Etrog (palm branch and citron - four species).
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Question: At what point should parents give up their efforts to “control” how their children observe religion? For example, if a child decides they do not want to attend weekly Shabbat services or wants to stop wearing a kippah, what should the parents' response be?
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Question: How should donors to synagogues be thanked?
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Question: Lag Baomer - the 33rd day of the 7 weeks observant Jews count between Passover and Shavuot - is a total mystery to me. The celebrations, what seems to border on pagan ritual at rabbis' graves - all of it...very odd. Can you provide clarity / insight / rationale?
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Question: Is there validity to the debate within small pockets of the Jewish world to fold Yom Hashoah into another remembrance day such as Tisha B'Av or the 10th of Tevet?
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Question: Can someone transfer their obligation of saying kaddish for parent over a 12 month period to another person or organization for pay (Tzedakah)? Or is this just a tradition with no real obligation?
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Question: Purim (as I understand it) celebrates Jewish victory over enemies who sought to destroy us. We killed a bunch of them before they killed us. Two things: What's with the costumes? And: In this day and age where we actually have a sovereign state with an army, isn't it rather insensitive to celebrate this holiday?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

The Gifts of Being A Certain Age

Posted on 10/22/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
A few months ago, I wrote about turning a new age. Four months later, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the...

An Introduction to the Talmud_Part 3_Tips for Starting Your Talmudic Journey

Posted on 10/20/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
This is part three in a series: An Introduction to the Talmud. For part 1 click here. For part 2 click here. There is a...

The Book of Genesis Lays a Foundaton

Posted on 10/20/2019 by Marcia Goldlist in Beliefs and Practices
My grandfather used to tell me with prideHow his parents came to Canada to reside.It was very hard for them he would tellAnd...

Sukkot by Dani Shira Plung

Posted on 10/18/2019 by Guest Blogger in Holidays
Last Sukkot—which fell at the end of September, by the Gregorian calendar—I went home, to my childhood house, in...

History, Memory, and Sukkot

Posted on 10/17/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Holidays
One of the central dialectics within Judaism is the interplay between history (what actually happened) and memory (what...

Guess Who’s Building A Sukkah? A JVO Photoblog

Posted on 10/16/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Holidays
NOTE: Please don't be discouraged by the image formatting in this post. The content has the potential to completely...
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