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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Neal Katz

Question: If a mother was originally born a Jew, but converted to Christianity, then had a son after she converted, is the son still Jewish by blood, even if he does not practice the religion?
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Question: I am planning a wedding that will just be a few friends and some immediate family members—basically, the Jewish equivalent of eloping. I come from a physically abusive home (with my mother), and I have not spoken to my mother in years (my parents divorced when I was very young, My father and I have a good relationship, and he also does not speak with my mother). My mother and I have intermittent contact sometimes about obtaining paperwork, but that’s the limit of our interactions. While I do not want to invite this person to my wedding, I worry about the long term consequences of such a choice. What are the Jewish considerations and obligations when making such a decision?
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Question: If someone has a good job in America and making Aliya means that he will earn significantly less money, what should be done in view of the obligation to live in the land (haaretz). So too, what should be done if a spouse does not want to make Aliyah and objects?
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Question: What is the Jewish view on putting the good of others before what is good for oneself, even when it may conflict with what it good for oneself? (I'm not talking about life and death issues here.) [Administrator's note: I interpret this question as asking about altruistic behaviors, such as Taharah for a deceased person. Respondents may read it differently - if so, please explain your understanding.]
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Question: If a Jewish woman has cancer, is it acceptable for her to freeze her eggs so she can still have children?
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Question: I converted to Judaism. When my parents pass on, I desire to sit shiva. My parents are supportive of my decisions, and of my living a Jewish life and raising a Jewish family. Should I expect my Synagogue to recognize my loss and notify members of the death and shiva times?
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Question: I converted to Jewish over 20 years ago, married a Jewish man and raised my daughter Jewish. I do not practice the Jewish religion anymore because after my divorce I felt no connection. My daughter's one and only grandfather wants her to stay connected to the Jewish religion. Please let me know how I can help her stay connected. Is it necessary for me to practice the religion even though I have no connection:? Please help
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Question: I am a performer, and sometimes i have a show on Shabbat. What do I do if i want to celebrate Shabbat, but I already have a prior commitment? What about when I feel really bad about not following the Jewish Law?
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Question: This question appeared in the New York Times Magazine: Is it ethical to buy something at a yard sale or a flea market at the seller's asking price if you know the value of the item to be significantly higher than what is being asked? Let's say, for example, someone is selling an old comic book worth thousands of dollars but asks for only a quarter because he or she does not know the true value. Is it incumbent on the seller to do his or her research? If the seller does not, is it fair game? Does the buyer have any obligation to inform the seller?
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Question: Is a child who converts to Christianity still Jewish if his or her mother is Jewish? What must that child do to return to Judaism?
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Question: What is Tu b'Av? Do we celebrate it today? What is the significance of the day?
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Question: What are the Jewish values associated with pollution? [Administrator's note: related questions can be found on JVO at: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=117 http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=295 http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=293 and http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=598.]
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Question: Are extremists on both sides (left and right) of the Woman of the Wall ordeal going too far to push their agendas? It seems like most Israelis would prefer peace and unity when it comes to personal praying at the Kotel.
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

Sukkot by Dani Shira Plung

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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
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NOTE: Please don't be discouraged by the image formatting in this post. The content has the potential to completely...

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Posted on 10/13/2019 by Marcia Goldlist in Beliefs and Practices
Sometimes I like to stop at red lights. That might seem weird, but think about it for a minute. Sometimes you want to pick...

Like Water For Torah

Posted on 10/07/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Israel
This past Shabbat afternoon, while I was taking my customary Shabbat afternoon nap, I was awakened by the rolling sound of...

Justin Trudeau did T'Shuvah

Posted on 10/06/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Holidays
In a few day’s time millions of Jews will gather in synagogues across the globe praying for forgiveness. We have...
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