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All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Joshua Heller (Emeritus)

Question: If a Jewish women has a hard time finding a place where she can bathe in a mikveh (ritual bath) after her menstrual period, what should she do if she is married (and observes rules about niddah/family purity)?
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Question: What is proper or expected with respect to co-workers and employees attending a funeral? If I work for a Jewish manager but did not know the family and deceased relative (parent), should I attend to show respect for the living?
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Question: I am a Christian, and I sent to my Jewish friends 'Shana Tova' greetings by email on the Jewish New Year. One of my friends emailed me back and thanked me for my wishes, and wished me the same good wishes, and also wished me 'Shana Tova'. While I feel honored he wished me 'Shana Tova' knowing I am not a Jew, I want to know if it is acceptable for Jews to wish a non-Jew 'Shana Tova', and if it is a common practice to do so. Is there a particular meaning to this? I have a deep respect for Judaism and I personally feel close to Jews.
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Question: I am Jewish and marrying a Catholic woman who respects my religion and who requested we be married by a rabbi. I will remain Jewish, and my wife will remain Catholic. My parents are both deceased, buried in a Jewish cemetery. They purchased 2 plots many years ago planning for me and my future wife to be buried next to them (my parents). Will it be a problem to have my Catholic wife buried next to me and alongside my parents in the Jewish cemetery?
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Question: If New York state is not forcing Jewish institutions to perform same-sex marriages, why are Jewish groups still against the gay marriage bill?
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Question: Do you think rabbis and educators in the Jewish community should take a more active role in sex education to newlyweds in light of stories coming forth about couples who can’t consummate their marriage because of certain painful gynecologic conditions?
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Question: I've been married for 14 years. My wife has told me she no longer wants to have sex. She says she doesn't love me any more. She has stopped going to mikveh, so it is not possible for us to engage in sex. I am not satisfied with the situation. What does halacha say about this? Am I required to give her a get (divorce bill) and divorce her? Is it permissible that I do so? Would it be right to do so?
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Question: Governors and Christian leaders in the Gulf Region called for a day of prayer on behalf of the devastating oil spill. Why haven't Jewish leaders also come together in prayer over this? Does Judaism allow prayer in this form?
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LATEST BLOGS  view all blog entries

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...

Red Lights & Judaism

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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