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Today is October 31, 2014
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Series
 
Short Thoughts
Belief: God made world, runs it. Remember that we don’t always see big picture. (14 words, 80 characters) link to similar

Kashrut is: following Torah laws for eating. Turns eating from physical to spiritual. Is not: for health reasons, or food blessed by rabbi. (23 words, 140 characters) link to similar

Shabbat: God rested, so do we. (6 words, 30 characters) link to similar

Tzniut: More than clothes, it’s how we present ourselves to world. Modesty both in dress and in actions. (18 words, 104 characters) link to similar
 
 
All Questions Answered by
Rabbi Alana Suskin

Question: What is G-d's gender? in the prayer books and the Tanakh (bible) it says He, Him, and His? [JVO Kids: 4-6]
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Question: Can and should a woman nominate someone to say Kaddish on her behalf?
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Question: While I support tolerance, acceptance and unity for the Jewish people, I can’t help noticing that when I have visited the Kotel many times during morning hours, there does not appear to be even a minute base of women that want to pray in an egalitarian style minyan. At the same time there are thousands davening at the Kotel every morning peacefully, representing many threads of Judaism. Why all the commotion to create an area for egalitarian minyanim (prayer groups) on a regular basis at the Kotel, when there doesn’t appear to be the numbers to justify using very limited prime real estate for this purpose? My question is more about the need to accommodate a very small specific group for a once a month event. Wouldn’t it be great to see thousands of Jews show up at the Kotel every morning demanding an egalitarian style minyan? That would show a different level of seriousness to the Women of the Wall (WOW) cause. But, as of now, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Wishing for peace and unity for the Jewish people, I want to know what this is really about.
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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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Question: Is electoral voting on Shabbat (the Sabbath) ok?
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Question: I would like to name my daughter Ava. My grandfather's (living) name is Avraham but his nickname is Ava. Would it be okay to name my daughter Ava if it's a variation of grandpa's name? (Ashkenazi tradition). [See also the following questions already on Jewish Values Online: http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=59, http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=184, http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/question.php?id=840. Administrator]
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Question: I would like to hear your take on the article in The New York Times (October 2, 2012, "Tattoos to Remember," by Katherine Schulten). Livia Rebak was branded with the number 4559. Now her grandson, Daniel Philosof, has the same tattoo. At right, three men who stood in the same line in Auschwitz have nearly consecutive numbers. .WHY did Eli Sagir get a tattoo with the number 157622 inked on her forearm? WHY might this tattooing practice be unsettling or offensive to some? WHY did people in the camps “treat with respect the numbers from 30,000 to 80,000,” according to Primo Levi? About HOW many Holocaust survivors are still alive? etc. Judaism, as the article mentions generally frowns on tattoos (and body piercing) as it alters G-d's image. I will be using this lesson, for 8th and 9th graders. Others, in my school will be using it for 7th graders. Thanks.
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Question: When are gifts appropriate (for example, from family for a birthday vs from someone you are dating, and how expensive or elaborate is okay) according to Jewish thought?
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Question: If a condo association requests a Jewish resident to remove their Mezuzah from the door frame. What takes precedence - following the law of the land (din de malchuta dina), or the mitzvah (obligation/commandment) in Jewish law to hang a mezuzah? Can regulations by property owners/managers be allowed to restrict Jewish religious expression?
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Question: There’s always so much negativity in the news about Israel. And the good news often gets buried. Do influential Jews—bloggers, journalists, religious leaders—have an obligation to spread the word about positive developments coming out of Israel, in order to shed some positive light on Israel?
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Question: What is the Jewish view on ‘stewardship’? We are told that we were given dominion over the land and all within it – it seems that some have taken that to mean ownership and the right to destroy or waste. Is that the Jewish view?
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Question: At MD Anderson (hospital) our son had visitations by a rabbi, but also by a Catholic priest (chaplain) who prayed with him. What is the Jewish view of this when there is a rabbi available?
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Question: Must one drink at Purim to fulfill the mitzvah? If so, how much? What about alcoholics in recovery? Where did this idea that you are to drink come from, anyway?
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Question: A friend recently lost both parents in the same week. At the funeral of the first parent he performed Kriah with a ribbon. Five days later at the second funeral not even the conservative rabbi was sure whether to tear a second ribbon or to further tear the first. In the end they decided on two ribbons. Is there correct halacha for such an instance?
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Question: I just found out that my daughter’s teacher created a Facebook persona (another teenage girl) in order to spy on her students and make sure they weren’t doing anything inappropriate online. I am incensed, and I approached her about this. She claims there were many breaches of “tzniut” and she was just doing her job. I strongly disagree and would like to take the matter to the principal. Thoughts?
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