Soul & Afterlife

The Creation of Man and the Animals - In our weekly Torah study session, the question came up why the Torah makes special mention of God’s blowing a soul into Adam after creating him (Genesis 2:7). The animals are living beings as well but their bodies and souls… More »
World to Come not Mentioned in the Torah - If the belief in the World to Come is so central to Judaism, why does the Torah never mention it? More »
What Happens Right After We Die? - I am very curious to know what happens to the soul after a person dies. Does it remain with the body, or does it go up to Heaven? When my parents died, I was insistent on having a proper Jewish… More »
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Free Will & Predestination

Rebellious Son (Ben Sorer U’Moreh) Punished for Future - In reading last week’s Torah portion, I was very disturbed by the section on the rebellious son (ben sorer u’moreh; Deuteronomy 21:8:21). The Torah basically says that a child is stoned to death for not listening to his parents –… More »
Temple Service - Two Little Goats - I’ve always been puzzled: What is the significance of the casting lots on two identical goats during the Yom Kippur service in the Holy Temple? More »
Hardening Pharaoh's Heart - After the sixth plague – boils – the Bible says that, "God hardened Pharaoh's heart" (Exodus 9:12). This seems grossly unfair! How can God warn Pharaoh to obey and then harden his heart so he can't listen? More »
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Spiritual Growth

Should We Hate Receiving Gifts? - I often hear people quoting the verse “One who hates gifts shall live” (Mishlei (Proverbs) 15:27). This implies our attitude should be that we do not want to receive from others but should make do with what we have. Does… More »
Are Religious People Happy? - I grew up Orthodox but fell out of practice in my early 20s. In the few years since then I have dabbled with several other religious beliefs or just secular living, and I never really felt fulfilled. At this point,… More »
Desiring Sin - I have a general question about spiritual growth. We all have desires for forbidden acts. Should our attitude be that we’d love to do them but we don’t because God forbade it? Or are we supposed to somehow grow out… More »
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Good & Evil

Downfall of the Enemy - I married a negative person who has a very negative attitude. All these years whenever his meanness or negativity was pointed in my direction, I would scream and cry and pray to God to help me. Never in all my… More »
Convert's Mother-in-Law - My husband is a convert and I'm studying for conversion, too. When I told my parents I was converting my mother's response was joyful – she feels that the one thing she regrets in her life was that she did… More »
What is a Man? - I was born and raised on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean. It appears that in the Western world, a "man" is expected to be macho, keep up with the latest fashion, smoke, drink alcohol, be a womanizer, etc.… More »
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Reward & Punishment

How Our Forefathers’ Merit Helps Us - I see we often ask in our prayers that God remember the righteousness of our ancestors and as a result treat us mercifully. I'd like to understand how this works. Just because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were righteous we should… More »
Why Can't God Just Reward Us? - I recently read an Aish article which explained quite cogently why God cannot simply reward man and place him in the World to Come. The basic reasoning is because people would be shamed by receiving something they did not earn.… More »
Adam’s Sin and the Decree of Death - The Torah states that on the day Adam would eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge he would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Yet although he was punished when he sinned, he didn’t die on that day, but lived… More »
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Suffering

The Book of Job and Satan’s Power - I recently began studying the Book of Job and several things strike me as strange right from the start. God praises Job before Satan, and Satan is unimpressed, claiming that he is only righteous because his life is so comfortable.… More »
The Holocaust: Why? - The pain and tragedy of the Holocaust is so enormous and unfathomable. Why did it happen? More »
Why Bad Things Happen - If God is omnipotent and merciful as the Bible claims, why do bad things happen to good people? More »
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Teshuva (Repentance)

Asking Forgiveness from the Deceased - In my past I wronged someone who is unfortunately no longer alive today. Is there any way I can make amends? More »
Repentance – Accepting for Future - Every year as Yom Kippur approaches and I try to improve my ways, I feel like a liar. I know one of the conditions of repentance is that we must accept not to repeat the sin in the future. But… More »
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