Burial & Graves

Start of Shiva – Not Attending Funeral - If one of the deceased’s children will not be attending her parent’s funeral (due to travel difficulties), when does shiva begin? Does she wait until the burial has ended? More »
Funeral of Non-Jew - Can one go to a funeral of a non-Jew? More »
Determining Relative’s Hebrew Name - Our father passed away recently and we want to determine his Hebrew name for his tombstone. He was entirely secular and none of us know if he even had a Hebrew name. What should we do? More »
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Mourning & Kaddish

Start of Shiva – Not Attending Funeral - If one of the deceased’s children will not be attending her parent’s funeral (due to travel difficulties), when does shiva begin? Does she wait until the burial has ended? More »
Mourner Wearing New Clothes - I am in mourning for my mother this year. Am I allowed to buy new clothes if I have a need for them? More »
Grandson Saying Kaddish - My grandmother recently passed away. She only had one son, my father a”h, who passed away a few years ago. She also had two daughters. I am the oldest grandson. Should I say kaddish for my grandmother or should one… More »
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Yahrtzeit & Yizkor

Yizkor at Home - Our local synagogue is closed because of the coronavirus. How can I say yizkor this year in memory of my father? More »
Attending Wedding on Yahrtzeit - I am invited to a wedding in a few weeks and I realized it falls out on my father’s yahrtzeit (the anniversary of his date of death). Am I allowed to attend? More »
Yahrtzeit Candle – First Wife - My husband and I married 6 years ago. My husband's first wife passed away from an illness 2 years before we married. Should he continue to lighting a yahrtzeit candle for his first wife even though he is remarried? More »
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Soul & Afterlife

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 »
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 »
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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Suicide

Burning of Woodstock - I always imagined the icon of "Woodstock" to represent peace, love and goodwill. But that image exploded when I watched the 1999 edition of the rally turn into a spontaneous riot. Large fires were set, trailers full of merchandise and… More »
Jumping from the Tower - In the terrible 9-11 terror attack on New York, some people jumped from the burning tower. On one side was a raging fire with no escape, and on the other side was a jump to near-certain death. What does Jewish… More »
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Death - Misc.

Praying for the Terminally Ill - I have a friend who is dying from cancer. His condition is terminal and he realizes he only has a few months to live. Is it appropriate to add a request in my prayers that he recovers, knowing that this… More »
120 Year Lifespan - I was curious about the blessing we give people to live till 120 years. What is the origin of the expression? Is that just a nice, very high number, or is that considered the upper limit? I wouldn’t think so… More »
Saving Your Life over Another’s - One of the most beloved ideals that Jews uphold is the utmost value on human life. What do we do when we have to choose between two innocent lives? Here’s an example: Someone is driving along a narrow cliff road.… More »
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Inheritance (Yerusha)

Firstborn (Bechor) Privileges - I’ve been studying Deuteronomy with my children and was at a loss to explain why the firstborn receives a double portion of the inheritance (21:17). What is the basis for this? More »
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