Exercising Before Shacharit (Morning Prayers) - I have a busy morning schedule and get up very early to exercise. Is there a problem with doing this before morning prayers? More »
Taking Non-Kosher Medications - I have been prescribed a drug for severe intestinal issues which is made from enzymes from non-kosher animals. Am I allowed to take it, even though it’s not kosher? More »
Tzara’at versus Leprosy - Do we know the identity of the disease of tzara’at in the Torah (Leviticus 13-14)? Is it the identical disease when a person contracted it as when it appeared on a garment? More »
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 »
Human and Animals Medical Experimentation - I’m wondering what the Jewish view is on animal as well as human medical experimentation. 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 »
Shoes of Deceased - We are in the process of disposing of the belonging of our late father, of blessed memory. I have heard that some people throw out the deceased’s shoes. Is there any basis for this? Is it a superstition? We were… More »
Pedometer, Fitbit on Shabbat - My family has become very health-conscious lately and we all have our own Fitbits which we wear all the time. It has really helped us maintain our health. Is there any issue with wearing it on Shabbat? More »
Dangerous Occupation - Is it permissible to engage in work which carries occupational hazards and even danger to life, such as a firefighter, rescue worker, construction worker, and the like? More »
Cousin Marriages - Does the Torah permit cousin marriages? Is the topic discussed at all? I’m concerned in particular because the inbreeding is likely to cause genetic disorders, as historically happened to many royal families. I have the impression that upper class Jewish… More »
Prayer for Taking Medicine - I just began taking an antibiotic for a minor ailment. Is there anything religious I should be doing together with taking the medicine? It seems odd that we turn to doctors for our healing but not to God! More »
Blessing on Medicines - I am currently taking a liquid medication which has a flavoring but does not exactly taste good. Do I recite a blessing over it? More »
Risky Surgery - My uncle, who is 72, was in excellent health until recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The doctors feel that with his condition, he only has 6-9 months to live. There is, however, an experimental surgery which could… More »
Hitler's Pope - I have heard many Jews blame the Holocaust partly on the silence of the Pope (and Catholics in general). Wasn't this silence just an effort to preserve their own lives in the face of the inevitable destruction by Hitler? Remember… More »
Family Friction - I am a new Baal Teshuvah and have been struggling with my family's acceptance of my new way of life. After the March of the Living, I realized that I wanted to take my interests in Judaism further than ever… More »
Chosen People – Source of Anti-Semitism? - I’ve often heard the Jews referred to as the “Chosen People.” Isn’t that possibly the source of much of the anti-Semitism in the world? More »
Assimilation – Causes and Solutions - I am doing research for a Jewish studies course in my university. Today, with "Jewish continuity" such a priority (as it is in every generation), can you answer the question: What has been the secret of success for Jewish communities… More »
Waging War - After 9-11, the U.S. went into Afghanistan and killed a lot of people, with the President declaring a “war on terror.” The Bible itself seems to condone going in and wiping out nations that we don’t like. Why does everything… More »
Vegetarianism - For the past few years, I have been eating meat only once a week. God made it possible for us to use animals, and I understand the essential use for leather shoes and vitamin B12 found in meat. But I… More »
Smoking - I am a long-time cigarette smoker and have recently become more observant of Judaism. Just as we make blessings over food, is there a blessing to be said when smoking? More »
Siamese Twins - A case of Siamese twins has hit the media and I wondered what the Jewish position would be. The twin girls are joined at the lower abdomen. One has no heart or lungs and is being kept alive by her… More »
Nicotine Patch - I'm trying to kick the smoking habit, but I still need my daily fix. Am I allowed to use a nicotine patch on Yom Kippur? More »
Eating on Yom Kippur? - It has come to that time of year again when my family argues over whether my 81-year-old grandfather should fast on Yom Kippur. This year, however, the situation is slightly different, since less than a year ago he was in… More »
Sexual Morality - On an intuitive level, I believe that intimacy should be reserved for a husband and wife. But on a philosophical level, I have no good reason to explain why to friends (or my children!) who insist on a more liberal… More »
Medical Help - Unfortunately my young child has been diagnosed with a serious disease. I am terrified trying to wade through all the tests and doctors on my own. Do you know anyone who can help guide me? More »
Human Cloning - My neighbor recently cloned their pet dog, so that they could enjoy the dog for years after he is dead. This got me thinking – should we be doing this with our best and brightest people? I mean, why not… More »
Harry Potter and the Jews - The Harry Potter series is so popular, but it got me wondering: Does it classify as witchcraft? Should children be allowed / encouraged / discouraged in its reading? More »
Gene Therapy - The Genome Project is looking like it will change the entire future of the medical and pharmaceutical fields. Does Judaism have anything to say about this? Are there dangers to watch out for? Are there ethical issues involved? More »
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 »
Body Piercing - Everybody in my high school is getting their body parts pierced. I think some of the piercing is attractive – like multiple earrings or the navel. But some of them are gross – studs in the tongue or pierced eyebrows.… More »
Source for Shabbat Laws - I know that Judaism places many restrictions on Shabbat activities – writing, electricity, etc. But when I opened up the Bible to read about that, I couldn't find anything at all! How can that be? And where does this information… More »
Shabbos Goy - My husband and I are Christians and our neighbors are Orthodox Jewish. Sometimes on any given Saturday, our neighbors knock on our door and ask us to turn on the air conditioning, etc. We've always helped them out, not understanding… More »
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