Speechless Sound

From: Raizy Dear Rabbi, Our prayers are verbal, linguistic and very expressive. This is especially true for the High Holiday liturgy. Still, the pinnacle and highlight of the Rosh Hashana prayers is the wordless, raw, and simple sound of the shofar. What is the explanation for this? Dear Raizy, You are right. While the shofar[…]

Spiritual Light

From: Sharon Dear Rabbi, I’m fascinated by the imagery of light in spirituality. Particularly regarding humans, and the description of “enlightened” people as reflecting light. Would you possibly elaborate on this? Dear Sharon, This is a scintillating question and I’d be happy to shed some light on the topic! Clearly, G‑d is viewed as the[…]

The Wolf and the Lamb

From: Henrietta Dear Rabbi, When we observe the animal world, it appears that there is a great degree of meanness and viciousness. A predator tears and mutilates its prey. How can a compassionate G‑d sanction this? And if it is nevertheless acceptable to G‑d, why is this behavior not condoned in mankind. Contrarily, if G‑d[…]

Passover Mezuzah

From: Robert Dear Rabbi, I recently bought a new house. In anticipation of placing mezuzot (which I’ve learned are not the decorative boxes but rather the handwritten Torah passages on parchment placed inside the boxes), my family and I were discussing possible meanings for affixing mezuzot on the doorposts of one’s house. I suggested that[…]

Airing Questions

From: Alexy Dear Rabbi, I was in an airport traveling with my family and saw a rabbi praying in the departure area before the flight. I explained to my son that a rabbi is a holy and learned person, and that it is important to show respect to the rabbi. I also told my son[…]

Native American Revival

From: John Thundercloud Dear Rabbi, I appreciate your informative and straight-forward answer to my question about Judaism and Native Americans. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that you wrote, but I was certainly intrigued by your perspective. In fact, I have a follow-up question on your conclusion regarding Judaism’s non-acceptance of the pantheistic nature of[…]

Judaism and Native Americans

From: John Thundercloud Dear Rabbi, Might Judaism or Jewish people have special sympathy for the plight of Native Americans insofar as the Indians are also ancient peoples who were forcibly exiled from their ancestral land by a mighty European nation intent on eradicating their unique belief system, way of life, culture and language?  Dear John[…]

Feminine Beauty

From: Paula Dear Rabbi, According to Judaism, is physical beauty a quality to be valued for women, or is the main thing to be righteous? If it’s righteousness that is to be valued, then why does the Torah praise Sarah for her beauty? Dear Paula, One of the well-known verses of the chapter of Proverbs,[…]