Birthdays – Jewish Sources

From: Robert Dear Rabbi, Does Judaism place any importance on birthdays, and are any birthdays considered to be more important than others? Dear Robert, This is a commonly asked question which applies to everybody and is thus worth exploring in more than one installment. Thus, in this first installment I’ll discuss the Torah sources about[…]

Birthdays – Jewish Customs

From: Robert Dear Rabbi, Does Judaism place any importance on birthdays, and are any considered to be more important than others? Dear Robert, In the first installment, we saw that according to Torah sources, birthdays generally can, and perhaps should, be commemorated and celebrated. In this installment, I’ll explore whether certain birthdays are more important[…]


From: Benny Dear Rabbi, Is there a need to recycle from a Jewish perspective? Dear Benny, First of all, it is a Torah requirement to keep the law of the land. Thus, if one is in a place where local, civil law requires one to recycle, a person is required to do so according to[…]

Fathers and Sons

From: Alex Dear Rabbi, Our son is past bar-mitzva age. Unfortunately, he is not very interested in keeping mitzvot. No matter how much I try to encourage, convince, or even pressure him, he does not respond, and even gets angry to the point where the household gets full of tension, until my wife comes to[…]

Spiritual Healing

From: Manny Dear Rabbi, Is there anything in Judaism which would be akin to spiritual healing? By which I mean miraculous healing performed by oneself or another, like an expert healer, but through spiritual means as opposed to medical means. Thanks in advance. Dear Manny, Judaism definitely ascribes underlying spiritual causes to health and well-being[…]

In or Out?

From: Barry Dear Rabbi, I have a problem at work. There is a long-time manager who does a decent job, but there are those who are not satisfied with the way he runs things. These employees are trying to oust him, and are putting a lot of pressure on others to join them. There is[…]

Soul’s Choice

From: Tamar Dear Rabbi, What determines why any particular soul is placed within a specific person or family? Does the soul have any choice in the matter? Is there any way that parents can somehow choose what soul is placed in their child? Might the placement of souls have anything to do with reincarnation and[…]

Birthday Maze

From: Anna Dear Rabbi, My friend and I have the same birthday. If our birthdays are the same, why are the Hebrew dates for our birthdays different? Her Hebrew birthday is after mine. Dear Anna, If you and your friend had literally been born on the same day, you would both celebrate your birthdays, secular[…]

Ancestral Merit

From: Bracha Dear Rabbi, Would you please explain to me the notion of ancestors’ merit benefitting or affecting a person? How does this work and in what ways is it expressed? Dear Bracha, The notion you refer to is called zechut avot in Hebrew, or the merit of one’s forebearers. It describes the general or[…]