Gaza and Palestinians

From: Frederick Dear Rabbi, I have heard a claim that the Palestinians are descendants of original inhabitants of Israel that pre-dated even the Israelites. Is there any truth to that or any indication one way or the other according to Jewish sources? Dear Frederick, This is a common misconception and worth clarifying. The Philistines were[…]

Tefillin to Go

From: Marty Dear Rabbi, I have had a problem while traveling of what to do with my tefillin when needing the restroom. I can’t leave them outside of the bathroom unattended; but I can’t bring myself to taking them inside the bathroom either. What do people do about this, and what should be done? Dear[…]

Spiritual Science

From: Adam Dear Rabbi, Why is science so harmful and unharmonious with G‑d’s Creation? Would a Torah approach to science be better for the world? If so, shouldn’t Jews set an example by being a “Light unto the Nations” in this regard as well? Dear Adam, I don’t agree that science, per se, is harmful[…]

Together Alone

From: Amy Dear Rabbi, I work for an Orthodox health care professional. I was wondering if the laws of “yichud” [the prohibition of a man and woman being together in private] apply in the workplace. I am asking because all day long the front door to the office is open and patients come through; however,[…]

Rav Shach on Chasidism

From: Barbara Dear Rabbi, Are the statements from the late Rav Shach which sound anti-Chasidic in fact an expression of his opposition to Chasidism, or were they separate comments having nothing to do with the earlier, historical contentions of Mitnagdim and Chasidim which I thought had been resolved and were over? Dear Barbara, It is[…]

Cutting out Circumcision

From: Manny Dear Rabbi, Does the decision of the Council of Europe denouncing circumcision have any bearing on religious performance of this mitzva? Would their recommendation of requiring consent at age 14 be taken into account to delay the brit milah? Dear Manny, Absolutely not! G‑d commanded the Jewish People to circumcise their male children[…]

Is a J for J a Jew?

From: Caren Dear Rabbi, I have a friend who is a Christian minister. At times, he will tell me about an article he has read regarding the so-called “Messianic Jews”.  I have tried to get across to him that these so-called “Messianic Jews” are just another sect of Christianity, that the minute someone says Jesus[…]