Rest in Peace

From: Joseph Dear Rabbi, What is the source and significance of erecting a tombstone and what purpose does it fulfill for the deceased? Dear Joseph, One source in the Torah for erecting a tombstone over the grave is found regarding the death and burial of Rachel: “So Rachel died, and she was buried on the[…]

Life Before Death

From: Andrew Dear Rabbi, My uncle recently passed away after a prolonged illness and many of those who were close to him who accompanied him throughout his illness, hospice and death noticed an elevated, spiritual “feeling” that surrounded him which strangely seemed to increase as he got more and more sick. Another thing we noticed[…]

Rewarding Bad Behavior

From: Aaron Dear Rabbi, One of my sons, he’s 8, is really a source of tension at home. His behavior is totally unacceptable. And what’s worse, no matter how I punish him, it doesn’t help. He gets this rebellious spirit that won’t break. My wife and I are very disturbed by this, and are losing[…]

It’s a Girl!

From: Sarah Dear Rabbi, Thank G‑d, my husband and I are expecting our first child. I don’t mind if it’s a boy or a girl, but I have a feeling that my husband wants a boy, and so too with our families. Is there any basis in Judaism for this preference? I’ll be happy with[…]

Sick Visit

From: Dina Dear Rabbi, What is the meaning of the mitzva of visiting the sick. Is it just to pay attention to the ill person, or does it have any curative effect on the person as well? Dear Dina, Visiting the sick is a specific form of doing chesed (acts of loving-kindness) with our fellow[…]

Rest in Peace

From: Manny Dear Rabbi, My parents passed away several years ago. For some reason, I can’t get myself to part from their house and belongings. My wife says I’ve made a museum of them and that it isn’t right, but she can’t articulate why. Can you help me understand what’s going on here and what[…]

Untimely Death

From: Jennifer Dear Rabbi, Someone I know recently died in a way that some described as “before her time”. I’m puzzled by this. Since life and death are in G‑d’s hands, is there such a thing in Judaism as “dying before one’s time”? If so, how can this be? What would happen to the soul[…]

Step-Relations

Step-Relations From: Steven Dear Rabbi, I have several questions about step-relations. Is one halachically allowed to attend the marriage between a parent and step-parent to be? I’ve heard it’s forbidden for the children to attend the wedding. Is there any basis for this? May a bar mitzva be called to the Torah as the son[…]

Graveside

From: Gary Dear Rabbi, Is there any benefit to visiting deceased people at their grave? Since if anything is accomplished, it’s spiritual, does it matter that one is physically present at the place of burial. Anyway, after time there are no remains of the body in the ground. Why should we go there? Dear Gary,[…]