C-Section

From: Debra Dear Rabbi, I am considering giving birth by C-section and was wondering whether there are any Jewish considerations involved. Dear Debra, Jewish considerations do, in fact, have a “bearing” on your question. Since it’s not clear the reason why you’re considering C-section, I’ll discuss the several possibilities. If it’s not for medical reasons[…]

Torah Vacation

From: Aleksey Dear Rabbi, The summer break is approaching. Would you please share with me the Torah’s teachings on vacationing, and is there even such a thing as taking a vacation from Torah? Dear Aleksey, Thanks for this very timely and important question. The answer is yes, we take time off from Torah, providing that[…]

Race from the Start

From: Debra Dear Rabbi, I have always wondered how from Adam and Eve came all the different races and colors of the peoples of the world? Was it like that from the start? If not, how did the variations occur? Dear Debra, Great question! The Talmud itself deals with this. In reality, the modern concept[…]

Olives and Memory

From: Yehoshua Dear Rabbi, Is there any problem with eating olives? Is there any need to eat olives with olive oil? I have heard that there is some problem with eating olives and memory. Is there a source for all this? Dear Yehoshua, The Talmud (Horayot 13b) says, “There are five things which cause one[…]

Healthy Outlook

From: Barry Dear Rabbi, I have a friend who insists that G‑d is the only source of healing. According to him, medicine and doctors have no real role in maintaining or restoring health. In fact, he says, rabbis and blessings are more beneficial. Can this possibly be the Jewish position? Clearly only natural causes and[…]

Positive Thinking

From: Andrea Dear Rabbi, Would you say that Judaism is an “optimistic” religion? Is there room for positive thinking within Judaism? Dear Andrea, I would say yes, Judaism is definitely an optimistic religion and positive thinking plays an important role in a Jew’s world view in general, and service of G‑d in particular. All the[…]

Benevolent Illness

From: Vanessa Dear Rabbi, If G‑d wants us to serve Him properly, why does he bring sickness upon people which just hinders their ability to do His will? Dear Vanessa, According to Jewish belief, not only did Adam and Eve have all their needs taken care of in Eden before the sin, there was no[…]

Torah on Tension

From: Morgan Dear Rabbi, I get stressed-out over all the things I have to do. It gets so overwhelming that I just get confused and lock-up. I was wondering whether there might be any particular Jewish way of dealing with and managing this type of stress. Thanks for any help and insight you may be[…]

Should I be Happy?

From: Name Withheld Dear Rabbi, Hi. I take antidepressants, and it has helped me a lot. The only problem is that, truthfully, I do not feel the same connection to G‑d now as I did when I was depressed. Sometimes I used to pray with tears. I guess you could say that medication has made[…]