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[…]

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,[…]

Mother’s Day

From: Michael Dear Rabbi, Mother’s Day is coming up and I’m wondering if there’s any Jewish basis for celebrating the day in the customary fashion. Or maybe the way Mother’s Day is celebrated is not the Jewish way. Dear Michael, First, let’s briefly explore the history of the modern holiday of Mother’s Day. It was[…]

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[…]

Scents and Sensibility

From: Maya Dear Rabbi, What is the Jewish perspective on perfume for women or cologne for men, and when, or when not, are they considered appropriate? Dear Maya, From the Jewish perspective, the use of “perfume” in its many forms is considered simultaneously feminine and sensual. That means that it is considered appropriate only when[…]

Smacks of Slander

From: Melanie Dear Rabbi, There are two people I know who are not on good terms. In my opinion, one is the antagonist who makes up false accusations about the other. The antagonist, let’s call her A, was part of a group conversation where the other, let’s call her B, was mentioned. I took the[…]

Born This Way

From: Megan Dear Rabbi, I don’t understand this concept of working on myself to make myself better, a different person than I am. I like who I am, what I am. As the song goes, “I was born this way!” Or in rabbi talk, “G‑d made me as I am”. If so, why should I[…]

Jewish Dress

Jewish Dress From: Nathan Dear Rabbi, It seems to me that if there is such a thing as Jewish appearance, it’s not about dress or style but about the visual appearance of specific mitzvot such as tefillin, or actions in general according to Torah commands. Even what many might consider to be “Jewish dress” is not really Jewish, such as black and white among Ashkenazim, or[…]