Worth to Come

From: Jack Dear Rabbi, Maybe my wife is more spiritual than I am, but she’s always encouraging me to be observant because of the World to Come, whereas I say that if I’m going to do something it’s because it will benefit us in the here and now. Would you please help clarify this for[…]

Soul Seeker

From: Ellen Dear Rabbi, Does Judaism present any rational proof for its belief in the existence of the soul? Dear Ellen, The term “rational proof” is a bit problematic. If you mean conclusive proof, the answer is no. But this should not be surprising; there are many disciplines in which assumptions are operative even though[…]

Halo

From: Jerry Dear Rabbi, Does the concept of a halo or aura around a person appear in Judaism? Dear Jerry, The answer is yes. In Jewish mystical sources the Hebrew terms are “hila” (emanation of light) and “ohr hamakif” (surrounding/enveloping light). It’s very interesting, in fact, that the English terms for these concepts are nearly[…]

Ya Don’t Say!

From: Gary Rushworth Dear Rabbi, My brother-in-law is studying Hebrew at his local college and he and a colleague have concluded that the tetragrammaton (the name comprised of four Hebrew letters) is misinterpreted. They say “Yahweh” is the correct spelling of the Name of G‑d, and “Jehovah” is a “trash” word, not worthy of discussion.[…]

Spiritual Anatomy

From: Steve in Boston Dear Rabbi, Is there an idea that the body is somehow connected to the mitzvot on a metaphysical plane? Of course we do the mitzvot with our bodies, and I imagine the Jewish belief is that the performance of the mitzva affects the body in general, but is there any basis[…]

G‑d’s Name in Mitzvot

From: Jason in PA Dear Rabbi, Is there some connection between G‑d’s name and the mitzvot? I ask because I have seen a prayer often said before doing a mitzva which talks about unifying G‑d’s name through performing the mitzva. Dear Jason, The prayer you have seen is referring to the idea of “unifying” G‑d’s[…]

Lucid Dreaming

From: Ben Powers Dear Rabbi, I’ve recently embarked on a campaign to produce and enjoy lucid dreams. These are dreams in which you are aware that you are dreaming (you are lucid) and therefore you can, if you choose, control the dream. I would like to know if a person is held responsible for actions[…]

The Meaning of Prophecy

From: Masha Dear Rabbi, I don’t understand the notion of prophecy. How exactly does a person come to speak in the name of G‑d? Dear Masha, G‑d gave mankind the ability to apply intellect to gain information, understanding and knowledge of things not immediately apparent. In the ordinary plane, this involves the faculties referred to[…]