The Wolf and the Lamb

From: Henrietta Dear Rabbi, When we observe the animal world, it appears that there is a great degree of meanness and viciousness. A predator tears and mutilates its prey. How can a compassionate G‑d sanction this? And if it is nevertheless acceptable to G‑d, why is this behavior not condoned in mankind. Contrarily, if G‑d[…]

Passover Mezuzah

From: Robert Dear Rabbi, I recently bought a new house. In anticipation of placing mezuzot (which I’ve learned are not the decorative boxes but rather the handwritten Torah passages on parchment placed inside the boxes), my family and I were discussing possible meanings for affixing mezuzot on the doorposts of one’s house. I suggested that[…]

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[…]

Native American Revival

From: John Thundercloud Dear Rabbi, I appreciate your informative and straight-forward answer to my question about Judaism and Native Americans. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that you wrote, but I was certainly intrigued by your perspective. In fact, I have a follow-up question on your conclusion regarding Judaism’s non-acceptance of the pantheistic nature of[…]

Judaism and Native Americans

From: John Thundercloud Dear Rabbi, Might Judaism or Jewish people have special sympathy for the plight of Native Americans insofar as the Indians are also ancient peoples who were forcibly exiled from their ancestral land by a mighty European nation intent on eradicating their unique belief system, way of life, culture and language?  Dear John[…]

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,[…]

The Holy Writ

From: Vicky Dear Rabbi, As we approach the holiday of Shavuot commemorating the receiving of the Torah, would you please explain how and when the first Torah scroll was actually written? Dear Vicky, The Talmudic Sages (Gittin 60a) actually differ about this point. In the view of one opinion, the Torah was written on separate[…]

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[…]