Archive for 'Askarabbi'

Did Jesus believe in Original Sin?

Q. I know that Christians and Jews share many religious beliefs and are very close to each other in spiritual brotherhood. But Christians basically believe that they are created sinful and unclean and, therefore, need a Redeemer, Jesus, to take the sins of believers on Himself so that they may come to God’s Kingdom when they pass over. Since Jews do not have this Redeemer, how do they become pure enough to enter God’s Kingdom? I realize there is the ...

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Can a woman serve as a Mohel?

Q. One of my congregants asked me a wonderful question. In Orthodox Judaism can a woman perform Brit Milah (ritual circumcision)?

I wrote back,

“ You have asked a great question! There is a controversy in tractate Avodah Zarah 27a regarding this very issue between Daru bar Papa who cites in the name of Rav and Rabbi Yochanan. Here is the substance of the argument. Daru b. Papa held that only someone who is obligated to observe the precept of circumcision can ...

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The Bible’s Most Famous Ghost Story: The Witch of Endor

The Bible’s Most Famous Ghost Story

In honor of the Halloween holiday, I thought we would examine one of the great tales of the supernatural found in the Bible. I originally wrote this piece as I was preparing for my Confirmation class. The kids really enjoyed it. One of the most remarkable and famous ghost stories of all time is the episode found in 1 Samuel 28 about Saul’s encounter with the Witch of Endor.  Over a thousand years ago, Jewish ...

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Why did Michal despise David in her heart?

Q. I need some help.  II Samuel 6:16 says Michal “despised him in her heart” (NKJV)/”was disgusted with him” (TEV).  My wife has asked me why Michal’s attitude changed towards David.  What happened?  My research has not given me an adequate explanation. So, I come to my resident rabbi for help.

A. Dear Reverend Don,

As per our earlier conversation on this subject, David never particularly cared for the royal pomp that went with being king. In his heart of hearts, David ...

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Chabad Reaction to Pope Benedict XVI’s Visit to Israel

Rabbi Sholom DovBer Wolpe, leader of Chabad’s messianist faction in Israel, condemns the Church and Pope. As Israel prepares for Benedict XVI’s historic visit, head of SOS Israel believes ‘rabbis must not meet with the pope because the Catholic Church tortured and murdered Jews and helped the Nazis annihilate the Jewish people’ (Efrat Weiss, Ynet).

Question: What is your opinion about this reaction?

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