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Showing Questions in 'Understanding Judaism'

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Question No. 2035
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 18 Mar 2013
The Question Why does there seem to be so much about tumtums and androgynouses (I don't even know how to say them in English) in the Mishna, Gemara and Halacha when they seem so uncommon? I've never seen or even heard of anyone having those problems. —Yaakov Coleman, Baltimore
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1987
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 20 Nov 2012
The Question Dear Rabbi; Why do Orthodox Jews have beards? And why do I see them with buzzed hair (very short) with those long sidelocks? Why do some have more of this very long facial hair and some short? And why do some have none at all? Does all this have significance that you can explain? I'd love to be able to understand this. Thank you. —Anonymous, New Jersey
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1957
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 31 Jan 2012
The Question Hello Rabbi Leff, It's wonderful to find your website. What happens when we die? I heard that our souls go into a dream state and we are asked questions about "another person" but it's your life. I would like to know more on the subject. —Devorah Widlan, Hollywood, Fla
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1956
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 31 Jan 2012
The Question Shalom Alechem Kevod Harav, First i would like to thank you for all that you do for all Jewish communities all over the world. I am one of your Talmidim from Ohr Lagola and i could say that my wife and i have been your Chassidim since then. I onece heard a lecture from you about the Eser Makot and the Rav mentioned a Russian Scientist that had a theory about all the plagues actually taking place. I just wanted to know his name if the Rav could please. Thank you. —Yitzchak Sakhai, Los Angeles
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1942
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 7 Nov 2011
The Question Do all Jews hates us Muslims and want us dead? —Alireza
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1935
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 30 Oct 2011
The Question With regard to question # 1914 about the status of an entire family comverting- do the children sit shivah for the parents? Does a son say kaddish for the parents? Thank you very much! —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1927
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 24 Oct 2011
The Question Shalom ubracha! How do you understand "yuhara?" I understand it to mean that although certain practices are ideal, and were once done by a majority of Jews, today if most Jews no longer do them, one shouldn't do them either. So, although Jews used to wear tefillin in the street when they walked to schul, or wore them all day, we should not do those things today mishum yuhara. Why should we lower the bar of observance to what most Jews do, instead of encouraging others to raise their level of observance and readopt those things? Also, how does one decide when yuhara applies? If one lives in a place where most people rely on the Bach, is it yuhara to be makpid on yoshon? or to put on Rabbeinu Tam's tefillin, fast bahab, etc? Thank you. —Yitzchok Shuster, Forest Hills, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1914
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 24 Aug 2011
The Question With regard to an entire family converting there seems to be a contradiction on the status of the parents to children. On one hand the halacha seems to say there is no issur negiah nor yichud. Implying that the children retain there children status to the parents. As we see that if an entire family converts the parents have fulfilled the mitzva of Peru U'revue. Yet on the other hand we see that on a Torah level a father can marry a daughter as well as siblings can marry each other. It also seems to imply certain halachos of Kibud Av don't apply in this case. Also it seems there is no availos. How can we understand the status of this relationship? And is it true that the halachos of kibud av no longer apply to the children? Thank you —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1911
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 23 Aug 2011
The Question I came across this article on pedophilia at wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=336869 Psychiatrists seek to destigmatize adult-child sex -- It scares me because it can almost be mistaken as how some in our community treat this issue (Agudah incl.) by practically "whitewashing" this terrible sickness. Please I need chizuk to know that our religion is not for sale. —Anonymous, NYC
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1894
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 17 Jul 2011
The Question Why would G-d command the Jewish people to kill out Amalek, even including babies? There is no one we despise more than someone who kills children. If they had to die, why didn't G-d do it himself, like in Sedom? Isn't this a fine line in becoming what we fear and hate most? The muslims also claim G-d told THEM to kill children. —Anonymous, NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1883
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 2 Jul 2011
The Question Shalom, isn't the story of Har Sinai a myth? and if so, what is the witness to Judaism. It makes me think of the existence of Judaism. as well, how can you answer a gentile about Yaakov stealing from Eisav the blessings he received from Yitzchok? is that what Jewish people present as thieves from the get go?? I'm confused... —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1784
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 16 Sep 2010
The Question Hello Rabbi Leff, When I first read the things Maimonides said I really didn't like what I was reading. It seemed to me he was trying to distort Judaism in some ways. (For what reasons he would do that I can only guess at). And in any case a Jew shouldn't try to rewrite or interpret the laws for himself when the almighty already gave the world his moral wisdom and guidance. But that's what my instincts told me at the time anyway. So my question is: Are there any branches of Orthodox Jews who still reject Maimonides' ideas ? Thank you. —John, near London
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1588
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 3 Jan 2009
The Question I am a 13 year old Jewish traditional boy who is growing in Judaism. I try very hard to accomplish mitzvot but my uncle is a believer in G-d but he thinks that we have been put on this world for our own pleasure and he thinks that there shouldn't really be Torah. What do I reply to him cause it's a hard subject and he says that people could live without Torah. I agree in a way but I think he needs an explanation. —Josh Morrison, Manchester England
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1551
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 25 Nov 2008
The Question B'kavod Ha'Rav, Where do we draw the line between the need to ask Da'as Torah and making choices ourselves? —Anonymous, Unites States
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1522
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 31 Aug 2008
The Question Where is there proof of Judaism, and how do we know that we are not being brainwashed and just sheltered from another true religion? —Anonymous, Manchester
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1478
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 14 May 2008
The Question L'kovud harav. We have had same serious shaylos lately and were directed to certain Gedolim who we respected but they did not know us. It seems they answered us correctly, even though initially we had our doubts, we listen to daas Torah. Our great disappointment though and "slap" in the face was the perception that they just didn't care. They did not come across as having any compassion for our situation. I would venture to say that it was somewhat of a chilul Hashem even though they were right - their approach stunk. Is this just a matter of yeridas hadoros? —Anonymous, Baltimore, MD
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1335
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 17 Mar 2007
The Question If everything G-d does is for our best, then why does a Jew mourn? Maybe a Jew should be happy? Of course mourning makes sense after losing a loved one, but I am trying to understand what intention one should have when G-d forbid one has to mourn? Should the intentions be mourning because of missing the person, etc.? Thank you Rabbi for you precious time. —Anonymous, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1109
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 28 Oct 2005
The Question Dear Rabbi! What is Judaism's attitude towards dogs as pets. The Gemara talks about dogs being unclean animals and you find streams within Judaism that find dogs repulsing (as do many arabs). I once walked someone's dog and a man came up to me and said that he thought religious Jews were not supposed to have dogs. —Meir, Jerusalem, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 945
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 4 Aug 2005
The Question Hello. I had some thoughts regarding question 907 and who created Hashem. I do not wish to imply in any way any deficiency in the Rav's answer but I use this as an opening for me to express my thoughts on the topic to an authority I highly respect who perhaps can give some feedback... I was thinking that since Hashem created everything - including concepts and ideas themselves, as hard as it would be to understand, Hashem would also have to create the concept or idea of Himself. He would also have to create the concept and reality of something "being able to be created". If things like logic and concepts had to exist independantly, then that would seem to me to be a form of shituf. So even applying "infinity" to Hashem would seem to be like shituf because Hashem would have also had to create the idea and reality of the "infinite" which could not have always existed. This is why I thought that we can only understand Hashem's manifestation in the Universe but nothing at all about Hashem since anything we think had at some time not existed even in potential and so Hashem is independant of any idea we can contemplate. I hope I explained my thoughts correctly. —Anonymous, United States
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 888
Category Understanding Judaism
Date Posted 12 Jul 2005
The Question Can you explain in more detail the meaning of "Covered in the Dust of your Rabbi" compared to Jesus Christ and His followers and how it all fits into the Bible. —Sherry McClain, Arkansas
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


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