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12

I'm not widely traveled, but I've been to a bunch of different synagogues of all the major flavors, often as one-offs, including C and MO, so I'm answering on the basis of that experience. First visit You can just show up. Many of the factors that affect you are the same between Conservative and Modern Orthodox synagogues. The Conservative synagogue ...


12

Tosefos addresses a similar line of thought in Bava Kamma 85a: שנתנה רשות לרפאות - א"ת והא מרפא לחודיה שמעינן ליה וי"ל דה"א ה"מ מכה בידי אדם אבל חולי הבא בידי שמים כשמרפא נראה כסותר גזירת המלך קמ"ל דשרי (Rough translation) - One may have thought that there is no right to seek healing from a sickness that comes from Heaven, as it seems like ...


10

Maimonides describes the qualifications of a Jewish prophet. He also describes how to discern a prophet who appears to meet the qualifications, but still is shown to not be an authentic prophet. Among them: Therefore, if a prophet arises and attempts to dispute Moses' prophecy by performing great signs and wonders, we should not listen to him. We know ...


9

No. According to Jewish law, if a Jewish man gives a single Jewish woman an item of intrinsic value with both clearly understanding intent of marriage, in front of two ritual witnesses, then they are married. A rabbi has no intrinsic power to "marry" a couple. He's there to referee that they're following the rules (e.g. make sure he's actually giving her a ...


9

The fact that conversion exists as part of halachah means that it is within the framework of options that G-d is giving you. If you felt that really you were supposed to be a woman, then the correct response is to say "If G-d had wanted me to be a woman he would have made me one," because sex change operations etc. are not halachik options. We can't know ...


8

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was strongly opposed to a two-ring ceremony in which he says "harei at mekudeshet li" and she says "harei ata mekudash li", but in a later responsum -- EH4:32b (addressing R' Elyakim "Getzel" Ellinson, who was questioning men wearing bands and Rav Moshe defending the practice) he clarifies that for a man to simply wear a band is not ...


7

The Gemara says that a non-Jew is liable to death for stealing less than a penny. "אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן בן נח נהרג על פחות משוה פרוטה ולא ניתן להשבון" The Rambam agrees.


7

It appears in Mishneh Torah, Sefer Nezikin, Hilchot Gezeilah v'Aveidah, Chapter 1. In the Frankel edition (with almost an identical version appearing on the Mechon Mamre website) this appears in Halacha 1. כל הגונב ממון משוה פרוטה ומעלה עובר על לא תעשה שנ' לא תגנבו. ואין לוקין על לאו זה שהרי ניתן לתשלומין שהגנב חייבה אותו תורה לשלם. ואחד הגונב ממון ...


6

According to this answer at the Institute for Dayanim (an organization I had not previously heard of), voting in a church, not in the sanctuary, is permitted if that's your only option, but you should try to avoid it if you can. They don't address how far you need to go to avoid it (e.g. do you have to leave town for the day so you can use an absentee ...


6

There are a number of Rabbis, mostly Chabad, involved in teaching Bnei Noach and answering their halachic questions. One of the more prominent ones is Rabbi Yaakov Rogalsky, co-author of Path of the Righteous Gentile. Another is Rabbi Chaim Richman.


6

Basing himself on Maimonides ruling in Hilkhot Melakhim (8:10), "וכן צוה משה רבינו מפי הגבורה לכוף את כל באי העולם לקבל מצות שנצטוו בני נח" , the Lubavitcher Rebbe argued that it is incumbent upon each Jew to persuade the gentiles into observance of the seven Noahide laws. See Ha-Pardes vol. 59:9 (1985), pp. 7-11. Michael J. Broyde, “The Obligation of Jews ...


6

The sefer אוצר השמות חלק ח here in his discussion of the name Potiphera says that there is a dispute amongst the Rabbis whether Potiphar (Bereishis/Genesis 39,1), the chief executioner of Pharaoh, and Potiphera are the same person or not. According to the opinion that they are two different people the question is easily answered - the Torah says that ...


6

Maimonides says no, though it is preferable that the mohel be a Jewish adult male. A Gentile should not preform the circumcision, but if he does, it need not be repeated (I assume by way of drawing blood). Shulkhan Arukh agrees. However the Remah argues, saying that if non Jew, or even a Jew that has forsaken the Torah entire or even just the commandment of ...


5

According to the historian Bernard Lewis, The Jews of Islam : In general, Muslim polemicists pay little attention to the relatively insignificant Jew. Insofar as they deign to discuss the superseded religions, they are far more concerned with the Christians who, as the bearers of a competing proselytizing religion and the masters of a rival ...


5

(I'm sure that different communities vary wildly, so I'll answer for the one I'm most familiar with, the Chabad community. Even in narrowing it to this, there will still be quite a bit of variation depending on locale, time of year, etc. If it's just the rabbi that's Chabad, and not the family, these rules will likely not apply.) TL;DR A Chabad wedding can ...


5

Strongly recommend Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's books. (His Torah translation is superb and also available online). "If You were God" is great for theology; "The Real Messiah" addresses Judaism's views towards Christianity.


5

I go to college and lived with a gentile roommate last semester, and I wish I had someone as considerate; but, let's get started. Obviously make sure to be considerate on Shabbat by leaving the bathroom light on and avoiding any sort of problem that must be solved by breaking one of the Shabbat rules. For example, don't leave something of importance that she ...


5

This is pretty much open-and-shut. Mishna, Kiddushin 3:13. כל מקום שיש קידושין ואין עבירה, הוולד הולך אחר הזכר; ואיזו זו--זו כוהנת לוייה וישראלית, שנישאו לכוהן וללוי ולישראל. ... וכל מי שאין לה לא עליו ולא על אחרים קידושין, הוולד כמוה; ואיזה זה, זה ולד שפחה ונוכרית. Any union which is valid marriage and no prohibition, the child follows ...


5

You are certainly welcome to invite him. He can chose whether or not to come. If the food is being prepared in a non-kosher facility, really the only things that he would be able to eat without special effort are unprepared foods like raw fruits and vegetables. There are ways to make kosher food in unkosher ovens; however, that could take considerable extra ...


5

There is no religious requirement in Judaism for a non-Jewish man to wear a head covering. However, since a public request was made, some attendees might feel that it is disrespectful or insensitive to appear without a head covering. As a practical concern, and out of sensitivity to the family, I would therefore recommend wearing a head covering. Either a ...


5

According to this source, there is no source: No discussion of Jewish attitudes toward Aristotle can be complete (not that this essay aspires to completeness in any event) without mention of the infamous, scurrilous "Rabbitstotle" legend of the great philosopher being caught devouring a live rabbit, and responding to his surprised observer that ...


5

Jews are obligated to attempt to make peace with any peoples they come against. We must offer the nation the option of accepting the Seven Noahide laws and being subject to a tax and subservience to us. Violent action is only taken if this treaty is not accepted. In most cases, all adult males are killed, while women and children are spared. Exceptions to ...


5

Converts are a way that Gd rewards us for doing His Will. He selects a righteous individual from the nations and attaches them to Israel, like a King who rewards his well-behaved son by planting a beautiful plant in his garden, (Yerush. Berahot 2:8). We'd be sorely lacking without these beautiful plants: Odabia, was an Edomite convert, praised even more ...


4

I'll try to clarify: The Jews have 613 commandments; non-Jews have the seven Noahide laws: DON'T DO: Murder Idolatry Adultery/incest/bestiality/etc. Eat a limb torn off a live animal Curse G-d Steal YES DO: Establish and uphold laws necessary for the functioning of society (i.e. vote and pay your taxes!) Yes the Bible says "don't work on Sabbath, ...


4

I came across this list of sources that discuss it: שו"ת דעת כהן, סימן ריד: יש לומר, שהיה קבור במערה עמוקה תחת הקרקע, שהיתה לו ולמשפחתו קרקע חוץ ממקום המקדש, וחפרו מערה והאריכו אותה עד שהגיעה תחת המזבח Responsa Daath Kohen, 214: One can suggest that it was buried in a cave deep beneath the ground which belonged to him and his family, and they had ...


4

The Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 68:4, and other places) tells a story involving R. Yosei ben Chalafta and a Roman lady, where he tells her that since the six days of creation Hashem occupies Himself with making matches and redistributing wealth ("the daughter of A will marry B; the wife of C will marry D; the assets of E will go to F"); she mocks this and ...


4

Regarding your sidebar about conversion: Decisions about conversion need to be made with the guidance of a competent rabbi who knows you. If you are serious about converting, and you don't already know a rabbi, I implore you to get in touch with a rabbi in your area, or as close to your area as possible. Relationships build over time, but first contact must ...


4

I can't think of anything that's done at a yom kippur service that would be an issue. On "yes-cook" holidays, there's the issue that cooking can only be done for Jews; so if you were invited to a Jew's house for Rosh Hashana lunch, you should (for instance) put the tea bag in your own cup of fresh boiling water, rather than have your Jewish host do it. But ...


4

The Rambam in Hilchos Melachim 10:9-10 says a non Jew cannot keep shabbas ,but if he wants to perform other mitzvos for its reward it is permissible but has to be performed in the correct manner. exact wording: בן נח שרצה לעשות מצוה משאר מצות התורה כדי לקבל שכר. אין מונעין אותו לעשות כהלכתה. ואם הביא עולה מקבלין ממנו. נתן צדקה מקבלין ממנו. ויראה לי שנותנין ...



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