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15 Tishri 5779 -
? Sunday, September 23, 2018


Wake-Up Call

A basic tenet of our faith is that there are no random occurrences. The Hebrew word "mikreh" - something that happens coincidentally, also spells the words "karah me'HaShem" - happened by the will of G-d. To be sure, we never know definitive reasons for occurrences - they are beyond the scope of our human minds. But one thing is certain - nothing, but nothing, happens capriciously. It therefore behooves us to at least make an attempt to listen and try to discern the meaning of the messages that HaShem is sending us.

Q & A: How To Treat A Ger (Part I)

QUESTION: The Rambam unequivocally states that a Jew by choice should be treated as an equal to any other Jew in all respects. In our synagogue we had a serious rift regarding this issue and many members left the synagogue. What happened was that a proselyte, a ger, ran for the position of president of the congregation. He had served as the secretary of the congregation and he was respected and liked by the members of the congregation. The rabbi of the congregation ruled that since he was not a Jew from birth, he could not run for the position of president of the congregation or occupy a position as an officer of the congregation. I would like to know, from your perspective, what the halacha is on this important issue.Name withheld by request(Via E-Mail)

Crisis In Faith (Conclusion)

In last week's column, I published letters from two women who complained that they were experiencing crises in faith. One, a single woman in her early forties, an only child of Holocaust survivors, was devastated by the illness and subsequent death of her mother (her father had passed away some years earlier). 'What happened to all my prayers?' she asked.

Q & A: Reincarnation?

QUESTION: I am told that Eliahu was a reincarnation. Who was he?R. GoldBronx, NY

Crises In Faith – Two Letters (Part I)

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis: I was referred to speak with you by Rebbetzin _________________, wife of the late Rabbi ________________________ of ___________. The rabbi, zt'l, was my spiritual mentor and good friend, and prior to his unfortunate passing at a young age, I found solace and comfort in his wisdom and advice.

Q & A: Sinat Chinam Destroyed Our House

QUESTION: Our Sages strongly condemned sinat chinam - yet at times, good resulted from it. For example, when the sons of Yaakov went down to Egypt many years after selling their brother, they were treated royally.Shlomo FeivelsonCoconut Creek, FL

Our Only ‘Road Map’

Those of you who have been following my columns will recall that, time and again, I have pointed out that one can always find a correlation between the parsha and events that unfold before our very eyes. And this past week, Abu Mazen's visit to the White House was no exception.

Q & A: Sidra Or Parasha?

QUESTION: I have noticed that some refer to the weekly Torah portion as Parashat Hashavua while others refer to it as the week's Sidra. Which is correct?Eliyahu TewelVia E-Mail

An American Tisha B’Av

A few weeks ago, I published a story entitled "Will Your Grandchildren Remain Jewish?" In that article I reported on a TV program that focused on intermarriage. As offensive as that situation was, nothing quite compared to an article that came to my attention through the good offices of Mr. Andrew Friedman, who is a prominent attorney and a leader of the Los Angeles Jewish community.

Q & A: Effort And Diligence In Torah Study (Conclusion)

QUESTION: I recently read your Daf Yomi column (JP, June 13, 2003), where you cited the Chikrei Lev's comments regarding the standard of 'Sinai' in Torah study, that is, having extensive knowledge of the Torah. He stated that this is not as important today because the Mishna has been recorded.My question is: Was the Mishna not recorded in Rashi's time? Commenting on the first verse in Parashat Bechukotai, Rashi notes (based on Sifra) that "Im bechukotai tele'chu" means "shetih'yu amelim baTorah." In yeshiva I was taught that this means that one must toil with much effort to learn and understand Torah. If so, how can one not be expected to have an extensive knowledge and yet be amel baTorah?Zvi Kirschner(Via E-Mail)

A Wake Up Call – More On Yeshiva Girls

Dear Rebbetzin: Thank you for publicizing the very difficult issues facing our young teenage girls. While the at-risk behavior of boys has leveled off somewhat, there has been a dramatic increase in the at-risk behavior of girls. I have some insights into the problem that may be of interest to your readers.

Q & A: Effort And Diligence In Torah Study (Part I)

QUESTION: I recently read your Daf Yomi column (JP, June 13, 2003), where you cited the Chikrei Lev's comments regarding the standard of 'Sinai' in Torah study, that is, having extensive knowledge of the Torah. He stated that this is not as important today because the Mishna has been recorded.My question is: Was the Mishna not recorded in Rashi's time? Commenting on the first verse in Parashat Bechukotai, Rashi notes (based on Sifra) that "Im bechukotai tele'chu" means"shetih'yu amelim baTorah." In yeshiva I was taught that this means that one must toil with much effort to learn and understand Torah. If so, how can one not be expected to have anextensive knowledge and yet be amel baTorah?Zvi Kirschner(Via Email)

Will Your Grandchildren Remain Jews?

Sometimes, messages come to us from the most unexpected sources. While, Baruch HaShem, there is currently a substantial upsurge in commitment to Torah and mitzvos, and statistics demonstrate that the Orthodox community is experiencing an unprecedented resurgence, sadly, there is also a flip side to this story.

Q & A: ‘HaGomel’ When Traveling By Car

QUESTION: Just the other day I was heading toward Connecticut on the New England Thruway. There was stop and go traffic. Eventually I saw the reason for the logjam. There had been a horrible accident involving a number of vehicles in one of the opposite lanes, with numerous ambulances and police present. In our direction of traffic we were all rubbernecking. I have no idea what the condition of those involved in the accident was. But I was wondering whether we should all say HaGomel whenever we arrive at home in one piece.I am told that you discussed this problem or a similar one before. Is it possible to elaborate on this topic again?Moshe JacobowitzBrooklyn, NY

There’s Nothing Realistic About Our Reality

As I write this column, it is motzei Shabbos, parshas Shelach, and the parsha demands that I address a subject which I have of late refrained from writing about.

Q & A: Hachana (Conclusion)

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on Shabbat or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day (Motza'ei Shabbat or Motza'ei Hachag)?Moishe Halberstam, Esq.Brooklyn, NY

Gemachs – Giving With A Full Heart

Our first letter writer established a gemach for simcha gowns which she runs from her home. She has undertaken this mitzva with dedication and love, and gives of herself with a full heart. However, in order for a gemach to operate successfully, it is important that they be well stocked with quality merchandise... and here is where our letter writer has met with frustration.

Q & A: Hachana (Part VI)

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on Shabbat or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day (Motza'ei Shabbat or Motza'ei Hachag)?Moishe Halberstam, Esq.Brooklyn, NY

Making Gemachs A Real Act Of Kindness – Two Letters, Two Views

Special Note: Several weeks ago, I received two letters regarding gemach problems. For those of our readers who are unfamiliar with the term, gemachs are organizations found in every Torah community to help families who are in financial straits. Interestingly enough, the two letters that I received describe gemach problems from different perspectives - one speaks about the responsibilities of the donors, and the other about the responsibilities of the recipients. They each make valid points that should be addressed.

Q & A: Hachana (Part V)

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on Shabbat or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day (Motza'ei Shabbat or Motza'ei Hachag)?Moishe Halberstam Esq.Brooklyn, NY

Youth Without Vision

For the past several weeks, I have published letters that focus on the problems of children and teenagers who, despite the fact that they are yeshiva students and come from good Torah homes, are nevertheless deprived.

Q & A: Hachana (Part IV)

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on the Sabbath or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day?Moishe Halberstam, Esq.

It Can Happen To The Best Of Kids

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:I am a 14-year-old teenager. I read your column regularly, as do all the members of my family. The letter that you published from "A Concerned Mother" who described the goings-on amongst teenagers struck a sensitive chord. Unfortunately, she was right on target.

Q & A: Hachana (Part III)

QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on the Sabbath or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day?Moishe Halberstam, Esq.Brooklyn, NY

Where Are The Moms And The Dads? (Continued From Last Week)

Special Note: For the past few weeks, we have been discussing the sad state of little children who are abandoned to the care of maids.

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