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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

Thousands of people enjoy the wisdom and inspiration of Rabbi Moss' weekly emails.

Is Judaism Patronising to Women?

 

Question of the Week: 

I have often heard it said that Judaism believes that women are more spiritual than men. This is supposed to explain why men have more religious obligations than women - men need these things to become closer to G-d, women are there already. But do we really believe that? Is it not just a patronising way to avoid the question of the different gender roles in Judaism? 

Answer:

I remember as a child being told that men and women are equal. I had a big problem with this. I asked, "If men and woman are equal, why do men and women never compete with each other in sports? You never see a man playing against a woman in tennis, or women's soccer teams facing men's, or a mixed gender 100 metre… Read More »

The Miracle We Didn't Deserve

 

Question of the Week:

I was playing the game of dreidel, as we do every Chanukah, when someone asked what it actually means. I wasn't sure what to say, apart from being a fun way to spend time with the family during the holiday, and a kosher way to gamble away your savings. But I guess there's more to it... is there?

Answer: 

Toys don't play a major role in Jewish tradition. I can only think of two Jewish toys that are used religiously (unless you count iphones). On Chanukah we spin the dreidel, and on Purim we shake the gragger. The dreidel is a spinning top used in a game of chance. The gragger is a noisemaker that serves to heckle the wicked Haman, the enemy of the Jews, every time his name is mentioned in the Purim… Read More »

Why Stones on a Grave?

 

Question of the Week:

I am going to visit my grandmother's grave, and was planning to buy a bunch of her favourite flowers. But I have noticed that Jewish graves don't have bouquets, only stones laid on them. Is there anything wrong with placing flowers on a grave?

 

Answer:

The custom to place a stone on a grave is an ancient one. By doing so we are symbolically adding to the gravestone, building up the monument that honours the departed. Placing flowers on a grave is not the Jewish custom.

Flowers wither and die. Stones remain unchanged. While flowers are a beautiful gift to the living, they mean nothing to the dead. In death, the body which is ephemeral and temporary is gone, but the eternal soul remains. The body… Read More »

The Atheist Telescope

Question of the Week:

How can a rational thinking person believe in G-d, when there is absolutely no evidence for his existence? Today we have x-ray, radar, satellites, infrared photography, ultrasound imaging, gamma-ray telescopes and CCTV, and yet we still have found no trace of G-d. If he is supposed to be everywhere, why is he nowhere to be seen? My logic says, if you are nowhere, you don't exist...

Answer:

Being everywhere doesn't make you easy to find. On the contrary, logic says if you are everywhere, it's as if you're nowhere. A bit like our fridge.

As our family grew we needed more fridge space, so we bought an old fridge online. It was a bargain. We soon found out why. When we plugged it in it started humming quite… Read More »

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