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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

Should We Bow Down to Pressure?

Question of the week:

In the Purim story, Mordechai the Jew refuses to bow down to the wicked Haman. As a result, Haman enacts a decree to annihilate the entire Jewish nation. Did Mordechai do the right thing? Technically, bowing to a dignitary is not forbidden by Judaism. So even if Haman thought he was god, shouldn't Mordechai have bowed down to him rather than risk the lives of the entire Jewish people?

Answer:

In my youth I attended a non-Jewish school. Jews made up about ten percent of the student body, and we felt quite comfortable there. But sometimes we stood out.

It wasn't a particularly religious school, but on occasion they did hold prayer services, in a big hall with a huge cross at the front. At a certain point during the… Read More »

A Weird Fear of Dying

Question of the week:

I have a fear of dying. But it expresses itself in a weird way. I have read stories of people doing one mitzvah and then dropping dead, because that one good deed was their life mission. So now every time I do something good, I think maybe this is my last. This freaks me out and it isn't good. Should I try not to fulfill my mission so I can live, or do good deeds and die?

Answer:

There are two types of workers: employees and contractors. A contractor is there to do their job, and that's it. As long as I have completed the tasks given me, as long as the items on my to-do list are all ticked off, I have done my bit and I can go home.

Then there is an employee, who is there to work not until the job is done, but… Read More »

A Community in Pain - Child Sexual Abuse

The Sydney Jewish Community is hurting at the shocking revelations of child sexual abuse and its mishandling by some of our leaders.

Here's what we have to say.

A message from your rabbis.

Is Religion a Crutch?

Question of the Week:

I think religion is nothing more than a crutch. Belief in G-d is for the weak and the needy, who can't stand on their own two feet. Don't you have the independence to get through life on your own without some other force to prop you up? 
 
Answer:
 
You're right. Religion is a crutch, a sign of human weakness. And to be honest, religion is not my only crutch. I am so weak, I need a whole array of support mechanisms to prop me up and keep me going. 
 
I need food. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I am totally dependant on eating. Without food, I would probably not have the strength to do much at all. My body does not nourish itself. It needs outside help. So I… Read More »

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