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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

Lessons from the Mighty Mosquito

 

Question of the Week:

 

I am emailing you at 3:30am because I can't sleep. Nothing very dramatic, but there is a mosquito in my room that keeps buzzing in my ear and driving me crazy. So I got thinking, why did G-d create mosquitos? What possible purpose could they serve other than annoying people when they are trying to sleep?

 

Answer:

 

Be careful who you call annoying. That mosquito may deserve more respect than you think.

 

Indeed, the Talmud has some harsh words for mosquitoes. It says that while all creatures contribute to the grand scheme of nature, the mosquito is one exception. It is a consumer, but not a giver. It survives by sucking the blood produced by others, but doesn't itself… Read More »

Baby Naming Rights?

 

Question of the Week:

 

Our baby is now almost six weeks old, but we haven't officially named her. We have a problem. I always wanted to name her after my grandmother. But my wife doesn't like that name because she says it sounds ugly. She wants some other name which is nice, but I think it lacks any real meaning for the family. Doesn't it say somewhere that the father has the right to choose the firstborn's name?

 

Answer:

 

I'm not sure you want to know the answer to that.

 

There is indeed a custom in some communities of alternating the right to name a child between the parents. According to one Ashkenazi custom, the mother names the firstborn child, the father the second and so on. But some Sefardi… Read More »

A Lopsided Wedding Ceremony?

 

Question of the Week: 

 

I am getting married in two months from now, and last night we had a meeting with the rabbi who will be conducting the ceremony. Something came up which I am quite uncomfortable with: the issue of only the groom giving the bride a ring, and not vice versa. This essentially represents to me that I am being purchased. The idea that there is a problem with the bride also giving the groom a ring seems absurd to me. Surely I have as much say in the agreement to be married as my husband-to-be?

 

I know I am allowed to give the ring after the ceremony. However, I want to exchange rings… Read More »

Why Are Jews Always in the News?

 

Question of the Week:

  

Why do the Jewish people seem to loom so large on the world stage? The numbers don't add up. Here's a nation less than 0.2% of the world's population, yet we command so much attention you'd think there were billions of us. That's like a room of two thousand people, with one puny guy sitting in the corner who everyone wants to talk to (or pick on).... Why do we always seem to be at the centre of history?

 

Answer:

 

Jews do strange things sometimes. One example is the wide-spread practice of "credit combing." 

 

Many Jews have a habit of combing through the credits at the end of a movie, searching for Jewish names. At each discovery they beam with… Read More »

Do You EVER Get Angry?

 

Question of the Week:

I've had a question for a while now and no one has been able to give me a satisfying answer. I want to know why it sometimes seems that we depict G-d as a tantruming little child. For example, many times in the Torah it says that we should not say or do something that is forbidden since that will make G-d very angry. What am I supposed to make of that? How can I respect a G-d who is on the edge of blowing up if we don't follow what He says?

Answer:

Imagine being married to a man who never gets angry. Ever. About anything. You insult him and he shrugs. You are rude to him and he is nice back to you. You give… Read More »

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