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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

Can I Preset My TV for Shabbos?

 

Question of the Week:

I am almost 100% committed to keep Shabbos this week in honor of the world wide Shabbos project. There's just one issue. My favourite TV show screens Fridays 7:30pm. So I was thinking, if it's permissible to set a timer before Shabbos to turn the lights on and off, then why isn't it permissible to set a timer before Shabbos to turn my television on and off? I can't see what the difference is.

Answer:

My favourite show is also on Fridays at 7:30pm. And I never miss it. It's a hilarious reality show, and my kids star in it. We call it "The Shabbos Table."
Read More »

Why Do Mourners Tear their Clothes?

Question of the Week:
 
What is the reason for the custom of mourners ripping their clothing on the death of a loved one?
 
Answer:
 
The experience of loss arouses several emotions. On the one hand, death is a tragedy. A loved one is lost to their family and friends, who are left feeling a profound sense of separation and distance that seems beyond repair. For this reason, we observe a seven day intense mourning period, during which the family sits at home and feels the pain and loss, followed by a year of mourning. This helps them slowly accept the new reality, that their loved on is gone.
 
But often, the mourners feel that it isn't really true, it didn't really happen, they haven't really gone. This is not… Read More »

What If You Swim Against the Tide?

 

Question of the Week:

 

If you really believe the Torah to be the ultimate truth and the word of G-d, how do you explain the fact that the story of Noah's ark and the flood is replicated in myths of almost every culture around the world? Does G-d copy and paste?

 

Answer:

 

Let me follow your logic. If a book claims that an event happened all over the world to the common ancestors of every nation, and then every nation has a version of this event among their folk tales, this proves that the book is a forgery. Huh?

 

Peoples as diverse as Sumerians and… Read More »

Why Don't My Kids Respect Me?

 

Question of the Week:

Can you explain my children to me? I have dedicated my life to looking after their every need. But if I ask one of them to get me a glass of water they moan and groan. Why is it that one parent can care for thre children but three children can't seem to care for one parent?

 

Answer:

We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, the first human beings. We have inherited from them the basic ingredients of human nature. They didn't have parents. They were created, not born. They had no umbilical cords. They probably didn't even have belly buttons. So any normal human being has an innate desire to look after their children. But looking after our parents (and our belly buttons) is a skill that doesn't always… Read More »

Are You a Good Husband or an Amazing One?

 

Question of the Week:

 

My very devout wife says I shouldn't miss Simchas Torah, as it is the most important festival of the year. I countered that the Torah speaks of no such festival, so how could it be so important? She said I should ask the rabbi. So I am.

 

Answer:

 

There are two types of good husbands. I'm not sure which one you are.

One is the type of husband that does whatever his wife asks. If she says, "Can you pick up some eggplants?" he says "Sure." If she asks for a new watch, he buys it. If she says "This house needs painting" he calls a painter. If she complains that the air-conditioning is on too strong, he turns it off.

He is a good husband. But he is not… Read More »

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