Printed from Nefesh.org.au

Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

Would You Eat Bacon for $10 million?

 

Question of the Week:

 

I was watching a debate between the famous atheist Richard Dawkins and some rabbi about religion and G-d. Dawkins said that religions are just money machines, and its leaders fleece their gullible followers of their cash and come out rich. What do you have to say about that?

 

Answer:

 

So Dawkins is saying that for believers, money trumps morality. I assume he holds that atheists are different. Let's test that hypothesis. What happens when people need to choose between money and principles? Let's try the following theoretical experiment.

 

Imagine you put Richard Dawkins in a sealed room all alone, with no one watching, no recording devices or CCTV's, and you offer him a deal… Read More »

What If We Never Argue?

Question of the Week:

 

I have a problem. My fiancée and I never fight. I have heard that relationships can only grow through tension, that only when we have a disagreement and then work through it can we get closer. But what can I do? We simply agree on everything. Now I'm nervous. Should we be arranging some arguments? Maybe a weekly roster with a list of topics to fight about, and then make up afterwards?


Answer:

 

Pre-arranged fights only work if you are a professional wrestler. Not so in a marriage. To get the desired effect, the argument needs to be real. I am afraid you will have to wait for an authentic argument to be able to truly reconcile.


This is based on some Talmudic logic. The Talmud teaches that… Read More »

Life is Spinning Out of Control?

Question of the Week:

We are having a cultural day at work where people share their religious customs. I have three minutes to talk about Chanukah and wanted to talk about the dreidel (someone else is speaking about the Menorah). Is there a deeper meaning to spinning the dreidel on Chanukah that I could easily present? 

Answer:

Take a dreidel and spin it. Let everyone watch. It's fascinating. You never know which side it will land on. It could fall on the Gimmel, which means you win, or the Shin, which means you lose.

It seems totally random. You just spin and something happens. But really it isn't. Every spin has an exact amount of kinetic energy to cause a measured number of turns. The table surface provides an exact… Read More »

Are Jews a Race or a Religion?

Question of the Week:

Are Jews a race or a religion? Or both? Or neither?

Answer:

We are all of the above. A race. A religion. Both. And neither.

We're a bit complicated. And really quite simple. Let's use some talmudic-style deduction to get to the bottom of it.

Jews are members of a religion called Judaism. We descend from spiritual trailblazers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, founders of a belief system around one G-d and moral living. Our nationhood did not start in a country, but in an idea. Our identity comes from the Torah. So being a Jew is clearly a religious thing.

But if Jewishness is a religious identity, then a Jew who is not religious, doesn't believe in G-d or follow the Torah… Read More »

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.