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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

Why Can't a Convert Marry a Cohen?

Question of the Week:

I am a convert to Judaism and I'm very proud of it. I have always felt totally welcomed by the community and in no way an outsider. But I am deeply bothered by the law that says a convert is not allowed to marry a cohen. If I am a fully fledged Jew like any other, why am I not good enough to marry into the priestly tribe?

Answer:

 

A convert can marry a king. A convert can marry a prophet. A convert can even marry a rabbi, the highest echelon of Jewish society (if you ask me). So it makes no sense to say that a convert can't marry a cohen because they are second class citizens. There must be some other reason. 

 

When the Torah forbids a marriage, it is never because one party is not good… Read More »

Why Do You Wear a Hat?

 

Question of the Week:

I understand the reason behind wearing a Kippah is to acknowledge the presence of G-d above you. My question is, why do chassidim also wear a hat on top of that? Isn't the Kippah enough?

Answer:

There's above, and then there's above. Indeed G-d is above us. But He's not just above us, He is above being above us. However wondrous we think G-d is, He is way beyond that. However much we think we have understood G-d, there is an infinity we haven't even come close too.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. As beyond as G-d may be, He wants us to attempt to grasp Him as far as is humanly possible. This is why He gave us the Torah, His infinite wisdom expressed in terms that we finite beings can relate… Read More »

Mark Zuckerberg Faces the Book of Books?

 

Question of the Week:

Everything has always come easy to me. But recently something's changed. I've been exploring my spiritual side, and while I feel a strong pull to it, I also feel a certain heaviness comes with it. I thought praying and studying Torah would bring me peace. But in many ways it has made my life more complicated and hard. So my question is: if it's all so hard, maybe that means it's not for me?

Answer:

There is a story told by the great chassidic teachers, and it goes like this.

There was once a simple villager who won the lottery. In the olden days, this meant literally winning a pot of gold. So with excitement and anticipation, he set out on foot for the three day journey to the big city to collect… Read More »

Can You Stop Flip-Flopping?

 

Question of the Week:

We all know that the Jewish future is under threat, with many of our youth leaving the fold. In all streams other than the fervently orthodox, the outlook is grim. We can't all be religious. So other than Torah observance, what can we teach the next generation to inspire them to stay Jewish?

 

Answer:

 

Sometimes a question itself contains the answer. Like when a fish asks, "Other than in the water, where else can I survive?" You have the answer, you just would prefer a different answer. But there is none.

 

A fish out of water does not die immediately. In fact, a fish out of water seems quite lively. It flips and flops and dances around, seemingly more active than it was… Read More »

Magical Cure for Anxiety?

 

Question of the Week:

I am looking for a kabbalist who can help get rid of an evil eye. I constantly feel weighed down by heaviness, stress and anxiety. I am in therapy, but feel that there must be some type of spiritual curse on me. Do you or anyone you know how to undo evil spells? 

 

Answer:

 

You need a mystical formula to rise above the negativity and cast off the shadows. I know a kabbalist who can help. His name is Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. He lived almost two thousand years ago, but his light still shines today.

In his esoteric masterpiece, the Zohar, he has an insight that if you internalize it, it may bring you the strength you need. He writes:

During the Friday night prayers, as Shabbos enters… Read More »

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