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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

Should You Attack a Mugger?

 

Question of the Week:

 

I don't need the 613 laws of the Torah to be a good person. I live by one simple rule: Do whatever you want, as long as you're not hurting anyone. Who needs hundreds of complicated laws when you can break it down into one?

 

Answer:

 

Your rule sounds so nice. I wish things were so simple. But let's test it and see how your rule applies to real life situations.

 

You're walking down the street. You see a violent criminal mugging an old lady for her wallet. You could save her by tackling him from behind.

 

What do you do? Subdue the thug and save the lady? That would be hurting someone, which contravenes your rule.

 

Unless you make an exception to your rule: Do… Read More »

Why Don't We Mention the Matriarchs?

 

Question of the Week:

 

I am uncomfortable with the fact that in our prayers we refer to "the G-d of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," while making no mention of our mothers, Sarah, Rebeccah Rachel and Leah. Why do we claim descent from our patriarchs and leave out the matriarchs? Do women not count? Are they supposed to just be quietly left in the background?

 

Answer:

 

Anyone who thinks mothers are supposed to be quiet has never been around a Jewish family. 

 

And if you read Genesis you see the pivotal role each of the matriarchs played in shaping the Jewish nation.

 

But there is something unique about our forefathers, something the mothers did not have.

 

They… Read More »

Where did the Star of David Come From?

 

Question of the Week:

 

What does the Star of David symbolise? Is there meaning behind it? And why is it considered the Jewish symbol? And where did it come from?

 

Answer:

 

There is in an ancient kabbalistic text called Raziel Hamalach. It is named after an angel who taught mystical secrets to the first man,

A page from Raziel Hamalach

Adam. The earliest appearance of what we call the Star of David is found in that book. While its teachings are way beyond our understanding… Read More »

Am I Going to Hell?

 

Question of the Week:

 

Do Jews believe in Hell? I am not planning any trips or anything, but was wondering because I have heard mixed reports about this..... 

 

Answer: 

 

We do believe in a type of hell. But not the one found in cartoons and joke books. Hell is not a punishment. It is in fact a great kindness that we are sent to hell. 

 

The prophets and mystics of Judaism described a spiritual place called Gehennom. This is usually translated as Hell, but a better translation would be the Supernal Washing Machine. Because that's exactly how it works. 

 

Our soul is cleansed in Gehennom in the same way as our clothes are cleansed in a washing machine. We don't put our socks… Read More »

I Stole $500. What Now?

Question of the Week:

 

I am a little embarrassed to write this, but my conscience won't allow me to keep it in any more. When I was 16 years old (almost 30 years ago) I would babysit for a neighbour. They always underpaid me. If I worked for three and half hours, they paid me for three. If I worked for 2 hours and 59 minutes, they paid me for 2. I really resented it. One time I found $500 cash in a kitchen draw. I took it, justifying in my mind that they owed me at least that much. They never suspected anything. I'm pretty sure they never even knew the money was there in the first place. I look back with shame and know I did wrong. I stole. But this was so long ago. According to the Torah, how do I fix this? Do I have to pay back?… Read More »

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