Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

I Did My Best. Did I Mess Up?

 Question of the Week

I am not Jewish, but have many Jewish work colleagues. I attended my first Jewish funeral for an old boss this week. I tried to be respectful and follow protocol, but I think I may have messed up. As I was leaving, someone said to me, "I've sim cards."  I was a little taken aback.  Why would people be selling phone plans at a funeral?  Then another person said the same thing to me, which I thought was strange. I thanked them and explained that I am locked into a 24 month contract. When a third person also told me "I've sim cards" I started to think maybe I was misunderstanding something. Is it customary to buy a new sim card… Read More »

A Weird Fear of Death?


Question of the Week

I have a fear of dying. But it expresses itself in a weird way. I have read stories of people doing one mitzvah and then dropping dead, because that one good deed was their life mission. So now every time I do something good, I think maybe this is my last. This freaks me out and it isn't good. Should I try not to fulfill my mission so I can live, or do good deeds and die?


There are two types of workers: employees and contractors. A contractor is there to do their job, and that's it. As long as I have completed the tasks given me, as long as the items on my to-do list are all ticked off, I have done my bit and I can go home.

But an employee has to work until the day is over. It is not enough … Read More »

We love you. We’ll meet again soon.



The Jewish nation is hurting. The unfathomable loss of 45 innocent souls in the Meron tragedy has touched us all.

Now is not the time for finger-pointing and blame. Now is not the time for explanations and justifications. Now is the time to comfort the grieving families.

But what can we say to comfort them?

Nothing. And that is fine.

The mitzvah to comfort mourners is performed by paying a visit and listening. Jewish law dictates that when visiting a mourner, the visitor should not open the conversation. We leave it to the mourner to set the tone. The visitor should just listen, acknowledge, respond where appropriate and take to heart what the mourner says.

So let’s do that now. Let&rsqu… Read More »

Have I Lost My Mind?


Question of the Week:

I grew up hearing that to learn Kabbalah you have to be married, over forty, and an accomplished scholar. Otherwise you will go mad. Yet these days it seems everyone and anyone studies Kabbalah. So is what I heard not true or have the rules changed? Or have we all gone mad?


The origin of the belief that Kabbalah study is dangerous seems to be a Talmudic tale.

There were four rabbis who shared an out-of-body mystical experience, where their souls wandered off into the higher realms. They were Ben Azzai, Ben Zoma, Elisha ben Avuya and Rabbi Akiva.

Each of these scholars was impacted differently by the experience. For three of them, it was not a happy ending.

Ben Azzai died. Ben Zoma w… Read More »

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