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Weekly Email by Rabbi Moss

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

Chicken Soup Jews

 

Question of the Week

I want to increase my Shabbos observance. I have resolved to light candles at the correct time, starting this week. One question I had. Why do we light specifically two candles?

Answer

A lot of people call themselves "culturally Jewish." They feel connected to the Jewish people, are active in the community, advocate for Israel, and may attend shul on major festivals. But they don't keep Jewish law.

For example, when it comes to Shabbos, they will argue that the laws are not important, it is all about family time. If you come to Shabbos dinner, whether you walk or drive doesn't make a difference. As long as you eat chicken soup, it doesn't matter if it was cooked before Shabbos came in or after.… Read More »

Is Euthanasia Dignified?

Question of the Week

I visit my 92 year old mother every day in her old age home, and every day I look around at the seniors there and ask myself the same question: why does G-d leave these old people to die without dignity? Every one of them needs someone to feed them, wash them, even take them to the bathroom. I have faith, but this thing really makes me angry. Why can't they die with dignity?

Answer

It is so hard to see a loved one fade after living a vibrant and active life. How we approach this painful stage will depend on our perspective. And the Jewish perspective on the end of life differs greatly to much of mainstream thinking today. To approach life and death the Jewish way, we need to make sure we have that perspective… Read More »

Is This Story About You?

Question of the Week

My non-Jewish friends and colleagues often ask me: What is Judaism?

They are not looking for a complicated thesis, just a simple response. How would you sum up a 4000 year old culture in a few words?

Answer

'Judaism' and 'simple' are not often found in the same sentence. But to attempt to answer this, we first need to define what Jews are, then we can define what Judaism is. 

The Jewish people can best be described as a spiritual family. We are connected by our souls, and every Jew is a part of this invisible web by virtue of our Jewishness. You can either be born into the family or join by choice. But once you are in, you are family, no matter what.

If Jews are a family, the Torah is the family rules. It… Read More »

You Don't Need a Health Crisis

Question of the Week

This is out of left field but maybe you can help. A religious Jewish guy works in the office next to me. I just bumped into him as he was walking out of the men's room, and I said hello. But he was talking to himself. He held up his finger to tell me to wait until he finished his "conversation" and then greeted me back. No one else was around, and he wasn't on the phone. At first I thought it was bizarre behavior but have come to learn that maybe there is something religious behind it. Is there?

Answer

You have just witnessed one of the most powerful religious moments in the universe. And it usually happens outside the men's room.

Your colleague was not talking to himself, he was talking to G-d. He… Read More »

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