We have been in tremendous pain the past few weeks over a miscarriage we suffered in the sixth month. It’s hard to describe the sense of loss, and we can’t help but feeling it was so senseless; why would G-d put us through all that anticipation and both physical and emotional suffering for nothing? We’re hoping you can offer some comfort.
I have heard that you are the Rabbi in charge of the Dallas mikvah, so I decided to address my feelings to you over the recent charges of voyeurism against a rabbi from Washington D.C. The widespread outrage this has fostered and its effects cannot be underestimated; so many women who were users of his mikvah feel violated beyond words, and especially his female conversion candidates who feel the very rabbi bringing them into Judaism was perverting Judaism for his own lusts and gratification. Besides their feelings of being violated. I, personally, feel I need some reassurance that such a thing could never happen in Dallas. I would also hate to think that the crime this rabbi allegedly committed would be a reason for them to consider no longer using a mikvah and thereby deny themselves the beauty of that mitzvah.
I was very touched by a picture posted on AOL this week, showing a hooded African American man who had fallen asleep on the shoulder of a yarmulke-clad Jewish man on a New York subway. The picture went viral as many saw it as a restoration of real humanity in a place we all least expect to see it, and it was one of the rare instances when something nice actually makes it to the news! Was this religious Jew’s action (or inaction, by not moving and letting the man sleep on his shoulder) based on a teaching of Judaism, and if so which sources?
You may have seen the story about the new statute in Texas allowing tenants to put mezuzot on their exterior doorways. Apparently, this was in reaction to a situation where a resident was prohibited from putting up a mezuzah by the rules of his apartment community. I was curious what Jewish law would have said about this situation. If a Jew finds himself living in an apartment complex that prohibits hanging anything in doorways, what is he supposed to do? Defy the ban and hang a mezuzah anyway? Move and incur substantial inconvenience, costs, and possibly lease violation penalties? Or do the property rights of the apartment complex owner simply override the biblical commandment?
Why do the orthodox base a Jew’s status on the mother and not the father? Shouldn’t the father be at least as important as the mother? Does the father have any effect at all on the status of the child?