Family Torah Journal

Mourning After Kaddish

I have recently completed the year of mourning and kaddish for my father, and am left with a profound feeling of emptiness now that it’s finished. I know I can no longer say kaddish, but is there anything more that I can do or is that it?

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Tabernacle

This time of the year, as I follow along with the readings of the weekly Torah portion, I have a lot of trouble studying the sections we are now reading that deal with the building of the Mishkan – tabernacle. First of all, I have a problem relating to it; how does a building they built thousands of years ago affect our lives. Secondly, why do these portions appear in the book of Exodus, which is the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Why are they not in the next book of Leviticus which deals with the sacrifices they brought in the tabernacle?

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Miscarriage

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.

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Miracles

We read about all kinds of miracles in the Bible. I would have a lot easier time believing in G-d if I could see miracles like our ancestors claim to have seen. How come there aren’t any more miracles today?

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Mikvah Scandal

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.

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Mentch

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?

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