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In "Life Behind Bars" (on Chabad.org), Naftali Silberberg examines whether life in prison, which is often seen as a more humane alternative than executing a convicted person, is in fact more humane and in line with respecting a person's dignity as required by the Torah. What's your take? Does the Torah favor one type of punishment over another?

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It has been made clear that G-d determines our purpose on both a collective and an individual basis. If we choose our purpose, it becomes a goal, not a purpose. So what is Judaism's definition of a person's unique purpose and how do we go about finding it? Is it limited to correction of our middos (character traits) or is it more? Do non-Jews have the same type of individual purpose, notwithstanding that their general mission may be different? Thank you for clarifying.

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Hi rabbi, I have a question. If I have bad thoughts and feelings does that make me a bad person? For example, I gave my friend's name for a job opportunity in my office and when he got the job I felt upset. The reason I felt upset is because my chances of being promoted were slim once my very accomplished and well known friend was hired. I never expressed the way I really felt to him or anyone else, and just pretended I was excited that he got the job. Does it make me a bad person if had bad thought or feelings yet I never acted on them? This question also goes beyond the example I provided. Thank you in advance for your help.

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I was in a restaurant the other day, and a person came up to me and told me I shouldn’t be eating there because it’s not kosher. What chutzpah! Shouldn’t he mind his own business?

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Archive: Though I am a pious Jew, my life has been filled with serious illness, financial struggles, and early deaths in my family. Am I being punished for being good?

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OS 303 Here is a question for you. I own stocks in some companies that are not doing too well these days. Anyway, some of these companies just announced massive layoffs, in the tens of thousands. This will result in lower costs, therefore greater profits, and I'm liable to make some money on it when the stock subsequently rises. (One company's stock went up 5% just with the announcement of the layoffs.) My question is: I would like to feel joyful that my stock will rise, but then I am reminded that tens of thousands of families will have lost their income. This is a dilemma. Is there any Torah insight on this?