10 Questions for the Rabbi — Thank you!! :)

Question

Does anyone ever discuss where was G-d during the Holocaust?
Would a Chabad Rabbi ever marry a Jew who is in the process of becoming more observant?
Is it sacrilegious to be cremated if you’re a Jew?
Do Jews believe in hell?
What is the best way to go about starting to study the Torah?
Are women considered 2nd class citizens in Judaism?
Why don’t orthodox Jews do bat mitzvahs for girls?
How do Jews in Israel feel about Christians’ connection to Israel?
Is it okay to talk to a therapist if you’re Orthodox?
What is the meaning of the tree of life to Judaism?

2 years

Answers

    1. Yes, all the time. I recommend a book called Path Through the Ashes published by ArtScroll.
    2. Yes, I am sure that they do all the time.
    3. Cremation declares that this world is the beginning and end of Man. A basis of Jewish faith is that this is not true. The body is held on deposit, and together with the soul, it really belongs to God. He decides when and where man should die, and He decides what to do with the body once it has fulfilled it’s this worldly purpose. In fact, so severe is the prohibition that Jewish Law dictates that one should not sit shiva over someone who was cremated voluntarily and one is not obliged to bury the ashes of one who was willingly cremated. In addition the body of a cremated person is not liable for resurrection not so much because of the physical impediment but rather in line with the diction that one who doesn’t believe in resurrection will not experience it. The prohibition against cremation is only applicable to someone who voluntarily requested it. All of the Jews over the generations who were burnt to death at the hands of the various bestial murderers simply for the “crime” of being Jewish have a place in the World to Come and they are considered to be Jews who have sanctified God’s Name by giving up their lives.
    4. The very foundation of the Jewish Religion is rooted in the concept of the World to Come and the Resurrection of the Dead. We believe that
      without these concepts it would have been nigh on impossible for the Jewish People to have remained attached to God and His Torah. Judaism is a religion that uses this world as a means to enter into the World to Come, because of this fundamental belief existence in this this world allows us many expectations, and it gives us a purpose in life – to build on our inherent spirituality and to try and draw closer to God in order to enhance God’s presence in this world.
      The Jewish concept of hell, called Gehinom or purgatory, shares no resemblance to Christian hell. Jewish Traditional Sources teach that Gehinom is a place where Souls are sent – only if the Soul is in need of some form of spiritual correction.
    5. To find a mentor who can advise the person what the best place is to begin the study of Torah. The Torah is enormous – both in depth and breadth and someone who knows the person will be able to suggest several options that would be tailor-made for them.
    6. Second class citizens? Women are the center of life. Without women there is no life and there is no future. According to Judaism women are equal to men in their importance in the Eyes of God but they certainly have a different function to men. Judaism teaches that the physical world is mirrored by the spiritual world. In the same way that men and women are different physically so, too, are they different spiritually. That explains why there are Mitzvot just for men and Mitzvot just for women – because they are different and their spiritual potential is different. That does not mean that men should be paid more than women for doing the same work. That is crass chauvinism and is an obscene manifestation of the distorted idea that women are “worth” less than men. However, in the spiritual realms men and women are supposed to complement each other and each one is supposed to give to the other what they lack to make up a complete whole. There are quite a few books on the market that you may find helpful. For example: Dr. Lisa Aiken, “To Be a Jewish Woman”, Jacob Aronson Inc. Rabbi Manis Freedman, “Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore”, Harper.
    7. Many Orthodox families do not have a public celebration for a Bat Mitzvah due to reasons of modesty. However, all families that I know, make a beautiful Bat Mitzvah celebration for the female members of the family.
    8. The Christian connection to Israel is only through Jesus who was Jewish. There is a Divine promise that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish Nation. The Land of Israel is the Promised Land that was given to the Chosen Nation – not to the Christians.
    9. Yes, absolutely. It is strongly recommended that only an Orthodox therapist be used as there are many facets to therapy that are not acceptable to the religious population.
    10. Before the sin of listening to the bad advice of the snake, God did not forbid eating from the Tree of Life. In fact, it is described as being “in the middle of the garden”, in a central and convenient place to go. Had they eaten from it they could have been immortal. In a sense, Adam and Eve, before the sin were neither mortal nor immortal. When they sinned their reality was determined as mortal, but had they not sinned and eaten of the Tree of Life their reality would have been determined as immortal. Interestingly, the Tree of Life is guarded by Cherub angels, and the only other item in the Torah that was “guarded” by Cherub angels is the Holy Ark. The Ark (Aron) which contained the Torah was covered by two Cherubs. The Torah is also called a “Tree of Life”. However, unlike Adam and Eve who lost immortal life through their sin, the Jewish People who sinned with the Golden Calf were nevertheless allowed to partake of the Torah — the Tree of Life. Through the study and fulfillment of Torah, we can achieve clarity of reality and a purity of existence that theoretically makes suffering, and even death unnecessary, and allows the human being to achieve a close and immortal relationship with the Creator, despite having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

    1. Yes, all the time. I recommend a book called Path Through the Ashes published by ArtScroll.
    2. Yes, I am sure that they do all the time.
    3. Cremation declares that this world is the beginning and end of Man. A basis of Jewish faith is that this is not true. The body is held on deposit, and together with the soul, it really belongs to God. He decides when and where man should die, and He decides what to do with the body once it has fulfilled it’s this worldly purpose. In fact, so severe is the prohibition that Jewish Law dictates that one should not sit shiva over someone who was cremated voluntarily and one is not obliged to bury the ashes of one who was willingly cremated. In addition the body of a cremated person is not liable for resurrection not so much because of the physical impediment but rather in line with the diction that one who doesn’t believe in resurrection will not experience it. The prohibition against cremation is only applicable to someone who voluntarily requested it. All of the Jews over the generations who were burnt to death at the hands of the various bestial murderers simply for the “crime” of being Jewish have a place in the World to Come and they are considered to be Jews who have sanctified God’s Name by giving up their lives.
    4. The very foundation of the Jewish Religion is rooted in the concept of the World to Come and the Resurrection of the Dead. We believe that
      without these concepts it would have been nigh on impossible for the Jewish People to have remained attached to God and His Torah. Judaism is a religion that uses this world as a means to enter into the World to Come, because of this fundamental belief existence in this this world allows us many expectations, and it gives us a purpose in life – to build on our inherent spirituality and to try and draw closer to God in order to enhance God’s presence in this world.
      The Jewish concept of hell, called Gehinom or purgatory, shares no resemblance to Christian hell. Jewish Traditional Sources teach that Gehinom is a place where Souls are sent – only if the Soul is in need of some form of spiritual correction.
    5. To find a mentor who can advise the person what the best place is to begin the study of Torah. The Torah is enormous – both in depth and breadth and someone who knows the person will be able to suggest several options that would be tailor-made for them.
    6. Second class citizens? Women are the center of life. Without women there is no life and there is no future. According to Judaism women are equal to men in their importance in the Eyes of God but they certainly have a different function to men. Judaism teaches that the physical world is mirrored by the spiritual world. In the same way that men and women are different physically so, too, are they different spiritually. That explains why there are Mitzvot just for men and Mitzvot just for women – because they are different and their spiritual potential is different. That does not mean that men should be paid more than women for doing the same work. That is crass chauvinism and is an obscene manifestation of the distorted idea that women are “worth” less than men. However, in the spiritual realms men and women are supposed to complement each other and each one is supposed to give to the other what they lack to make up a complete whole. There are quite a few books on the market that you may find helpful. For example: Dr. Lisa Aiken, “To Be a Jewish Woman”, Jacob Aronson Inc. Rabbi Manis Freedman, “Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore”, Harper.
    7. Many Orthodox families do not have a public celebration for a Bat Mitzvah due to reasons of modesty. However, all families that I know, make a beautiful Bat Mitzvah celebration for the female members of the family.
    8. The Christian connection to Israel is only through Jesus who was Jewish. There is a Divine promise that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish Nation. The Land of Israel is the Promised Land that was given to the Chosen Nation – not to the Christians.
    9. Yes, absolutely. It is strongly recommended that only an Orthodox therapist be used as there are many facets to therapy that are not acceptable to the religious population.
    10. Before the sin of listening to the bad advice of the snake, God did not forbid eating from the Tree of Life. In fact, it is described as being “in the middle of the garden”, in a central and convenient place to go. Had they eaten from it they could have been immortal. In a sense, Adam and Eve, before the sin were neither mortal nor immortal. When they sinned their reality was determined as mortal, but had they not sinned and eaten of the Tree of Life their reality would have been determined as immortal. Interestingly, the Tree of Life is guarded by Cherub angels, and the only other item in the Torah that was “guarded” by Cherub angels is the Holy Ark. The Ark (Aron) which contained the Torah was covered by two Cherubs. The Torah is also called a “Tree of Life”. However, unlike Adam and Eve who lost immortal life through their sin, the Jewish People who sinned with the Golden Calf were nevertheless allowed to partake of the Torah — the Tree of Life. Through the study and fulfillment of Torah, we can achieve clarity of reality and a purity of existence that theoretically makes suffering, and even death unnecessary, and allows the human being to achieve a close and immortal relationship with the Creator, despite having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team