Are Jews Required To Fight In Israel’s Wars?

Dear Jew in the City, Is there an obligation from a Jewish law perspective to defend the land of Israel in battle? If so, why is there a large group that refuses to fight? Sincerely, Edith   Dear Edith, Thanks for your question, which is more timely than you may realize. (In fact, it’s so […]

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What does Judaism say about the death penalty?

Dear Jew in the City, What does Judaism say about the death penalty? Sincerely, Eric Dear Eric, That’s an interesting question. I assume you mean “What does Judaism say about the death penalty in secular law?” because anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the Torah knows that capital punishment is all over Jewish law. […]

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Is There a Connection between Jews and Hindus?

Dear Jew in the City, Recently, you referenced a relationship between Jews and Hindus. Can you please expand on that? Sincerely, Rebecca Dear Rebecca, Thanks for your question. That was in the article on Jewish-Muslim relations. What I wrote there was, “Avraham had other children, with his second wife, Keturah (who may or may not […]

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Can Prayers Make a Difference?

Dear Jew in the City, You recently wrote about prayer and I was wondering: Do our prayers actually accomplish anything? Can my prayers make a difference in the world, or even in my own life? Sincerely, Joseph   Dear Joseph, Thanks for your question. As we discussed in that previous article, the purpose of prayer […]

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How and Why Did the Yiddish Language Come To Be?

Dear Jew in the City, How and why did the Yiddish language come to be? Best, Liza   Dear Liza, Thanks for your question. A few months ago, we discussed Ladino (“Judeo-Spanish”), so I guess it’s only fair that we discuss its Ashkenazic counterpart. The Yiddish language is over a thousand years old. Literally meaning “Jewish,” […]

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