Rabbi, I have a problem

Is it better to ask a male acquaintance to help me conceive or to use artificial insemination?

November 12, 2010

Question: I am a single woman in my late 30s. I despair of finding a suitable husband but I am anxious to have a child before it is too late. From a Jewish point of view, is it better to ask a male acquaintance to help me conceive or to use artificial insemination?

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

How do I tell my Christian parents I'm converting?

October 14, 2010

Question: How should I explain to my deeply Christian parents that I want to convert to Judaism? I don’t know how to tell them that I don’t believe in their religion without causing a rift that may be irreparable.

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

Is it all right to own a television?

August 26, 2010

Question: My husband thinks that television is a baleful influence on the children and wants to get rid of our sets. I think that’s going too far and it’s better for them to learn to view in moderation than deprive them of the experience. Which of us is right?

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

Is it hypocritical to keep kosher at home, but eat non-kosher out?

July 28, 2010

Question: My parents are probably typical of many in keeping kosher at home but eating non-kosher meat out. I keep getting into arguments with them because it all seems so hypocritical. Shouldn’t you keep it all rather the bits you feel you want to keep?

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

Would a mezuzah be an appropriate gift for a Catholic baby?

July 1, 2010

Question: A close friend who is a Catholic has just given birth to a baby girl. I want to give the child a gift that would be symbolic of my tradition, and a mezuzah would be an ideal blessing of the new baby’s room. Would this be appropriate?

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

What should I do about my tattoos before converting?

June 3, 2010

Question: I’m from a Christian background and have been studying Judaism for two years in order to convert. I keep kosher and observe Shabbat but I have a problem. I have tattoos. I understand they are forbidden but what can I do since they are a permanent part of my body?

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

Is a circumcision performed by a gentile valid Jewishly?

May 6, 2010

Question: A friend of mine is pregnant, is expecting a son and is very nervous about circumcision. She is thinking of having it done in hospital by a surgeon who may well be non-Jewish. Would that still be valid Jewishly?

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

Do sexual relations in older age constitute a waste of sperm?

April 8, 2010

Question: If it is wrong to waste sperm, as the story of Er and Onan demonstrates in the Bible, then can I have sexual relations with my wife after the menopause since biologically she is no longer able to conceive and therefore any sperm is wasted(Question)

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

Can I have Kaddish said for me if I'm buried in a non-Jewish cemetery?

March 18, 2010

Question: I am 65, I married out and my husband and I plan to be buried in a non-denominational cemetery. But I would still like to have Kaddish said over me. Is that possible and how could it be arranged?(Question)

Rabbi Naftali Brawer

Naftali Brawer is rabbi at Borehamwood and Elstree United Synagogue.

More..

Should I invite my estranged grandmother to my wedding?

January 28, 2010

Question: I haven’t seen my grandmother for years. The man she married, after divorcing my grandfather, sexually abused me when I was young. I am getting married and do not want to invite her to my wedding but, if she turned up uninvited, I wouldn’t want to create a scene by having to remove her. What should I do?

More..