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Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple

News and updates about Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple

What sort of Jewish State?

The world knows quite well that we are a Jewish and democratic State. Arab deeds leave no doubt that they know the facts. Do we? Op-ed.

What sort of Jewish State?

Being nice to terrorists

Are Jews supposed to see everyone in a positive light?

Being nice to terrorists

The psalm against plagues

Religion and medicine have a very long association.

The psalm against plagues

Interfaith prayer

Why not? Surely we all believe in the same God...

Interfaith prayer

How Purim was saved

A Biblical Book that doesn’t mention God? Events that ignore Eretz Yisra’el? Preposterous, some said!

How Purim was saved

On entering a church or a mosque

It’s not just a matter of history but of ideology.

On entering a church or a mosque

Wars and weapons

Some wars have to be regarded as morally permitted. All wars have to be a last resort.

Wars and weapons

VAYAKHEL 5782

Why may we not light a fire on Shabbat?

Vayakhel: Being ready for the day after includes learning the prohibitions mandated on Shabbat.

Why may we not light a fire on Shabbat?

Negativity and Islam

Judaism has never tried to eradicate Christianity or Islam. Maimonidean doctrine says other faiths are in error but must be given respect.

Negativity and Islam

Choose one mitzva

Become an expert in one mitzvah and gradually expand to a second, a third, a fourth one, and eventually the total mitzvah-life

Choose one mitzva

They saw the thunder

If anyone had asked the Israelites to articulate what took place they would not have been able to give a straight answer.

They saw the thunder

Homosexuality and the Synagogue

There is no reason for a synagogue to ask members about their sexuality.

Homosexuality and the Synagogue

Matchmakers

The shadchans had a high rate of success, despite the mockery to which they were subjected.

Matchmakers

Magic makers

Why was it worth God’s while to produce the effects which the sorcerers could duplicate?.

Magic makers

Did Peter the Apostle author the Nishmat prayer?

There is a medieval legend about the first part of the beautiful Sabbath prayer.

Did Peter the Apostle author the Nishmat prayer?

To life! Lechayim!

Some Hebrew words never come in the singular. One of them is "Chayyim" - life.

To life! Lechayim!

Eggs from a non-kosher bird

Birds of "unclean" species are out but what about the eggs of an allowed species that turns out to be non-kosherr?

Eggs from a non-kosher bird

Was Antiochus a red herring?

Did Greece really harm Judaism? Weren't there always idolators among the Jews? And what is the connection between Hannukah and Sukkot?

Was Antiochus a red herring?

The voluntary dying debate - not so easy

What are we talking about – shortening life, or shortening dying?

The voluntary dying debate - not so easy

Who keeps the children?

Ask the Rabbi: Custody in halakha, the duality of Jewish life and other topics.

Who keeps the children?

Why doesn't Judaism have monks and nuns?

Asking the Rabbi about Jewish monks and nuns, Hammurabi and the Hebrews, the roles of history and destiny., two brothers and two crowns.

Why doesn't Judaism have monks and nuns?

A great nation and its religion are born

Abraham was the first to define a great nation with a religion bound up in its land from the start.

A great nation and its religion are born

Satan in Judaism

What place does Satan play in Jewish belief?

Satan in Judaism

What preceded Creation?

What does the word "Bereshit" allude to?

What preceded Creation?

Father, forgive me

The Yom Kippur confession has no mention of keeping kosher, observing Shabbat, neglecting davening, failing to put on tefillin.

Father, forgive me

Dreams, hopes and fears: The problem with prayer

What if God says "No", or He says nothing? Maybe He is undecided?

Dreams, hopes and fears: The problem with prayer

Surrogate motherhood

In the case of surrogate childbirth, who is the halakhic mother?

Surrogate motherhood

Ask the Rabbi: Can we give to G-d? What is levirite marriage?

The law of the first fruits teaches a basic principle of Jewish ethics, that we should have a sense of gratitude and appreciation.

Ask the Rabbi: Can we give to G-d? What is levirite marriage?

Surrogate motherhood - who is the halakhic mother?

Who is the mother when a woman carries to term the fertilised egg of another woman?

Surrogate motherhood - who is the halakhic mother?

Following in the ways of your grandparents

The dilemma of the secularist Jew in our age.

Following in the ways of your grandparents

The humaneness of shechitah

Judaism stands for compassion and kindness, to animals in particular, and preventing pain to animals is crucial to how a shochet operates.

The humaneness of shechitah

Does the Olympic hype border on idolatry?

There is sports and there is the sports industry. Perhaps that is what should be examined.

Does the Olympic hype border on idolatry?

Should Israel be a theocracy?

Over the centuries, even without a sovereign government, Jewish law continued to operate and develop in many areas.

Should Israel be a theocracy?

Pangs of real pain - Tisha B'Av

We are angry, with God, the enemy, ourselves. We are angry at two millennia of tragedy, at the Holocaust. But is anger our only option?

Pangs of real pain - Tisha B'Av

Rituals or ethics? What is more important in Judaism?

What is the mark of a good Jewish society in contrast to a good society of any kind?

Rituals or ethics? What is more important in Judaism?

Taxes in Jewish History

Jews were required to pay internal Jewish taxes from Biblical times onwards.

Taxes in Jewish History

What's keeping the Messiah?

Are we hoping for Messiah enough? Are we doing our best to make him come?

What's keeping the Messiah?

Forgiving a war criminal

What does Judaism say about forgiving criminals - what factors influence that concept? Addition: Thoughts for this week's parsha.

Forgiving a war criminal

Why I am a Jew

It is paradoxical of course that the so-called people of God have suffered so much for their pains.

Why I am a Jew

Why Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

Others may love and be impressed by Jerusalem. But only the Jewish people have been inextricably bound up with the city for 3000 years.

Why Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

The spirit of Israel is the spirit of Rabbi Akiva and Rashbi

Oz Torah: The paradoxes of Lag Ba'Omer, the story of a Jewish Pope and the Torah's view of cosmetic surgery.

The spirit of Israel is the spirit of Rabbi Akiva and Rashbi

Constantine and the Jewish calendar

In ancient times, both Jews and Christians relied on the announcement by the rabbis of the first day of Nisan.

Constantine and the Jewish calendar

Erev Pesach on Shabbat - a calendrical puzzle

Today we grin and bear Erev Pesach on Shabbat; the Talmudic sages vigorously debated it.

Erev Pesach on Shabbat - a calendrical puzzle

History and destiny

This coming Shabbat's parashah spells out the details of the offerings once brought to the sanctuary, but today read each morning..

History and destiny

Defining death

How does Judaism define the moment of death?

Defining death

An eye for an eye? Laws, lies and corporal punishment

This was not a law of physical vengeance but of monetary compensation, and those who say otherwise are prevaricating.

An eye for an eye? Laws, lies and corporal punishment

Isolation

Being in isolation is found in the Bible and not only for health reasons.

Isolation

Refusing the vaccine

Insights into Judaism's attitude to refusing the corona vaccine, planting trees on Tu Bishvat - and following orders.

Refusing the vaccine

A little humility is a wonderful thing

What does God have against Pharaoh?

A little humility is a wonderful thing

Why pray for a life of riches and honor? Is that what counts?

In the blessing for the new month we ask for riches but if we don't have riches does that mean we are rejected by G-d?

Why pray for a life of riches and honor? Is that what counts?

Overruling a rabbi

What happens if a rabbi's halakhic decision is overturned by a rabbinical court?

Overruling a rabbi

Shabbat Jews and Hanukkah Jews

Light as a symbol: Hanukkah candles and Shabbat candles - Liturgical reflections on Hanukkah - The Menorah on the Arch of Titus.

Shabbat Jews and Hanukkah Jews

The 10 Lost Tribes

Where are the tribes exiled by Assyria in the 8th century B.C.E.?

The 10 Lost Tribes

Some Jewish attitudes from A to Z

From A to Z - Judaism embraces every aspect of life. An alphabetical guide to looking at things the Jewish way.

Some Jewish attitudes from A to Z

Abraham and our impasse with the Palestinian Arabs

Torah insights on the need for negotiations, looking back at Abraham's purchase, Eliezer's mission, gifts from crooks- amd bible critics.

Abraham and our impasse with the Palestinian Arabs

Why does the month of Mar-Cheshvan have two names?

Chodesh tov! Today is the first day of a new Hebrew month which has two names. Why? And another question: Why isn't life fair?

Why does the month of Mar-Cheshvan have two names?

Jewish at night

Insights for Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.

Jewish at night

Sukkot features: A culture of celebration

Should we swap chairs in the Sukkah? Was the Sukkah real? What is a sanctity of silence?

Sukkot features: A culture of celebration

HIgher and lower chutzpah

There are two ways of looking at people who have problems with religion.

HIgher and lower chutzpah

How tikkun olam has changed

"Tikkun Olam" historically was preparation, not purpose,

How tikkun olam has changed