Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky spoke in Kew Gardens Hills on Tuesday on “Uniting the Jewish People – Answering Difficult Questions”. It was an informative and entertaining shiur and through the wonders of TorahAnyTime.Com you can view it here.
As Baalei Teshuva we’ve all had our share of questions and issues that have bothered us and our friends, family and acquaintances.
What are the questions and issues that have bothered you or your acquaintances?
Do you think you have good answers to all your questions and issues?
Update: These are some of the questions and issues that seem to bother other people. Do you have any to add?
-Does the Chosen People imply that Jews are better than other people?
-Why do women seem to be treated as second class citizens in Torah Judaism?
-Why does Torah Judaism fault gays for their natural tendencies?
-Why do the innocent suffer and the wicked prosper?
-Why did G-d cause the Holocaust?
-Why is there evil in the world?
-Why is there so much suffering in the world?
-Aren’t animal sacrifices cruel?
-Why does Torah contradict scientific evidence of the Age of the Universe?
-Why does Torah contradict the widely accepted theory of evolution?
-Why is there no generally accepted scientific, historical or archaeological evidence of the flood?
-Why is there no generally accepted scientific, historical or archaeological evidence of the Exodus?
-Can you prove there is a G-d?
-How do you know Torah was really given by G-d at Sinai?
-If there are multiple accepted interpretations of Torah in the Talmud why are the interpretations of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist excluded?
-Why do so many Torah Observant Jews look unhappy?
-Why do I have to give up so many pleasures to become Torah observant?
-Why do Torah observant Jews look down on non-observant Jews?
-If I can’t keep the whole Torah, isn’t keeping part of it hypocritical?
-If I don’t plan on becoming Torah observant, why should I study Torah?
Updated from the comments (with slight modifications)
-Why do some Orthodox Jews seem to make a big deal about keeping kosher and wearing a uniform, but are rude to people, cheat on their taxes, and do other forms of bad behavior?
-All these rules mean you don’t get to see your family on the holidays. Isn’t religion really about family and morality, rather than ritual?
-Isn’t religion supposed to unite us, rather than divide us?
-Why would G-d care if I drive on Saturday especially if I am coming to Shul? (this question fits almost anything, it just starts why would G-d care if I……………)
-We have good refrigeration and cooking facilities now so why not eat pork?
-Can’t I just be a “good person?”
-Isn’t it more important to honor your parents, so how can you not eat at their house anymore?
-Why do you have to be so Jewish?
-Why do we hear only success stories (like at Discovery or Aish or just about all the Kiruv sites) and not stories of those who were never reached, who stayed uninterested in Judaism despite all efforts?
-Isn’t it possible that the Pintele Yid will never manage to burst into flame?
-Why don’t I hear about other couples who remain at different levels and have to live with that difference forever?
-With so much focus on the success stories are we not neglecting the reality that a large percentage of Torah Observant Jews will have some awareness and relationship with Hashem, but it will nothing to write home about?