Miscellaneous

How old is the universe? Is psychoanalysis kosher? Why the big picture of the Rebbe in your living room? What does Judaism say about the aliens from outer space?

Name Changes in the Bible (Torah)
Throughout the Torah various people have their names changed. Abram becomes Abraham, Sarai changes to Sarah and Hoshea to Joshua. Jacob even gets an entirely new name: Israel. What is the significance of these changes?
Why Is It So Hard to Immigrate?
Your difficulty is not uncommon. In fact every soul goes through a similar process on its journey to higher worlds.
Why Are Some People Deaf?
My four-year-old asked me some hard questions that I wasn’t sure how to answer, like “Why did G‑d make people deaf? Did they do something bad?”
Is Déjà Vu Real?
I often get déjà vu, the sensation that I have already lived this moment before. It has happened when I travel to new destinations with people I have never met, and I feel that I have been there in that place, with the same people, hearing that very conversation before. Is there a Jewish explanation for this?
Why Do We Write Hebrew from Right to Left?
Rabbi Shurpin analyzes a simple-seeming question in the light of history, Jewish law, and kabbalah.
Do Jews Cross Fingers?
Is it wrong for a Jew to say “I’m keeping my fingers crossed” for good luck? And if so, is there a Jewish equivalent to crossing fingers?
What Is the Significance of a Rainbow in Judaism?
It is a beautiful and colorful aspect of G‑d’s world, but it’s also a reminder of tragedy. We are taught not to stare at it, but we do make a special blessing when it appears in the sky. Let’s see what the Torah has to say about the rainbow.
Where Can I Apply to Become a Chabad Emissary?
How Can I Join? Will You Pay for My Airfare?
Of the hundreds of e-mails we receive every day at Chabad.org, many are from adventuresome, idealistic young men and women seeking to work at a Chabad house in an exotic location.
My Husband Watches Too Much Sports
Every time his team loses, he loses more of his faith...
Is the Internet Evil?
I've heard that some rabbis have "banned" the internet and consider it one of "Satan's tools." Obviously, however, Chabad does use the internet as a tool to serve G‑d. What does the Torah say about using this medium?
How Can I Be Happy?
When I look at myself and my life I see plenty of reasons to be miserable. Am I supposed to be able to just switch on happiness at will?
What Can I Do about My Bad Luck?
Is it possible for someone to have bad luck? I am a college graduate, a learned man, but cannot seem to make any money...
What Can I Do About My Ego?
Fighting your ego is like trying to think about nothing: the harder you try, the further you get from your goal
What've You Got Against TV?
Aren't you a bit cut off from reality? How do you know what's going on in the world without a television in the house?
Can Hallucinogenics Aid Spirituality?
I've heard that certain tribes used various narcotic substances to help achieve a mystic state. Is there room for this in Jewish practice?
Dealing with the Psychological Scars of Childhood
Repression or sublimation? What is the Torah perspective on how to deal with deep-seated feelings of anger, sadness and anxiety?
Is Psychoanalysis Kosher?
And are there Torah alternatives?
There are similarities between the Freudian model of the human psyche and that described by Rabbi Schneur Zalman in his Tanya. But there’s also a major difference with serious impact: where Freud sees the underlying force within man as his sexual drive, the Tanya sees it as his G-dly soul.
I Don't Want To Get Old!
Will I be content and happy to live as a wrinkly old woman whom no one looks at?
Do Jews Celebrate Halloween?
I know its origins aren't very "Jewish," but I'm worried that my kids will feel left out if they can't go trick-n-treating in the neighborhood...
Do Jews Believe in Karma?
In ancient Egypt, it was called "ma'at," in Greek, "heimarmene" or "fate" and in Germanic, "wyrd." Basically, the idea is: You can't escape the system