Ask the Rabbi with Rabbi YY Schochet

Stealing Innocence

Dear Rabbi

My child attends a non-Jewish school. They are now keen to teach the children all about LGBTQ, transgenderism etc. My son is only eleven years old. Is it really necessary to expose them to this at such a young age? What do they do in Jewish schools?



Dear Jennifer

I feel bad for parents nowadays. You have to be able to explain the birds and the bees, the bees and the bees, the birds and the birds, the birds that used to be bees, the bees that used to be birds, the birds that look like bees etc.

It’s a politically correct world gone mad. The mere fact that any form of sex education is already mandatory in primary schools is an absolute absurdity and a sad reflection of the times we live in. I don’t know what the policy is in all Jewish schools but the school at which I am principal is government-aided hence bound by state education curriculum. They consulted with me about how to teach certain subject matters that would be in keeping with government guidelines while also remaining sensitive to the principles of traditional Judaism.

This is not intended as an indictment against alternative lifestyles. It’s an indictment against a system that is depriving young minds of their innocence, all in the name of bleeding heart liberalism.


Living in the Past; Struggling in the Present

Dear Rabbi

I have been wronged too many times in my life. I find that as much as I try to move past it, I keep dwelling on it and it makes me very bitter. I know you’re not an agony aunt but you give sensible advice sometimes and I wonder whether you can guide me with some inspiration.



Dear Gershon

What do you mean, “sometimes!” Here’s some food for thought for you and I urge you to think very carefully about this: Hate has four letters. So does love. Enemies has seven letters. So does friends. Lying has five letters. So does truth. Negative has eight letters. So does positive. Anger has five letters. So does happy. Cry has three letters. So does joy. Right has five letters. So does wrong. Hurt has four letters. So does heal.

In short, life is a double-edged sword. You have the option of transforming all negative instincts into something positive. That choice rests with you. Choose the better side of life.

Right Guy, Wrong Date

Dear Rabbi

I found Mr. Right and I am due to get married in the summer. A friend pointed out that it was the ninth of Av and that my marriage would be invalid. But there is no other Sunday in the summer available for the hall. Would the marriage really be void?


Dear Carol

For a start I have to safely assume it is not an orthodox wedding. In addition, we are told about various dates in the Jewish calendar that are more auspicious times than others to get married. Then there are some dates that are outright prohibited. Why would you want to get married on what has always been known as the saddest and most tragic day on the Jewish calendar when many calamities happened in the past? I can state unequivocally, it won’t bode well for your union. Changing the date might mean you won’t get the hall you want, but you’ll more likely get the relationship that you want, underpinned by happiness and joy. Surely that’s of primary importance. I look forward to the invite with the new date.


When Is a Rabbi Not a Rabbi?

Dear Rabbi

What are your thoughts about a rabbi calling Israeli politicians, war criminals? On the one hand it’s a shocking thing for a rabbi to say. On the other hand a rabbi should have integrity and if that’s what they believe then surely they should be honest and upfront about it.



Dear Nathan

On the third hand, regardless of one’s views there’s something called common sense and if you lack that you probably shouldn’t be in any leadership position. For a so-called rabbi to use language that is fodder for anti-Semites, arguably should make their job untenable.

The very idea that some members have resigned on the back of the statement, speaks volumes and reflects the gravity of the situation. That they remain in their position after making such a statement reflects on the movement as a whole. It is unsurprising. A lack of clarity or consistency in religious and political positions leads to confusion and weakens the movement’s overall integrity.