Q: If I have no faith will I still go to heaven?
A: Although it is true that Judaism emphasizes righteous action more than other religions and, historically, has sometimes de-emphasized the role of required religious beliefs (“dogmas”), nevertheless most authorities are of the opinion that there are essential Jewish beliefs that must be accepted by all. Nachmanides , an outstanding medieval authority, writes “There is no merit in the actions of the evil persons who deny God…even if they conduct themselves in accordance with beautiful and good traits all their days.” Bottom line, faith is necessary to merit the Afterlife.
Q: The prohibition for us, is to not mark a tattoo upon ourselves… as jews…. but just for clarification… can I tattoo other people??
A: It is only permitted to tattoo someone that person may tattoo his/herself. Therefore, it is forbidden to tattoo a Jew but it is permitted to tattoo a non-Jew (Noda Biyehuda in Pitchei Teshuva YD 180:2).
Q: Do you wash on wraps [and say hamotzei/bentch, or do you just say borei minei mezonot/al hamichya]?
A: No; although it is common for people to consider it bread since it is often eaten as a main part of a meal (R. Belsky), many make mezonos since it does not have the appearance of bread (R. Elyashiv).
Q: Hi Rabbi, I heard that there might now be a bug issue between cloves in a head of garlic (nafka mina [the practical ramification] is by roasted garlic in the head). Is this true? If so, what precautions should be taken?
A: It is true that there have been dependable reports of the issue so it is a legitimate chumrah [stringency] but there is not yet sufficient data to conclude that its frequency has reached the threshold of an actual halachic prohibition. [Note: This issue only effects grilling or cooking whole heads but not individual cloves or powder, etc.]
Q: Why would we put statues (i.e. cherubim) on the Aron [Ark of the Tabernacle]? We abhor statues in Judaism, so one would think the last place we would have them would be the in the holiest place on the holiest object.
If you would like my phone number to submit questions, please leave a comment and I will send it to you.