A change somebody’s name for a name taken from Tanakh


Does something change is Ben Noah life if he changes his name for a name taken from Tanakh?

Answer of Rav Cherki:

This is a very nice deed which influence on a person. But it is not obligation.

Answer of Rav Hollander:

Maimonides writes that sincerely repenting person (baal-tshuva) becomes another individual. A person has his own self-identity and his name is its part. That’s why, when he repentance in his sins, there will be a positive sense to change a name as a part of such personality change and the name change can help in such change. More over, the change his name for a name from Tanakh – in such a cases if this name is significant for a person, can strength him in his new life, that’s why it deserves encouragement.

Why sick children are born?


I work in a mental hospital. And I want to know – why such sick children are born?

Answer of Rav Cherki:

The birth of sick children can be for a follow reasons:

  1. For their parents sins;
  2. Correction of what happened in their past life;
  3. To give their parents and to all society an opportunity to care and show mercy on them;
  4. Another reasons that we can not know

Answer of Rav Hollander:

Such questions are very hard because they cast doubt on our possibility to understand and explain everything. Nearly 50 years ago one Rabbi in USA published a book named “When bad things happen to good people?”. Moses, our Master, also wanted to know the answer this question and the Most High said to him: “I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy ”(Exodus, 33:19).

This implies that not each person can be honored the mercy of the Most High. Such question was asked by Rav Soloveichik. His wife suffered from cancer for many years. And he could not give a final answer a question “Why?”. But if I can correct understand his approach, he says: ‘Don’t ask: “ Why? ” but instead ask: “What can we do in this situation? How can I serve God in a place where I am? ”

And you as a person who is dealing with sick children, know the answer.

Increased responsibility when a person declare himself as a Ben Noah

If we bear witness before Beth Din that we accept upon ourselves the observation Seven Commandments, than from such a minute our responsibility for their transgression increase a lot. If we are in a state of ignorance, without clearly formulated Commandments, we can make a serious violation of Commandments.
For example, I am a store administrator. Workday ends at 18.00. If there are no people in a store, I close a store at 17.55. That is, 5 minutes of working time I stole from my employers. One of the Seven Commandments, which is a full obligatory for Bnei Noah, is a prohibition of theft. Conclusion: closing a store five minutes earlier, I have stolen them, namely above Commandment – i.e. above prohibition. Punishment for transgression any of Seven Commandments is the death penalty (of cause, in the time of the Temple). As far as I know, today the punishment is kareth. Tell us please, what should we do?

Rabbi’s answer:

1. Responsibility with all its consequences is more preferable then irresponsibility with all its freedom. Responsible person has a sense in his life, thou even in some moments he have to suffer for his ideals.

2. It’s necessary to study our obligations – and it’s a debt of each person, even if he doesn’t declare the Commandments before Beth-Din yet.

3. There is no too much details of the Bnei Noah Commandments. There are a lot of details of details but they are different in a different societies. So, for example, in law of theft there is a law of forgiveness. Namely if the person from whom something was stolen, forgive a theft or neglects a stolen, this makes the crime of a theft invalid. A part of a Jewish wisemen believe that the society which sets a fine for theft, thereby, in a sense, forgives the thief, and therefore in such cases there is no punishment by death, God forbid.

The death sentence in Beth-Din in Israel, of course, was connected with the existence of the Sanhedrin, which was located in the Temple, but this is not related to the Beth-Din of Bnei Noah. At the same time, some authorities believe that Beth-Din does not have a direct obligation to enforce the death penalty, but there is only the authority to do so if such a need arises. Actually, the task of such a Beth-Din is to monitor the observance of the Bnei Noah commandments, despite the fact that the law enforcement function itself is in the hands of the state. And since there is no Bnei Noah state, then this question is practically irrelevant.
And besides, it is not true that for such a crime there is a punishment of kareth.