5 Q&A with YU Online Torah Leader Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian



About Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian: Rabbi Avroham Chaim Kerendian, teaching at YU Torah is an Israeli University Torah Scholar and teacher who provides daily Shiurim, contemporary Halacha, and Kashrus lectures for free to the public. If you are interested in improving your Gemara, Torah, and study of Judaism join Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian at Yeshiva, a University for free, online Torah lectures, compliments of YU

Sephardic News.

Here is the transcript of our Question and Answer Interview with the YU Online Torah Leader Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian:

Question 1 to Rabbi:

What is Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian’s opinion on what’s currently going on in Israel, mainly the conflict of Ultra-Orthodox Jews harassing those being “indecent”?

Answer Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian:

To start off, let me say that I categorically condemn them and this behavior. It is against any sort of Halacha, and is disgusting, and lastly, it is against the torah. There are two parts to halacha, the laws governing man to man, and the laws governing man to God (Hashem).They both are of equal weight. Therefore, if you do not respect other people, then you are no morereligious than those you are protesting. It is a sin and unacceptable.

Question 2 to Rabbi:

What is Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian’s opinion on the use of alcohol or drugs for non-medicinal use?

Answer Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian:

Great question! There is a Torah commandment to”guard your life” (which also applies to one’s body) which means that one must be safe. Furthermore, in general, philosophically, we treat the body as if it were not our own, but rather as a loan from god, therefore, it must be taken care of. Let’s take an example of smoking! For 200 years, before the knowledge of smoking dangers were known, it was considered safe, or even healthy. Even doctors would smoke! Once the dangers became known, it became categorically forbidden for Jews as Halacha.At my synagogue we look for a way to help these people as every individual cigarette is dangerous and a violation of “guarding your life.”

Question 3 to Rabbi:

What is Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian’s opinion on gentile converts to the religion of Judaism? How does God look at converts?

Answer Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian:

I had my Rabbi explain it to me like this. Jews are born into their Jewish religion, and for them to be considered good and worthy in God’s eyes, they’ve got to follow their religious path. It’s an obligation for them. In essence, they’re “born knowing better”. For those who aren’t Jewish, they also have a line of commandments they must follow, namely the seven Noahide commandments. So, Gentile don’t have to do a lot more than just live good lives to be considered good in God’s eyes. When a non-Jew converts, they’re taking on a heavy burden and eschewing their ignorance in favor of a lifetime of devotion to God. This is of highest loftiness and thus, are a first-class Jew like anyone else. To elaborate: all Jews have a rope connecting them to God, a convert had a broken rope since they weren’t jewish but since they became jewish the rope is now tied together and a rope with a knot is shorter than the same length of rope without a knot.

Question 4 to Rabbi:

What is Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian’s opinion on Judaism’s view on hell. Does it exist?

Answer Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian:

We do not believe in Hell insofar as eternal damnation (with some notable exceptions). With that said, we do believe in a period of cleansing, which can be described as hell. Maximum time one can go to hell is 12 months

(which is why in Halacha mourners say kaddish for 11 months: in order to appeal on his behalf, but only 11, because we don’t want to give the impression that our loved ones were so bad that they got the max sentence). Afterwards, heaven is for everyone! Non-Jews, as well, get to go to heaven if they are good, moral, civil people and follow the Noahide laws. Furthermore, wven if it were to be a “fiery pit of hell” it is a spiritual, not a physical one, and therefore simply the closest analogy, but still far away from what it is.

From my humble understanding, heaven is simply basking in the knowledge and closeness of god, while hell is the knowledge, but distance from god.

Question 5 to Rabbi:

What is Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendians few strands of string hanging from his waist, on his left and right hip? What are they called and what do they symbolize?

Answer Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian:

Wonderful question! Tzitzis, or in Sephardic, we call it Tzitzit!

They are a commandment in the Torah and we wear them at all times, as they are a symbol representing all the other commandments in the Torah. It symbolized the Jewish 613 commandments!

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Rabbi Avraham Chaim Kerendian, YU Torah, Torah University, Yeshiva Torah Scholar, Israel teacher, Rabbi, daily shiurim, contemporary Halacha, Kashrus lectures. Gemara, Torah, Judaism, Yeshiva for Chaim, Israel Synagogue, online Torah, Sephardic Leader.

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