By COLlive reporter
Can a gentile light Shabbos candles for a Jew? Where exactly is Mt. Sinai? What color will be Moshiach’s eyes? These are the type of questions that listeners ask Rabbi Benzion Laskin on his new radio talk show.
Laskin, Program Director of the international Chamah organization, hosts “To Be a Jew” with journalist Michael Bratslavsky on 620 AM, Davidzon Radio, the leading Russian-language radio station in the United States with some 300,000 daily listeners.
Together, the two explore topics in Judaism and life issues through the lens of Chabad Chassidus. The show has a point-counterpoint discussion between the journalist and the Rabbi before opening the lines to listeners.
Each show attracts dozens of callers from a wide variety of backgrounds who ask their questions on every topic ranging from the afterlife, the coming shmitta year, to the eye color of Moshiach.
“Many unaffiliated Jews are getting their first exposure to Judaism through the show,” says Rabbi Laskin, a columnist for the Russian Jewish weekly “Forum” who led lecture tours around the US, Canada and Europe.
During one program discussing forgiveness in Judaism, Rabbi Laskin spoke about the relationship between illness (machala) and forgiveness (mechila) and how the inability to forgive is the source of one’s ailments.
On the next show, a listener called in to express his gratitude to Rabbi Laskin. He said he has long been estranged from his brother.
The listener said that after the show, he was inspired to reach out to his brother, and the two managed to make amends and get together for the first time in 20 years.