Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, Jew in the City's Educational Correspondent, is the editor of OU Torah (www.ou.org/torah) . He is the author of five books including The Tzniyus Book and The Taryag Companion.

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

About Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, Jew in the City's Educational Correspondent, is the editor of OU Torah (www.ou.org/torah) . He is the author of five books including The Tzniyus Book and The Taryag Companion.

When Should You Consult a Rabbi About a Question?

Dear Jew in the City- When should a rabbi be consulted? It seems that in some communities rabbis are asked about every mundane detail of life, things that aren’t even related to Jewish law. Other times, people talk about consulting rabbis on a halachic matters when really it’s just a matter of opinion. So when […]

Why Do We Still Count the Omer When We Don’t Have a Holy Temple?

Dear Jew in the City- If there’s no Temple anymore, why are we still counting an Omer that’s not even being brought? Didn’t other Temple-related actives just cease after its destruction? Thanks, Losing Count Already   Dear Count, That’s a pretty good question. Let’s first explain what “counting the omer” is. Leviticus chapter 23 tells […]

Why Don’t We Have Miracles Like the Plagues Anymore?

Dear Jew in the City- I’ve been thinking about the Ten Plagues and how these awesome miracles happened for the Jewish people in the Passover story, as well as throughout the Torah. How come we don’t have miracles anymore? Sincerely, I’m a Believer   Dear Believer- That’s a great question. To answer that, we have […]

Pence And What The Torah Says About Getting Close To Other Women

Dear Jew in the City, I read the Mike Pence doesn’t have meals alone with women who are not his wife or drink in mixed company. What’s the Orthodox Jewish approach to this topic? Thanks, Rob Dear Rob, That’s a very good question. Vice President Pence has been the object of a lot of derision […]

Why Do We Say a Blessing on Trees?

Dear Jew in the City- I heard something about blessing the first buds of a tree. That’s really neat. But when and why are we supposed to do this? Sincerely, Tree Hugger   Dear Tree, The Sages instituted brachos (blessings) to be recited for a number of reasons. We recite brachos when performing mitzvos, like […]

Beauty & the Beast: Should Belle Have Judged Beast Favorably?

Dear Jew in the City- In the upcoming movie remake Beauty and the Beast, the main character Belle is kept prisoner by a mean Beast whom everyone hates and fears, yet Belle somehow sees the good in him, which (not-so-spoiler-alert) transforms him. What does Judaism say about seeing the good in other people? Thanks! Dear Hater- […]

Why Does God Test Us?

The following is adapted from Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed. The concept that God puts people through trials is the most debated idea in the entire Bible. Most people assume (incorrectly) that God afflicts individuals not in response to their own sins but to provide them with an opportunity to earn reward. Trials are discussed […]

Does the Torah Say Its Ever Okay to Lie?

Dear Jew in the City – I know that George Washington once said, “I cannot tell a lie.” Is that the Jewish approach or is lying justified sometimes? Sincerely, Pants on Fire   Dear Pants, As the story goes, young George Washington once chopped down a cherry tree with his hatchet. When his father confronted […]

Is “Spare the Rod Spoil The Child” Meant To Be Taken Literally?

Dear Jew in the City- I heard that hitting kids in schools is still legal in 19 states and that unfortunately some of the most insular schools in the Orthodox world still hit kids and justify it with a Proverbs verse. Is that really what it means? Sincerely, Outraged in Ohio Dear Outraged- (For the […]

What Makes Someone an Orthodox Jew?

Dear Jew in the City, What is the exact definition of an Orthodox Jew? I see that some men have peyos and some women wear pants. Some seem to be very strictly kosher while others eat dairy in non-kosher restaurants. Where is the border? Confused by Orthodox Jews   Dear Confused- To answer this question, […]

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