Ever Get The Feeling That God Was Trying To Give You A Message?

I like to think of myself as a kind person who gives others the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes I need small reminders to improve; recently, I got one from a rather unexpected place! Last Saturday night, a friend sent me a text message telling me that she had left her dorm key and student ID […]

My Purim Flight Miracle

A few weeks before Purim, my husband and I booked a flight from Chicago to California to visit my parents. I figured I would take off the day from work for Purim anyway, so it made for a good opportunity to take a long weekend and say ‘hi’ to them. All was proceeding according to […]

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 […]

Purim In “La La Land”

Having been voted New York’s hippest rabbi (an honor which along with a Metro Card may get me to Midtown) and serving as the rabbi to Brooklyn’s trendsetting Pratt Institute, I find myself in a constant search to remain hip with the ‘kids.’ So when it came to planning this year’s perfect Purim party, I […]

The Orthodox Jew Who Found Faith Through His Own Illness

Ben Taplin was born in Israel and grew up in Lakewood in a normal Yeshivish family. But when he was in high school, he started to challenge the teachers, asking why he had to think and act the way they did. He bounced around to different high schools and ended up at Waterbury Yeshiva. His […]

This Organization Teaches Charedi Kids To Protect The Environment

Not wasting and protecting Hashem’s earth and creations are foundational Jewish ideas. We even have a “birthday for the trees,” i.e. Tu B’Shvat, which begins tomorrow night. Quite shockingly though, there are too many members of the Orthodox Jewish world who regularly litter and have not embodied these Torah values. While no one knows exactly […]

A Chat With Billboard Top 10 Musician And Orthodox Jew, Alex Clare

As the Grammy Awards approach, the music industry hands out honors to an elite few. The American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) does the same, and when they name someone songwriter of the year, they mean business. Did you know that in 2014 that honor fell to a Hasidic Jew? Alex Clare is a […]

How Do We Deal With Sexist Biblical Commentaries?

God is connected to everyone who reaches out to Him, as the Midrash (Eliyahu Rabbah, 9) teaches, “I call heaven and earth to witness that whether Jew or Gentile, man or woman, slave or maidservant, everything is according to their actions that the divine spirit rests on them.” Every place the Torah and Talmud discuss holiness and […]

Do Orthodox Jews Believe In Testing For The BRCA Gene?

In 2013 Angelina Jolie penned an impassioned Op-Ed about her risk of breast cancer and treatment plan. Jolie’s grandmother, mother and aunt all died from breast and ovarian cancers and like her relatives, she carried a mutated BRCA gene – a gene that everyone (male and female) carries, but when mutated, increases the risk of […]

Why Do Jewish Men Wear Yarmulkes (Kippahs)?

Dear Jew in the City, When and why did Jewish boys and men start wearing yarmulkes, and are there any circumstances when a yarmulke need not be worn? M.L. Dear M.L., The practice of wearing a yarmulke (kippah in Hebrew) is an ancient tradition that has its roots as a “middas chasiddus” (an act of piety) before […]

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