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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

If You’re Not Struggling With God, You’re Missing The Point

I used to be simplistic in my religious thinking. I didn’t mean to be, I just didn’t know any better. I had spent so many years of my childhood asking deep questions about the meaning of life, the purpose of existence, and generally searching for Truth that when I finally stumbled upon Torah and mitzvos […]

How To Love Your Political Opponent As You Love Yourself

“Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” the foundation of Judaism and the basis of the Golden Rule is not too hard to imagine in a vacuum or even in real life if you’re neighbor’s a nice guy. But what if your neighbor is your political opponent? How could could you possibly love your political […]

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 […]

From Super Bowl Winner to Orthodox Jew

How many Jews, in the history of the world, have put on tefillin every day while simultaneously wearing a Super Bowl ring? As far as we know, the answer is exactly 1 and his name is Alan Veingrad, the only NFL player to become an Orthodox Jew. At the time Alan Shlomo Veingrad played, he […]

People Already Think Orthodox Jews Are Judgy. Stop Reinforcing It.

The SNL writer who called Barron Trump a “homeschool shooter” was just permanently suspended over her remarks, and as a kid I remember hearing how Chelsea Clinton was mocked on Saturday Night Live for being an awkward teen. Thankfully, in both cases, people on both sides of the aisle spoke out, saying that making fun […]

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 […]

Teaching My Orthodox Jewish Sons To Respect Women

A few years ago, when my son (then 5) and my daughter (then 8) were playing “mitzvah pirates” – a game they invented where they sailed the seven seas in order to help people  –  my son took one look at my daughter and told her, “Girls can’t be pirates.” (In his world of “pirates,” […]

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