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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

An Orthodox Rabbi Discusses Transgender Issues in Jewish Texts

Recently, I received an inquiry from someone who was researching transgender issues in halacha. The first thing I told them, before suggesting some sources, was that this issue is far above my pay grade. I am not qualified to comment on the permissibility of any course of action and I can make no recommendations. All […]

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 […]

Does Judaism Have A Concept of Inaugurations?

Dear Jew in the City, With the Presidential Inauguration coming up, I was wondering what Judaism has to say about inaugurations, especially of a new king, and was the transition of power always smooth? Curious in Georgia Dear Curious in Georgia, Well, for starters, kings don’t have inaugurations, they have coronations, but let’s call that a […]

Yeshiva Floor Hockey in NYTimes & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

An Interview With The First Hasidic Woman Elected To Public Office In The U.S. Attorney and Hasidic community activist (and Orthodox Jewish All Star!) Rachel Freier won a contested primary for a civil court judgeship in Brooklyn’s 5th Judicial District and took her seat on the bench this week as a civil court judge. Freier, […]

Maccabeats’ Chanukah Hamilton & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

Donald Trump Taps Hardline Orthodox Attorney as Israel Ambassador Donald Trump has nominated David Friedman, a Jewish Orthodox bankruptcy lawyer, to serve as his ambassador to Israel. Friedman served as an adviser to Trump during the campaign and is believed to be a strong force behind the President-elect’s hardline pro-Israel stance. Kung Pao Kosher Comic […]

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