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What’s The Jewish View On Reincarnation And Past Lives?

This week’s big new big budget movie release Assassin’s Creed brings the popular action-adventure video game to the screen. In it, a man played by Michael Fassbender uses new technology to uncover his “genetic memories” of a previous life as a skillful challenger to an oppressive, evil organization. While this story is fantasy, every culture […]

Is Celebrating Thanksgiving Kosher, According to Jewish Law?

Dear Jew in the City – Is it kosher to celebrate Thanksgiving since it’s a non-Jewish holiday? From, A Kosher Turkey Fan   Dear Kosher Turkey Fan- You’d think this would be a straightforward yes-or-no question. You’d be wrong. One of my all-time favorite theological quotes is from that profound modern-day philosopher of The Simpsons […]

Does Judaism Believe In Witchcraft and Magic?

Dear Jew in the City, With Halloween coming up, I was wondering what the Jewish view on witchcraft and magic is. Is it mentioned anywhere in Jewish texts? Do you need to believe in it to be an observant Jew? The ancients might have believed in it, but we now know that magic is a […]

How Can I Accept A Pre-Yom Kippur Apology That I Know Is Insincere?

Dear Jew in the City, I know that I’m supposed to resolve my differences with people this time of year, but I don’t know what to do. There’s someone I know who will do a perfunctory apology like they do every year, but it will be insincere. This individual has a history of hurting me […]

Do I Need To Avoid Non-Religious Jews Now That I’m Frum?

Dear Jew in the City, I did not grow up Orthodox, but became religious because of Jew in the City seeing how special the frum community and Torah observance is. My parents weren’t too happy, but I knew I was doing the right thing. Then I started going to a local class given by a […]

Does the Torah Permit Rape During Wartime, Including Modern Times?

Dear Jew in the City, I heard recently that an Orthodox rabbi said that Israeli soldiers are allowed to rape women in war. Is this true? If is, it is horribly upsetting! How could that be part of Judaism? Thank you, D.L. Dear D.L., You’re referring to something that the new candidate for chief rabbi […]

Do I Have to Stay up All Night Long on Shavuos?

  Dear Jew in the City, As I get older, it gets hard to stay up all night long on Shavuos to learn. So am I obligated to? And where does this idea come from? Sincerely, So Tired   Dear So Tired, Shavuos is in many ways an atypical holiday. There are three Festivals in […]

Why Do We Still Not Eat Kitniyos If No One Confuses Beans and Wheat?

Dear Jew in the City, What’s the deal with kitniyos? Especially being that we know now it’s not chametz, and some Jews eat it and some don’t… Sincerely, Rice on Pesach Dear Rice, Kitniyos (or kitniyot) is typically translated as “legumes” and the Ashkenazi practice is not to eat them on Passover. This isn’t because we used to […]

How Can The Torah Let A Man Sell His Daughter into Slavery?

Dear Jew in the City, I heard that the Torah says that a woman must marry her rapist and that a father can sell his daughter into slavery? How can we possibly accept such horrible ideas in the modern world? Sincerely, Biblical Inequality   Dear Inequality, That’s a great question. It is true that not […]

Is The Jewish Bible Vengeful and The Christian Bible Full of Love?

Dear Jew in the City, Thank you for all of your posts and videos — they have been unfailingly helpful as I have been trying to navigate the often-confusing ba’alas teshuvah process. Here is a question I have for you, though. How do you respond when people claim that Judaism and the “old testament” are […]

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