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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 […]

Lashon Harah vs. Protecting Someone: Speak Up or Stay Silent?

Dear Jew in the City, On one hand the Torah tells us we’re not supposed to speak lashon hara (evil speech), on the other hand, the Torah commands us to not stand idly by our neighbors blood (lo ta’amod al dam rei’echa). If we think someone is dangerous, how do we know when to remain […]

How Do I Teach My Jewish Kids To Respect But Not Envy Christmas?

Dear Jew in the City, How do I raise my kids to be respectful of Christmas yet not have Christmas-envy? People always seem to go to one extreme or the other, but I’d like to give over a nuanced perspective to my children. Sincerely, Holiday Cheer Dear Cheer, That’s a great question. I’m no parenting expert, […]

Should Jews Stand While Praying On Airplanes?

Dear Jew in the City, On a recent flight after dealing with hours of a cancelation, a reschedule and then a delay, I finally boarded the plane with numerous other exhausted passengers. I noticed quite a few fellow Orthodox Jews on this flight, the one closest to me was a twenty-something guy with a short […]

Will Zombies Be Walking The Earth When Moshiach Comes?

Dear Jew in the City, I have a question regarding the belief in the coming of moshiach (the Jewish messiah). That is the simple version. The longer is: I was not born a Jew, but I believe with all my heart that I have a Jewish soul and I am supposed to be Jewish. Because of […]

How Do You Know Which Orthodox Community To Join?

I started my journey towards Jewish observance when the father of one of my classmates killed his two children and himself when I was eight years old. This tragedy pushed me to search for meaning in life, and at sixteen, I stumbled upon Orthodox Judaism, and realized it was what I had been missing. Like […]

Can Orthodox Jews Listen To Secular Music?

Dear Jew in the City, Thank you for this wonderful site. As a “frum BT,” (returnee to observance) for over 30 years, I have continued listening to and relaxing to my favorite type of music (from before I became “frum“) namely soft rock i.e. love songs with feelings. I am 50, married for 27 years […]

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