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 […]

Does the Torah Say Its Ever Okay to Lie?

Dear Jew in the City – I know that George Washington once said, “I cannot tell a lie.” Is that the Jewish approach or is lying justified sometimes? Sincerely, Pants on Fire   Dear Pants, As the story goes, young George Washington once chopped down a cherry tree with his hatchet. When his father confronted […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shabbos Technicians at 5 Star Hotels & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

  Film Review: Keep Quiet “Keep Quiet” is a fascinating documentary featuring Csanad Szegedi, a prominent, unabashedly anti-Semitic leader of controversial extremist groups whose political career derails when it emerges that his own family was Jewish not so long ago — even falling victim to the same Holocaust he and his cronies have denied.  Abruptly […]

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 […]

Who Is That Jewish Warrior Woman in the Chanukah Story?

Dear Jew in the City- I heard that there is some sort of female Jewish Warrior in the Chanukah story that I never learned about in Hebrew School. What’s this about? Sincerely, Female Fan   Dear Female Fan- Great question. Chanukah, as you may be aware, is not overt in Tanach (the Jewish Bible). There […]

The White House Goes Kosher And Other Orthodox Jews in the News

Watch How White House Kitchen Goes Kosher for Hanukkah Party This week’s White House Hanukkah party, where President Barack Obama lit the menorah for the last time as Commander in Chief, featured festive food out of a kitchen that meets the highest standards of kosher observance. So how is this feat accomplished? Married couple to […]

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