Does Flying On A Plane On Shabbos Make You Not Orthodox?

On Friday morning, I opened up Facebook and read that Jared and Ivanka Kushner were going to be flying to the Mideast with President Trump that night on the Jewish Sabbath. A spokesperson for the couple said they had gotten approval to do so from a rabbi. As I read through the comments of several […]

When Should You Consult a Rabbi About a Question?

Dear Jew in the City- When should a rabbi be consulted? It seems that in some communities rabbis are asked about every mundane detail of life, things that aren’t even related to Jewish law. Other times, people talk about consulting rabbis on a halachic matters when really it’s just a matter of opinion. So when […]

Kippahs In Coke Super Bowl Ad & Other Orthodox Jews in the News

500 Years After Being Wiped Out, Sicilian Jewish Life is Reborn A vibrant community was expelled from Sicily under the Spanish Inquisition in 1493. Residents are rediscovering their hidden roots today thanks to the dedication of a new shul and an increasing number of resources. Stunning Court Decision Approves Passover Punishment The U.S. Court of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Three Weeks How-To Guide

A special time of mourning for the Beis HaMikdash interrupts our regularly scheduled summer fun each year, as we enter into the three weeks leading up to Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av). The saddest day in the Jewish Calendar, Tisha b’Av marks the destruction of the Temples, as well as several other major tragedies […]

Why Do Rabbis Just “Make Stuff Up?”

Dear Jew in the City, Can you explain how the basic Biblical commandments re: such subjects as the kosher laws have been vastly elaborated and expanded on by post-Biblical rabbis? For example, the kosher laws as spelled out in the Bible (in which God simply says “don’t eat this”) have morphed into a mammothly elaborate set […]

Orthodox Jews and Birth Control

Although I am thoroughly sleep-deprived from a three week old baby that has been eating nearly every hour round the clock (I didn’t know that the circles under my eyes got this dark), I wanted to take a moment to discuss the topic of Orthodox Jews and birth control, since regular readers of this blog know that I […]

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