Does Judaism Believe In Life on Other Planets?

Dear Jew in the City- In the new movie Guardians of the Galaxy, aliens from all over the universe team up to save the day. What does Judaism say about life on other planets? Sincerely, Spaced Out   Dear Space- It may not surprise you that people think a lot about the afterlife. Is there […]

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 […]

Pence And What The Torah Says About Getting Close To Other Women

Dear Jew in the City, I read the Mike Pence doesn’t have meals alone with women who are not his wife or drink in mixed company. What’s the Orthodox Jewish approach to this topic? Thanks, Rob Dear Rob, That’s a very good question. Vice President Pence has been the object of a lot of derision […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Black Hat Rabbi Who Goes To Comic-Con

A few months ago Jack Abramowitz suited up; though not in the black hat and jacket this New York-based rabbi often sports. No, on this sunny October morning, the rabbi’s getup was a bit more unusual. He was about to make a pilgrimage. One which some might consider a religious experience. But when Rabbi Abramowitz donned his […]

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 […]

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