Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz is Torah Content Editor at the Orthodox Union. He is the author of five books, including The Tzniyus Book. His latest work, The Taryag Companion, is available from OU Press as well as on Amazon.

Sometimes We Do the Opposite

November 25, 2014, by

Everyone knows we’re not allowed to kill, right? After all, it’s one of the “Big Ten” commandments. Not exactly. What we’re not allowed to do is murder. Sometimes we actually have to kill. For example, if a violent person is pursuing an innocent victim with the intention of murdering him, we’re supposed to kill the

One Bad Apple

October 27, 2014, by

I wasn’t going to talk about Rabbi Barry Freundel. I really wasn’t. When I have occasion to reference a news story within the community, I tend to obscure the names of the involved parties because I find it unseemly to air our dirty laundry in public. When I do reference a current event, I give

Counterproductive Poultry

October 1, 2014, by

There is a custom, before Yom Kippur, to swing a live chicken over one’s head while reciting a brief text. The chicken is slaughtered and given to the needy. This is called “kapparos” (atonements). Not everyone does this. Many people – including yours truly – perform the ceremony using cash, which is then donated to

It’s Not About Tzniyus

September 17, 2014, by

Some people have lately expressed the idea that the religious authorities should keep their noses out of matters of tzniyus (modesty). These people feel that when “the rabbis” (as if there’s one collective group) talk about tzniyus, it’s because they have an unhealthy obsession with it. I disagree. Tzniyus is a legitimate area of Jewish

Seeing Germany, Close Up

August 28, 2014, by

My colleague, Rivki Rosenblatt (OU Press) and I recently returned from staffing OU Alumni’s ten-day trip to Germany through an organization called Germany Close Up (GCU). GCU was founded by Dr. Dagmar Pruin. Dr. Pruin is not Jewish – in fact, she is an ordained minister in her church – but she studied Jewish studies

Why Are We So Scared of God?

May 27, 2014, by

I’m not a big fan of the term “God-fearing.” To me, it seems misused. It’s completely backwards and it makes no sense. How so? Let’s examine. Imagine two individuals at two extremes of the religious/behavioral spectrum. One is a great, pious scholar. He studies, prays, performs acts of charity – the whole nine yards. The

Criminals in Our Midst

March 26, 2014, by

It happened again. An Orthodox Jew – a teacher and a prominent member of his community – has been accused of a particularly heinous crime. I say “accused” not because he’s an Orthodox Jew but because this is America and a person has a presumption of innocence until he’s been proven guilty. I don’t believe

When It’s Not An Accident: Self-Injury Awareness Day

February 27, 2014, by

I recently received an email informing me that Saturday, March 1, is Self Injury Awareness Day. Never having heard of such a thing, I took to the interwebs and learned that, sure enough, it is in fact a thing. I’m sorry that such a day is necessary but it is, so perhaps we should take

My Marathon Story

February 5, 2014, by

Last Sunday, I joined with Team Yachad to participate in the Miami Half-Marathon. While I was there, I met a man who was familiar with my writing from this very web site. (Gratifying though that was, any egotism it might have caused was offset by the fact that he was 15 years my senior and