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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.

1,037. Chuppas Niddah

July 21, 2014, by

148:2 A virgin is married through seclusion (yichud) even if she is not able to have relations, such as if she is menstruating, or if people are entering and exiting the room. If she is menstruating, then it is required that people come and go because otherwise it would be forbidden for the groom to […]

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1,036. The Yichud Room

July 21, 2014, by

147:5 They lead the groom under the chuppah – again, that’s the canopy suspended on poles – and, with him facing east, the shaliach tzibbur sings whatever is appropriate according to the local practice. The bride’s attendants lead her in. The groomsmen and other notable people walk to greet the bride and, as they draw […]

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1,035. The Chuppah

July 21, 2014, by

147:3 The custom when a virgin gets married is for the important people of the city to spread the veil over her head and to bless her, saying, “Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands and ten of thousands.” After this, we spread a canopy over poles and the couple publicly enter it […]

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1,034. Marrying Under the Stars

July 21, 2014, by

147:1 It is customary to hold the wedding ceremony under the sky as a sign of blessing, that the couple’s offspring should be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Similarly, it is customary to get married when the moon is waxing as a symbol of good things. 147:2 It is proper not to […]

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8. Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh

July 21, 2014, by

The articles in this series are based upon ideas expressed in the Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim (The Guide for the Perplexed). Numbers in brackets represent the book and chapter of Moreh Nevuchim where these ideas are discussed. In Exodus 3:13, Moshe says to God, “When I go to the children of Israel and say to them, […]

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Isaiah 40:26

July 18, 2014, by

The Radak explains that, metaphysically, each star has a role it accomplishes here on Earth. G-d ensures that none of them is missing because if one was, its job wouldn’t get done.

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Psalms 22:4

July 18, 2014, by

Uva l’Tziyon includes a version of kedusha called “kedusha d’sidrah.” The Talmud in Sotah (49a) says that after the Temple was destroyed, every day was more cursed than the one before. The Talmud asks: if things are always getting worse, what keeps the world going? It answers, the kedusha recited in Uva l’Tziyon and the […]

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Isaiah 59:20

July 18, 2014, by

A large number of verses, collectively known as “Uva L’Tziyon” (from this verse) is recited at the end of the morning service. The redeemer is the moshiach (the messiah) and Tziyon (Zion) refers specifically to the Temple mount, or more generally to Jerusalem. Rashi explains that the moshiach will not come when Jerusalem lies in […]

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Psalms 20:7

July 18, 2014, by

Psalm 20 is recited after the second Ashrei in the morning service. Rashi explains this verse as follows: King David, the author of Psalms, is saying that since G-d saved him by making his army victorious over the rebellion (in II Samuel 18), David knows that G-d still desires him as king and will continue […]

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Deuteronomy 3:24

July 18, 2014, by

G-d’s four-letter Name (YHVH) is normally read as if it were written “Adonai,” but in this verse, the actual word “Adonai” is followed by G-d’s four-letter Name. We therefore pronounce YHVH in this instance as if it were written “Elohim.” Rashi explains this combination of Names to mean that G-d is merciful in judgment.

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