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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 six books, including The Tzniyus Book and The Taryag Companion. His latest work, The God Book, is available from OU Press as well as on Amazon.

Tu b’Av: The Kosher Alternative to Valentine’s Day

August 6, 2014, by

Before we discuss Tu b’Av, let us first examine why Orthodox Jews do not observe Valentine’s Day. After all, it’s a day dedicated to love – isn’t that a good thing? A Catholic Holiday? For starters, the full name of the holiday is “Saint Valentine’s Day.” You are probably familiar with St. Patrick’s Day. Similarly, […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #8 – Tochein (Grinding)

May 15, 2014, by

After the impurities were removed from the grain, it was ground to make flour. The melacha of tochein (grinding) involves breaking something down into smaller pieces, thereby making it useful for a new purpose. For example, while slicing vegetables is permitted on Shabbos, dicing them into small pieces may violate the melacha of tochein. Tochein […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #7 – Borer (Sorting)

April 23, 2014, by

As discussed in Mitzvah #32, there are 39 categories of constructive labor called melachot. These are the acts that were performed in the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). These and similar actions are forbidden on Shabbos. Once a week for 39 weeks, we will briefly discuss one of the 39 melachos. In the previous melacha, […]

The All-Nighter on Shavuot

April 30, 2013, by

The scene is familiar. An auditorium or hall is stuffed full of bodies hunched over books. In the corner, there’s a table bearing snacks and caffeinated beverages. It could be any pre-finals study session in any college in the world but it isn’t. You’ve stumbled into a synagogue on the night of Shavuot, when the […]

39 Melachot: Melacha #3 – Kotzer (Reaping)

April 29, 2013, by

Kotzer (reaping) is the third of the 11 agricultural labors used in constructing the Mishkan. The melacha of kotzer involves detaching a growing thing from its source of nourishment. (“A growing thing” is usually plant life or vegetation, but not exclusively.) Harvesting wheat, apple-picking and weeding the front lawn are all examples of kotzeir. Picking […]