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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.

Defending Black Santa

December 5, 2016, by

This year, the Mall of America announced their first black Santa. Most people are okay with this – quite pleased, actually! – but there is a very vocal minority that has a problem with this. And yes, it’s racially-based. “Santa is white!” they scream. Some of them insist they’re not racist, they just want to

What’s in a Name? Everything

November 23, 2016, by

“Your name shall no longer be called Abram; rather, your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.” – Genesis 17:5 Bar Kapara taught that whoever refers to Abraham as “Abram” violates a positive mitzvah since the Torah says “your name shall be Abraham.” Rabbi Eliezer says

The Rabbi and the Playboy Model

September 7, 2016, by

A sentence I never thought I’d have occasion to write: Thank you, Shmuley Boteach and Pamela Anderson, for opening the conversation on online pornography. You read that right. In case you missed it, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Pamela Anderson co-authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the dangers of internet porn. This is

Brock Turner: No Responsibility, No Redemption

August 9, 2016, by

Remember Brock Turner, the Stanford University swimmer-cum- rapist? There was outrage a few months ago when he was sentenced to a mere six months for raping an unconscious woman. He was eligible to be sentenced to 14 years; prosecutors requested six years. (We previously discussed some terrible comments made by Turner’s father in a misguided appeal for clemency.) It has

Where’s the Outrage?

August 3, 2016, by

On Sunday, July 31, the New York Post published nude photographs of Donald Trump’s wife Melania, a former model, from a defunct French men’s magazine. This apparently warranted the front page, as well as the classy headline “The Ogle Office.” In a perfect world, this would not be done. In a semi-perfect world, the backlash would have

Orlando—the Wrath of Man

June 15, 2016, by

Even if the victims of a tragedy offend your religious sensibilities, you’re still not God’s designated spokesman. After being incommunicado for three days following the combination of Shabbos and Shavuos, I did what so many of us did: I logged onto Facebook. I posted a few pieces of lighthearted ephemera, as one does, but then

Twenty Minutes of Action: An Indefensible Revictimization

June 8, 2016, by

I didn’t follow the case of Brock Turner too closely. He’s the Stanford University swimmer who was convicted of raping an unconscious 22-year-old woman. Ultimately, he got six months – with the possibility of a reduction for good behavior – because the judge was concerned that prison would have a “severe impact” on Turner. Many

Killing Harambe — You Weren’t There

June 2, 2016, by

At the moment, the big news story is the death of Harambe, a silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. A four-year-old boy managed to get inside the gorilla enclosure. Because of the danger posed by the 400-lb. gorilla, whose actions were erratic and unpredictable, the decision was made to shoot Harambe with live ammunition in

2+2=5? Inconceivable!

April 14, 2016, by

A reader recently wrote me asking the following question: “Is God so powerful that He can change what is truth? Like 2+2=5? If God created something from nothing, does that mean truth is arbitrary?” I thought this was an excellent question, as well one that has been expressed in many ways. (I’ll come to that

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