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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.

The Age of Miracles

January 18, 2017, by

Recently, I had occasion to quote the Simon and Garfunkel song “The Boxer,” which tells us that “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” The context was Israel’s antagonists, who justify lobbing missiles into Israel as the desperate act of an oppressed people but who criticize Israel’s self-defense efforts despite

Rabbi Shimon and Garfunkel on the UN Vote

January 11, 2017, by

Throughout the Talmudic tractate of Shabbos, there is an ongoing debate between Rabbi Shimon and Rabbi Yehuda regarding what’s called a davar sheino miskaven – something unintentional – with Rabbi Shimon considering such actions permissible on Shabbos and Rabbi Yehuda considering them prohibited. The prototypical example is found on page 29b. There is a Biblical

Midrashim: Don’t Be So Literal

January 3, 2017, by

I have observed a phenomenon among a large number of people who were raised Orthodox but became disenchanted (popularly known as “off-the-derech” or OTD). Many of them have a particular axe to grind: they complain about midrashim, which they find to be childish and simplistic. Now, I’m not suggesting that midrashim drove them away from

Why “Social Justice Warriors” Don’t Care About Israel or Jews

December 27, 2016, by

It’s gratifying that our society has become more open and tolerant. Whether it comes to race, religion, sexual preference or gender identity, there is an expectation of acceptance and accommodation the likes of which has never before existed. What’s frustrating, however, is the one glaring exception: Jews in general and Israel in particular. We get

Pants on Fire: The Occasional Liar is an Anomaly

December 21, 2016, by

On December 1, 18-year-old Baruch College student Yasmin Seweid reported that she had been attacked by a group of drunken men who chanted “Donald Trump,” called her a terrorist and tried to rip off her hijab. She further claimed that no one in the crowded subway car where the attack allegedly occurred came to her

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

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