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.

And Nothing But the Truth

February 10, 2015, by

We may be jaded and we may be cynical but the sad reality is that we don’t expect that our political leaders are going to tell the truth. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” “Read my lips, no new taxes.” “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” “I am

Photoshopping Angela Merkel

January 21, 2015, by

There’s been a lot of buzz about the ultra-Orthodox Israeli newspaper HaMevaser photoshopping the women leaders out of a photograph of the unity march in Paris. People have had a number of reactions, largely informed by their already-existing positions on matters ranging from sexism to anti-Semitism. I’m going to share my personal reflections on these

Don’t Have Time for Your Nonsense

January 8, 2015, by

A certain individual recently posted a controversial article in which he argued against something that is essentially a universally-accepted principle of Judaism. A number of others responded, calling him out on it. Those readers who might have been misled by the original article were thereby informed as to that author’s misstatements. Those who were inclined to stand by

The Jewish N Word

December 18, 2014, by

Language is a funny thing. Words that were once acceptable take on new shades of meaning and are replaced with new terms. These intended euphemisms may in turn acquire their own negative connotations and they will then be replaced with still newer terms. An inoffensive example: what was once called a boneyard became a graveyard.

Should We Still Be Watching The Cosby Show?

November 26, 2014, by

Bill Cosby is in serious trouble. Rape allegations have dogged him for years and they’ve finally caught up with him. The last few times such allegations popped up, they quickly went away. This is in part because Cosby is so loved. People couldn’t bear the thought of toppling America’s foremost father figure from his hard-won

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