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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.

Called Out? Own It.

March 30, 2017, by

Every one of us has done something embarrassing or something we regret. The question is, when we get called out for our actions, how do we respond? Do we own our misdeeds or do we double down on them? Owning up to our errors can be mortifying – nobody likes to eat humble pie –

Going Viral: Thoughts on the BBC Interview Blooper

March 17, 2017, by

It was the surprise hit of the season. Professor Robert Kelly is an expert on South Korean politics. He was conducting an interview with the BBC from his home office on the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye when his two young children wandered into the shot. First, his four-year-old daughter, Marion, literally danced

Commentary: Should We Remember Linda Sarsour for Good?

March 16, 2017, by

This past week was the holiday of Purim, which made me think about Linda Sarsour. No, I don’t think she’s Haman (that would be Rasmea Odeh, an actual murderer), but I did wonder whether or not Sarsour might be Charbonah. If you’re not instantly sure who Charbonah is, don’t feel too bad. He’s about as

Some People Make It Difficult

March 6, 2017, by

In a few recent opinion pieces, I’ve made passing mention of having some Muslim friends. This is important because many observant Jews don’t know any Muslims at all, with the result that everything they know about Muslims comes from reports of terrorism in the news. This, of course, is a grave injustice to the overwhelming

Academy Award-Winning Negligence

March 2, 2017, by

I don’t watch the Academy Awards. I never have; they hold absolutely no interest for me. Nevertheless, even as a party both disinterested and uninterested, I feel that the gaffe at the Oscars was more than unfortunate. It was disgraceful. In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past week, here’s what happened:

Misguided Zeal?

February 23, 2017, by

I’d like to discuss a recent incident that took place at the Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS) in Florida. Rabbi Efrem Goldberg invited motivational speaker Matthew Kelly to speak. From there, things got ugly. (It bears mentioning that BRS is an OU-member synagogue, though I’ve never been there and I don’t know Rabbi Goldberg.) A particular

Commentary: Who Do You Hate?

February 17, 2017, by

This past week, Alexander Rapaport, the director of Masbia soup kitchen, supported his Yemeni neighbors in protesting President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. In response, he lost donors, including one who wrote, “After seeing…that you protested President Trump’s executive order, and thus shamefully sided with those who are putting American lives

Commentary: Can We Dial Back the Hitler References?

February 9, 2017, by

There is a form of argument in logic called reductio ad absurdum (reduction to absurdity), which attempts to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to a ridiculous conclusion. A variation of this is called reductio ad Hitlerum (reduction to Hitler), which is the attempt to invalidate another’s argument on the basis that the

Just Be Nice

January 30, 2017, by

I have observed a recurring theme in my own writing. In past articles on this site, I have advised: That, if we arrive at shul and someone is sitting in our usual place (makom kavua), that we not say, “You’re in my seat,” but rather just sit close by. This is actually the halacha, plus

It’s Not Your Concern

January 24, 2017, by

The big news this past week was that Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, asked a rabbi about attending the inaugural balls on Shabbos and received a heter (dispensation) to accept a ride in a car. (They were willing to walk but there are serious safety concerns involved. Remember how Ivanka was accosted on

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