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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.

What Not to Say

November 18, 2019, by

Content warning: This article does not contain jokes or pop culture references. Rather, it discusses death, bereavement and, in particular, when a person takes his or her own life. (As discussed in a previous article, I will endeavor to minimize the number of occurrences of the word “suicide.”) Time magazine reported this week that the

Popeyes and Priorities

November 11, 2019, by

Non-kosher restaurants aren’t usually my “beat” but the world is losing its collective mind over a chicken sandwich and I think we should talk about it. First, some background. In August, Popeyes (no apostrophe; a fast-food chain) debuted a fried chicken sandwich, which created a frenzy. Customers tore through a two-month supply of the sandwich

Book Review: Explorations Expanded

October 23, 2019, by

Explorations Expanded: Sefer Bereishit Rabbi Ari D. Kahn Kodesh Press 350 pages There are many, many contributors whose work appears on OU Torah in the form of written divrei Torah and audio/video shiurim – so many that no one person could possibly follow all of them. (This is true even if that person happens to

Book Review: A Theology of Holiness

October 2, 2019, by

A Theology of Holiness Alec Goldstein Kodesh Press 258 pages Chapter 8 of this book starts with a quote from Socrates: “What is piety? That is an enquiry which I shall never weary of pursuing.” That quote might as well have come from the author given the origins of this book. While in Yeshiva University,

Our Mistakes Need Not Define Us (But Maybe They Should)

September 25, 2019, by

There was a movie released this year called Official Secrets, which I haven’t seen and don’t intend to see. It stars a bunch of people I’ve never heard of and Keira Knightley, whom I’ve heard of but never seen anything she was in. (IMDB says she was in The Phantom Menace. I did see that

It’s Pronounced “Jif,” Not “Giff” (And Why That Matters)

September 18, 2019, by

I usually write about matters of Jewish thought but, given my background in linguistics, my pedantic personality and my tendency to use words like “pedantic,” I occasionally write about things like grammar, spelling and punctuation. I must not be alone in such interests because my column on the Oxford comma was surprisingly popular. When I

Even the Devil Can Cite Scripture

September 11, 2019, by

There is a certain Jewish activist organization that opposes Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza. The week of parshas Shoftim, this organization tweeted: This shabbat is Shabbat Shoftim. That parsha contains the enduring quote ‘tzedek, tzedek tirdof–justice, justice shall you pursue” Shabbat shalom to everyone who pursues justice, too Many, many people had

Book Review: God versus gods

September 4, 2019, by

God versus gods: Judaism in the Age of Idolatry Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein Mosaica Press For 12 years, I’ve served as the administrator of the OU’s Nach Yomi, the two-year cycle of Neviim and Kesuvim (Prophets and Writings). As a result, I’ve had the good fortune to review Nach half a dozen times. One thing

It Kind of Is Your Fault

August 28, 2019, by

One of the most interesting aspects of my job is the random assortment of questions that I’m privileged to answer. It’s always enlightening to see what others come up with that might not have occurred to you or me. Two of the more interesting questions I’ve fielded recently include, “If God spoke to Moses face

“Naar Hayisi Gam Zakanti”

August 20, 2019, by

There’s a verse from Tehillim that (with the exception of the Chabad minhag) is recited at the end of bentching (birkas hamazon/grace after meals) and is sung as a beautiful niggun. It goes: Naar hayisi gam zakanti v’lo ra’isi tzaddik neezav v’zaro m’vakesh lachem. I was young and I became old but I never saw