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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.

In the News: The Doctor Who Threatened to Poison Jews

January 7, 2019, by

It’s probably the most appalling story of the year (so far. The year is young, so give it time!). Dr. Lara Kollab, a resident at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, was fired after a tweet was revealed saying that she would give Jews the wrong medications. Kollab had worked in the internal medicine program since July

Almost Cut My Hair

December 25, 2018, by

(With apologies to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) Andrew Johnson, a high school wrestler at Buena Regional High School in New Jersey, was told that he could not compete at a December 19 meet in Atlantic County with his dreadlocks. Johnson was wearing his usual headgear and covering, but the referee said it was not

Search Engine vol. 2: Jewish Leadership

December 19, 2018, by

Search Engine: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts Volume 2: Jewish Leadership Rabbi Gil Student Kodesh Press, 2018 368 pages Occasionally, I am asked to review books for this web site and I decline on the basis that we do not typically review books here. This review is the extremely rare exception that proves the rule.

Whoops! (A Story of Gratitude)

December 13, 2018, by

Are you ready for another gam zu l’tovah/hashgacha pratis story? Because I’ve got one for you. (“Gam zu l’tovah” means that everything that happens is ultimately for the good. “Hashgacha pratis” means Divine providence – God is looking out for us. Both of these things are true all the time even if we don’t always

Why Do We Eat Latkes and Sufganiyot on Chanukah?

December 4, 2018, by

Why do we eat latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) on Chanukah? The common, short answer is because the holiday of Chanukah largely revolves around the miracle of the oil but, perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s more to it than that. It would appear that the original Chanukah food was a fried cheese pancake, combining the

Who’s Going to Save the World?

November 19, 2018, by

In a previous capacity, I used to attend a lot of conferences from various Jewish organizations. One person was a regular virtually everywhere I went: a gentleman who displayed posters and handed out information about building mikvahs and observing the mitzvah of taharas hamishpacha (“family purity”). I don’t know if he was a one-man operation

Justin Bieber’s Burrito: Much Ado About Nothing

November 7, 2018, by

It was the biggest non-story of our time: ostensibly, music superstar Justin Bieber was seen on the street eating a burrito. But rather than eating it from the end like a hot dog, as a normal person would, he was eating it from the center like an ear of corn. This is something that would

The Most Undervalued Prayer in the Entire Liturgy

October 29, 2018, by

Following surgery, I had occasion to write about my newfound appreciation for the bracha of asher yatzar, which one recites after using the restroom, an activity that most of us take for granted. Pursuant to that, in part 1 of this article, I wrote about some more blessings and prayers that may be underappreciated, specifically,

Underappreciated

October 22, 2018, by

A while back, I wrote an article about how I learned the hard way to appreciate the bracha of asher yatzar, commonly undervalued as “the bracha on going to the bathroom.” At that time, I teased, “Asher yatzar may not be the only bracha we take for granted (remind me to tell you about shehakol

Balancing the Books (or, I Love Starbucks)

October 15, 2018, by

I love Starbucks. I can’t get enough of it. I have it maybe twice a week and, if the budget would bear it, I’d probably have it twice a day. And a few months ago, when people were losing their minds over which drinks were “recommended” and “not recommended” from a kashrus standpoint, my roasted-bean