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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.

“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

Book Review: The Ethics of Leviticus

August 7, 2019, by

The Ethics of Leviticus Rabbi Dr. Abba Engelberg Kodesh Press “A book on Leviticus?” I hear you ask. “Why is he reviewing a book on Leviticus in August? We don’t read Leviticus until the spring!” First off, Torah is – or should be – evergreen. As an editor, I encourage writers to say, “In Exodus

Making the Most of a Bad Situation

July 29, 2019, by

It was the most unlikely of news stories. On a sunny mid-July weekend, 19-year-old Eleanor Walton and her friends attended the Ripon Races in Leeds, England. Walton, apparently looking resplendent in her white jumpsuit, was chagrined to find herself doused with red wine by another attendee, staining her previously pristine outfit. Oh, no! Is a

The Pinchas Paradox: The Dangers of Overcompensation

July 22, 2019, by

As I write this, it’s time for parshas Pinchas. As a parsha, I like it just fine; the narrative sections in sefer Bemidbar are some of the most exciting portions in the Torah. But the arrival of parshas Pinchas leads to one of my personal bugaboos: people referring to it as “parshat Pinchat.” This is

Life is Unfair (Thank God!)

July 17, 2019, by

Please complete the following quote from Pirkei Avos (4:1): “Who is considered rich? A person who ________________.” If you’re like most people, you probably completed that phrase with “is satisfied with his lot” or “is happy with what he has.” But that’s not what the mishna actually says. “Eizehu ashir? Hasameiach b’chelko” – “Who is

Only Shooting Stars Break the Mold

July 5, 2019, by

On June 26, 2019, Twitter user @ssavannahkramer, a student from Michigan, tweeted, “Somebody please read the first word of all my tweets over the past few months.” The next tweet in her thread, i.e., the previous one chronologically, said, “Once you start to believe that a person is more than just a person, you are

Book Review: Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land

July 1, 2019, by

Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land The Hebrew Bible in the United States: A Sourcebook Meir Y. Soloveichik, Matthew Holbreich, Jonathan Silver and Stuart W. Halpern, Editors The Toby Press, LLC This book may seem something of a departure – both for our occasional reviews and for Yeshiva University, whose imprint graces this book. One realizes

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

June 24, 2019, by

The Rolling Stones famously sing: You can’t always get what you want You can’t always get what you want You can’t always get what you want I have a joke for you on that subject. (Warning: There may be a moral at the end.) At the turn of the 20th century, recent immigrant Shloimie Fleischer

“The Emperor’s New Clothes” was Right!

June 12, 2019, by

A few weeks ago, I published an article titled The Ugly Duckling was Wrong, in which I analyzed the classic children’s tale, determined that its lesson was not what we might assume it to be, and then disagreed with what I concluded was the real lesson. For some reason, this resonated with readers, though I’m