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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.

Righteous Indignation

February 4, 2019, by

Did you ever notice that some authority figures really don’t like it when lay people question them? I remember the following incident quite clearly: I was in college in nineteen-eighty-something, before the era of smartphones, GPS or even MapQuest. When we wanted directions in those days, we had to ask someone. At the time, I

Not the Enemy

January 30, 2019, by

In addition to the insightful, entertaining and, quite frankly, brilliant articles that I contribute to OU Life, I am also a regular contributor to the web site Jew in the City. Generally speaking, my offerings there consist of questions that have been submitted by readers and my responses, fleshed out to longer-than-average length. (I answer

Context is Everything

January 23, 2019, by

Actor Chris Pratt has jumped on the “Daniel fast” bandwagon, thrusting it into media spotlight. The “Daniel fast,” for those who may not know, involves eating only things that grow from seeds, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. People undertaking this diet avoid meat, dairy, sugar, fat, alcohol, caffeine and processed foods. Inspiration for this

“What Are You, Crazy?” Changing the Way We Speak

January 15, 2019, by

I used to work for an organization that was composed of some of the most creative individuals you could ever hope to find. The down side was that, when we had a staff conference, trying to get them all where they were supposed to be was like trying to herd cats. When I lamented the

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