EXPLORE. CONNECT. FLOURISH.

Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Dear Jew in the City- What does it mean that every soul was at Har Sinai but there are more Jews today then there were then? Thank you, Shanie Dear Shanie- Thanks for your question. You seem to understand that midrash to suggest that all the souls were there bodily […]
read more
Dear JITC- Why do Orthodox Jews rock when they pray? Thanks, Shawn Dear Shawn- Yes, Orthodox Jews rock. We rock so hard. The swaying to which you refer is called shuckeling, from the Yiddish word shuckelen meaning to shake. While a widespread (though not universal) practice, its exact origins and […]
read more
Dear Jew in the City- What language do Orthodox Jews speak? Sincerely, Madison Dear Madison- Thanks for your question but it’s a little like asking what language Catholics speak. (I doubt very much you’d expect all Catholics to speak Latin!)  Hebrew is the traditional language of the Jewish people – […]
read more
Hi JITC- Does Orthodox Jewish law recommend the COVID vaccine? -Sruly Dear Sruly- This is an important topic and we absolutely should discuss it but I know what comes with this territory: hate comments.  I get it; there are those who oppose vaccinations. The rest of us know what you […]
read more
Dear Jew in the City- Covid has a weird symptom of removing people’s senses of smell and taste. What do smell and taste represent in Judaism? Also, my whole family lost our sense of smell from Covid. How do we handle the besamim part of havdalah? Sincerely, Jody Dear Jody- […]
read more
Dear Jew in the City- How does Jewish wisdom direct us to work through trauma? Thanks, Shua Dear Shua- Thanks very much for your question. I don’t want to answer it. That’s not to say that it isn’t important. It’s very important. I just don’t think that it’s for me […]
read more
Dear Jew in the City- You recently wrote about keeping a clean house. What does the Torah have to say about littering? Thanks, Michael Dear Michael – The Talmudic tractate of Baba Basra addresses the responsibilities that neighbors have towards one another and a lot of these have to do […]
read more
Dear JITC- I just saw my parents after 13 months since Covid started, since they have now been vaccinated. I remember there being a blessing over seeing someone you are close to after not seeing them for a year. Can you tell me about this? Thank you, Annie Dear Annie- […]
read more
Dear JITC- Doesn’t kosher for Passover bread defeat the purpose of Pesach? Thank you, Ron Dear Ron- To answer this question, I’d like to quote a 1973 episode of The Brady Bunch, “Greg Gets Grounded.” When Mike and Carol Brady discover that their oldest son, Greg, was driving irresponsibly, they […]
read more
Dear Jew in the City- Are there Torah sources that encourage the idea of having a clean home? Thank you, Hailey Dear Hailey- I love this question, so I’d like to cast the net a little wider. Namely, I’d like to address personal hygiene, laundry and then clean homes. For […]
read more