The Missing Jewish Word

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I received in the mail the first issue a newspaper named The Jewish Word, published by Religious Zionists of America. I don’t quite know what it’s about but the welcome article by its publisher and editor-in-chief, Martin Oliner, announces that it is the missing voice of Religious Zionists. Missing voice, because this and this aren’t enough. But presumably there is a need for this publication’s unique perspective.

However, noticeably missing — scandalously, in my opinion — is any words of Torah whatsoever. I mean, after all, the president of the organization is a learned rabbi. They couldn’t have had him write a few words? Or R. Zevulun Charlop? Or some guy in YU’s semikhah program? Remember, they’re supposed to be Religious Zionists.

The only limud zekhus/positive spin I could think of is that they were concerned that the newspaper would become sheimos from the words of Torah printed in it and might be thrown in the garbage rather than treated with the respect due to Torah. Granted, there are lenient views, but perhaps the publishers are strict on this. Or maybe they wanted to keep all the good material for the next issue.

Let me just voice my opinion and hope that as future issues clarify this newspaper’s unique voice, they include inspiring words of Religious Zionist divrei Torah.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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