Weekly Freebies: Shiras Miriam

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In honor of his wedding two years ago to Melissa, R. Zev Eleff published Sefer Shiras Miriam on assorted topics. The entire book, full of interesting discussions on Jewish law and Talmudic tradition, is available for free download here: link. Two chapters that might interest readers in particular are chapter 12 on lashon hara and journalism, and chapter 20 on the Beruriah incident.

The table of contents:

  1. בענין שני ימים ליוה״כ
  2. משנכנס אב ממעטין
  3. בגדר תנאי ב׳׳ד בתשלומי קנס
  4. בדין תקנה לאסור גידול בהמה דקה בחו״ל
  5. החוליה בין דוד ואליהו
  6. מחזורי השנה על עניני המועדות
  7. בדין חינוך קטנים במצות
  8. מעשי שבטי ישראל במשנת הרמב״ם
  9. בגדרי דברי קבלה, דברי סופרים, ונבואת האבות
  10. רב תנא הוא ופליג
  11. יפתח בדורו כשמואל בדורו
  12. בגדר לשון הרע במיקצוע העתונאי
  13. בענין קדושת לויה בזה״ז
  14. בדין מקום קבוע בבית המדרש
  15. בדין קבלת שבת לאנשים ונשים
  16. באיסור ריקוד בשבת
  17. בענין ברכה ראשונה על קפה
  18. קונטריס בעניני נשואין
  19. תפילת האבות כהלכתה
  20. קונטריס במפרשים על ׳מעשה ברוריה׳ ומיתתה

See prior posts here: link

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, 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 currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four 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.


  1. Marriage is a good occasion for publishing a book. You’ll never have time to write a book afterwards 🙂

  2. After glancing at the PDF, I want to re-open a debate about the language and style of modern Torah compositions.

    It is clear that the author is not a native Hebrew speaker. This can be seen from many inconsequential oddities, as well as some that are very consequential. For example, “ahavat haKBH haamitit” (p.9) can be understood in two ways, one which has overtones of heresy (who is the “false KBH” who is less deserving of love than the “true KBH”?).

    I think by writing in English, the author could have produce an objectively clearer and better argued work. And that’s not even to mention the benefit of accessibility to readers. Many English speakers will not want to read this because their Hebrew is insufficient, and many Hebrew speakers will not want to read it because of the poor and confusing sentence structure. The style does not even really match that of the rishonim or achronim or shut literature, which at least would allow a claim of “authenticity”.

    All this is unfortunate, because I can see just by skimming that the book contains lots of interesting analysis, and it is frustrating to have artificial impediments set up that prevent me from enjoying it. What exactly has been gained in the process?

  3. “What exactly has been gained in the process?”

    He got to practice by doing, and he produced something very sweet and nice for his wedding. If you would say that non-native Hebrew speakers must all write in their own vernacular then you are trying to strangle the development of Hebrew writing ability in all non-Hebrew speakers.

  4. It should also be noted that at least some (all?) of these were written for Beit Yitzchak, which is a Hebrew journal. Kol HaKavod, Zev!

    The Bruriah piece is especially appreciated. R’ Lau has dealt with the same subject in “Hakhamim,” by the way.

  5. It appears from Shlomo’s comments that Shlomo is not a native English speaker. His English is convoluted and stilted. Perhaps he should have written his comments in Hebrew.

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