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▪ This is a huge deal for small shuls and non-profits and the majority of rabbis who can barely (if at all) make ends meet: Jewish groups protest US court decision deeming clerical tax breaks unconstitutional
▪ Catholic right wing separatists interrupted a Kristallnacht service when a rabbi started leading prayers in a church. I don’t condone the rude and profoundly insensitive behavior but I’m also offended. Rabbis have no business leading prayers in a church: A Profanation Protesting Profanation
▪ In the Commentator??? Esther 7:8! I just hope people respond with love rather than anger: Yanklowitz: Proud to be Open Orthodox!
▪ This is a big story that need not (and should not) be presented as an attack on YU’s president: Will President Joel’s Empire Crumble?
▪ Meanwhile, Jews are starving: ‘Manchester Garage Haggadah’ sells for £210,000
Woman fined NIS 500 a day for failing to circumcise son
Jew In The City: Orthodox Jewish Professionals Hailed at Manhattan Awards Ceremony
Boca synagogue asks members to be civil
R Sacks: 8 Short Thoughts for 8 Chanukah Nights
▪ I’m not sure how I feel about Limmud but what if Jews for Jesus sent teachers? Would everyone still be OK with Limmud?: Limmud UK: Why Haredi Jews Oppose Pluralistic Learning
▪ Another of the gazillion articles trying to make a big deal of the rare calendrical confluence: Thanksgivukkah: Abe Lincoln the Maccabee

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.

2 comments

  1. “Jewish groups protest US court decision deeming clerical tax breaks unconstitutional”

    Well, well. I guess that Reform and Conservative groups do indeed follow the Golden Rule — he who has the gold, rules.

    Those movements have been fanatic about the Establishment Clause, even beyond what it requires. God forbid a yeshiva gets a dime of help from the government, even through a neutral vehicle like a voucher.

    But tax a rabbi for his parsonage? Suddenly, government favoritism to religion does not look so bad.
    (IMO, the law as currently applied is blatantly unconstitutional. It could be fixed, though, by extending the same rights to all charitable or non-profit institutions, as is currently done for deductibility.)

  2. The general rule that essentially survives in IRC 119 that housing is excluded if on premises of employer,for convenience of employer has antecedents to at least 1919-the parsonage exemption dates back to 1921. I believe that I heard decades ago the reason for the exclusion was that Catholic priests who typically lived on church premises had the value excluded while Protestant ministers who typically live nearby even across the street did not have their housing excluded under general rules. This of course was an intolerable result to treating clergy differently thus the enactment of the predecessor to IRC 107.

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