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▪ Meanwhile, Jews are starving: New Head of Young Israel
The double-pronged threat to European Jewry
▪ Public school was never a place for Jewish kids, now for bad reasons. Message to Jews everywhere: If we don’t remember our Jewish obligations, God will remind us: French Jews too afraid to put kids in public school
Everything’s kosher as certified foods move into the mainstream
▪ Clever way to prevent more radical proposals: Rabbinate issues new restrictions on mikvah attendants
▪ New issue of Behind the Union Symbol: BTUS Fall 2013
Bill aims to revolutionize custody in divorce cases
▪ R Yaakov Ariel objects to a woman sermonizing during prayer services. I believe this is a fairly mainstream position: Rabbi: Woman’s sermon is blasphemy (misleading headline, he used a different term, not blasphemy)

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. I believe this is a fairly mainstream position

    Do you mean opposing women giving divrei Torah in shul, or opposing women giving divrei Torah during davening, or do you mean calling it “blasphemy”. Because I think it’s fairly clear that it’s not blasphemy according to any halakhic definition of the term.

  2. While R. Ariel’s position not to allow women to speak during tefillah is probably mainstream, I wouldn’t say the same about his calling it “blasphemy” or telling people they have to leave such a shul.

  3. Although it was not a forum for in depth discussion, it would have been helpful to have a rationale more developed than just stating it is a chillul bakodesh

  4. Lisa: I meant women giving a Dvar Torah in shul during davening.

    Joseph: I’m not sure about telling someone to find another shul but regardless that isn’t what I was referring to.

    Noam: Thank you for bringing the correct quote. Rav Ariel did not call it blasphemy. He said it was a chillul ha-kodesh (desecration of holiness), which I think everyone would agree is a proper term for a serious breach of tzenius in a shul (but would disagree whether this is considered a serious breach).

    As to discussion, Rav Ariel has ten chapters on women in Judaism in his book Halakhah BeYameinu. He is a serious and nuanced thinker, even if he is very conservative on women’s issues.

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