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Shafran: Defining Orthodoxy Down
▪ Neshama Carlebach decries kol ishah restrictions as “bogus,” against the broad consensus of poskim. She may be biased: Her own voice
▪ Prof. Brill at the temple, explaining why the hair cutting has nothing to do with idol worship: Tirupati, the Temple at Tirumala, and tonsuring source of some Sheitel Hair
▪ Excerpt from the Koren-Sacks Machzor: Sacks: Pesach and the Jewish Task
▪ We need to be careful in how we publicize accusations, protecting the public while also refraining from reaching conclusions: Rabbi accused of child sex abuse settles defamation suit
The Syrupy Tale of How Jews Invented Kedem and Modern America
▪ We need to demand transparency: Millions skimmed from Milan Jewish community
Longtime Agunah, ‘Chained Woman’ Freed for Passover
▪ No mincha minyan: Court Lets NYC Ban Worship Services in Public Schools

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief 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 serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance 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.

One comment

  1. The answer about human-hair wigs from India that Rabbi Brill provides is the same one they got at the time. Dr Alan Morinis, whose book “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder” was the first of a number of mussar texts he author, wrote “Pilgrimage in the Hindu Tradition” as his PhD thesis. R’ Yechiel Perr (Far Rockaway) connected the posqim who were asked to re-explore the question a decade ago with his student. Dr Morinis told me the comparison is more to nezirus than taqroves (sacrifice to other gods).

    That said, there are side questions that need addressing. Much of the faithful are ignorant poor from India’s backwaters. And when interviewed, not all of them were read up on the subtleties of the rite. So, some of the hair was given thinking it’s a gift to Venkateswara. And for idolatry, there is no bitul (nullification). So the question becomes whether the intent of the giver matters, or the intent of the recipient (or the religion’s actual rite, which is likely going to be the same as the intent of the receiving priesthood). We rule the latter, and the whole wig issue subsided.

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