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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. 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.


  1. Re: Har haBayis

    The Rav was so maqpid, he was afraid the issur included the space until the Kotel — ad ve’ad bichlal — until and including! He therefore told students that if they felt a need to put notes in the Kotel (the Rav himself was too “Litvish” for such things), they should use a pen cap or something, and not put a finger into a crack in the kotel!

    (I wonder about the fact that standing next to the kotel at current ground level is standing above the bottom part of the kotel near the original ground level. [The kotel narrows as it gets higher.] So, if you’re worried about qedushas har habayis possibly including the kotel itself, should you be worried about standing next to the kotel at the current level? But in any case, it shows you how seriously the Rav took this issur.)

  2. I don’t know about the Rav, but there is a Brisker position that the Kotel is, in fact, the wall of the Heichal itself. (Which is impossible, to put it simply.) Therefore, some don’t even enter the plaza, as the Azara extends some distance west of the Heichal and, under their definition, includes the plaza. You sometimes see people davening all the way over by the entrance.

  3. The young man who was told by his Rebbe to pay for the public property he damaged in a Meah Shearim ‘protest’ says that he often thinks about what he did and regrets it. It’s is quite clear that he decided long ago to never do this again. Sounds like real Teshuva to me…

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